Rev. Tom Honey - How Could God Allow Natural Disasters?

The devastation recently experienced by the unfortunate inhabitants of Port-au-Prince in Haiti certainly deserves our attention, our compassion, and our help. Other natural disasters, like the 2004 Tsunami, for instance, raise important and challenging questions to the religious and the faithful, which should be confronted head-on, like the problem of evil: how could a loving and powerful God allow such massive destruction of life?

Attempts to reconcile God's benevolence and omnipotence with unnecessary suffering are known generally as theodicy. Theodicy, unfortunately, has a bad reputation for historically failing to satisfy the intellectual question, as well as the more visceral one, since redeeming God (even when remotely successfully) is normally accomplished at the expense of genuine sympathy and compassion for those who needlessly suffer.

In this powerful and gripping TEDTalk presentation, and probably the best and most honest sermon I've ever heard, Reverend Tom Honey grapples with the problem of evil and does what few believers ever muster up the courage to do: face the question directly, identify the existential problems and logical inconsistencies found in most proposed solutions, reflect on the alternatives left, and demonstrate through example that any faith worth having can only be grounded in existential doubt, and that it can only be experienced through fear and trembling.

The following is an interesting and short analysis of the historical understanding of the relationship between God and natural disasters (from ABC Radio National weekly show Ockham's Razor):

For another powerful analysis of the problem of evil, watch God on Trial.
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