In light of the recent Boston Bombings, I thought I would publish the following notes on the problem of Theodicy. This is, admittedly, an academic rather than pastoral treatment of the problem of suffering. I figure many people will be doing pastoral works over the next few days and weeks. I thought I would instead publish something that is both academic and readable by the average person.
The following is a teaching outline for discussing the problem of suffering in the light of a God who is said to be both all-good (desiring the full flourishing of all persons made in God's image) and all-powerful (able to bring about the full flourishing of those he desires good for). Thus experiences of suffering and tragedy cause us to question the goodness, power, and existence of God. This is a skeletal outline intended mainly as lecture notes.
Today in chapel I preached on resurrection. And in speaking of the miracle of the resurrection, I invoked Arthur C. Clarke's Third Law of Technology to talk about the events which we describe as miracles. Clarke's Law states:
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic (or miracle)."
I went on to talk about how the miracle of the resurrection perfects nature, not by working against nature, but by working through the "laws" of physics. I used the analogy of all the technology we use today, that works WITH the "laws" of nature, which would seem like magic or miracle to earlier humans. I continued by saying:
This is a bunch of stuff to make us think hard about our incredible love affair with the God of the universe, our astounding infidelities against him, and his incredible grace to heal and restore us through Christ. Everything on this site is copyright © 1996-2015 by Nathan L. Bostian so if you use it, cite me... otherwise you break the 8th commandment, and make God unhappy. You can contact the author by posting a comment.