Confronting 'Problem Of Evil' After Train Crash

A worthwhile interview with a minister after a train wreck offers another perspective on a longstanding theological question.

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The post-wreck questions are, not surprisingly, rooted in theology.

“After 22 years as a pastor,” she says, “probably the biggest open theological question for me is the omnipotence of God. I believe fully in God’s power to do anything and create anything. If God can create the whole world, clearly God has unbelievable power. But when you start down the road of understanding God as omnipotent, then you have to grapple with why an all-powerful God allows the world to be as it is.”

Theologians call that the old question of theodicy, which asks why, if God is powerful and loving, there is evil and suffering in the world. It turns out that so far no one has an answer that’s completely satisfying to everyone.

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Surviving Amtrak Tragedy, Thanking God

It was only later - an hour or more after an Amtrak train smashed into a dump truck in northern Missouri - that the Rev. Donna Simon, a passenger on the train with her wife Colleen Simon and their son Dominic, was overwhelmed by a need to thank God in prayer for their survival.