Tim Keller Wants You to Suffer Well
This week, I’ve decided to share an article from the Gospel Coalition website. It is a blog post about Tim Keller’s new book, Walking with God through Pain and Suffering. With an academic mind and a pastor’s heart, the senior minister of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York engages our minds and our hearts with the truth-anchored hope of the gospel. Here is a Q&A with Keller about the topic of suffering; it is very good.
We are “more shocked and undone by suffering than were our ancestors,” you observe. Why is suffering peculiarly traumatic for modern Westerners?
Most cultures—unlike our own—expect suffering as inevitable and see it as a means of strengthening and enriching us. Our secular culture, on the other hand, is perhaps the worst in history at helping its members face suffering. Every other culture says the meaning of life is something beyond this world and life. It may be (a) going to heaven to live with God and your loved ones forever; (b) escaping the cycle of reincarnation in order to enter eternal bliss; (c) escaping the illusion of the world to go into the all-Soul of the universe; (d) living a moral, virtuous, honorable life even in the face of defeat and doom; or (e) living on in your family and descendants. In each case suffering, though painful, can actually help you reach your life goal and complete your life story.
But in a secular culture the meaning of life is to be free to choose what makes you happy in this life . . .
by Jay Childs, Senior Pastor