"God of all comfort" thoughts?

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Posts 451
Liam & Abi Maguire | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Apr 29 2019 1:58 AM

Hi all, 

I was just wondering if anyone had read Lexham's "God of All Comfort: A Trinitarian Response to the Horrors of This World" yet and was willing to share some thoughts?

I try as much as I can to read a book one book on evil and suffering every year as I find it keeps me alive to this issue both pastorally and apologetically/evangelistically. However, with two young children, a wife, and a dog at home, 240 pages is a big reading commitment so I don't want to start reading it unless it is worth my time (I mean that in a utilitarian sense not a cynical one).

Anyone, willing or able to share any thoughts? Thanks in advance. 

Cheers, Liam

Check out my blog 'For Fathers'

Posts 298
Lonnie Spencer | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 29 2019 7:34 AM

I have not read the Lexham book but I think "After Lament: Psalms for Learning to trust God Again" by Glenn Pemberton is  an excellent book along the lines you are reading.

https://ebooks.faithlife.com/products/124751/after-lament-psalms-for-learning-to-trust-again 

Pemberton also wrote "Hurting with God: Learning to lament with God"

Pemberton was a professor at ACU and speaks from personal experience with a painful medical condition that has radically effected his life. He writes from a practical point of view to help others who suffer in life to be able to have a real relationship with God.

Posts 646
Hamilton Ramos | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 20 2019 10:40 AM

Hi Liam:

Not sure if you have the book. One methodology you can use to gain time is use the "concordance tool".

You can see what words (as subset of concepts) are used the most, and it will get you to the particular info quick.

Now not to start polemics, but just to give you approach venues for further research:

From the Bible it seems that satan and his minions are up to no good with respect humans. There are schemes, plots, conspiracies, and even direct action against humans, especially those that seek God.

Some groups seem to imply that after Jesus ascended such activity ceased. If you look around, it is obvious that does not seem so.

So making an analysis we have two things:

1 Christian responsibility in the form of Christian stewardship.

2 possible evil activity in the normal course of history.

1) are we responsible to try to do good, and oppose structural evil, practices, institutions, trends etc? Most likely yes. The problem is that not many want to organize and rock the boat.

Stewardship:  

the words of our mouth, our assets, our body (health, fitness, intellect, emotions, etc.), our key relationships, the gifts that God gives us for ministry, etc. are our responsibility and we are to see that the decisions and efforts align with the will of God, in his assigned ministry to us, as agents of His entrusted valuables (including family members), etc.

Problem is that many times to straighten that which is crooked, if we pray for its resolve, most times God will use the praying believer to do something about the problem, and not many are willing to take such responsibility.

Many of our problems (as individuals, family, community, ethnic groups) are preventable, as the bad situations are reasonably foreseeable, and obvious actions (given the wealth of info available) is pending def execution.

2) Which bring us to the realm of sin agents, and special interest groups.  Is it rational that some groups willingly allow highly risky and destroying situations just for profitable enterprise? is it about greed?, about power? or is there an occult influence that blinds the members of the involved corporation or institution to see and choose better alternatives?

Has man come of age? leaving behind irrational superstitious worldview to raise to full manhood? two WW later, and many very close calls to a new WW make it obvious that there is a strange force irrational, inhuman, malignant, influencing certain actors in the historical order.

So we get to the touchy point: prophecy, and more specifically the gift of prophecy.

Can the gift of prophecy be detached from the closing of the Canon (i.e. eschatologically, no more prophecy in that sense because the Canon is closed)?

If so, is there a chance for historical order prophecy to still be operant and valid?

If the gift of prophecy is empowered in the Church according the guidance of the Holy Spirit, it would confirm Jesus' word that He would be with us to the end of time. This concept is key, because the true miracle worker is Jesus, He has always been, and will always be.

The Holy Spirit is the Paraclete now, and one of the key roles is warning persons, communities, and congregations of impeding problems, both natural and man made in the historical order, and not in the eschatological one, as the Canon is closed.

There are testimonies that the Holy Spirit has warned about impeding problems, and thanks to the praying of the congregation, the event has subsided in intensity or has been avoided altogether.

God is good and His h:hesed is forever.  (not until the closing of the Canon).

So yes, there are cases in which occult forces of evil are waging war trying to bring havoc and destruction, but through gift of prophecy, word of science, and intercessory prayer, such schemes are foiled.

I have not read the book you mention, but as shown in the screen capture, it does mention forces of evil. I do not know if the author takes them to be literal and real, or portraits them as a metaphor. 

What you can do is to check the contents using concordance and do your own research so you can come to your own conclusions.

Kind regards.

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