The Reason For God - Chapter Two Review

I must say, I enjoyed Chapter two more than Chapter One. I appreciate the attempt to answer a more difficult argument. The title of Chapter two is, "How Could A Good God Allow Suffering?"
Keller begins by using the Tsunami of 2004 as an example of a g0d preventable tragedy. He also paraphrases Epicurus' problem, "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is impotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil?"

The first section proposes that Evil and Suffering Isn't Evidence Against God.
His basic support for this premise is the "mysterious ways" argument. We may not be able to see why these things happen, but g0d must have a plan. I view this as a cop out, a brilliant one, but a cop-out nonetheless. He says it well, but he is still saying, "my g0d and his existence is immune to all logical arguments." The story used to example this is that of Joseph. Joseph has bad things happen, then good things happen after the bad things. If you're talking about an all powerful g0d, this g0d could create us with character, with all the things that we supposedly go through suffering to get. Ockham's razor seems to also weaken this line of thinking, but maybe I am just missing something obvious.

After that Keller postulates Evil and Suffering May be (if Anything) Evidence for God.
He defends this statement by using C.S. Lewis' argument, if there was not g0d, then we would not have a concept of good and evil. He also quotes Alvin Plantiga, saying basically the same thing. What happens if you can show that our concept of right and wrong evolved with us??
I think this is a weird form of the Ontological argument: "If I can conceive of evil, there must be a g0d to give me that perception". Suffering is a problem for the believer because I am accepting their presupposition that there is a g0d. When you take away that supposition, what happens for the skeptic is the ancient philosophical idea of "shit happens". I concede that this could lead to issue of where the skeptic might get their morality from. I just don't see how the skeptic would have to go with the assumption that, if I think something is evil, I must believe in a g0d. Does that not more point to fuzzy thinking in the skeptic, rather than any proof for the theist? Again, I could be missing a deeper point here, but still think this is a unresolved problem for a protestant Christian.

Keller rounds off the chapter by going into the suffering of Jesus, and because he was supposedly g0d, that means g0d shares in our suffering. I did not realize that the idea of g0d suffering was fairly new. Keller uses the idea of Christ suffering with us, the terrors of this world, to mean "the ultimate defeat of evil and suffering. It will not only be ended but so radically vanquished that what has happened will only serve to make our future life and joy infinitely greater". This seems to me more of a day dream than any sort of reasonable belief. What makes him think this? The fact that people of all faiths keep promising a better world for their followers makes this highly suspect. It would be nice to think that everything will be set right, that the universe will end like a Disney movie. I just find it odd that Keller would use this argument in a book for skeptics. It does not really answer the criticism except by saying, "Trust me, this is all for the best." Reminds me of a Grumpy Old Men quote about wishing...
If you accept his beliefs, then this would probably work. He's not writing to the choir though. He's trying to answer skeptics, and so this seems an odd argument to include.

This is a tough topic for the believer to answer, especially in one chapter. Maybe if Keller had a whole book for this one topic he might be able to more fully explain his reasoning. Or maybe there just isn't an answer for 'if there's a g0d, why there is suffering'. I was recently reading the reverse of this argument, "The Evil God Challenge". I don't know if it's tenable, but it shows how much bigger this discussion could be.
PS - It is my understanding that in the Job era of thinking, g0d was responsible for any evil that happened. That the devil was just his 'agent'. The writers of the O.T. recognized that because g0d has final authority, g0d gets all the responsibility. Am I wrong in that understanding?

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