This blog is maintained on behalf of the Amy Foundation for the purpose of tracking the best Christian journalism we find on the Web. Our posts regularly identify those news articles or opinions in the mainstream media that represent good faith-based writing and example them for other Christian journalists.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Excellent Web Article on

A Google News search turned up the following article on USA Today's Blog (7/21/08), wrestling with the age old question of why God allows suffering. Michael Novak writes a personally persuasive opinion, entitled, “Reconciling evil with faith,” where he argues that shedding one’s belief in a loving God when faced with pervasive evil doesn’t make evil any less prevalent or faith any less relevant.

Novak writes:
The New Yorker (of all magazines) gave a good number of pages early last month to a quite brilliant book reviewer, James Wood, for a long essay on why he could no longer be a Christian. Stories like his are widespread. They usually cite the natural evils that too often crash upon humans — in China a stupefying earthquake, in Burma a cyclone, elsewhere tsunami, or tornado, disease, flood, or cruel slow-working famine. They then add the evils that humans inflict upon other humans.

Virtually every family in America has suffered from painful evils, often bitterly and almost overpoweringly so: A promising young nephew in a major university killed in an auto crash; a wife, husband, or sister wasted slowly and painfully by cancer or some other affliction — drug or alcohol addiction; the Alzheimer's disease of an unrecognizing spouse; nightmares from brutalities suffered under distant dictatorial regimes.
Novak’s piece is commanding because he takes time to set up his central argument by embracing the deep disappointment experienced by Jewish and Christian believers when confronted with tragedy. The mix of historic crimes and news making tragedies interlaced with personal decisions to leave one’s faith makes for a compelling storyline and thrusts the reader into the central argument of Novak’s opinion:
Would a conviction that our sufferings are meaningless, and due to blind chance, ease the pain of the poor and the unjustly tortured? Raging against the night seems to be an evasion of reality.
What’s more, Novak’s powerful opinion is clearly supported by scripture (“When Jesus said: ‘Ask and you shall receive,’ he did not mean you will get what you pray for, …”), which qualifies it for the Amy Writing Awards (thanks to the Foundation's new guidelines for accepting online publications).

I am going to recommend to Novak that he submit the article and I hope to see it in the later rounds of this year’s contest. His article renews my faith in Christianity’s light shining in the media’s often secular darkness. By far, his opinion is one the best I’ve found on the web this year.

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