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From Everything Happens for a Reason

(And Other Lies I’ve Loved)

Illustration of tree and landscape

Infinity Tree by Claudia Tremblay

I once stumbled into a prosperity megachurch expecting to find a regular service and instead found a funeral. I picked up the bulletin and saw a famous face staring back at me from the cover, smiling as he always did. I had considered him to be a kind and straightforward sort of preacher, happy to guarantee healing and prosperity because he believed in God’s abundant provision with his whole heart. But he died in middle age surrounded by people—well-meaning people—clawing for the meaning of his death. Even the bulletin had to include a separate section to address the question on everyone’s minds: Why? Did he lack faith? Did he fail to live out his own teachings? In a theological universe in which everything you do comes back to you like a boomerang—for good or for ill—those who die young become hypocrites or failures. Those loved and lost are just that, those who have lost the test of faith. I have heard countless stories of denial in the face of death. A pastor stops a funeral to try to resurrect a young boy being put into the ground. A woman in the hospital hears her diagnosi …

From the book Everything Happens for a Reason (And Other Lies I’ve Loved) by Kate Bowler. Copyright 2018 by Kate Bowler. To be published by Random House. All rights reserved.

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