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God on Trial

It is not uncommon for people to shake their fists at God in the midst of tragedy and suffering. The Bible includes the stories of righteous men who questioned God for what they considered poor management of creation.

But Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers has taken his complaints to court. In October 2007, Sen. Chambers sued God for "causing untold death and horror" in the form of "fearsome floods…horrendous hurricanes, [and] terrifying tornadoes." Furthermore, says the senator, God has wrought "widespread death [and] destruction" and terrorized "millions upon millions of the Earth's inhabitants."

Chambers filed the suit to make a statement about the American court system. Outraged by a recent lawsuit he considered frivolous, the senator intends to demonstrate that "anybody can file a lawsuit against anybody." His motion against God, then, is tongue in cheek; Chambers, who has a history of antagonism against Christians, has no vested interest in his suit against the Almighty.

Nevertheless, the case raises important questions about God's activity in this broken world. Is God to blame for poverty, warfare, and natural disaster? Chambers seems to think so. To him the facts are clear: there is suffering everywhere, and God is everywhere. Therefore, God must cause suffering. But God's not the only being who is everywhere. So are sinful human beings.

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