The wonder & the limitations of our human life – suffering, evil & death


It is often a sense of wonder that initiates a search for answers to the big questions. The discovery of love, the birth of a child, travel to some of the most beautiful places on earth. This sense of wonder before the goodness and beauty around us in creation and in people can make us ask – is this a merely random physical phenomena, is all this simply a mutation of a universe which comes from no-where and is going no-where? Is there a reason, a purpose to this goodness?

Alongside wonder at goodness and beauty stand the limitations of life, sufferings, evil and ultimately death. These too can make us confront the big questions. From the question why did this happen, to the sense of utter helplessness or abandonment, from the loss of a loved one to a confrontation with true malice and hatred, we are sometimes forced to ask about God, about the spiritual, about the meaning behind things, about hopes beyond the trials.

The origin of many religions can be found in this wonder before the good and this confrontation with the imperfect. In the searching and providing of answers to the big questions religion often emerges as a fitting response. Christianity itself gives an account of goodness and of evil but also believes that its teaching is not merely one speculative approach amongst others but that it provides the truth taught directly by God which gives answers that are certain and that satisfy. Above all the Christian faith affirms that the key to unlock the meaning of existence has been offered in Jesus Christ.

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