Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Good and Beautiful God (Chapter 2)

Chapter 2 – God is Good

In this next chapter Smith writes to convince us of God’s goodness. Smith lost a 2 year old and the experience has shaped his theology of God and suffering. He shares a little about getting through that difficult time of grief. The most haunting thing is a story where a pastor friend of his blames his daughter’s death on some kind of sin he or his wife must have done. This brings a lot of confusion and soul searching to his life. Thankfully he emerges with a pretty solid view of God’s goodness and that God is purely good and has our best interests in mind.
I like this being a Wesleyan. We affirm the goodness of God and the goodness of creation. We start with Genesis 1 and 2 instead of Genesis 3. The Bible doesn’t start with sin; it starts with God the goodness of His creation. He created a perfect world and called it good. Sin is why we have all the imperfections and problems. Sin was never a part of God’s creation or plan.
Smith shares some thoughts Augustine had in regards to why bad things happen to good people and vice versa. Ultimately there is a trust we are going to have to have in God to set the world right and bring the justice we so eagerly desire. He concludes the chapter with the thought that we will know why such bad things have happened when we see Jesus.

Chapter 2 Soul Training Exercise

How do we experience God’s goodness? Two spiritual disciplines are recommended, silence and awareness of God’s creation. It is recommended that we take 5 minutes a day and sit in silence. This is a pretty easy challenge, but still a challenge because of the fast paced mentality of our world. We are always on the move. To practice awareness of creation Smith asks us to take a walk or just look at nature and praise God for its beauty. Again, very simple. These things together help us experience God’s goodness because we sit in silence knowing God is in control. The stillness helps us know God is good. and we become aware of His creation knowing He made a good world.

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