Is it REALLY that simple?

I had an excellent conversation with a woman today. (“Excellent” because it made me think. And because she has her finger on the pulse of what has bothered me, from time to time, with some contemporary teachings of Scripture.)

She was upset that someone suggested that the Bible could “easily” solve all of her problems.

“It is NOT that simple,” she said. “Why would anyone think that?”

I suggested that she consider the source. How much had the person studied the Bible themselves. Were they just mouthing off some platitude? Had they sat down and struggled through Job? Did they even know the word “theodicy”?

“I don’t think that they’ve really had to deal with pain,” she said. “But then — I don’t know that for certain. And I don’t want to wag a judgmental finger in his face when his judgmentalism bugs ME so much!”

We are going to hang out, have coffee and talk some more… I suggested reading and talking through C.S. Lewis’ book The Problem of Pain. One of his quotes is on my desk blotter, because it helps me keep perspective:

“Everyone feels benevolent if nothing
happens to be annoying them at the moment.”

I promised her I had no pat answers. God’s not a “button pusher” and just reading the Bible doesn’t make it simpler. BUT – – knowing I have the Creator of the Universe beside me and with me in any difficulty I face means that I face my struggles with a little more confidence. No immediate answers, perhaps. But confidence.


  1. A more difficult reading book, but equally interesting from the perspective of what the bible means for our life, is Bonhoeffers book on the Cost of Discipleship. It's NOT that easy… And he shows how we make grace cheap (and meaningless) when we act like it is.


  2. Yes, Bonhoeffer's book is clear. We cheapen the cross when we presume that a button-pushing attitude can explain the ravaged world we live in. The book's a good suggestion for the next round = thanks.


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