Monday

Dear Professor Howdy!



Dear Professor Howdy,

Can you guess which is 
the female above???

Best Wishes,
Julia G. - UNC







4 comments:

Margaret Manning - RZIM said...

Three Questions
Margaret Manning

There are certain questions I come to expect now. After almost 10 years in
ministry, there is only slight variation on wording or turn of phrase. I
don't even have to guess what might be asked of me anymore, for I know the
questions before they are even asked. Is there a God? Does God care about
me? If so, why does God allow suffering?

For many, these questions are intellectual pursuits that need to be
answered for constructing a sound apologetic. For others, however, the
questions come from the deepest places of the heart. They come because of
personal experience with suffering of one form or another. When the
fervent prayers of righteous men and women do not prevent the cancer from
spreading, or the child from dying, or the plane from crashing, or the
marriage from failing, the questions come like water bursting through the
dam. Is God really there? Does God even care? If God cares about me,
then why doesn't God do something about the pain?

Unfortunately, these questions are not unique to my ministry or my
generation. They have been asked for millennia. The technical term for
the problem of suffering is called theodicy. Theodicy is a word
invented in the seventeenth century by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, one of
the great intellectual thinkers of the Enlightenment period.(1) Theodicy
attempts to explain how and why there can be suffering in the world if God
is all-powerful and loving. In trying to solve this problem, some thinkers
have denied the omnipotence of God; God is all-loving, but not able to do
anything about suffering. Others dispense of the notion that God is
all-loving, at least in any conventional understanding. But if God is not
love, then God is not God.

Yet beyond the intellectual wrangling over this problem, the experience of
suffering in light of both the goodness and power of God has caused many to
doubt God, and others to walk away from faith altogether. If God does not
prevent suffering, and if God does not care about the sufferer, then God
does not exist in any meaningful way.

The writers of Scripture wrestled with these questions too. Often, they
provided different ways of answering these questions. Some believed that
suffering resulted from sin. Others believed that God causes suffering
as a form of punishment. Still others asserted that suffering brings
redemption.(2)

In Mark's gospel, a simple story about a boat caught in a terrible storm
provides an altogether different answer framed around three questions.
When evening had come, Jesus and his disciples got into a boat, most
likely on the Sea of Galilee, in order to "go over to the other side"
(Mark 4:35-41). In the course of their travel, a fierce storm arose
suddenly and violently. It was so intense that the waves were not only
breaking over the boat, but the boat was filling with water and on the
verge of sinking. Jesus, asleep in the stern of the boat, Mark tells us,
was resting soundly when the disciples roused him with their fearful,
first question: "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" Jesus
doesn't answer their question, but instead answers the wind and the waves,
"Peace, be still." His exhortation to the natural elements of wind and
water was nevertheless intended for the disciples as well, for he returns
their question with a second question: "Why are you afraid? Have you no
faith?" To which the disciples reply to one another with the ultimate
question, "Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?"

For some reason, we think that because Jesus is in the boat with us,
suffering will not come our way. But suffering does come, and the wind
roars around us and the sky turns black, and the storm of all storms
appears to envelop us in darkness and terror. Jesus, don't you care
that we are perishing becomes an incredulous statement because we
think as Christians we are somehow immune from the troubles of life. But
Jesus's answer reminds us that faith does not insulate us from life's
storms. Indeed, as Craig Barnes has written "Faith...has little to do
with our doctrines or even with our belief that Jesus could come up with a
miracle if he would only pay attention. Faith has everything to do with
seeing that we have the Savior on board"(3)

In the midst of our questions about suffering, there is Jesus in the storm
of doubt, in the tempest of despair, in the gale of defeat, resting calmly
in the assurance of God's care in the storm. His presence with the
disciples in the storm tells us more about who he is--neither removed from
suffering, nor always preventing suffering--then why we suffer. After
all, that's the more important question to answer: "Who then is this,
that even the wind and the sea obey him?"

And like the disciples, we too can be filled with awe and wonder at the
God "of all creation who does not explain everything and is
mysterious--too mysterious to fit our formulas for better living...and who
brings mystery into our lives because we do not know how God will
intervene."(4) As you ask your questions, may you also hear his answer:
"Peace, be still."

Margaret Manning is associate writer at Ravi Zacharias International
Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.


(1) Bart Ehrman, God's Problem (New York: HarperOne, 2008), 8.
(2) See for examples Proverbs 3:33, "The Lord's curse is on the house of
the wicked, but he blesses the abode of the righteous"; Amos 4:1-3, "[Y]ou
cows of Bashan who oppress the poor, who crush the needy...the Lord God has
sworn in his holiness: the time is surely coming upon you, when they shall
take you away with hooks, even the last of you with fishhooks"; and Isaiah
53, the suffering Servant.
(3) M. Craig Barnes, When God Interrupts (Downers Grove, IL:
InterVarsity Press, 1996), 138.
(4) Ibid., 135, 139.


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Professor Howdy said...

December 22, 1808
In a 4-hour long concert, German composer Ludwig van Beethoven
premiered some of his most famous compositions, including the Fifth
and Sixth Symphonies, in Vienna. The length of the concert and the
cold weather, however, prevented the audience from fully appreciating
the exquisite classical music.

Professor Howdy said...

Для бога не послал его сынку в мир для того чтобы засудить мир, но то мир до он мощь было сохранено. Он верит в ем не засужен; но он не верит засужен уже, потому что он не верил in the name of единственный порожденный сынок бога.

Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard said...

No one has made more money from climate change hype than Gore. According to the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper, just one of the "green" companies in which Gore has invested has received over half a billion dollars in subsidies from the Energy Department.

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