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“God is weeping with those who weep” – Peter Beck. I beg to differ.


I know Peter Beck, the Dean of Christchurch Cathedral, reasonably well. We’ve had a few decent atheist/believer donnybrooks in the past and I admire and like him. His great sadness at what has happened to the Cathedral and the people of Christchurch could not be more patent or moving. So I write this with a degree of trepidation for two reasons: first, because the timing isn’t great; and second, because I have no interest in denying anyone the comfort which religion brings them at times like this.

But what I have to say arises directly from my enormous admiration for the generosity, bravery and self sacrifice of the people of Christchurch and of the hundreds of others, from all parts of the world, who came to their aid.

Answering the question ‘Where is God?’ Peter recently replied as follows:

‘God is in all these people. God is in the midst of all this. God is weeping with those who weep. God is alongside those who are finding the energy to just keep going. God is in the people who are reaching out and seeking to sustain one another. God is about building community, about empowering people.’

He was then asked:

‘Yes, but where was God was when offices pancaked and burned and hundreds died?’

He replied:

‘Well, we live on a dynamic, creating planet that’s doing its thing. For whatever reason, our forebears chose to build this city on this place. They didn’t know we were on this faultline. God doesn’t make bad things happen to good people. We make our own choices about what we do.’   Read the rest of this entry »