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Suffering and the Silence of God

Three sessions on silence and the suffering of God.

Two of the greatest challenges to the Christian faith have been the reality of suffering and the silence (or hiddenness) of God. When these two questions are brought together they form a formidable opposition to faith—why doesn’t God reveal himself in the midst of human suffering? Why does he often seem so absent when we need him most? The great nineteenth-century Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrestled with these difficult questions in his book, The Brothers Karamazov. Though a man of faith, Dostoyevsky’s work is famously considered one of the best articulations of these twin problems in all of literature. Using Dostoyevsky’s work as a starting point, this three week class will explore what the Bible says about the nature of God, suffering, and divine hiddenness (no prior knowledge of Dostoyevsky is required).