Premier Christian Radio asks: How can we reconcile more than 525,000 COVID-related deaths in the USA with the concept of a loving God?

March 31, 2021 6:00 AM EDT

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LONDON, March 31, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Since the first reported case of COVID-19 in the USA in January 2020 more than 525,000 people have lost their lives to the pandemic.

For many, including those with religious affiliations, suffering and death raise many profound questions around the existence of God. 

So, in light of the momentous happenings of the past 15 months, is it Christianity or atheism which makes best sense of who we are? That's the topic for the first episode of Season 3 of The Big Conversation – a series of video debates featuring some of the world's biggest thinkers – from a religious and atheistic perspective.

Available from Friday 2nd April (1pm Eastern and 10am Pacific) the opening episode will explore whether human suffering and tragedy leave room for a caring, loving God.

In the first of the 6 episode Big Conversation series, Brierley welcomes Los Angeles-based Bishop Robert Barron (founder of Word on Fire) whose popular YouTube and social media ministry reaches hundreds of thousands of skeptics along with Alex O'Connor who is a Philosophy & Theology student at Oxford University. As a well-known voice in online atheistic circles O'Connor's YouTube channel Cosmic Skeptic boasts more than 400,000 subscribers. 

In the discussion O'Connor presses Bishop Barron on the problem of suffering in light of the pandemic saying "100,000 people who have died of COVID [in the UK] have done so because God allowed it."

Bishop Barron says that to blame God would itself require "a God-like perspective on all of space and time".

He responds: "Like anybody who's lived more than two years on planet earth I've suffered in my life and wondered 'why?' I totally get the emotional power of that.

"I think we hardly ever see the reason why, but we might get glimpses. As a pastoral minister, I've seen lots of examples of beautiful expressions of love that have occurred in the midst of this pandemic. Now is that the reason? No. I might get one little hint of one move on the chessboard of a good that has come from this. Yet in faith I can place suffering within the context of God's purposes."

You can watch a short promotional video here. 

The series is produced by Premier Christian Radio in partnership with the John Templeton Foundation.


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SOURCE Premier Christian Radio

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