Friday, September 09, 2005

God in the Storm

Al Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote on his website a two part article about natural disasters, our fallen world, and the state of all mankind. I can't do much expanding on it, so read it yourself: Part I, Part II.

Recently, I've read some people discussing whether or not God used Hurrican Katrina to judge the people of New Orleans. I recall this question coming up, albeit in a much more careful way, in the months following 9/11. Pat Robertson found himself in some trouble based on how he responded.

Is it possible that God directed that hurricane in order to judge New Orleans? Absolutely. The Bible makes it clear that God is in complete control of everything, down to the last atomic particle.

Can we say for certain that it was his purpose? No. When God uses disasters to judge cities in the Bible, we know that He's done so because we have someone explicitly telling us so. A prophet, an angel . . . whoever it is, we know because we have the voice of God letting us know it is so.

We don't have that for Katrina. We have guesses, opinions, theories . . . God hasn't spoken. And as Dr. Mohler points out in his article, sin in this world brought death. The natural order was broken, and creation itself suffers. The point is that Katrina is just as likely to be a natural result of a fallen creation. Everyone is going to die, and sometimes we're just not going to like how it happens.

Did God allow Katrina? Absolutely. Did God cause Katrina? A much harder question with a really complicated answer. If He did, why? We may never be able to answer those questions, but I don't think the answers will avail us much. Rather than asking "Why?" we should instead ask, "What now?"

1 comment:

Christine said...

It was interesting to read your take on Dr. Mohler's writing. I read/hear Mohler several times a week and everyone I talk to about Mohler is here on campus. It's great to read what someone outside this little bubble thinks. You made some great points!