Sunday, July 12, 2009

Theodicy: Why it's like bringing a knife to a gun fight

It's been a few years since I last wrote about theodicy -- the question of how to reconcile an image of a good God with that of a suffering world. I still believe that theodicy as a line of argument is a questionable enterprise: If the key point is how we defend God on paper, instead of how God defends us in the real world, then we’ve already conceded the most essential point. That approach also begs the question whether logic and reason have enough potency for the job, or whether setting logic against pure evil is like bringing a knife to a gun fight. Even if reason "wins" we still die, and that kind of victory will always remain empty. Ultimately, no explanation ever satisfies. We don't want an explanation; we want the good that was lost, or that might have been.

No, make no mistake, the only thing that defeats the problem of evil is the world being set straight again. The meaningful defeat of evil includes not only the end of evil, but the restoration of any good that was lost to evil. That includes not only the end of death, but the reversal of death for those who have died, and their restoration to life.

This is the message Christ brought: not that evil somehow makes sense, but that evil will be consigned to the scrap heaps of history.


Anastasia Theodoridis said...

You've hit the nail on the head. Bravo!

BruceA said...

Well said! I've been pondering this myself lately, and your post reminded me what is important here.

Howard said...

A concise mailing that focuses upon the purpose of Redemption. Nicely done.

Weekend Fisher said...

I think there are two great theodicy prayers: "Lord, have mercy!" and "Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner."

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF

Steve said...

It is His work, alone, that brings life where death was. He creates out of nothing.

Our understanding of such is a gift from Him.

Sue said...

I would suggest that you are barking up the wrong tree, or rather have fallen out of your tree!

But what is the nature of The Divine or God?

Plus references on the essential question or mystery---namely the meaning and significance of death.

Weekend Fisher said...

So, are you like actually around to trade comments, or are you just here to drop a link?

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF