(from Time.com)

Does God cause tornadoes?  Is His snarling face glaring through the eye of the hurricane?  Does He stomp the sea to stir up a tsunami?

The recent spate of tornadoes in the US South and Midwest conjures these sorts of questions in our minds.

I just realized that one of the searches that lead someone to my blog was this question: “did god create tornadoes?”

A sobering search. Maybe that person has just been watching the news.  But maybe she just lost a child to the violent suction of a storm.

The dual experiences of pastoral ministry and writing a book on cynicism have led me to have to think seriously about what disillusions us in our faith.  A pressing questions I have spent some time wrestling with is the degree to which God is behind these natural disasters.  How “natural” are they?

My conviction is that something is tragically distorted in our reading of Scripture if we have an over-simplified theological response that looks like this:

God’s Providence + Natural Disasters = God Causes All Death-Wreaking Tornadoes/Earthquakes/Tsunamis/Etc.

If you want to see my theological wrestling over this stuff, you can check out the links below.  An all-satisfying answer you will not find.  But maybe we can think through this difficult stuff together…

Creation Needs Salvation: Worshiping With Beheaded Trees” (Hopeful Realism)

“‘TORNADIC’: A Terrible New Word” (Hopeful Realism)

And this 3-Part series at The Ooze is probably the most comprehensive…

I Believe in God… and Monsters (1)

I Believe in God… and Monsters (2)

I Believe in God… and Monsters (3)”

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