NPR

'He Has A Reason': How Natural Disasters Test The Faithful

Spiritual leaders have long offered such counsel in times of human suffering. Theologians even have a term for efforts to explain why God and evil can coexist: theodicy.
Mark Scott, chair of the department of religious studies at Thorneloe University in Sudbury, Ontario, says evil is a "universally recognized" threat to faith. "People in the midst of suffering often feel abandoned by God," he says. Source: Courtney Juno

In churches across Houston on Sunday, pastors struggled to tell their parishioners why a God they believed to be good might have allowed a storm of Biblical proportion to flood their city.

"God causes it to happen, but He has a reason," Pastor Gary Smith told the worshippers at Fifth Ward Church of Christ in northeast Houston. "We don't comprehend what God has planned for us."

Spiritual leaders have long offered such counsel in times of human suffering. For people who

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR2 min readPolitics
Ukrainian President's Party Wins Snap Elections In Bid To Consolidate Power
President Volodymyr Zelensky, who gained fame by playing a fictional president on television, hopes a new parliament will give him the clout to follow through on his promise to tackle corruption.
NPR3 min readSociety
'A Small Part Of A Serious Problem': Criminals Hired As Police Officers In Alaska
A joint investigation by the Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica found that in one town, every officer had been convicted of domestic violence within the last 10 years.
NPR2 min read
Art Neville, A New Orleans Icon, Dead At 81
The keyboardist and singer was the co-founder of both the Meters and the Neville Brothers died Monday — bands that took the funk and swagger of New Orleans to a much larger world.