Boyd on God Sharing Our Pain

From Gregory Boyd’s book Letters from a Skeptic:

Thinking of the grandeur of the stars we had just been looking at, I was saying to myself “there must be a God.” But thinking of the nightmarish suffering of Auschwitz, I was saying to myself “there can’t be a God.” The two thoughts were battling with each other at hyperspeed. I was tormented.

Finally, just as I approached my car, I looked up to the sky and cried out with a loud, angry voice—“the only God I can believe in is one who knows firsthand what it’s like to be a Jewish child buried alive, and knows what it’s like to be a Jewish mother watching her child be buried!” And just then it occurred to me (or was it revealed?): that is EXACTLY the kind of God Christianity proclaims. There is no other belief which does this. Only the Gospel dares to proclaim that God enters smack-dab into the middle of the hell we create. Only the Gospel dare to proclaim that God was born a baby in a bloody, crap-filled stable, that He lived a life befriending the prostitutes and lepers no one else would befriend, and that He suffered, firsthand, the hellish depth of all that is nightmarish in human existence. Only the Gospel portrait of God makes sense of the contradictory fact that the world is at once so beautiful and so ugly.

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