Thursday, June 12, 2008

"Holiday in Hellmouth", James Wood

This essay in the June 9 and 16 issue of The New Yorker was difficult to get into at first. In fact it took two starts to finally get to the point at which it became clear that this was a book review. The book under review was "God's Problem", subtitled "How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question---Why We Suffer", by Bart D. Ehrman. Wood writes that Ehrman "separates three large strands in the Biblical writings: the idea that suffering is a punishment for sinful behavior; the idea that suffering is either ultimately redemptive or some kind of test of virtue; and the idea that God will finally vanquish evil and establish his kingdom of peace and harmony."

Sound like a fun read? This is alien territory here, not the usual bedtime read, but it's a gem of literacy.

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