Yesterday I heard an excellent talk, "Why suffering?" by Dan Paterson, as part of Jesus Week at UQ.
He began with a moving personal account of a family tragedy that has shaped his own questions and struggles. Christianity does not provide answers that are completely satisfying, either intellectually or emotionally. Yet it is important to compare it to the alternatives. He then considered what different world views [Buddhism, Hinduism, and Atheism] say about suffering. He then asked a crucial question:
How does getting rid of the Christian God made any more sense of suffering, or given any more grounds for hope?
Much of the material in the talk is presented in a series of four blog posts.