I received this about a month ago from a paper in our local neighborhood and wanted to see how you would respond to it, it is called Pastor's Corner: (pg. 2, bottom right)
(look at the link and read the article if you want to, I'll be commentating through it all so it might help.)
He starts with someone who asked a question, presumably to him and then basically goes onto commentate regarding that question. The gist of the question has to do with God's punishment v. God's love.
In the second paragraph he starts off with a "straw man" - Even a Methodist minister said to me recently, "God is not always good. God is not always loving. God can be angry and destructive." This is obviously a straw man because it is an argument that is used all the time, especially by unbelievers, to make a case. Instead of having meaningful interaction with this and talking about the nuances of how God's goodness and love is shown, even in those things that we cannot explain, we excuse God. In fact, we have a whole movement, Red letter Christians, that take only the words of Jesus and make that their Christianity. Again, God needs to be excused.
He doesn't seem to need that from how I read the Old Testament. (Isa. 45:7; Psalm 115:3), God is God even in those times. Why did Isaiah say to the children of Israel in Isa. 55:7-9, "My thoughts are not your thoughts", about this God? So can God in His infinitely wise character determine to send Joseph into slavery, betrayed by brothers, betrayed by his bosses wife, betrayed by prisoners, but why? See Gen. 50:20, his family and their descendants are saved from destruction, because something seemingly bad happened to Joseph and God cause it to be used for the good.
Some things are by his Sovereign decretive will and others by his preceptive will, decretive will is that which he brings about whatever he commands and the preceptive will is that which we have the power to break his laws and commands but do not have the right to do so. (RC Sproul, The Will of God) God is in control over all things, we have no right to go against his law. So do bad things happen and God still be in control? Yes, He can, God is God and we are not. I'm not sure why we feel the need to explain away the Bible instead of confront our own deluded thoughts of love and bow to Him. God's love isn't something that you can bring down to an instantaneous instant, nor can you disprove God's love in an instantaneous instant.
You can be sitting there and saying, "yes, but you don't know what I've been through", all I can say is yes, I cannot imagine but God in his wisdom has allowed that thing, whatever it is, to show you Himself. We call Jesus the greatest gift that has ever been given to the world, what did it take to get that gift? It took Him taking the wrath that we deserved, so that we don't get what we do deserve.
I'll interact with more of it later.
Your boasting friend,