Barbara J McCoy
Extra Credit Paper
July 27, 2014
Out of the three books that I purchased I was able to complete “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” by Harold S. Kushner. Kushner wrote this book after the death of his son Aaron due to premature aging. Kushner was not only a father but he was also a Rabbi and helped his congregation through turmoil of their own. Even as a man of faith the personal tragedy he experienced left him to think and question his own beliefs in God and the good and evil of the world. Kushner outlined the way that humans try to salvage their view of God and try to answer the questions why good people die, children have disabilities, people get cancer and have other turmoil in their lives. Kushner through his dealings with people has heard different explanations of why these “bad things” occur. They could be because of mistakes made, failure of religious duties and God wanted us to suffer by teaching us something or the one that it happened to. God does not want bad things to happen, but he does want us to make the right choices. Kushner states, “If God is God of justice and not of power, and then He can still be on our side when bad things happen to us. He can know that we are good and honest people who deserve better. Our misfortunes are not of his doing, and so we can turn to him for help. … We will turn to God, not to be judged or forgiven, but to be rewarded or punished, but to be strengthened and comforted.”(Page 41) Kushner’s ideas take him to the position that God does not cause suffering and could not prevent it. Nothing makes things happen, it just happens and it happens sometimes for no reason. People cannot handle that things just happen and because of human nature look for connections of why it happened. This book reminds me of how I was raised. My father went into the ministry at age 50, but was a deacon prior. A lot of what Kushner wrote and the bible readings he quoted in his book were taught...
Cited: Kushner, Harold S. When Bad Things Happen to Good People. International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions, Anchor Books, Copyright, 1981.
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