“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
So go the words of the Celebrant in the Ash Wednesday service that initiates the season of Lent. Dust we may be, but we are dust that thinks, dust that knows, dust that feels. We are dust that suffers as it is forced to grapple with its own mortality.
The problem of suffering and evil is one to which I have devoted more than my share of time and reflection. But typically I do so in the relatively safe confines of the ivory tower as I reflect on the intellectual problem of suffering and the challenge of theodicy.
As heady as those debates can be, they pale in comparison with life in the trenches, life that wrestles with evil and suffering on the frontlines of human experience, the world of pastoral theology and ministry.
This brings me to today’s guest. Doctor Kelly Kapic is Professor of Theological Studies at Covenant College where he has taught for the last fifteen years. Kelly is the author and editor of many books including Sanctification: Explorations in Theology and Practice (IVP Academic, 2014) and Pocket Dictionary of the Reformed Tradition (IVP, 2013).
Previously, Kelly was on The Tentative Apologist Podcast sharing his thoughts on the discipline of theology. Currently he is researching and writing a book titled Defiant Hope: A Theological and Pastoral Meditation on Suffering and he joins us now to offer his thoughts on God, theology, and suffering.