I was just watching Steve Shives’ video (see below), and I have to recommend it, and the rest of his series as he comments on Keller’s book.
One thought comes to mind. Keller, and so many others of the Christian faith, seem to have this fucked up idea that when shit happens, there must be a reason, and therefore it is up to simply go through the shit when it happens and not question but just do our best and maybe the reason will become evident.
We’ve all seen videos of people who have gone through horrible shit — a motorcycle accident paralyzing someone or an IED blowing a guy’s leg’s off, and 5 years later they are in their wheelchair giving motivational speeches. More often than not these people will give one or another version of, “I didn’t know at the time why this happened to me, but it put me on a different course, and I’ve learned so much and found so much internal strength and I’ve met so many people, and that’s why God let me go through this, and blah blah blah.” NO! Fuck you and your fucking God!
Shit happens because shit happens, NOT because some invisible entity has a “plan” for you. YOU are the one who picks up the pieces and figures a way forward.
It is utterly STUPID and IGNORANT to believe in some god who uses torture and pain and suffering as a teaching tool.
“Oh but we know God’s way are so far above ours.” No, not at all. You do not KNOW such a thing, you merely hope it to be true. You have no way to actually demonstrate (1) that your god exists, much less (2) that if a god exists, he actually cares, or (3) that such a god has a personal plan for your life.
Unless you can articulate AT THE START what the plan is, and what are its goals and objectives, you are just talking out of your ass. Seriously. If you think your god is so fucking powerful and superior to lift you up from shit after it happens, why the fuck are you not questioning why that god failed to intervene in the first place.
Just because you were able to pick up the pieces and find some unexpected benefits in your life after shit happens does not mean that it was “planned” that way or that some unseen force was in operation. It only means that YOU had within yourself the means to pull yourself up, or that you had tangible real live people helping you discover unexplored strengths and talents. And bravo for that, but it was YOU, not some god.
Sometimes when shit happens to one person it also happens to the people around that person — like with an IED explosion, or a house fire, or a whole shift of workers gets laid off. And some of them are able to move forward, and others don’t. How fucking arrogant to think there’s a god who thinks so highly of you that you’d be given some great new path as a motivational speaker, while the legless veteran is left sitting in a wheelchair begging under the freeway. How arrogant to think your god had a plan for one person to live on while everyone else died in that plane crash.
No, there is no reason for shit to happen. There is no “plan” for your life. Not now, not ever, except for the plan YOU make.