Theologian and author of Why All People Suffer
Hello, My name is Paul Chaloux . Welcome to my website dedicated to answering the question “Why Do All People Suffer?” The question has been asked in a variety of ways through the millennia. During the Jewish exile, the sages wrote the Book of Job, which showed that suffering was not necessarily a punishment and was not easily understood from a human perspective. This problem of evil drove the Buddha out of the palace in search of enlightenment. In 300 BC, the problem was taken up by Epicurus, who described the dilemma that a good and all powerful God would stop evil and suffering but since evil exists, he reasoned that God either couldn’t stop it because he didn’t have the power or wouldn’t because he was not good or maybe God is indifferent to humanity or doesn’t exist at all. More recently, it has driven dozens of theodicies, where people have developed schemes to explain how evil and God could coexist. The most famous and popular of these was written 40 years ago by Rabbi Harold Kushner titled “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.” It was written in response to Kushner’s son’s death from progeria, a genetic condition that caused him to age prematurely and die in pain at age 14. Confronted with the same choices as Epicurus, Kushner explained to his audience that God exists and is good, but is powerless to aid the sick and oppressed. This was soothing to Kushner and his audience, who felt more at peace knowing that neither they nor God was responsible for their problems.
This book differs from all that have come before it, because built from Catholic Scripture and Tradition as well as thought from the Great theologians and Church Fathers, it recognizes that Evil does not oppose good, it is the absence of good and that suffering is not evil but an evil detector, God’s gift to mankind to allow us to sense when evil threatens them (more accurately said as ‘ when they lack a required good). I have gone to great lengths to assure that this theology is trustworthy. The research is meticulously documented. The solution triangulates and is synergistic with all Catholic doctrine and the answers to the existential questions like “What is the nature of God?”, “What is the nature of Man?”, “What is Man’s purpose?”, and “How is God active in our lives?” If these answers weren’t self- consistent, as is the case with Kushner’s solution, then the proposed solution must be in error. Finally, the book has been thoroughly vetted, first by the faculty of the Catholic University of America when I defended by Doctoral Dissertation. Then by Sophia Press, who hired outside theologians to ensure the thoughts enclosed were orthodox. We delayed publishing the book for 10 weeks while the Church did its own vetting, resulting in Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington Virginia granting the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, stating the book was free of doctrinal or moral errors and ready for printing.
This website is designed to help you come to your own conclusions. First, there is a link to the publisher (Sophia Press) to order the book itself. You will find my biography and “my journey,” which chronicles my unlikely transformation from IBM engineer to Catholic theologian and the development of this book. It then provides TV, webinar, podcast, radio and print interviews and selections to familiarize you with the contents. Following that is a page dedicated to upcoming events and interviews where the theology and its applications will be discussed. Next are pages of testimonials and book reviews so you can see what others have concluded. Lastly, there is a blog and a forum where readers can get input from me on questions.
Beyond the contents bar, which you get to by click on “more,” the book’s content is explained in Powerpoint charts that are used in classroom settings and may be more accessible than the written copy for some that are more visual learners. There are also a series of Graphics which emphasize different aspects of the book and can be used as wall posters or screen savers. . You will also find the letter granting the Imprimatur, the initial press release of the book, and a list of the launch team members that helped spread the word initially.
I hope you find this website useful and that you will share it with others