From the earliest recollections of hearing the story of Job, many will recall hearing this episode described as Job’s test. Job suffers greatly because of the loss of everything he has. Job wrestles intensely with the temptations to apostasy that Satan presents and ultimately flinches and fails with the unrelenting questions that seem to lack answers. But, perhaps this is better described as God’s test. It is God who is approached by Satan in a test of wills so to speak. It is God who is responsible for keeping his people in the saving faith as Luther explains concerning the Third Article of the Apostles' Creed. It is God who seemingly puts at stake His reputation as good and gracious. So is it Job’s test or is it God’s test? Really, the answer to that question is, “Yes," and as such it showcases the beautifully comforting conundrums the Scriptures teach again and again. Such is the wondrous beauty of the book of Job, a book unlike any other in Scripture when it comes to presenting the opportunity to wrestle with these weighty paradoxes of the Christian faith.
Over the course of 7 weeks we will wrestle with paradoxes such as Is the Christian a Saint or a Sinner? Does God cause tragedy or allow tragedy? Are the difficulties people endure something that is a direct result of people's actions or are they entirely arbitrary? With these questions and many more we'll probe the depths of pardox and gain perspective for our Christian faith!