Re: views of scientists-help needed

From: george murphy (
Date: Mon Jan 07 2002 - 19:00:11 EST

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    "Howard J. Van Till" wrote:

    > >From: george murphy <>
    > > Process theology in itself certainly isn't "easy" in that sense:
    > > Reading Whitehead will quickly convince anyone of that! What I meant is that
    > > it solves the theodicy problem by taking an easy way out. In response to the
    > > classic conundrum, "If God is all-good and all-powerful, why is there evil in
    > > the world?" the process theologian can reply that God _isn't_ all-powerful.
    > > This is helpful in calling our attention to the need to define God's power
    > > more carefully than has sometimes been done in traditional theology, but it
    > > isn't the whole story.
    > George, are you suggesting that traditional Lutheran theology does have "the
    > whole story" re theodicy? :)

            Did I say that?
            For the record, I don't think any theological tradition has "the whole
    story" & strongly suspect that any complete logical solution is impossible: There
    is, after all, something fundamentally senseless about evil. Moreover, Paul seems
    pretty wary of the whole theodicy project in Rom.9.
            I do think that a theology of the cross which _should_ be central to
    Lutheran theology is an important component of any adequate (which isn't the same
    as "complete") theodicy: As I have sometimes paraphrased Luther, "The cross alone
    is our theodicy." & I think that that provides the best grounding for a kenotic
    understanding of divine action & something like Polkinghorne's "free process"
    answer to the theodicy question.
             But one also needs to know when to shut up. Years ago as a hospital
    chaplain I sat with the family of a 17 year old kid who'd died a few hours after
    being shot three times when he was trying to hold up a store. His weeping mother
    said, "It's just not fair." My response was, "No, it isn't fair." I don't always
    have the right thing to say handy, but I think I did that time.



    George L. Murphy
    "The Science-Theology Interface"

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