NPR

'He Has A Reason': How Natural Disasters Test The Faithful

Spiritual leaders have long offered such counsel in times of human suffering. Theologians even have a term for efforts to explain why God and evil can coexist: theodicy.
Mark Scott, chair of the department of religious studies at Thorneloe University in Sudbury, Ontario, says evil is a "universally recognized" threat to faith. "People in the midst of suffering often feel abandoned by God," he says. Source: Courtney Juno

In churches across Houston on Sunday, pastors struggled to tell their parishioners why a God they believed to be good might have allowed a storm of Biblical proportion to flood their city.

"God causes it to happen, but He has a reason," Pastor Gary Smith told the worshippers at Fifth Ward Church of Christ in northeast Houston. "We don't comprehend what God has planned for us."

Spiritual leaders have long offered such counsel in times of human suffering. For people who

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR2 min read
FAA Finds New Problem With 737 Max Jets, Delaying Their Return To Flight
Southwest, American and United Airlines have already pulled the aircraft from their schedules through Labor Day weekend. Two of the planes crashed within five months, killing hundreds of people.
NPR4 min readPolitics
What Trump May Be Missing In Those Polls He Calls Fake
Polls taken 18 months before an election are not predictive, but they have sent signals that proved helpful when heeded by presidents in the past.
NPR4 min readSociety
'You Don't Own Me,' A Feminist Anthem With Civil Rights Roots, Is All About Empathy
Ever since a 17-year-old Lesley Gore sang it in 1963, the coolly mutinous song has moved women to reject passive femininity. Its writers, though, say there are layers of resistance in its words.