Can God Intervene?: How Religion Explains Natural Disasters by Gary Stern

By Gary Stern

The demise and devastation wrought via the tsunami in South Asia, storm Katrina within the Gulf states, the earthquake in Pakistan, the mudslides within the Philippines, the tornadoes within the American Midwest, one other earthquake in Indonesia-these are just the latest acts of God to reason humans of religion to query God's function within the actual universe. Volcanic eruptions, wildfires, epidemics, floods, blizzards, droughts, hailstorms, and famines can all bring up an analogous questions: Can God intrude in traditional occasions to avoid loss of life, damage, illness, and discomfort? if that is so, why does God no longer act? If now not, is God really the All-Loving, omnipotent, and All-Present Being that many faiths proclaim? Grappling with such questions has regularly been a vital part of faith, and varied faiths have arrived at wildly diverse answers.

To discover numerous spiritual factors of the tragedies inflicted via nature, writer Gary Stern has interviewed forty three admired non secular leaders around the spiritual spectrum, between them Rabbi Harold Kushner, writer of while undesirable issues take place to sturdy humans ; Father Benedict Groeschel, writer of come up from Darkness ; The Rev. James Rowe Adams, founding father of the guts for revolutionary Christianity; Kenneth R. Samples, vp of cause to think; Dr. James Cone, the mythical African American theologian; Tony Campolo, founding father of the Evangelical organization for the advertising of schooling; Dr. Sayyid Syeed, basic secretary of the Islamic Society of North the United States; Imam Yahya Hendi, the 1st Muslim chaplain at Georgetown college; Dr. Arvind Sharma, one of many world's major Hindu students; Robert A. F. Thurman, the 1st American to be ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk; David Silverman, the nationwide spokesman for American Atheists; and others—rabbis, clergymen, imams, priests, storefront ministers, itinerant holy humans, professors, and chaplains—Jews, Roman Catholics, mainline Protestants, evangelical Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and Atheists-people of trust, and folks of nonbelief, too.

Stern requested each one of them probing questions about what their faith teaches and what their religion professes concerning the presence of tragedy. a few believe that the forces of nature are easily impersonal, and a few think that God is omniscient yet no longer all-powerful. a few declare that nature is eventually harmful due to unique Sin, a few assert that the sufferers of typical failures are sinners who need to die, and a few clarify that typical mess ups are the results of person and collective karma. nonetheless others profess that God factors anguish so as to try out and purify the sufferers. Stern, an award-winning faith journalist, has huge adventure during this form of analytical journalism. the result's a piece that probes and demanding situations genuine people's ideals a few topic that, regrettably, touches everyone's life.

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Extra resources for Can God Intervene?: How Religion Explains Natural Disasters

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3 The flood comes only pages after God creates heaven and earth, only a few passages after we are introduced to the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel. There are only enough words for Eve to bite the apple, for Cain to kill Abel, and for the narrator to outline Adam’s descendants before God decides to blot out his creations. Only ten generations have passed since Adam when God describes his plans to 600-year-old Noah, who was either a righteous man or a relatively righteous man for a wicked age, depending The Floods of the Past 31 on one’s interpretation.

In little time, a train of violent waves flooded and destroyed 165 Indonesian towns and villages. More than 36,000 people died. Why are tsunamis so deadly? It might seem that great waves and floods are escapable. When the ocean acts up, particularly after a ground-shaking earthquake, should coast dwellers not know to flee the beaches and seek high ground? Perhaps the most ominous feature of a tsunami is its behavior when it reaches a shoreline. It practically sets up its victims, striving for the greatest possible death count.

It might seem that great waves and floods are escapable. When the ocean acts up, particularly after a ground-shaking earthquake, should coast dwellers not know to flee the beaches and seek high ground? Perhaps the most ominous feature of a tsunami is its behavior when it reaches a shoreline. It practically sets up its victims, striving for the greatest possible death count. Something like evil seems to be at play as a tsunami reveals itself. As a tsunami reaches land, its movement draws the ocean away from the shoreline.

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