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Maxximiliann

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Re: The Ultimate Testimony Thread
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2013, 11:56:22 pm »
Everytime a Testimony thread starts up I keep asking why this can not be a sticky!! Put it at the top of the page so any new comer can straight away read the testimonies of the members here.

Anyway, sorry for the rant. Here is mine that I have shared before.......It's the literal reading I read at Church over 10 years ago.

Snoochies testimony.



Introduction

In 1995, suicide accounted for 42% of all deaths for male and females between the ages of 15 to 24 years. Australia currently has the 3rd highest suicide rate in the world. These statistics today are still increasing.
The greatest reason for someone to take their own life is caused by depression. Around 10-15% of people will suffer from depression within their lifetime.

Depression is an illness that can seriously impair all aspects of ones life. While we all live day to day and we all have depressive moments, the person who suffers from the illness has a constant day to day battle. Unfortunately the battle is sometimes lost which results in the person taking his or her own life.

One of the main causes for depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain which is treated by drugs. Some people may only stay on these for only a little while, while others may face a lifetime of using these drugs just to cope with day to day activities.

It is important to know that Depression is not just feeling a bit down. Many people think that if the person just thinks positively or just goes out and has a good time, then it will disappear. Depression is a real illness just like any other illness and needs to be treated.

A lack of understanding will sometimes make the sufferer feel more isolated and helpless which is why many people find it hard to talk about it and express what they are feeling due to the lack of knowledge.

The story
I know a person who has gone through depression and has come out of it to tell the story.

He was just a normal guy, had friends, did ok at school and basically lived a normal life but on the inside he was a totally different person. He constantly had a battle going on within him, and he had no idea what was happening. As he grew older the feelings inside of him were getting stronger and stronger and he felt a range of emotions going through out his body. He was constantly irritated, had feelings of guilt and hopelessness, he had feelings of anxiety which led to panic attacks. He struggled to concentrate at work and doing simple chores which led him to feel like a failure and resulted in him having to give up his work. He lost over 15kgs  and was unable to enjoy eating (which he now loves very much.) He lost interest in the things he used to love so much. He would cry himself to sleep and wake up the exact same way which led to even more tiredness and a complete lack of energy. If anything all he really wanted was for the pain he felt inside to go away. He was always asking why this was happening, there was nothing going on in his life to make him feel this way yet he struggled just to get through each day.

On the outside no one would know what was really happening to him, his family and closest friends didn’t know how he really felt inside, because if he admitted that something was wrong he would feel like he was weak. So day to day he would put on the armour of a brave face which shielded what was really happening inside of him. With the confusion of what was going on, often the only time he could escape reality was when he was drinking, doing drugs or sleeping but mostly he would end up worse than he started.
He was on a constant roller coaster ride that never ended. Sometimes he made progress and he himself felt like things were getting better but as you know the saying, 2 steps forwards, 10 steps back. He was fighting a losing battle and all he could think about was just ending his own life. The pain was too much and he thought that by ending his own life, all the pain would go away.

One day early in the morning, things were at their worst, he finally came clean to his parents and told them that something was wrong. They asked what was making him feel this way and he couldn’t give an answer because he himself had no idea why this was happening. He made an appointment with the doctor and while seeing the doctor he just broke up. It was like a damn being burst open and it was just a great flood pouring out. The doctor asked a series of questions to key down some symptoms and over a number appointments and psychiatric assessments the diagnosis was that he has an illness called Bi-polar disorder. He was put onto anti depressants to help him. He was found to have a chemical imbalance in the brain which basically meant he found it hard to control his emotions and ranged from feeling of high emotion and very low depression. The news of having to live off drugs put him further down. How long was he supposed to stay on these drugs he asked, will he ever come off them. He couldn’t stand to think he would need a pill just to live a normal life.

After a few months things didn’t really change that much, but he started to enjoy the basic things in life. The bad thing was, he couldn’t really ever enjoy them to the full potential because every time he felt joy, the sorrow would follow straight away. He had to try and live a life without too much excitement because the pain was surely going to come back. He knew he couldn’t live a life like that, life was not meant be this way.

At a time when things seemed to be at it’s worst he wanted to just give up completely and end it all. He was alone in a dark room pondering life and at a time of desperation he cried out to God to take away the pain, and at that moment God showed up. He felt this presence of love, forgiveness, hope, a weight had been lifted from his shoulders and for the first time he felt hope.
He picked up a bible and started reading. He never believed in God and he himself was more an anti-theist, he hated anything to do with religion let alone God. He started to read from Genesis, “In the beginning” He read how there was this perfect world created for us. So he started to ask himself why isn’t the world like that now. He read and read, and learnt how sin came into the world. Something inside him changed, and he really wanted to learn about this world that God had made. He learnt and learnt and learnt, he couldn’t get enough of what God had to say. He came to read the New Testament and read about the life of Jesus Christ. He really could relate to Jesus, he learnt how Jesus poured out his love and yet was rejected by many. As time went by, he started to forget about all his own worries and he just read and read, it was the natural drug he was looking for. All the questions he had been asking he finally found the answers too. So much that he read, he dove into apologetics to answer the questions of his sceptical mind. He was increasing in the knowledge of God and his worries about his own life seemed to be disappearing. Unfortunately there were times where he would go back his own way but that always ended being where he did not want to be.

After a little while he decided that he would give his life to Christ. At this stage he had no idea of the plans God had for him, but as time went by he was finally able to feel the happiness that he had always wanted to feel. The great thing was, he now doesn’t live with the sorrow that used to follow. As time went by things all seemed to fit together, he learnt the word of God, submitted to Christ and now he wanted to live a life that God wants. He had never been to Church before but the day he did, he found even more love and happiness that he never thought existed, and on that day he knew he would follow Christ till the end. He was lifted up onto another level of happiness, a happiness so great he was overwhelmed with joy and love. It was something that he never thought would happen.
He is no longer dependant of using drugs, he has control of himself. No more sorrow, he is slow to anger, patient, kind and loving. The real joy he feels is by helping others and doing good to all. By no means has he become perfect, but he is trying to become a better man.

This person has had a total 180 degree turn. Instead of falling to sleep crying because of the pain, he now has tears of joy. The love and happiness he has seems to be too much, yet there is never enough.

This once shy and quiet man stands before you now, giving you all the testimony of what Jesus Christ has done in his life.



Scriptures of Hope
•   Proverbs 12:25……An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.
•   Psalm 34:4…..I sought the lord and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
•   Psalm 55:22-23…..Humble yourselves, therefore, Under Gods mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
•   Mathew 6:25-34….. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable are you than birds. Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
•   Proverbs 3:5-8…….trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
•   Philippians 4:13…..I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
•   2 Corinthians 5:17…..Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.
•   Romans 15:13……Now may God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
•   Galatians 2:20…..I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

And Finally……………………

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
Beautiful story. Beautiful passages. Here are some more I think you might also enjoy:



"Blessed is the able-bodied man who puts his trust in Jehovah, and whose confidence Jehovah has become. And he will certainly become like a tree planted by the waters, that sends out its roots right by the watercourse; and he will not see when heat comes, but his foliage will actually prove to be luxuriant. And in the year of drought he will not become anxious, nor will he leave off from producing fruit." - Jeremiah 17:7,8


"Trust in Jehovah and do good;
Reside in the earth, and deal with faithfulness.


Also take exquisite delight in Jehovah,
And he will give you the requests of your heart.


Roll upon Jehovah your way,
And rely upon him, and he himself will act.


And he will certainly bring forth your righteousness as the light itself." - Psalms 37:3-6


"He [Jehovah] has said: “I will by no means leave you nor by any means forsake you.” So that we may be of good courage and say: “Jehovah is my helper; I will not be afraid." - Hebrews 13:5,6 (Bracket mine.)


“Who will separate us from the love of the Christ? Will tribulation or distress or persecution or hunger or nakedness or danger or sword?


For I am convinced that neither death nor life nor angels nor governments nor things now here nor things to come nor powers nor height nor depth nor any other creation will be able to separate us from God’s love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” - Romans 8:35-39


“On the day that I called, you [Jehovah] also proceeded to answer me;
You began to make me bold in my soul with strength.” - Psalms 138:3 (Bracket mine.)


"Whatever our hearts may condemn us in [] God is greater than our hearts and knows all things." - 1 John 3:20 (Bracket mine.)


‎"Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not gaze about, for I am your God. I will fortify you. I will really help you. I will really keep fast hold of you with my right hand of righteousness.’ For I, Jehovah your God, am grasping your right hand, the One saying to you, ‘Do not be afraid. I myself will help you.’ - Isaiah 41:10, 13


“To this end we are working hard and exerting ourselves, because we have rested our hope on a living God, who is a Savior of all sorts of men, especially of faithful ones.” - 1 Timothy 4:10


“Throw your burden upon Jehovah himself,
And he himself will sustain you.
Never will he allow the righteous one to totter.” - Psalms 55:22


"For, indeed, Christ, while we were yet weak, died for ungodly men at the appointed time. But God recommends his own love to us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. For if, when we were enemies, we became reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, now that we have become reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only that, but we are also exulting in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation." - Romans 5:6-11


“Rejoice in the hope. Endure under tribulation. Persevere in prayer.” - Romans 12:12


“I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them.


And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”


And the One seated on the throne said: “Look! I am making all things new.” Also, he says: “Write, because these words are faithful and true.” ” - Revelation 21:3-5




“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt YOU in due time; while YOU throw all YOUR anxiety upon him, because he cares for YOU. Keep YOUR senses, be watchful. YOUR adversary, the Devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour [someone].  But take YOUR stand against him, solid in the faith, knowing that the same things in the way of sufferings are being accomplished in the entire association of YOUR brothers in the world. 


But, after YOU have suffered a little while, the God of all undeserved kindness, who called YOU to his everlasting glory in union with Christ, will himself finish YOUR training, he will make YOU firm, he will make YOU strong. To him be the might forever. Amen.” - 1 Peter 5:6-11


“Jehovah is good, a stronghold in the day of distress.” - Nahum 1:7


“Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving let YOUR petitions be made known to God; and the peace of God that excels all thought will guard YOUR hearts and YOUR mental powers by means of Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 4:6,7


“For all things I have the strength by virtue of him who imparts power to me.” - Philippians 4:13


“The Son of God, [] loved me and handed himself over for me.” - Galatians 2:20 (Bracket mine.)


‎"Answer me, O Jehovah, for your loving-kindness is good.
According to the multitude of your mercies turn to me,


And do not conceal your face from your servant.
Because I am in sore straits, answer me quickly.


Do come near to my soul, reclaim it;
On account of my enemies redeem me.


You yourself have come to know my reproach and my shame and my humiliation.
All those showing hostility to me are in front of you.


Reproach itself has broken my heart, and [the wound] is incurable.
And I kept hoping for someone to show sympathy, but there was none;
And for comforters, but I found none." - Psalms 69:16-20


‎"Show me favor, O God, according to your loving-kindness.
According to the abundance of your mercies wipe out my transgressions." - Psalms 51:1


‎"Let your mercies come to me, that I may keep living;
For your law is what I am fond of." - Psalms 119:77


“God is faithful, and he will not let YOU be tempted beyond what YOU can bear, but along with the temptation he will also make the way out in order for YOU to be able to endure it.” - 1 Corinthians 10:13


"We are pressed in every way, but not cramped beyond movement; we are perplexed, but not absolutely with no way out; we are persecuted, but not left in the lurch; we are thrown down, but not destroyed." - 2 Corinthians 4:8


"[W]e have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the power beyond what is normal may be God’s and not that out of ourselves." - 2 Corinthians 4:7 (Bracket mine.)



1+1+1=3 NOT 1

"Look out: perhaps there may be someone who will carry ​YOU​ off as his prey through the philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ." - Colossians 2:8

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Bertuzzi

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Re: The Ultimate Testimony Thread
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2013, 05:01:05 pm »
If you are new and/or have yet to share your testimony, please feel free to do so! This includes both theists and non-theists :)
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Questions11

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Re: The Ultimate Testimony Thread
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2013, 12:28:48 am »
I believe that Mae might have a newer testimony as an update to the previous one.

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Aaron Massey

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Re: The Ultimate Testimony Thread
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2013, 01:20:09 am »
Im a bit like Rostos,  Always believed god (properly basic) Mothers a JW, Fathers agnostic at best, more atheistic even (talk about polar opposites, im like a Hegelian synthesis, but we probably all feel like that in one way or another).
Unlike sports forums, i was always on alot of PC tech forums, Car Forums, game forums and it always came up under general discussion, and the discussions are brutal. 

And i did alright generally in debating things generally... but alot better since knowing apoligetics and philosphy etc..  thanks to WLC.

My Testimony is probably still to come though. I have had personal sbjective experience which i think are of gods making (what isnt) and asked for things from god which i have received (immaterial stuff).
  I Really just struggle to do with what i ought do to have a proper relationship with God and Jesus, rather than "finding God".

That all said, regarding snoochies post, Anyone know the suicide rate among young Practising Christians, or Christians in general?   is there a discrepancy with the rest of the population?
Proverbs 8:30 "then I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the children of man."

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Bertuzzi

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Re: The Ultimate Testimony Thread
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2013, 07:21:49 am »
Thanks for sharing! Yes I agree Mae should update his testimony :)
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Jubilee

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Re: The Ultimate Testimony Thread
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2013, 07:57:05 am »
I was raised in a household with conflicting religious views, both held with much passion. My parents were constantly arguing about it in a very negative way. My dad was a seventh day Adventist and my mother a very charismatic Pentecostal. I took sides and switched sides occasionally, but I don't remember if I actually believed any of it--and not just the particular doctrines in dispute. I remember my first encounter with atheism, how absurd it seemed. My only argument was an intuitive Kalam-like argument.

I had an interest in pagan mythology in middle school. Somehow on YouTube this lead me to stumbling across a video of Ravi Zacharias sometime in seventh grade--so it began. I listed to every podcast he it out, and I avoided arguments for atheism like the plague. Around 8th grade I read in the comments section a reference to this guy named William Lane Craig who he considered to be a better apologist, I had to see this. Yup, I unded up watching every debate he had.

I went to a public talk by a local philosophy professor and I talked to him after. He thoroughly shattered my arguments. After a while I became an agnostic for the first time, though I question if I was ever much more than an intellectual theist.

Afterwards, I went to a charismatic summer camp by force. There I became a Christian again after speaking in tongues and witnessing what I thought were miracles. I knew of the psychological explanations of course, but the experiences were too real to me.

Long story short, the experiences wore off and doubts overwhelmed me. I became an agnostic again, and eventually an atheist. I strongly associated myself with secular thinkers like Peter Singer and the far political left. I became a vegetarian and all that jazz (I reject his theoretical work, but I still think the basic argument for animal rights is correct).  That lapsed into naturalism for quite a while, which lead me into moral nihilism and reading all the existentialist thinkers. This left me extremely depressed, but I eventually have up naturalism with consciousness being too much of a pain in the booty to understand in naturalistic terms. That lead to other things changing, and I was becoming more theistic. All in all I feel like I've defended everything at some point; Hinduism, postmodernism, religious pluralism, Buddhism, you name it.

I discovered Edward Feser and I read more widely in philosophy of religion. I'm not totally sure where I stand now, but I'm leaning towards Christianity but I change my mind all the darn time. I really pride myself on being genuinely open minded.

What I've noticed is how anti-intellectual I really am however. All throughout my personal dispositions, what I've considered the most "aesthetically pleasing" have dramatically altered my opinions, different career desires have affected where I take my arguments (I can't be a fake psychic for profit if morality really means anything), not wanting to conform to ethical requirements (I haven't and don't want to wait until marriage to have sex, gosh darn it!), and existential desires have thrown me off. My emotional attitudes strongly influence me. When my clinical depression comes back, my philosophy literally becomes more bleak! In my better moods, I'm stronger inclined towards various realisms. As a naturalist, I felt powerless and grasping at straws by crafting subjective purpose. Leaning towards theism, I feel dominated and imposed upon by God. I've been angry with God, I've cursed after reading the bible, and I've felt relieved knowing how just unbelievable theism seems at times. On the other hand, I've prayed and felt God's presence and I've desired something transcendent which can satisfy existential needs I have. None of these are particularly rational I mind you, but I'm really aware how irrational I am.

 I also cringe every year about how damn ignorant I was the year before. So, my journey is very far from over.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2013, 08:03:10 am by Jubilee »
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

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Silver_Swiper

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Re: The Ultimate Testimony Thread
« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2013, 02:43:29 pm »
I was born into a Christian home. I was raised in Canada and Britain during my younger years. Some people have trouble with stuff like drugs, alcohol, women or a combination. My struggles were of a completely different sort.

On my 14th birthday, I got myself a Kindle e-reader. When I was browsing for some starting books, I saw the book "On Guard" and read it. It remains one of my most influential books to this day. I was positively ecstatic about apologetics, and investigated all the great books by both Christians and atheists on my Kindle.

At the beginning of 2012, a massive shift occurred. I saw the new book by Lawrence Krauss, "A Universe from Nothing". The title terrified me, and the saying by Dawkins that it would do for physics what the Origin of Species did for biology made it even worse. For weeks I was paralyzed by the implications of this book, and then the axe came down. A giant number of critical reviews, led by David Albert in his NYT review, the book was systematically dismantled. Even Jerry Coyne was very critical of the book. I relaxed, and continued my investigation, mainly in the field of science and religion.

Over the course of 2012, I had brief spells of doubt and darkness, but these would always vanish after some time. Some of you may be able to relate to this sort of thing. Then, in October of 2012, I reached a major crisis. I call it the autumn crisis. I was really in a bad shape. The main contributor would have to be reading endless lists of derogatory comments from atheists on anything, anywhere on the web. My vice-principal, who I had no idea what religion he was (I was in a new school at that time), got me to talk about it. It turned out he was a Christian, and though he could not answer my questions himself, he directed me to someone who could. I met a local youth pastor, who has been very helpful, having very similar views to me. But we had just met, and he could not stop my greatest period of depression.

The doubts continued, to the point where my mental health was in tatters. What exactly the problem was is hard to gauge in retrospect, but I believe that the main problem was the sheer volume of the Internet. How could I know that anything I assumed was right? Furthermore, curiosity was stretching me horribly. The way I viewed the web, and all the things I could find, was similar to the way Diggory viewed the bell and hammer in The Magician's Nephew. The bell said,

"Make your choice, adventurous Stranger,
Strike the bell and bide the danger,
Or wonder, till it drives you mad,
What would have followed if you had."


The Internet was the bell.

I had many chats with my teachers and my parents. At one point I was so bad I could not go to school, but I had support. Thanks to the help of my guidance counsellor, biology teacher, principal and vice-principal (all of whom were Christian), I got on my feet. I found comfort in music, which I had not given much thought before, which may have been a good thing in retrospect. But my greatest contribution was my parents.

I can't begin to express my gratitude towards my parents throughout my life. They are fair, kind, and very wise. They want only what's best for me and my younger brother and sister. They were up-front about drugs, sex and whatnot right from the start, and neither me or my siblings have had any temptations in that regard. Throughout my investigation in apologetics, they had no problem with my investigation (they were very committed Christians, my Dad is a priest and NT textual critic). They were only concerned when this was doing more harm than good to my well-being. But they were patient, they recommended I take an Internet fast (which I did), and helped me back on my feet. What's more, a quote by my mother really encouraged me.

"Even if, say, six months down the road you become an atheist, my and your father will love you just as much, and so will God."

Another important thing that aided me during this time was the Resurrection argument. This was the one argument I had seen no good objections to, and my mother constantly reminded me, "Did the Resurrection happen?" No matter what my objection was, my answer was always yes. And so I always had an anchor to my faith. With the help of many friends everywhere, I pulled through.

At some point in the spring, I began to debate Internet atheists for the first time. Up until then I had been only an observer, and at first I was very nervous. But, in several discussions, one important one following up a series of guest posts on the Resurrection that can be found here.

http://bennasmith.wordpress.com/2013/05/05/guest-post-common-objections-to-jesus-resurrection/

I have had more rough times when I come across tough atheist arguments, and rightly so, but I have done better at dealing with atheist argument without freaking out. I can read most arguments these days critically and calmly, Christian and atheist. And so I come to where I stand today, definitely more knowledgeable than when I was two years ago. But one thing I have sworn, for a while now, is that I would never descend to the ranks of those vitriolic Internet atheists that have caused me so much pain (not to say all Internet atheists are like that), and admit that they are fine with doing so.

"By and large the minds of the ridiculous can't be changed. It's their flock we're talking to. But even the ridiculous change under ridicule some respond by getting more ridiculous (and those are the ones who could never be swayed even by the politest methods), but others accumulate shame until they see the error of their ways (I've met many ex-evangelicals who have told me exactly that). Thus, ridicule converts the convertible and marginalizes the untouchable. There is no more effective strategy in a culture war."


 - Richard Carrier

One thing I did note though, is that a big part of while I am still Christian is because of the many people who I have had a chance to talk about these questions, and the reasonable answers they gave me. If I was in the shoes of many of those Christians in, say, the Bible Belt, I probably would not still be Christian today. So now, my goal is to lend a hand to all of those Christians whose shoes I have been in, and if I can help even one Christian with their doubts, then all of my work, tears and mental anguish will have been worth it.

 8)
It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.

 - Sherlock Holmes

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Bertuzzi

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Re: The Ultimate Testimony Thread
« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2013, 04:47:41 pm »
Thanks for sharing!
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