When Princess Diana died, I got a phone call from a television producer. "Can you appear on our show?" he asked. "We want you to explain how God could possibly allow such a terrible accident."
I could not make the television appearance, but his question prompted me to dig out a file folder in which I have stashed notes of things for which God gets blamed:
—At the 1994 Winter Olympics, when speed skater Dan Jansen's hand scraped the ice, causing him to lose the 500-meter race, his wife, Robin, cried out, "Why, God, again? God can't be that cruel!"
—A young woman wrote James Dobson this letter: "Four years ago, I was dating a man and became pregnant. I was devastated! I asked God, 'Why have You allowed this to happen to me?' "
—In a professional bout, boxer Ray "Boom-Boom" Mancini slammed his Korean opponent with a hard right, causing a massive cerebral hemorrhage. At a press conference after the Korean's death, Mancini said, "Sometimes I wonder why God does the things he does."
—Susan Smith, who pushed her two sons into a lake to drown, then blamed a black car-jacker for the deed, wrote in her official confession: "I dropped to the lowest point when I allowed my children to go down that ramp into the water without me. I took off running and screaming 'Oh God! Oh God, no! What have I done? Why did you let this happen?'"
Exactly what role did God play in a speed skater losing control on a turn or a teenage couple losing control in a back seat, not to mention the lethal effect of a boxer's punch or a mother's premeditated act of violence? And as for Princess Di's accident, could it have had something to do with a drunk driver going 85 mph in a narrow tunnel?
I once watched a television interview with a famous ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more