Friday, October 8, 2010

Why We Suffer

Yes, this would be the universal question. I've kicked it around myself and had come to the conclusion that there is suffering in the world because either humans create the suffering (either for themselves or for others); or because the natural system of God's creation does (hurricanes, disease, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc.). My own suffering has provided opportunities for my growth or someone else's and for pure wallowing in the experience of pain and loss. I haven't delved much deeper than that.

I have been on a reading journey with Bart Ehrman, a professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, just minutes from where I live. His books reflect and reveal his own spiritual journey in which he becomes an Evangelical Christian, but as he studies and prays and discerns, he gradually becomes an agnostic. What intrigued me as I read his work was that all of his Biblical studies which point up textual inconsistencies, changes, mistranslations and other content issues did not sway his basic faith in God. However, studying the issue of why there is suffering in the world did.

I headed straight to Dr. Ehrman's 2008 book, God's Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question--Why We Suffer. Dr. Ehrman's purpose is to show us how different Biblical authors approached and answered this basic question.

So I bring you the Bible's first answer as presented by Dr. Ehrman: the prophets of the Old Testament explain that suffering is a punishment for sin.

What do you think about that statement? True or false? Or true sometimes?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Revive Us, O Lord!

The Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship invites you all to Revival 2010 from October 14th to October 17th in Carrollton, TX. I've just finalized my plans to attend. With the way my life has been going for the last few months, I kept waffling. Go or not go. Not go. Maybe go. Not go.

Then I remembered the feelings that swept around and through me at the 2009 Revival. The flow of the Spirit. Meeting fellow UU Christians from all over the US and Canada. Learning more about this supportive movement. Embracing the Christian services and words and songs. The glow I brought back with me that sustained me and uplifted me for months afterward. Revival 2009 inspired me to launch this Blog.

So, in the end, there really wasn't any question. I'll be at Revival this year.

Still trying to decide? In this blog, scan the Blog Topics on the left-hand side and choose "Revival 2009" to read the posts about the awesome time we had in Tulsa. Pop over to the official UUCF Revival site for details about reservations, costs and the inspiring program that is planned.

Get in touch with the Spirit. Settle into the Christian services. Learn about progressive Christianity. Meet other UU Christians. UUCF Revival 2010.

Get Revived!