Today let’s explore one feature of the Christian theological landscape: The irksome questions that swarm around theodicy. How can an All-Powerful God allow evil to happen? Does God not care about evil ? Is God actually NOT all that powerful?
I will NOT be parsing this doctrine here. Instead, let me suggest something a bit different: You could be the key for some folks to understand how these questions might be answered.
As I’ve heard the concerns, they come from folks who may really need to find some answers because they are at the end of their ropes, facing overwhelming sorrow, pain, suffering or despair. This is rubber-meeting-the-road stuff for them—theology is more than scenery.
What I sometimes also hear are formulaic responses, off-the-cuff platitudes that sound hollow the moment they hit someone’s ear. As though this were a simple matter, easily disposed of by pious phrases. Not helpful and perhaps harmful—given the number of folks who have left the Church or forsaken religion completely because this matter got stuck in their souls.
Here’s where you may come in: You’ve lived long enough to have buried most platitudes in a conceptual mulch pile. You’ve experienced enough loss or difficulties to know the feeling of looking at God and wondering, “Where are you?” And perhaps you’ve come to the other side of these questions with some ideas, habits or emotions that could be helpful to people who wonder about God’s providence.
So here’s my challenge to you: Think about these questions, your own experiences, your familiarity with the Bible and your love for those in fragile or vulnerable circumstances. Where could you offer assurance or comfort to others who wrestle with God’s deliverance from their losses? And who would thank you for your witness?
Another theological landscape to explore….!