On the Tsunami disaster

From the latest ByFaithOnline:

MTW Providing Relief Efforts for Tsunami Victims
Mission to the World is spearheading relief efforts for victims of the recent Tsunami in Asia. MTW is in the process raising funds to help those in need. It is also planning to send response teams through its Disaster Response Ministry (DRM). The DRM is a mercy ministry of the Medical Missions Department of MTW, created with the specific purpose of deploying trained and equipped teams to areas of disaster and need in different parts of the world. To read the MTW appeal letter, to donate funds and/or to volunteer to be a part of a response team go to http://www.mtw.org/home/site/templates/splash.asp

From OpinionJournal.com’s Houses of Worship section (“Tremors of Doubt”):

The Christian understanding of evil has always been more radical and fantastic than that of any theodicist; for it denies from the outset that suffering, death and evil have any ultimate meaning at all. Perhaps no doctrine is more insufferably fabulous to non-Christians than the claim that we exist in the long melancholy aftermath of a primordial catastrophe, that this is a broken and wounded world, that cosmic time is the shadow of true time, and that the universe languishes in bondage to “powers” and “principalities”–spiritual and terrestrial–alien to God. In the Gospel of John, especially, the incarnate God enters a world at once his own and yet hostile to him–“He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not”–and his appearance within “this cosmos” is both an act of judgment and a rescue of the beauties of creation from the torments of fallen nature.

Whatever one makes of this story, it is no bland cosmic optimism. Yes, at the heart of the gospel is an ineradicable triumphalism, a conviction that the victory over evil and death has been won; but it is also a victory yet to come. As Paul says, all creation groans in anguished anticipation of the day when God’s glory will transfigure all things. For now, we live amid a strife of darkness and light.


  1. J East said,

    January 3, 2005 @ 4:40 pm

    Thanks for posting that, I wrote an email to ask how I might be placed on a Disaster Response Team. I am not sure if I could manage the time or even that they would want me, but I have always had a passion for that type of service, even though I have been unable to do much of it. I like the idea of serving the physical needs first and then serving the spiritual needs. I kind of think it models what Christ did with the feeding of the 5,000.

  2. Pip said,

    January 6, 2005 @ 9:44 am

    Let us know what you find out, John.

    I came across this latest message from John Piper, which takes issue with at least one comment from Hart’s editorial (“…no Christian is licensed to utter odious banalities about God’s inscrutable counsels or blasphemous suggestions…”):

    From pulpits to news programs, from the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal, the message of the tsunami was missed. It is a double grief when lives are lost and lessons are not learned. Every deadly calamity is a merciful call from God for the living to repent. “Weep with those who weep,” the Bible says. Yes, but let us also weep for our own rebellion against the living God. Lesson one: weep for the dead. Lesson two: weep for yourselves.

    Every deadly calamity is a merciful call from God for the living to repent…Piper provides several scriptural references, making his case soundly, IMHO. Thoughts?

  3. Pip said,

    January 10, 2005 @ 3:48 pm

    William Safire’s “Where Was God?” piece in the New York Times exegetes the Job story from “the Hebrew Bible,” as he calls it (I suppose only natural for someone who is Jewish). He goes on to make some diagreeable statements:

    “The poet-priest’s point, I think, is that God is occupied bringing light to darkness, imposing physical order on chaos, and leaves his human creations free to work out moral justice on their own.”


    “… in a prosaic happy ending that strikes me as tacked on by other sages so as to get the troublesome book accepted in the Hebrew canon – he is rewarded.”

    but which are balanced with some reasonable and sound observations:

    (1) Victims of this cataclysm in no way “deserved” a fate inflicted by the Leviathanic force of nature.

    (2) Questioning God’s inscrutable ways has its exemplar in the Bible and need not undermine faith.

    (3) Humanity’s obligation to ameliorate injustice on earth is being expressed in a surge of generosity that refutes Voltaire’s cynicism.

  4. J East said,

    January 11, 2005 @ 9:53 am

    Hey, thought I would share an update. I got an email back from the MTW coordinator. Evidently the teams that are going are mainly medical teams, which precludes me from being able to participate (I think my Boy Scout First Aid merit badge might not be enough). However, I let her know that I was willing to be put on a list of people interested in helping with other Disaster Relief efforts. Who knows maybe I will be able to participate in the future.

    One thing she said was that they looked for medical and pastoral teams mainly. However, sometimes they also have counselors and construction experienced people go as well.

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.