Resurrection & The Problem of Pain

We will meet at TILT ROOM again, in Castleberry Hills, this Tuesday, 29 April, from 8-10pm.

Several regular participants in the Emergent cohort showed up at Emory last Wednesday to hear N. T. Wright, Bishop of Durham for the Church of England. Wright has been formative for many as a proponent of narrative theology and scholar of the first century who has challenged Christians to pursue a theology that is intellectually honest.

In his newest book, Surprised by Hope, which he discussed on Wednesday, he identifies Resurrection as the most significant occurrence (his exact words were "the linchpin") in the Christian story, perhaps the only thing that creates hope and meaning in a human story fraught with suffering.

He echoes this same theme in a recent online conversation hosted by beliefnet.com with Bart Ehrman, a distinguished professor at UNC, renowned biblical scholar and agnostic. Ehrman is a former evangelical who lost his faith while wrestling with the problem of pain and suffering. For Ehrman, Christian and Hebrew scriptures offer at best contradictory explanations for suffering, none of which suffice. He discusses his views in his recent book, God's Problem.

I invite you to read Ehrman and Wright's brief 3-part exchange, and to come prepared to share your thoughts. Allow me to offer a few guiding questions:
  • What is the significance of resurrection?
  • Where does resurrection leave us on the problem of pain?
  • What makes it difficult for many to hear this as adequate?
Finally, I'd also like to offer this meditation on the resurrection by Rev. Debbie Blue at House of Mercy in St Paul, MN. I hope it enlivens your view of the resurrection, as it did mine.

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You're a part of a bigger conversation, a bigger story of God's creation unfolding and realizing it's Creator's dreams in the clue of Jesus. Gather monthly to re-imagine how we can best participate locally in this conversation, story, dreams. This is an Emergent Cohort meeting to flesh out four commitments: to God in the way of Jesus, to the Church in all its Forms, to God's World, and to One Another. This is a theological conversation for any practitioners in the way of Jesus.

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