Since it’s Sunday, one last post on Kierkegaard from Ronald F. Marshall that ties together most of this week’s themes on Christianity as unseasonable, as a rebellion against “the respectable people,” for a people “in the streets, among men, where there is danger and opposition,” for a people who speak to each other:
“Christianity is suspicious of being honored and esteemed in one’s lifetime. Far be it from Christianity to be so foolish as to say that everyone who was mocked while he lived was on the right road. It only says: The true Christian must normally be found among those who were mocked while they lived. This is Christianity’s view: what is eternal, what is true, cannot possibly win the approval of the moment, must inevitably win its disapproval.”
Christ redeems our suffering in light of the Resurrection; offers a purpose to our suffering, in other words, but can’t negate it without negating our humanity. So I think God allows suffering in this life because he respects our humanity, and loves us enough for the possibility of reconciliation.
This is Christianity. Incredibly humbling, often raged against, sometimes humiliating, and never really approved of on its own terms. A lot like life.
Instead of asking why suffering exists, ask why hope exists.