"Howard J. Van Till" wrote:
> >From: george murphy <email@example.com>
> > 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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