Included in a mass burial in India, 8-year-old Anthony Praveen shocked hospital workers when he suddenly sat up and opened he eyes. Though saved from the tsunami when it hit the town of Vailankanni, India, and saved again from premature burial, Praveen's story is not seen as a glimmer of hope amid the tragedy. According to The Washington Times, "His father, a daily-wage laborer from Madras, had taken his wife and two children on a pilgrimage to the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of Health in Vailankanni, a shrine famed for its healing powers, [Praveen's] grandmother explained." The only other survivor in the family, she said the family made an offering at the church, went to the sea to bathe, and were swept away by the tsunami.

"They went to offer their hair to [Mother] Vailankanni," said the grandmother. "In return, they lost their lives to the sea. I don't know why [Mother] gave this rude blow to us. How can I take care of this boy and his education now?"

Did God cause the tsunami?
Supernatural causation and divine culpability are the hottest debates coming out of the Indian Ocean devastation. Man-made destruction seems easier to understand and explain than indiscriminate natural havoc. That's why there is so much more discussion of theodicy in newspapers around the globe than after 9/11. We don't blame Abel's death on God; we blame it on Cain. But it's much easier for people, like Job's friends, to blame the death of Job's family on someone.

One commentator says it's God's fault, not that he exists. "God, if there is a God, should be ashamed of himself. The sheer enormity of the Asian tsunami disaster, the death, destruction, and havoc it has wreaked, the scale of the misery it has caused, must surely test the faith of ...

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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's editorial director. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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