In “Does Everything Mean Everything?” Rev. Jack Karch shares a dramatic real-life story of God’s goodness to him and his family. I thank God for the great outcome. The ending, however, puzzles me.
I am choosing to put the “best construction” on that last paragraph—that Rev. Karch did not intentionally suggest that his boy was saved from death because theyloved God and that the other boy died because his parents did not. The question of why some get healed and others do not is a troubling one that in the end needs to be left in the lap of God.
As a parish pastor for more than 30 years, I have experienced journeys similar to Rev. Karch’s, both in my family and in my church families. In my initial reading, it seemed that he might be insinuating that the “for good” in Rom. 8:28 means God will answer our prayer the way we want (life, in these two cases). There are many faithful saints who have to struggle through the why question because their “for good” included the death of their child.
Rev. Todd Brunworth
Trinity Lutheran Church
I was very surprised to get to the end of the article “Does Everything Mean Everything?” and find that it had been written by a pastor. (I do not read ESV, and if Rom. 8:28 actually reads in the ESV as quoted in the article, I now am certain that I will never read the ESV.) “For those who love God all things work together for good” is miles away in meaning (and ability to bring comfort) from the NIV, which reads, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” It is not the things that happen to us which work out for good, it is God who works through them for our good. The things have no ability to work out—only God has that ability, and if we are to find comfort in “everything,” then the comfort must come from knowing that it isGod who is working for our goodIf the author had written anything along those lines then I could say “Yes, everything means everything.” As it is,his approach to the subject gave me no encouragement whatsoever. I wasdisappointed in the article.
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Send letters to “Letters,”
c/o The Lutheran Witness,
1333 S. Kirkwood Road,
St. Louis, MO 63122-7295;
or send them via e-mail to Lutheran.Witness@LCMS.org.