Doug's comments on When Bad Things Happen to Good People

Kushner reveals a lot about himself in this book, perhaps more than he realizes. Watching his son Aaron die of premature aging caused him to realize that he could not continue to believe all the things he had been taught about God, about himself, and about the nature of the world. He would have to jettison some of his beliefs in order to save others. The choices he made are very revealing.

The world has a moral order

For Kushner, the most important thing to continue to believe about the world is that it is orderly, and in particular that it has a moral order. He is willing to acknowledge that some chaos and randomness exists in the world, but he labels it as evil.

God is good

God's most important role is as the source of the world's moral order. And more than that, God Himself must exemplify the moral order.

Anger is justified

One of the most striking things to me in this book is how important Kushner's anger is to him. Kushner is angry at what he sees as the unfairness of life, and his anger is so important that even God cannot remain neutral in the face of it. If God cannot share Kushner's anger, then Kushner will be angry at God.