The Mystery of Suffering and the Meaning of God: Autobiographical and Theological Reflections
The Mystery of Suffering and the Meaning of God is a book written by a skeptical but spiritual person for people who struggle with the subjects of God, divine providence, prayer, and related issues; people who are looking for honest and thoughtful—and sometimes humorous—theological reflections, but no easy answers.
A work of creative theology fifteen years in the making, The Mystery of Suffering and the Meaning of God deals primarily with the issue of suffering, starting with the book of Job, and addresses the subject of theodicy before going on to explore related topics of the role of prayer, God concepts, the meaning of revelation, and how we can best live together. Laytner intersperses these penetrating theological reflections with pertinent episodes from his life, starting with the personal tragedies that sparked this book. Trained as a liberal rabbi, Laytner riffs on Jewish themes to offer a universal yet personal response to each of the challenges he discusses.
His thesis is this: If you are troubled by the issue of suffering and wonder about God’s presence (or lack thereof) in the world, and you find no solace in any of the traditional theodicies, then change your conception of God and God’s involvement in the world. Problem solved!
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Abrahamic faiths accept ancient anger appears arguing assert behavior believe Ber/Gen blessing body book of Iyov Book of Job called Cancer centuries challenge chapter Chinese Jews choose Christian commandments Common Era compassion concept Creation creatures death deeds divine Elihu everything evil experience feel Friedrich Torberg friends God-concepts God’s presence grief happens Hasidic healing heart Hebrew Holocaust holy hope human ideas individual innocent Iyov’s Jewish tradition Judaism justice Kaifeng Jews law-court motif let go leukemia life’s lives lovingkindness meaning midrash mitzvot monotheism Moshe mystery nonetheless oaths one’s ovarian cancer people’s perceived perceptions perhaps person perspective Pirkei Avot praise pray prayers of protest rabbis relationship religions religious response retributive justice revelation ritual sense Shabbat share somehow soul spiritual story suffering Tanakh theodicy theology theophany things Torah transcends ultimately understanding wife wife’s wisdom wonder words YHVH YHVH’s presence Yisrael