Where is God When Life Hurts? with Dr. Sharon Dirckx: Relevant Series at the University of Toronto

It was a great joy to again co-lead the University of Toronto mission week, this time with my friend Logan Gates of RZIM. Last semester during the Relevant Series week, 1500 students attended 17 talks. Here is a video of one of them.


If God is in charge and is loving, why is life filled with so much purposeless pain? Why doesn’t he step in when injustice occurs? Why would he make the world if he knew how much suffering there would be? If God is good, how does he bring meaning and hope in the midst of suffering? How is he going to finally end suffering? What assurance do we have that this true?


DR. SHARON DIRCKX is an Academic Tutor at Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford. Originally from a scientific background, she has a PhD in brain imaging from the University of Cambridge and has held research positions at the University of Oxford and in the US. She has since been invited to speak and lecture in a variety of contexts and has also appeared on the BBC and Unbelievable?.

Her topics of interest include the interface between science and faith, and also suffering. Her book “Why?: Looking at God, Evil and Personal Suffering” won the prize for best book at the 2014 UK Christian Book Awards. “Why?” interweaves the stories of people who have suffered, with a practical look at some “Why?” questions on suffering. Sharon lives in Oxford with her husband and two young children.


MICHELLE TEPPER is an itinerant speaker with RZIM in the US, teaching worldwide on a number of subjects, including the problem of pain, God’s character, sex, relationships, and love.

Before moving back to home to the United States, Michelle was based in Oxford. She studied theology at the University of Oxford, was a guest lecturer at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics, and spoke overseas as a part of the RZIM European team Prior to joining the RZIM staff, Michelle worked for six years as the University Chaplain for St. Aldate’s—a thriving, historic, student friendly church located in the heart of Oxford. While at Oxford, Michelle met and married her husband there. Michelle and her husband, Peter, live in Florida with their daughter, Sophia.

GEORGE SIMOPOULOS received his BA from the University of Toronto, specializing in Political Science, with a secondary major in Ethics, Society and Law. His academic interests include early modern and ancient political thought and the role of religion in the public sphere. He is doing graduate studies in theology and culture at the University of Toronto.

He is currently on staff with Power to Change, engaging campus life by asking the big questions not often discussed in class.


The Relevant Series (www.relevantseries.com) is sponsored by the following campus groups: Wycliffe College, Power to Change, Chinese Christian Fellowship, Agape Impact, Network of Christian Scholars, Inter-Varsity, Everynation Campus, and Athletes in Action.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *