Search – The Problem Of Pain
A generation ago it was a proud family that boasted a pristine set of World Book Encyclopedias (or Encyclopedia Britannicas) on their living room mantle. Those glowing volumes of knowledge were the holy grail of information, and every parent aspired to ‘get a set.’ We used to go to the library and sweat over the card catalogue. We had to be versed in the Dewey Decimal system. We parsed through drawers and surfed through cards and microfiche. Not so today. We are a digital world. The advent of the internet has shoved aside our old World Book culture. They call what we live in “The Information Age.” Never before has so much information been available to so many people. And it’s not just localized; it is global. Where we used to write ‘Dear Abby,’ we now we ‘Ask Siri’ or ‘Ask Alexa.’ We used to ask an expert, now we ‘YouTube it.’
All of that is okay if I want to learn how to make cedar plank salmon or know why the sky is blue. But some questions are not that cut and dried. There are some deep things…things of the spirit and soul…that even good ol’ Siri struggles to share with us. Sure, you can find articles, but can they really explain those intense things of the soul? Is God really there, or is He the product of an overactive primitive imagination? Is the Trinity just veiled polytheism? If God is good, then how do I account for the presence and proliferation of suffering in the world? What makes the Bible special? Isn’t it just another religious book with a superfluous exclusive claim? What really happens when I die?
We are going to talk about all these and more in the SEARCH series.