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

NPR3 min read
A Puppeteer Gets Swept Up In Political Theater In 'Kingdom For A Stage'
In her new book, Heidi Heilig continues the tale of family, rebellion and necromancy begun in For a Muse of Fire. Heilig tackles difficult issues deftly, and sets up readers for a rousing conclusion.
NPR4 min read
'Exalting The Banal To The Monumental' Through California Skate Parks
The state that gave birth to modern skateboarding is home to concrete playgrounds that are works of art in the eyes of photographer Amir Zaki: "They become more imaginative and open as spaces."
NPR2 min readPolitics
Cory Booker On Impeachment: 'I Swore An Oath To Protect And Defend The Constitution'
The New Jersey senator and presidential hopeful says Congress must take action. "Politics be damned. I have a job to do, which is to hold the executive accountable and we should be doing that."