Suffering, Faith, and “The Orthodox Heretic”

I’m reading this cool wee book by Peter Rollins entitled, “The Orthodox Heretic and other impossible tales.” Rollins writes some of his own short stories, as well as framing some ancient parables from a new perspective, in an attempt to look authentically at faith, God, and the Church.
After each story Rollins writes a brief commentary that may comfort some and challenge others.

Here is an excerpt from a commentary on a story of suffering that I read today and felt that i needed to post. If it intrigues you, then get his book!


“…the language of faith is not primarily interested in communicating information…, but in forming healthy, healing, transformative relationships. Giving someone a “reason” for suffering and a promise that things will work out in the end should never be confused with communicating the truth of faith. When faced with situations like the Holocaust, or modern-day genocides, it is offensive to offer reasons for the horror (such as a divine test or punishment). Here [in this story] the response of the faithful is not to be found in the offering of a theodicy but in drawing alongside those who suffer, and fighting on their behalf. The truth of faith is not articulated in offering reasons for suffering, but rather in drawing alongside those who suffer, standing with them, and standing up for them. This is pastoral care at its most luminous.”



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