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Pat Robertson and Job’s Friends

January 14, 2010

Sometimes you receive a teaching gift right when you need it. This semester I’m planning on teaching Job for the first time in a long while. Trying to get students to dig deeply into the book’s issues of theodicy can be difficult, and I’ve been wondering what I would use as an entry point into the text. Then, lo and behold, Pat Robertson yesterday made comments about the earthquake in Haiti that would have made Job’s friends blush:

And you know, Kristi, something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French, uh, you know Napoleon the 3rd and whatever, and they got together and swore a pact to the Devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you’ll get us free from the French.’ True story. And so the Devil said, ‘Okay, it’s a deal.’ And, uh, they kicked the French out, you know, with Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since they have been cursed by, by one thing after another, desperately poor. That island of Hispaniola is one island. It’s cut down the middle. On the one side is Haiti on the other side is the Dominican Republican. Dominican Republic is, is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, etcetera. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island. They need to have and we need to pray for them a great turning to God and out of this tragedy I’m optimistic something good may come. But right now we’re helping the suffering people and the suffering is unimaginable.

See also the posts Theodicy Versus Idiocy by Steve Wiggins and God, Satan and the Birth of Haiti by Polycarp.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 14, 2010 9:34 pm

    Pat Robertson is so bad he is an argument against the existence of God.

    In case you missed it, you might find this post of interest:

    http://ancienthebrewpoetry.typepad.com/ancient_hebrew_poetry/2010/01/goldingay-vs-purdue-on-the-theology-of-the-book-of-job.html

    Here is a post that references Clines’ third and final WBC volume on Job, which has since come out, an important article by Michael Fox (who is working on a Job commentary for OTL), and a pdf outlining my take on the book:

    http://ancienthebrewpoetry.typepad.com/ancient_hebrew_poetry/2006/11/an_introduction.html

  2. Steve Wiggins permalink
    January 15, 2010 4:31 pm

    Thanks for the shout-out, Jim! I always tell my students that Job is not a theodicy at all because Job never asks the “why” question. It is a great book to cover in class — have fun!

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