The Holocaust is one of the great crimes of world history, but is it prefigured in the most unexpected source - the Bible? Is the Old Testament a list of astonishing atrocities, engineered by the entity called Jehovah that so many billions of people choose to worship as God? Is it possible to put God himself on trial using exactly the same set of charges that were used to prosecute the Nazi High Command at the Nuremberg Trials? In the name of free speech, civil and human rights, this is the prosecution case that the whole world should be discussing.
The Trial of God (as it was held on February 25, 1649, in Shamgorod) A Play by Elie Wiesel Translated by Marion Wiesel Introduction by Robert McAfee Brown Afterword by Matthew Fox Where is God when innocent human beings suffer? This drama lays bare the most vexing questions confronting the moral imagination. Set in a Ukranian village in the year 1649, this haunting play takes place in the aftermath of a pogrom. Only two Jews, Berish the innkeeper and his daughter Hannah, have survived the brutal Cossack raids. When three itinerant actors arrive in town to perform a Purim play, Berish demands that they stage a mock trial of God instead, indicting Him for His silence in the face of evil. Berish, a latter-day Job, is ready to take on the role of prosecutor. But who will defend God? A mysterious stranger named Sam, who seems oddly familiar to everyone present, shows up just in time to volunteer. The idea for this play came from an event that Elie Wiesel witnessed as a boy in Auschwitz: “Three rabbis—all erudite and pious men—decided one evening to indict God for allowing His children to be massacred. I remember: I was there, and I felt like crying. But there nobody cried.” Inspired and challenged by this play, Christian theologians Robert McAfee Brown and Matthew Fox, in a new Introduction and Afterword, join Elie Wiesel in the search for faith in a world where God is silent. From the Trade Paperback edition.
The trip to heaven in order to meet God has proved that the latter was wrong in claiming full authority and ownership of the creation of the whole universe. Satan, accompanied by his staunch men___a think tank of philosophers proved to God that the latter failed in his promises tendered to men and that, God has been for too long the perpetrator of the sufferings of the humanity, not Satan as it has been all along alleged. Upon the scuffle, Satan has instructed God to be honest and brave enough to reveal the truth to the humanity about their secret agreement in the creation of the world. As God resists such daring act which would expose his treachery, Satan orders him to resign from his seat of authority. Consequently, Satan decides to return to Earth and institute a lawsuit against God. As Satan returns to Earth, once more, in a court of law, Satan defends himself and wins the case. God is put to shame as the Judge President pronounces the verdict that indicts God.
This novel is a study of the human condition and the role religions play in our existence. I do not see religions and faith to have any positive effect on humanity; in fact, the opposite is true. The teachings of the so-called holy books are fundamentally flawed and immoral in nature; hence, the writer ought be brought to justice. God incites his followers to murder, cause mayhem, hate, judge and cause the atrocities that humanity has been seeing up until today with Islamic terrorism. Since my childhood growing in a religiously fanatic country, Egypt, I have believed that someone had to stand up and question these centuries old beliefs. I did. And I did it well. The concept is presented in the following theme: Convinced that God is a negative force, tormenting the helpless human race, an ailing English professor becomes determined to put the deity on trial. But when he’s diagnosed with schizophrenia, he soon succumbs to the damning madness and brutally stabs and kills his wife. And in the deadly manhunt that ensues, he is ultimately shot dead by the police. This prompts his grieving sister to follow through his life’s mission to bring God to justice.
Many scholars find the legal metaphor of an Oath of Innocence inappropriate, though for different reasons. Some liberal scholars opt for an aesthetic, not a moral, resolution of the question of evil in the world. They find a sublime beauty in God's review of the animal and physical worlds, Behemoth and Leviathan. But that is all they find. They find no suggestions of moral purpose in God's creation and control of evil. Indeed, they feel none could be forthcoming. God is beyond good and evil so no moral resolution is possible. Since no moral resolution is possible, a legal mataphor such as a lawsuit dramatizing the moral question is inappropriate. They interpret Job to understand that position. And they interpret him to retract the lawsuit in its entirety. This author feels such liberal scholars miss a moral resolution for five reasons. (a) First, they fail to give adequate weight to Satan's first speech in heaven setting out the moral solution. (b) Second, they misinterpret Job's struggle with God to be a request for a restoration of his former position, rather than a request to know the reason behind evil in the world. (c) Third, they fail to appreciate the moral restrictions under which God has to operate. God cannot reveal any moral answers directly without defeating his very purpose in the creation and control of evil. As a result, they miss the suggestions of moral purpose in God's two speeches and the inferences God would have Job draw. (d) Fourth, they fail to fully appreciate the legal dynamics of the enforcement mechanism of Job's Oath of Innocence. In particular, they fail to appreciate the distinction between causal responsibility and moral blameworthiness. Thus, they do not understand God's comments concerning vindication and condemnation in his first speech to Job. And they do not understand Job's hesitation to proceed beyond his own vindication to a condemnation of God in Job's first speech to God. Ultimately, they fail to see Job's adjournment and continuation of his Oath of Innocence implied by the allusion to the story of Abraham and Sodom and Gomorrah in Job's final speech. (e) Finally, they fail to give full expression to God's ultimate judgement on Job. Job and only Job spoke rightly about God. In the face of such a judgement, there is no room to deny the ultimate propriety of the moral and legal question as a way of framing man's encounter with God. Some conservative scholars opt for a moral resolution of the question of evil in the world, but their resolution is equally unsatisfying. They interpret Job's so-called excessive words and his Oath of Innocence to be sins of presumption. Thus they would have Job retract his lawsuit in its entirety and repent morally for either his so-called excessive words, his raising of the lawsuit or both. This author feels such conservative scholars miss a satisfactory moral resolution for three reasons. (a) First, they fail to understand the depth of Satan's challenge to God. It is not merely that Job will curse God. It is that God is wrong in his judgement on Job's goodness. God missed sin in Job's life. Such scholars think their moral resolution is possible, because although Job sins, Job does not actually curse God. Their resolution actually makes Satan right in his challenge of God so that God should step down from his throne and destroy mankind. (b) Second, they fail to give proper weight to Job's blamelessness and integrity. The raising of the Oath of Innocence is an expression of that blamelessness and integrity. It is what God expects of Job, though he cannot tell him that directly. (c) Finally, they fail to give full expression of God's ultimate judgement on Job. Job and only Job spoke rightly about God. In the face of such a judgement, there is no room to attribute sin or wrongdoing to Job for either his so-called excessive words or for his Oath of Innocence. My personal interpretation charts a new middle course between these two-fold horrors
This work is intentionally brief, as the author does not believe in wasting right from the beginning. It might be deemed controversial as it builds towards a climax which pits one religion against another. However, it is a must read for anyone interested in faith or mental health.
Joseph Woodward brings fresh perspective and real clarity, in a way that will renew your faith in the unfailing goodness of a magnificent heavenly Father. Your love for the Lord and your love of His Word will be perceptibly enhanced as you assimilate the timely and important message contained in this volume. As you begin to understand that it is not your heavenly Father that is arranging and setting in motion the bitter trials and tragedies in your life, your love for Him will immediately, naturally, and sweetly increase. There are many sources of severe trials, but your heavenly Father is not one of them. In "Understanding Trials, To Better Understand God," those sources, and how to close the door on many of them, are clearly revealed.
Song's theology is a startling rebuke to Christologies centered either in historical-critical searches or church doctrines. For Song, theology is the biography of God, and God's reign is evident in stories of God's saving presence in Jesus. The reign of God in Jesus "becomes manifest through movements of people to be free from the shackles of the past, to change the status quo of the present, and to have a role to play in the arrival of the future".
A frequent stumbling block for Christians and non-Christians is how to handle adversity. Why aren't we promised an easy ride once we accept Jesus as our Savior? Tony's book explores why God allows trials, and then delivers practical steps for responding to them and emerging victorious!
Author: Simon D. Podmore
Publisher: James Clarke & Co
Release Date: 2013-10-31
Invoking the biblical motif of Jacob's struggle with the Face of God (Genesis 32), Simon D. Podmore undertakes a constructive theological account of 'spiritual trial' (tentatio; known in German mystical and Lutheran tradition as Anfechtung) in relation to enduring questions of the otherness and hiddenness of God and the self, the problem of suffering and evil, the freedom of Spirit, and the anxious relationship between temptation and ordeal, fear and desire. This book traces a genealogy of spiritual trial from medieval German mystical theology, through Lutheran and Pietistic thought (Tauler; Luther; Arndt; Boehme), and reconstructs Kierkegaard's innovative yet under-examined recovery of the category (Anf¾gtelse: a Danish cognate for Anfechtung) within the modern context of the 'spiritless' decline of Christendom. Developing the relationship between struggle (Anfechtung) and release (Gelassenheit), Podmore proposes a Kierkegaardian theology of spiritual trial which elaborates the kenosis of the self before God in terms of Spirit's restless longing to rest transparently in God. Offering an original rehabilitation of the temptation of spiritual trial, this book strives for a renewed theological hermeneutic which speaks to the enduring human struggle to realise the unchanging love of God in the face of spiritual darkness.
So many people are defeated by life’s trials and tribulations because they put their trust in man and not in God. Trials will always occur in some form or fashion in our lives. We are either entering a trial, in the midst of a trial or getting over a trial. When we go through trials we all react differently especially when we face fiery trials and tribulations. Your fiery trial may be different than mine. Fiery trials may involve your health, finances, family problems, addictions, legal problems, homelessness and poverty. Some people react to trials through worldly solutions such as, alcohol, drugs, and searching for answers in all the wrong places from all the wrong people. Some people check out completely by committing suicide because they feel that there is no other way out of their circumstances. Some people go to God for answers and they find peace because they trust God to solve their problems. This book teaches us to trust God in all circumstances no matter what our fiery trials may be. Proverbs 3:5 and 6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding: In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.” We should trust God even in the fiery furnace just like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did when they had their fiery furnace trial. This book reveals how you can have hope in hopeless situations, comfort and joy in the midst of suffering and peace in the midst of chaos when you trust God even in the fiery furnace.
Author: Peter H. Irons
Release Date: 2007
A detailed examination of five recent landmark court battles over the separation of church and state offers coverage of the cases from both sides, from the 1989 challenge of a cross in a San Diego public park to the 2004 fight by parents who objected to the Dover, Pennsylvania, school board's decision to mandate the teaching of intelligent design.