While he's lacking in "catholicity," Greg Boyd makes up for it, in my estimation, with his teaching abilities--specifically, with his explication of suffering by setting it in the context of spiritual warfare. No matter how much I adore the Eucharist/Liturgy, and trust the Lord, the suffering of children needs an explanation, be it a tragedy from massacre, disease, tsunami, famine, etc.
Here is an excerpt from the recent blog article by Boyd, "Grieving with the God who Pulled the Trigger":
Lawrence Krause recently wrote a thought-provoking, soul-searching essay for "CNN Opinion" entitled, “Why must a nation grieve with God?” Krauss was disturbed by a comment made by President Obama at a memorial service for the victims of the tragedy at Newtown CT. Commenting on Jesus’ statement to “Let the little children come to me,” Obama opined: “God has called them all home. For those of us who remain, let us find the strength to carry on.” Obama’s heart was certainly in the right place. But I confess I am sympathetic to Krauss’ discomfort with them. He wonders why it seems to be…
…a natural expectation that any such national tragedy will be accompanied by prayers, including from the president, to at least one version of the very God, who apparently in his infinite wisdom, decided to call 20 children between the age of 6 and 7 home by having them slaughtered by a deranged gunman in a school…?It’s a very good question! Unlike Krause, I am certainly not bothered by the impulse to turn to God in the face of tragedy. I rather believe calling on God in the face of tragedy is both natural and beneficial. But I am at least as nonplussed as Krauss as to why it is that people almost always turn to “at least one version” of a deity who was complicit in the very tragedy people are seeking solace for? The assumption that God is somehow behind such tragedies, carrying out his glorious divine plans, pervades not only church culture, but American culture, as is evidenced by the multitude of clichés that people – including our president – utter in response to such tragedies. “God took them home.” “God is still on his throne.” “God’s time is always the right time.” “God’s ways are mysterious.”
God’s ways may be “mysterious,” Krauss says, but, he adds, “for many people, to suggest there might be an intelligent deity who could rationally act in such a fashion and that that deity is worth praying to and thanking for ‘calling them home’ seems beyond the pale.” I could not agree more.
Read more here. And feel free to share other resources you think I should study. I'm interested!