'Why is there so much suffering?' That is the question that popular Christian author and apologist, Kevin Simington, will be addressing in a seminar at St George's Anglican Church on Wednesday, May 5 at 7.15pm.
Kevin is conducting a short-term ministry at St George's during May and June as part of his position as Ministry Consultant within the Anglican Diocese of Bathurst.
He was ordained as Anglican minister on April 24 at All Saints Cathedral in Bathurst.
On Wednesday he will ask the question, which is a problem for many people, "why does God allow so much suffering?", and attempt to delve into what it means for a Christian.
"I think the issue of suffering is arguably the biggest stumbling block to faith in God that many people face," Kevin said.
"There is so much terrible suffering in our world and the question must surely be asked, how do we reconcile this with the existence of a loving, all-powerful God?"
Kevin has written extensively on the subject and similar topics over many years, and is the author of 13 books.
His website, SmartFaith.net, also tackles similar questions, providing intelligent answers to some of life's biggest questions. One of his books, "Finding God When He Seems to Be Hiding", also addresses these issues in detail.
"While these are profound questions, there are very reasonable answers. God hasn't left us in the dark. The Bible contains a very clear explanation of why the world is they way it is. It's not an easy answer, but it is very clear," Kevin said.
The problem of suffering is a very personal issue for Kevin. He lost his mother in tragic circumstances when he was only 10 years old and had to deal with an emotionally abusive alcoholic father. His childhood from that point was extremely difficult.
"There are lots of people who have had painful, dysfunctional childhoods, and many others who live with ongoing trauma and suffering," Kevin said.
"If the Christian faith is going to be relevant, we need to address this very real issue. Most Christians don't have a very sophisticated theology of suffering.
"My seminar aims to help people come to grips with this issue in a way that is intellectually robust, biblically sound and emotionally sensitive."
Kevin will be holding a second seminar at St George's on Wednesday, June 9, on the topic 'Evidence for Belief'.
Both seminars are free of charge and will be open to everyone in the community. A light supper will be provided so that further questions may be discussed.
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