Re: Coercion

From: Loren Haarsma <>
Date: Mon Apr 12 2004 - 15:39:29 EDT

On Mon, 12 Apr 2004, Keith Miller wrote:

> Here is a metaphor that I have been thinking about that may or may not
> be helpful in looking at the question of God's action and theodicy.
> Lets say that there is a person who is caught on a railroad track and a
> train is coming down the line. The train fails to stop and the person
> is killed.
> The following scenarios might roughly correspond to different
> perspectives on God's control over natural process and theodicy.
> 1) God is driving the train.
> 2) God is by the tracks and could flag down the train, but does not.
> 3) God is by the tracks and frantically tries to flag down the train
> but is unable to.
> 4) God lies down on the tracks in front of the trapped person.
> Such analogies are crude and cannot be taken very far, but I sometimes
> find them helpful.
> Only in (3) is God not responsible for the person's death. However,
> this is at the expense of God's ability to assure the accomplishment of
> God's will.
> Alternative (2) does not remove God from responsibility. In both (1)
> and (2) God could have prevented the death, but chose not to.
> My personal view would be something like (2) plus (4). God had freely
> chosen to create a world in which "natural evil" exists and the
> potential for moral evil exists. However, God entered that creation and
> became a creature and experienced the full consequences of those evils.

And I'm sure you'd want to add:
5) God promises a new creation and resurrection.

God's New Testament answer to the problem of evil seems to be,
"Do what Jesus did.
--Do good.
--Suffer evil without passing it on.
--Trust God's promise of the resurrection to provide the ultimate answer."

Loren Haarsma
Received on Mon Apr 12 15:39:43 2004

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