Tsunami Steals “Faith” of Archbishop


Mar 6 2003

Archbishop of Canterbury admits: This makes me doubt the existence of God

Telegraph, Jan. 2, 2005

Chris Hastings, Patrick Hennessy and Sean Rayment

portal.telegraph.co.uk

 

The Asian tsunami disaster should make all Christians question the existence of God, Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, writes in The Telegraph today.

 

In a deeply personal and candid article, he says "it would be wrong" if faith were not "upset" by the catastrophe which has already claimed more than 150,000 lives.

 

Prayer, he admits, provides no "magical solutions" and most of the stock Christian answers to human suffering do not "go very far in helping us, one week on, with the intolerable grief and devastation in front of us".

 

Dr Williams, who, as head of the Church of England, represents 70 million Anglicans around the world, writes: "Every single random, accidental death is something that should upset a faith bound up in comfort and ready answers. Faced with the paralysing magnitude of a disaster like this, we naturally feel more deeply outraged - and also more deeply helpless."

 

He adds: "The question, 'How can you believe in a God who permits suffering on this scale?' is therefore very much around at the moment, and it would be surprising if it weren't - indeed it would be wrong if it weren't."

 

Dr Williams concludes that, faced with such a terrible challenge to their faith, Christians must focus on "passionate engagement with the lives that are left".

 

[TBC: If that is all the faith Dr. Williams has left in his spirit, he is in the same boat as the hopeless class of whom Paul spoke: “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” (1 Corinthians 15:19). Has the Archbishop forgotten (or ever known) God’s promises of life eternal through Jesus Christ?]