Thursday, April 23, 2009

God Almighty

“God cannot be termed ‘the almighty’ in an absolute sense and seen as the cause of everything that happens in this world. What is almighty is God’s essential love which ‘bears all things, endures all things, believes all things and hopes all things.’ (1 Corinthians 13.7)”

- Jürgen Moltmann, Creating a Just Future, 33.

The problem of evil raises the question: is God good but unable to do anything about evil? Or is God able to end all pain and suffering, but simply unwilling? Or are pain and suffering not actually that bad after all? All three options are theologically disastrous, hence the problem.


gbroughto said...

James McClendon, invoking Jacques Ellul:

Enter now, however, Ellul the prophetic biblical theologian, who announces that though that is how things actually are, the Christian cannot be governed by these depressing alien powers. In Christ the Christian is set free from the "order of necessity."

Ellul writes "1 hold that in every situation of injustice and oppression, the Christian - who cannot deal with it by violence - must make himself completely a part of it as representative of the victims. . . , He lends his intelligence, his influence, his hands, and his face to the faceless mass that has no hands and no influence" (1969:151-52).

Ellul thus provides an example of the capacity of recent Christian thought, in the light of the risen Christ, both to make a realistic assessment of the world and to respond to it in a clear-eyed but redemptive way

McClendon, James William. Ethics: Systematic Theology. Vol. 1. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2002. pp.273-4

bigdog said...

Hmm, this question reminds me of a certain series of lectures that you gave that I was delighted to attend and at which I met the number 2 love of my life...

byron smith said...

Hey bigdog - yeah, good times, eh? So romantic to meet your significant other at a series of lectures on pain and suffering. :-)