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Friday, January 29, 2010

Searching for God in the Rubble of an Earthquake

3 John 8 friend, Dr. Bob Kellemen, has updated a chapter from his book, A Theology of Soul Care and Spiritual Direction, to help us biblically process the tragic events of Haiti. He posted it on his blog, and it’s entitled: Searching for God in the Rubble of an Earthquake.

The introduction of the article and links to the full version, as well as many other resources, are below.

Searching for God in the Rubble of an Earthquake*
by Robert W. Kellemen, Ph.D.


In terms of the toll of human lives, the terrorist tragedy of 9/11 will likely pale in comparison to the earthquake tragedy of 1/12/10. How do we respond as Christians? Certainly, we can and should respond monetarily, giving graciously. Certainly, we can and should respond prayerfully, praying fervently.

But how do we respond theologically? How do we even begin to decipher the deeper meaning behind 1/12/10? How do we grapple with such immense human suffering in light of our faith in a sovereign God?

What we need are Cliffs Notes—an instruction manual on how not to read life’s grand adventure and on how to read life’s heroic narrative. No one in the Bible is a better reading tutor for the topic of unspeakable tragedy than Job. Join me as we read Job’s grand adventure narrative and learn that God and Satan use the same material—the story of our lives. Whose interpretation of our life story will we believe? Satan’s or God’s?

To interpret Job’s story and ours accurately, we need to understand that God tells it on two levels. We find the smaller story or the earthly, temporal perspective, and the larger story or the heavenly, eternal perspective. Satan desires that we focus only on the smaller story and conclude that “Life Is Bad, and So Is God.” God urges us to focus upon the larger story and realize that “Life Is Bad, but God Is Good.” One of the keys to our spiritual life, especially during times of personal suffering or national tragedy, is to move people from Satan’s view of life toward God’s perspective on this life and the next.

To continue reading this post (it’s long–one can hardly respond to such tragedy in brief, pithy phrases…) visit my RPM Ministries Free Resource document.

*Excerpted and altered from Soul Physicians: A Theology of Soul Care and Spiritual Direction, with permission of the author, Dr. Robert W. Kellemen (www.rpmministries.org, rpm.ministries@gmail.com). To learn more about Soul Physicians and to read a free sample chapter, visit here: http://bit.ly/2Ha4Am.


Blessings
3 John 8
Bill H.

11 comments:

julee said...

We have such a merciful, loving God. He blesses all of mankind by giving us life. He gives light to the eyes of the poor man and the oppressor. His blessings are not based on my behavior. How much more though should I seek to please Him!

Lisa said...

I am at Liberty University this weekend and I was able to attend their chapel this morning. They had a short video on the disaster in Haiti and at the end of the video a Haitian was quoted saying, "God is good." I struggle reading about this and seeing how faithful some Christians are sometimes and how faithless I am! If I were put in a situation like the one in Haiti, could I end my day saying, "God is good?" Probably not and I strive to be like that.

Dickson City said...

I was talking with some peple at work last night about the importance of theology. They asked me why I thought it was so crucial and I explained to them that in times like Hatti or when kids are murdered or teenagers die of vicious cancer we have an amazing good God who is sovereign. Do we always understand? no but we must realize that God is please and glorified by a faithful submissive servant who is willing to accept his will and walk in faith and wisdom.

Krista said...

I was talking with some peple at work last night about the importance of theology. They asked me why I thought it was so crucial and I explained to them that in times like Hatti or when kids are murdered or teenagers die of vicious cancer we have an amazing good God who is sovereign. Do we always understand? no but we must realize that God is please and glorified by a faithful submissive servant who is willing to accept his will and walk in faith and wisdom.

Danielle Cummings said...

While reading this Proverb, Proverb 29, i noticed that a few verses hit on the fact that being prideful bascially gets you nowhere. Of course, thats not new information, but to really think about what it means to be prideful and how it connects to wisdom is kind of cool to me. When we think about what i means to be prideful, so many things come to mine. But never did i think that it was unwise! So each time i let my pride get the best of me, im being a fool...

TheErbentrauts said...

Response 29 January , 2010
Proverbs 29:25 - Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.
The believer is never called to fear man. We could look at fear in this passage in a couple of different ways. First we are not to fear (revere) man in the same sense that we are to revere God. We re called to be in awe and respect toward God .In a second sense, we are not to be afraid of what man can do to us for taking a stand for Christ in this world. God will eventually vindicate his children. I think the snare that this passage is referring to is the snare that will paralyze the child of God from serving him in the fullest. In other words this would happen when a child of God capitulate to the threats of the world for preaching the Gospel. [but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.] The second part of this proverb does not guarantee that the Child of God will not suffer persecution, physical or any other type. But he or she will have an inner sense that all of these things will work together for the good .In other words we will know that God has an ultimate high and good purpose for everything that happens in our lives.
John Erbentraut

Rachel said...

I found verse 26 particularly interesting to ponder.
"Many seek the fact of a ruler,
but it is from the Lord that a man gets justice."
I fear we are quick to forget that God ordains all things: whether it's a tragic earthquake or the election of a national leader that we do not like, one we fear will bring great harm to our nation. We cannot look to man for justice, for peace, or for assurance of safety. Were our country to fall to pieces tomorrow, our hope in Christ would be no different than it is today. It is God who justifies and it is God who brings justice; we have literally nothing to fear so long as God is on His throne.

Sarah said...

Verse one caught my eye right away. A man with a stiff-neck will destroyed without remedy. To me, this verse says that we are going to be destroyed if we do not count on God to help us when we are in need. God is very merciful and I am very thankful, because we do not deserve his mercy or grace.

Cody F said...

Jan 29 – Prov 29
Today a verse that really hit me was verse 13. So often I can find myself complaining about someone that is a leader that shouldn’t be, or criticizing someone who I don’t agree with. But this verse really made me think, it says “The poor man and the oppressor have this in common: the Lord gives light to the eyes of both.” So even when I don’t agree with someone or don’t like someone in leadership, I have to keep in mind that God is the one who put him or her there.

Renee said...

Many seek an audience with a ruler, but it is from the LORD that man gets justice.

Today I have been challenged repeatedly with how I think about governing authority. In another class, I am studying 1 Timothy and today we talked about the need to pray for authority. I realized that I don’t do this as often as I should. Verse 26 of Proverbs 29 reminded me of this because only God gives true justice and has his hand on all authority.

Renee said...
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