A Christian Perspective on Suffering

Speaker: Categories: Jan 11, 1986


[54min, 58sec / 38min, 50sec]


You may have questioned "Why?" in response to such imponderable events as seeing a youth, preparing to serve in the cause of God, suddenly stricken with an incurable illness; a head-on collision terminating the life of a sincere Christian while the intoxicated driver of the other vehicle escapes with minor bruises; and an all-too-common extended illness, bringing relentless pain to a loved one while family and friends must witness slow, persistent deterioration -- then welcomed rest in death.

"This problem of suffering is the oldest and greatest challenge to belief in God. It is not only a problem to our faith in God; in some respects it is a problem caused by our belief in God," contends Dr. Rice.

"An adequate response to the problem of suffering requires three elements:

--the first is an account of the origin of suffering or an explanation as to how evil could arise within the world caused by a God who is perfect in power and love.

--the second is a perspective on suffering in the present. What is the meaning of our suffering here and now?

--the third is a description of the ultimate disposition of suffering and how it will eventually be overcome!

Looking to the past, present, and future aspects of suffering gives us a response to this universal human problem that is intellectually responsible and emotionally helpful," states Dr. Rice.


Dr. Rice's background in theology is comprehensive and diverse as noted from the array of courses he teaches in the Division of Religion at LLU which includes: Christian Understanding of God and Man, Dimensions of Salvation, Doctrine of God, Doctrine of Man, Dynamics of Personal Religion, Life and Teachings of Jesus, Message and Times of the New Testament, Protestant Thought in the Twentieth Century, Religious Belief and the Modern World, Studies in SDA Beliefs, and The Problem of Evil (graduate seminar).

His academic preparation included a B.A. from Lama Linda University, 1966; M.Div. from Andrews University, 1969; and M.A. and Ph.D. from University of Chicago in 1972 and 1974.

He graduated magna cum laude from Andrews and received two fellowships at University of Chicago. His Ph.D. examination was completed with distinction.

Dr. Rice has authored four books: The Openness of God (1980), When Bad Things Happen to God's People (1985), The Reign of God: An Introduction to Christian Theology from a Seventh-day Adventist Perspective (1985), and God's Foreknowledge and Man's Free Will (1985). Symposia contributions include: "The Doctrine of Atonement in Contemporary Protestant Theology" in Sanctuary and the Atonement: Biblical, Historical, and Theology Studies, (Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1981) and "The Advent Hope in Contemporary Thought", (Review and Herald, forthcoming). His articles have appeared in several religious journals including Spectrum.

He is married to Gail Louise (Taylor), R.N., Ed.D. They have two children, Alison, 12 and Jonathan, 9.

Rick is familiar to many San Diego FORUM members from his most interesting presentation in October, 1984, entitled: "Finding Your Religious Metaphor."

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