Ephesians 1:10 7 (very symbolically of course) Revelation 21 are
what I had in mind.
> If this is accurate, it seems to me this wreaks a
> great deal of havoc on our concept of God.
This puzzles me. Don't you think God intends a future for
creation in fellowship with himself?
That concern is reinforced when
> you suggest the possibility that "God participates in creation & suffers
> with it." This is rather different from what you said earlier, "Through
> incarnation and cross, God is also the victim of evil." I took your first
> comment to mean that God had suffered as a result of the act of redemption;
> your second comment seems to imply that God suffers as a result of the act
> of creation. I meant here "creation = what God has created" (& saves - cf.
Rom.8), not the act of creating.
This may be a blind spot for me, but I find it difficult to
> reconcile this second comment -- that "God participates in creation &
> suffers with it" -- with the orthodox Christian concept of God as
> omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent.
>I face the same dilemma in
> reconciling the concept of God with any "best possible world" that would
> require evil as a necessary means to that end. Are some Christians (I
> suppose I'm thinking here of Polkinghorne and Plantinga, among others) so
> addicted to "free will" (or "free process") that we are willing to jettison
> the traditional notion of God?
Depends in part on your tradition.
> And on that point -- why contrast "free will" with the notion that
> God is a "puppet master"? This strikes me as a false alternative. The
> character of creation exhibits a great many features that we would describe
> neither by reference to "free will," nor by means of purely external
I wasn't contrasting "puppet master" & "free will". Please
recall my insistence that the cross is the fundamental aspect of any
genuinely Christian theodicy. The point is that God does not impassibly
force creatures through suffering in order to achieve his goal, but
shares in that suffering. The free will defence should ultimately be
seen, because it involves God's voluntary self-limitation, to be
connected with the cross, where God accepts suffering & death.
Put in another way: The cross is a theodicy for the biblical
God. Other attempts, if they try to stand on their own, are
theodicies for the God of the philosophers.