Thanks to Rev. Larry Vogel (January 2012) for addressing a difficult subject that bothers many (if not all) of us as we struggle to make sense out of disasters. I will recommend this article to many who are tempted by the devil to question God and His goodness in the wake of disasters in their lives. One verse that I have always found helpful in dealing with this subject is Is. 57:1, which says: “The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.” Indeed, God is always good, even in the midst of calamities. Thank you for a most helpful and uplifting article.
I found Rev. Vogel’s article to be confusing. I am wondering, based on what was written, can you come to the conclusion that God is the author of evil? He states as an example that tragic death is God doing His alien work. When a child is tragically killed in an accident, are we to tell the grieving parent that God is doing His work? I would hope that is not the author’s intent. Rather, in the midst of the tragedies of life, in the midst of our own sinful condition, Jesus offers hope and healing. He alone can change tragedies into a triumph of His grace. The closing words of his article were clear: Despite all our confusion, His saving work is done. All our false security is destroyed so that Christ and Christ alone may be our certainty.
Rev. Kenton Wendorf
The Rev. Vogel has lifted Is. 45:57 out of the context of Israel’s salvation history and substituted his own version of salvation history. He might as well say that God gives people a punch in the face so we will recognize His love when he bandages the bleeding nose. The prophets do not do that. Paul in Romans 911 (the Scriptures own nterpretation of this passage in Isaiah) does not do this. Most importantly, Jesus does not do this. This article is a hard-hearted misapplication of Law and Gospel. How can we say things like this if we have the heart and mind of Jesus?
Larry Vogel, in his explanation of chaos, confusion and calamity as God’s alien work (January 2011), is indeed a wake-up call to the slovenly sickness and slavery of the so-called modern mindset of freedom without responsibility. There is not really anything new about this demonism in this day. The call of Peter in Acts about repentance is still the way to go. We forget that forgiving moment.
Dr. Albert E. Jabs
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