Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Linkage: The Point of the Book of Job

We understand that the book of Job is about suffering, but there is a lot in it that is hard to understand.  I know that there are times when I have read it and I have found myself agreeing with Job's friends only to remember that God was not pleased with what they had to say.  Greg Boyd in this essay seeks to help us understand the book of Job a little more clearly.

The point of the book of Job is to teach us that the mystery of evil is a mystery of a war-torn and unfathomably complex creation, not the mystery of God’s all-controlling will. 
Given how Christians are yet inclined to look for a divine reason behind catastrophes and personal tragedies, I think it’s a point we have yet to learn. 
In this essay I’ll flesh out my reading of this incredibly profound book. 
The Prologue
The genre of this book is epic poetry. As is customary with epic poems, it begins with a prologue that sets up the story line (chs 1-2). In Job, this prologue serves as a literary device to give the reader a perspective that the characters in the story lack. This is important, for the point of the whole narrative, we shall see, is to expose the vast ignorance of the characters involved.

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