Wednesday, July 11, 2012

An all too brief thought on Theodicy

Theodicy is the question of how God and evil can coexist.  Or, why do bad things happen to good people?  Or, how can a good God allow so much suffering?  The questions are hard, especially since they put God in the dock, and then Christians are asked to divine what God might say in response (He did respond in Job -- but His response is notoriously dense).

The response, though, is the Cross of Jesus Christ, God Himself partaking of the degradation, the oppression, the injustice of the world, so that life, His Life, might reing through the resurrection.  This Life is to be lived out through the Church, which has notoriously failed in very public ways (May God have mercy on all!).

So, the only response from a Christian, as far as I can tell is this: there is a lot of suffering in the world.  We have been given the job of addressing and correcting it -- that is what it means to be a Christian, practically.  Often we don't do it or we do a poor job of it.  But the calling remains.  We are to be God's hands.  Would you like to help me get food to the hungry?  Clean water to the thirsty?  Justice to the oppressed?  Let's talk to others who are already doing those things and support them in any way we can -- even if it means suffering ourselves.  We need to actually do the work, just like Jesus touched and healed lepers and dead people, and even was put to death so that we could have life to share with others.

Obviously, I've left much out.  Forgive me for that.  Sometimes it is better to work than to talk.  Sometimes faith can only be understood through action: Christ died and rose again for the life of the world.

2 comments:

Hanna K said...

Hi!
I've been following your blog. I just wanted to say hi on some terms because I really appreciate from the darkest and deepest part of my heart for what you are doing here. I took a class with Stephen Vicchio called Problem of Evil. We talked about Theodicy and it's something I'm so interested in, so it was great reading your thoughts on it.

I'm just an art student but I'm not apologetic about Apologetics... And I experience the postmodernity in its fullest since the arts are always on the forefront of that. Well I don't want my first comment to be super long. I'm sure I'll post some more.

Russ said...

Hanna,

It is nice to make your internet acquaintance. As you read, please realize that I've come a long way -- there are many things on this blog, even things I refer to, that I wouldn't necessarily hold to now. A lot has changed over time, as I'm sure you'll find out.

The Lord, though, is faithful, even if I have not always been.

Russ