Now faith is defined as the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. In the stories The Song of Roland and Dante’s Inferno both main character’s faith was tested on their spiritual quest to salvation. Roland was betrayed and outnumbered by his enemies and Dante was lost in the darkness of sin. As each man faced difficult situations on their missions, both relied on their faith to overcome their enemy, persevered through obstacles and refused to turn back. Although Roland and Dante journeys were completely different, their values in what they believed in were the same.
Throughout humanity, the idea of suffering played a major role in human lives, in some cases by ending it. Nevertheless, according to popular religious traditions, the first humans, Adam and Eve, were placed on Earth to suffer for their sins in a life of misery. All humans are a part of this “original sin,” thus there is no such thing as innocent humans suffering in the world. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Popular religious themes are centered on the idea of continual suffering in life, like the Israelites who continued to suffer through the Holocaust. The theme of The Mexican Flyboy is also structured around the idea of suffering. In the story, Simon Vegas is obsessed with people who have suffered throughout history and “saves” those victims out of their misery. Even though Simon liberates the victims out of suffering, the historical events like burning of Jesse Washington continue to take place. The idea of saving the individuals is abstract, as it seems like the bodies suffer, while the souls are saved.
Hardship shapes people, it changes them drastically. It’s as if they go through metamorphosis, they are completely different; things like their religion can easily be affected by this. When human beings are stripped of what makes them human, they have little left. They are a dying tree that is hanging on to its last leaf, their free-will. Some viewed their time in a labor camp as a test of their faith. They believed if they stuck with God through such suffering, that they were truly dedicated to the Jewish religion. The book, Night, is a great testament to this. Elie Wiesel’s time in the camp may have weakened his faith, but a number of his fellow Jews were strengthened by the whole experience. The idea of God punishing the Jewish
The Cross and the Lynching tree is a recent work from James H. Cone. Currently a Systematic Theology professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York, he is renowned as a founder of black liberation theology. In this book, he reflects on the most brutal chapter of white racism in the 20th century America where 5,000 innocent blacks were lynched to death by white mobs. And he tells us how blacks were able to survive the unspeakable reality of violence and torture with faith and hope in Christ. As a witness for blacks who were voiceless and ignored, he speaks out against the white church for saying little about slavery and racial justice. His passion for social justice comes from growing up in Arkansas in the Jim Crow era. The memories of his father and lynch mobs never left him. Black church comforted him, but made him wonder. “If the white churches are Christian, how come they segregate us? And if God is God, why is He letting us suffer?” (1) The lifelong quest for answers to these questions shaped his theology
Bonhoeffer in this chapter talks about the call to discipleship that is given to all believers, something that is irresistible from God himself. He breaks down Jesus’ talk with the rich young ruler, and talks about how the ruler instead follows in his own self-conceit instead of submitting to the will of the Christ himself. In doing this, he would not be fulfilling the law, but instead be obeying a direct call from Christ to come and follow him, something he will not do because of his great possessions. I love how Bonhoeffer explains this story, because he breaks down the true meaning of the rich young ruler, and gets to the heart of the problem that many lay people would not understand through reading the story and the immediate context. Bonhoeffer
Christians today are perceived much differently now than they were in past generations. In his book UnChristian, David Kinnaman reveals what the current standings of young outsiders, or those that do not identify with Christianity, are about Christians in comparison to past generations (referred to in the book as “Mosaics” or “Busters” depending on the year of their birth). Though unfortunate, this faith is seen more as club or a social circle of the elite rather than a group of people faithful to their beliefs.
Even though times of great prosperity, or of great ruin, turn men to faith as a cure-all, events such as the Holocaust spiritually exhausted their victims into a state of losing faith. The idea of a benevolent and caring God is called into question when all His followers are slaughtered by the millions.
Emily Dykstra and Dr. Jennifer Feenstra, both professors within the psychology department, discussed the journeys of their faith life and how they came to truly articulate their personal beliefs. These professors also talked about the many challenges faced by “emerging adults” who perhaps have a rather weak hold of their faith in the midst of a heavily-secular world and how to deal with such challenges. Of course, they believe that our education at Northwestern equips us as “courageous and faithful learners” with the suitable framework for our faith, yet they also realize that this Christian environment may be sheltering us from the harsh realities of the world. This session reminded me of a previous discussion I had with my FYS class about why we believe what we believe. Through that discussion, I realized that I had never really articulated what my faith actually meant to me. Instead, I simply piggybacked off my parents’ beliefs and called them my own. This session, and my FYS experience, has led me to a desire of being able to truly articulate my own beliefs and to take control of my faith life instead of being spoonfed religious beliefs from my
My spiritual gifts are as follows, the gifts of faith, patience, creativity and encouragement. Faith is defined as a sense of trust. The gift of faith is closely related to the life and functioning of the church. Faith in the old testament In the King James Bible faith is presented by Paul as present at different levels of growth among believers, some Christians are weak in faith (Roms.14:1), whereas, others are strong in faith (Rom.15:1). Faith is grouped among gifts and virtues. It is presented as something that can grow (2 Cor.10:15) Faith is mentioned among gifts that edify believers in the church. Faith in the Old Testament rests on a foundation that the person or object of trust, belief, or confidence is reliable. Faith is a central theological
Identifying the problem with pain is fairly simple according to Lewis, explaining the purpose of pain not so much. In chapter one Lewis tells us that the problem with pain is the fact that we as Christians have to try to make it fit into our belief system and that fact “creates, rather than solves, the problem of pain.” (C. Lewis) It also means that as Christians, we are left facing the dilemma of trying to explain how we serve an all-loving, all- powerful, benevolent God who despite His benevolence allows us to suffer.
Dr. Ed Stetzer is the Executive Director of the Lifeway Research Division. Stetzer has obtained two masters degrees and two doctorate degrees, and he currently serves as pastor of Grace Church in Tennessee. In addition to being the Executive Director for a division of lifeway and a pastor, Stetzer is also a contributing author for Christianity Today, Executive Editor of The Gospel Project, Executive Editor of Facts & Trends Magazine, co-host of the BreakPoint This Week Radio Program, and a columnist for Outreach Magazine.
Suffering or evil could be divided into two major categories: physical and moral. Both have their own cause. Every action or deed has its own particular motive to do or to present. Whatever happens in the life, immediately we ask “why” and we search the reason for it. Especially when man faces trials and tribulations, he asks why all these things are happening in his life and what he has done to undergo this. Identifying the causes is a very important aspect in each and every situation whether it is good or bad, because when we search for the meaning, it helps us to reflect upon our life and our responsibilities. Pope John Paul II says that “within each form of suffering endured by man, and at the same time at the basis of the whole world of suffering, there inevitably arises the question: Why? It is the question of cause, the reason, and equally, about the purpose of suffering.” Searching for the cause gives the understanding and meaning about suffering. Christian doctrine fundamentally gives two reason for the human suffering: original sin and the free will of human being. It is not the plan of God that human beings should suffer, but because of free will which was given by God as a gift, made him to suffer and to perish into the eternal suffering, breaking the relationship with God. Here enters the word poena which means pain, punishment, and compensation and it denotes that if one has done something wrong, he has to undergo suffering because
Throughout life, people are often faced with many decisions. Some of these decisions are easy to make, while others are excruciating, as they can be life altering. From a Christian’s perspective, however, people never have to make these decisions alone. God promises that he will never abandon his people, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (New International Version, Deuteronomy 31:6). In the poem, “The Road Not Taken,” Robert Frost uses beautifully crafted metaphors, imagery, and tone to convey a theme that all people are presented with choices in life, some of which are life-altering, so one should heavily way the options in order to make the best choices possible.
God is always in control even if it appears that evil is. Satan is only allowed to operate within boundaries set by God. For example, Satan was not allowed to take Job's life. Job is unaware of the reason why he is suffering and the Bible does not give a simple answer. One might conclude that there is no close relationship between suffering and sin. Importantly, just because Christians suffer does not mean God is punishing us for some sin. Such suffering may occur for reasons that we don’t understand. (Incidentally, I equate this mystery, irreverently perhaps, to me insisting on periodically washing my dog, Robbie, and clipping his toenails, and then after the stressful ordeal I reward him with a treat. Robbie does not understand the greater need for such torture, but tolerates the experience and seems to continuing loving me
“Fides ET ratio” which was written in 1998 by Pope St. John Paul the II to all the bishops to demonstrate the relationship between faith and reason. Pope St. John Paul the II wrote the encyclical to support and at the same time help the old Christian philosophy. "Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart the desire to know the truth — in a word, to know himself — so that by knowing and loving God, men and women can come to the fullness of the truth about themselves" (n. 1) With that sentence Pope St. John Paul the II begins the encyclical, Fides et Ratio. Pope St. John Paul II believed that faith and reason has a lot of interconnection to help