Re: [asa] (Job) Nothing_in_Biology_Makes_Sense_Except_in_the_Light_of_Evolution

From: Murray Hogg <>
Date: Thu Aug 20 2009 - 19:30:42 EDT

Hi all,

I think the key to understanding Job is to recognize that for the large part of the book, the thing that describes Job's situation is not his questioning, but God's silence.

And I think it important to note that the only thing that changes for Job in the course of the narrative is the fact that God makes an appearance.

That's the climax of the story and, in my opinion, its primary theological point.

A secondary point might be that focusing on "reasons" for suffering is to actually misunderstand the problem - it's not that we feel pain, it's that we feel that pain is a sign of divine abandonment. Resolve the later and you can bear the first.

I think that the overall storyline is quite consistent with the Christian eschatological vision: when Christ returns we will spend our time in relationship with him, whilst the "reasons" as to why things in this life didn't go according to plan will not, I think, concern us much.


Schwarzwald wrote:
> Bernie,
> I think it's clearly apparent. If Job felt that God had reasons for what
> he was experiencing, what would the problem for him be? The only purpose
> would be to confirm what he already felt, or wonder/curiosity. On the
> flipside, Job seems to think that if only he had an explanation from
> God, then it would renew/restore his trust in God. In the story God
> explains why that simply will not work - and Job seems to realize not
> only this, but why it won't work.
> And you keep saying "the reader was told the real reason". I know that's
> what Bart Ehrman thinks, but I also think Ehrman is clearly wrong on
> that point. First in the expected sense of 'That's not what this was
> supposed to convey'. But second, even a plain reading doesn't give a
> complete explanation. God never explains why He cares to convince Satan,
> or asserts that it's done purely for the purposes of inquiry, or to
> test, etc. At most we get a sliver of explanation - and the end of the
> book explains why it's a mistake to pursue this line of inquiry anyway.
> So I'm in stark disagreement with you here. And others too, I'm certain.
> Job beautifully illustrates the folly of thinking of God as just another
> being like ourselves for whom it's not only proper, but wise to seek
> explanations from. If our approach to God is "I'll believe and trust -
> but only when I hear a complete and satisfactory account of every evil
> or question I can think of!", sorry. The option isn't available. It's
> barely available in human-human relationships.

To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Thu Aug 20 19:31:49 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Thu Aug 20 2009 - 19:31:49 EDT