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The Problem of Suffering: A Response from 1 Peter



1C. S. Lewis, A Grief Observed (San Francisco: Harper Collins Publishers, 1961); see also N. Wolterstorff, A Lament for a Son (Grand Rapids, MI.: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1987).

2C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (San Francisco: Harper Collins Publishers, 1996), 16

3O. McMahan, “A Grief Observed: Surprised by the Suffering of the Spirit,” a paper presented at the Church of God Seminary in Cleveland, Tenn.; Mar., 2007.

4Ibid., 5, 12, and 14. Here, McMahan cites materials from the Azuza Revival which indicate this avoidance.

5Ibid., 16-7.

6See T. Koenig who has documented that religion has a positive effect on health (H. Koenig, Michael E. McCullough and David B. Larson, Handbook of Religion and Health (Oxford, Eng: Oxford University Press, 2001).

7V. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning (New York: Washington Square Press, 1963). V. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning (New York: Washington Square Press, 1963).

8H. S. Kushner, When Bad Things Happen to Good People (New York: Avon Books, 1981).

9C. S. Lewis, Problem, 109.

10Ibid., 109.

11McMahan, 3.

2Wolterstorff, Lament for a Son.

3Ibid., 80-1.

4J. Moltmann, A Broad Place (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2008), 190.

5Ibid., 196.

6Wilhelm Michaels, ‘pascho’, TDNT, V, 904-939, gives an extensive history and explanation of the word with its basic forms.

7J. H. Burtness, “Sharing the Suffering of God in the Life of the World: From Text to Sermon on I Peter 2:21″, Int., Vol. 23 (July, 1969), 284.

8E.G. Selwyn, The First Epistle of Peter (New York: Macmillan, 1969), 221; F. W. Beare, The First Epistle of Peter: the Greek Text with Introduction and Notes, 3rd ed. (Oxford: Blackwell, 1970), 190; D. C. Arches and E. A. Nida, A Translator’s Handbook on the First Letter from Peter (New York: United Bible Societies, 1980), 145-6).

9D. E. Johnson, “Fire in God’s House Imagery from Malachi 3 in Peter’s Theology of Suffering (1 Peter 4:12-19)”, JETS, 29:3 (Sept. 1986), 287.

20Ibid., 288-90, for examples and additional information.

21Ibid., 288.

22Johnson, 290, cites J. Moffatt, The General Epistles: James, Peter and Judas (MNTC, New York: Harper n.d.), 57: cf. also Arichea and Nida, 149 that, “’resting on you’ denotes the continuing and constant presence of the Spirit.”

23Burtness, 283.

24Ibid., 283.

25Ibid., 281.

26Bonhoffer, The Cost of Discipleship, trans. by R. H Fuller (New York: Macmillan Co., 1961), 73, cited by Burtness, 281.

27D. Bonhoffer, Gesammelt Schrifften, E. Bethge, ed. (Munich: Kaiser-Verlag, 1959), 11, 529.

28Lecture at SPS, Mar. 13, 2008.

29McMahan, 19.

30McMahan, 20.



About the Authors 

Thomas Doyle, M.Div., did his studies in theology at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific. He is a long-standing participant in the Charismatic Renewal of the Catholic and Episcopal Churches. He is presently Director of The Metanoia Ministry, an evangelically-based counseling ministry in the San Francisco Bay area.


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Category: Biblical Studies, Fall 2008

About the Author: Rebecca Skaggs, Ph.D. (Drew University), is professor of New Testament and Greek at Patten University in Oakland, California. She also holds an M.A. in philosophy from the Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology, Berkeley. Her commentary on 1, 2 Peter & Jude (2003) is published by The Pentecostal Commentary Series (Continuum).

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