The Application of the Church’s Suffering to the Suffering of the World

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg

It’s common for Christians to ask in times of personal suffering questions such as, “Why me? What have I done to deserve this? Does God really love me if he is allowing this to happen to me? How long, O Lord?” Not only these, but perhaps a deeper question is asked by believers and unbelievers alike: “If there is a God and he is said to be good and all-powerful, then why does he allow suffering in the world?” This is the so-called problem of evil.[1] As human beings, we ask questions and seek answers in an effort to understand the causes of evil and suffering and the proper response for the individual, the family, and the community affected. As Christian leaders, we seek to help others understand their suffering and to respond properly to it.

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Review of Edith Schaeffer’s L’Abri

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg

This book is the tale of the Schaeffers’ nearly forty-year endeavor to demonstrate, through their lives and work, that the God of the Bible existed in the twentieth century and that his word is true. They did this by opening their home to “give honest answers to honest questions” to seeking people and in doing so “by living on the basis of prayer,” trusting God to provide for all their needs. Edith Schaeffer, in her homespun manner, provides detailed and copious evidence of the hundreds and thousands of lives who were touched by their ministry beginning in Switzerland and extending nearly world-wide over the many years as they sought to fulfill the calling to provide spiritual (and physical) nourishment for the hungry persons that God sent to their door. Continue reading

Review of Richard John Neuhaus’ Freedom for Ministry

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg

Neuhaus divides this chapter into three parts. The first two will be included in this report. The first concerns the religious situation the Church finds itself in at present. The second shows the many ways in which the minister is not a professional. He argues that the Church and its ministers are necessarily awkward ambassadors of a “disputed sovereignty.” We claim that Christ has come and that Christ is Lord. Yet he is not fully Lord until the end of time. So our claim is open to dispute. This affects everything we do. Continue reading

Review of Don DeLillo’s White Noise

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg

DeLillo delivers a disjointed tale of a college professor and his postmodern family, friends and enemies attempting to cope with a chaotic world of consumer goods and deadly by-products. The story of Jack and his fourth (or was it fifth?) wife, Babette and their “his-hers-and-and-ours” family fade in and out of view as the reader is barraged by MTV-like ‘thought-impressions’ that seem to float through the minds of the various characters. The final impression is a community and society filled with frustration, fear, confusion, and hopelessness. It is a commentary on our ultra-modern world, devoid of connections to ultimate truth and timelessness. Continue reading

Review of J. Gresham Machen’s Christianity and Liberalism

By Daniel L. Sonnenberg

Machen shows that modern liberalism is a source of paganism infecting the Church from within. The liberal denies many, if not most, of the basic tenets of historic Christianity. He denies the need for teaching doctrine, saying that creeds are not important because Christianity is a life, not a doctrine. In essence, the liberal is saying that the content of what we believe is not important. Yet without content, our faith has no object and is therefore baseless. Continue reading