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Thread: Cancer & Theology

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    Senior Member Ryan Pugh's Avatar

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    Cancer & Theology

    Andrew Root has been the most influential writer in my life. His books on relational/incarnational ministry and The Promise of Despair have greatly shaped how I understand the gospel and how we join God's work in the world.

    Jake Bouma is a youth pastor that I have connected with online who has been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. He has been hosting a "Cancer & Theology" series on his blog, inviting various theologians and pastors to offer some reflections on this horrible demon.

    Andrew Root's post came today and is powerful. He gives a warning of "bad" language, so if you can't put up with that, find something else to read. But for those of you interested... Andy Root on Cancer & Theology.
    Most good things have been said far too many times and just need to be lived. - Shane Claiborne
    Thanks Paul DeBaufer - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Cam Pence's Avatar

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    Re: Cancer & Theology

    Thanks for this....this is hitting close to home for my family right now
    "Love without holiness disintegrates into sentimentality. Personal integrity is lost. But holiness without love is not holiness at all. In spite of its label, it displays harshness, judgmentalism, a critical spirit, and all its capacity for discrimination end in nit-picking and divisiveness."-Mildred Bangs Wynkoop

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    Senior Member Paul DeBaufer's Avatar

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    Re: Cancer & Theology

    Root is a pretty good writer. Great imagery. "Bad" words? Where? Nothing gratuitous, well placed and effective use.
    You can be right or you can be in relationship
    Thanks Ryan Pugh - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Ryan Pugh's Avatar

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    Re: Cancer & Theology

    Quote Originally Posted by Cam Pence View Post
    Thanks for this....this is hitting close to home for my family right now
    Cam, not knowing any details, I'm praying that you and your family will experience God's love through all of it.
    Most good things have been said far too many times and just need to be lived. - Shane Claiborne
    Thanks Cam Pence - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Kyle Borger's Avatar

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    Re: Cancer & Theology

    Well.....You certainly warned us. I know you don't want this to be about his choice of words and so forth so I will leave it alone and comment on the cancer thing. My mother died of cancer when I was 22 after fighting cancer for 10 years. My father begged and pleaded with God to save her life. Much of who I am and my view of God and how I pray or don't pray has been impacted by cancer.

    It doesn't have to be cancer though. It can be anything that we might think is unfair and wish that God would protect us from it. The big question at hand would then be "Why doesn't God always protect us from harm?"

    A most simplistic answer is that if God pre-determines our life then God is quite cruel and I find it difficult to say that God is love. However, if the difficulties we face are because of the free-will we have due to God's nature as love, then I begin to see God suffering with me and yes even at times held hostage by scenarios and situations that even God knows that He must not change lest it destroy His plan of love and grace somewhere else.

    Sometimes the situations are due to our own sinful behaviors and disobedience towards God and the consequences are natural, other times they are due to the disobedience of others and we get taken along for the ride, and sometimes it is just a part of the natural process of our bodies dying.

    There are times when God does step in and changes the natural order of things and performs a miracle. There are times when we can convince God that a miracle is warranted. But there are times that God knows the cost elsewhere would be too great and the answer is no. Does this change God's love for us? Does this make God cruel?

    No, I believe it means that God is love and has chosen to live life along with us and to suffer when we suffer and to live within a system He created so that we might be able to love Him back.
    Thanks Dennis M. Scott, Daniel Hamlin - "thanks" for this post

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