Introduction to the Book of Job by G.K. Chesterton

“The Iliad is only great because all life is a battle, The Odyssey because all life is a journey, The Book of Job because all life is a riddle.” ~ G.K. Chesterton, “The Defendant” 

The Book of Job is perhaps one of the most difficult books in the Bible to read, both intellectually and emotionally.  In many ways, it presents us with a disconcerting riddle.  G.K. Chesterton agreed that it is a riddle, but that it is disconcerting to us is where the problem really begins.

In his book, The Everlasting Man, Chesterton had this to say, calling Job a literary, “colossal cornerstone” of the ancient world:

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Carl Sagan, the Implausibility of Existence, and Suffering


Carl Sagan and his son Nick.

The convergence of an atheist’s words of comfort to his daughter and a theist’s argument for why God allows evil and suffering.  

Carl Sagan’s daughter reports that when she “veered into a kind of mini-existential crisis” about ceasing to exist at death, her famous atheist parents told her the following:

“You are alive right this second. That is an amazing thing,” they told me. When you consider the nearly infinite number of forks in the road that lead to any single person being born, they said, you must be grateful that you’re you at this very second. Think of the enormous number of potential alternate universes where, for example, your great-great-grandparents never meet and you never come to be. Moreover, you have the pleasure of living on a planet where you have evolved to breathe the air, drink the water, and love the warmth of the closest star. You’re connected to the generations through DNA — and, even farther back, to the universe, because every cell in your body was cooked in the hearts of stars.

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