Surviving Incomprehensible Suffering — Summary & References

中文: Chinese Version

We’ve been considering the wisdom of John Chrysostom (347-407 AD) about dealing with suffering, both ours and others. Three key concepts are:

1. NOTHING CAN ULTIMATELY HARM THOSE WHO DO NOT HARM THEMSELVES by bad choices or failing to trust God. There is a difference between suffering and _lasting_ suffering.

2. HUMAN KNOWLEDGE, REASON AND LOGIC ARE _INADEQUATE_ TO ACCURATELY JUDGE GOD’S ACTIONS. Humility is crucial for those want to become more like Christ.

3. WAIT FOR THE FINAL OUTCOME. Christ conquered evil, sin and death. God is with us, working all things for good. We can trust His wise and loving Providence.

John (S not C)

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References I have greatly benefited from:

(a) READING SCRIPTURE WITH THE CHURCH FATHERS, by Christopher A. Hall, InterVarsity Press 1998, pp. 93-101.
(Excellent introduction to Chrysostom)

(b) LEARNING THEOLOGY WITH THE CHURCH FATHERS, by Christopher A. Hall, InterVarsity Press 2002, chapters 7 and 8. (Excellent summary of “On Providence”, Chrysostom’s last work, written to help his church members deal with incomprehensible suffering.)

February 10th, 2020

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