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God's Problem

How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question--Why We Suffer

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


One Bible, Many Answers

In God's Problem, the New York Times bestselling author of Misquoting Jesus challenges the contradictory biblical explanations for why an all-powerful God allows us to suffer.

From Publishers Weekly

Dec 03, 2007 – In this sometimes provocative, often pedantic memoir of his own attempts to answer the great theological question about the persistence of evil in the world, Ehrman, a UNC–Chapel Hill religion professor, refuses to accept the standard theological answers. Through close readings of every section of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, he discovers that the Bible offers numerous answers that are often contradictory. The prophets think God sends pain and suffering as a punishment for sin and also that human beings who oppress others create such misery; the writers who tell the Jesus story and the Joseph stories think God works through suffering to achieve redemptive purposes; the writers of Job view pain as God's test; and the writers of Job and Ecclesiastes conclude that we simply cannot know why we suffer. In the end, frustrated that the Bible offers such a range of opposing answers, Ehrman gives up on his Christian faith and fashions a peculiarly utilitarian solution to suffering and evil in the world: first, make this life as pleasing to ourselves as we can and then make it pleasing to others. Although Ehrman's readings of the biblical texts are instructive, he fails to convince readers that these are indeed God's problems, and he fails to advance the conversation any further than it's already come.

Customer Reviews

A very thoughtful yet biblical book

I love books that challenge people to think outside their religious wormholes. This is one of those books. If we could learn to answer the question of suffering without dodging it, the World would be a better place.

I too wish that more people would put more thought into why humans suffer instead of just believing what everyone else believes. But as a thinking Christian myself, I don't believe that Almighty God is in control of all things good and bad that happens on the earth anyway. Not saying that he isn't sovereign, but in His sovereignty He has limited himself to operate within the rules that He set up from the beginning. God gave man dominion over the earth, and he couldn't take it back once he gave it because He is God-- He can't lie or be an Indian-giver no matter what Job is recorded to have said. Thus He sent Jesus to die to at least give us some power and authority to make a difference in the world we occupy. So like a US ambassador in communist China, we now have the resources of Heaven available to us and can live in relative safety even with all hell breaking loose around us, but we have to do more. We have to tell our Gov't to intervene in our part of the world in Jesus' name as we are (or should be) ambassadors for the Anointed One who is Jesus, the Son of God whose Kingdom we have become a part of through faith (supposedly).

God's Problem
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Religion & Spirituality
  • Published: Oct 13, 2009
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books
  • Seller: HarperCollins
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings