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UPDATE: The Groaning of Creation” – Chapter 1 “Introduction”: Part II

 

Image result for skull in desert

Is God Responsible for extinctions that happen throughout nature?  Does he cause them? Is there something good that can come about through the extinction of a species?  Or is it a total waste?

 

Yesterday, we discussed how extinction may not be a total loss, the role of humans in God’s creation, an eschatological ‘need’ for redemption, a response to Ivan Karamazov, and whether or not God played a direct role in the evolution of homo sapiens.

Our response are here.

 

 

 

 

“The Groaning of Creation” – Chapter 1 “Introduction”: Part II

 

Above is a reading from a scene between Ivan (a skeptic) and his religious brother Alyosha from Fydor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov regarding the difficulty of believing in a loving God in the face of the abuse and suffering of innocent children.

 

Though Southgate’s book focuses primarily on the suffering of animals, he uses the illustration above in this chapter to convey his thesis that “[T]he crux of the problem is not the overall system and its overall goodness but the Christian’s struggle with the challenge to the goodness of God posed by specific cases of innocent suffering.”

 

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UPDATE: “The Groaning of Creation” – Preface – Chapter 1-1.5: Part I:

 

We completed our first session of our new book last Sunday.

One of the takeaways of the session was the discovery that when dealing with issues in theodicy, it wasn’t necessarily that we had a problem with the horror of suffering, death, and randomness in the world, but rather the real issue was that we had an issue with God – namely the goodness with God that we were having a hard time with.

You can read our essays here.

The youtube clip above gives us an interesting overview of the moral issues we have over animals.  Why is it that we have no qualms eating a cow, but we are repulsed by the idea of eating a pet cat?  They are both animals right?  Why is one right and the other wrong?  Answer seems simple and obvious, but it’s interesting to think about at another level.

 

 

“The Groaning of Creation” – Preface – Chapter 1-1.5

 

We will begin a new semester this year as we focus on topics in theology and science.  This time, we will cover Christopher Southgate’s The Groaning of Creation: God, Evolution, and the Problem of Evil.

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“Confessions” – Book VIII: Chapters 7 – 12

A clip from the movie “Restless Heart: The Confessions of Augustine.” Bishop Ambrose is depicted here embracing Augustine and later baptizing him.

 

This week, we will finish the rest of Book VIII – chapters 7 – 12 of Augustine’s Confessions.

In these final chapters, we encounter the monumental moment when Augustine finally devotes himself to the Christian faith as he recounts in great detail in these writings.

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UPDATE: “Confessions” Book VIII – Chapters 1 – 6

 

How pagan are modern-day church services today?  Have church services been pagan all along?

 

Here are our essays on Book VIII – Chapters 1 – 6 of Augustine’s Confessions.

We discussed the implications of delayed gratification, the pagan elements and origins of the Catholic Mass and Protestant services, the life of Anthony the Great and whether or not Christ calls us to a life of asceticism.

 

 

Does God Change in Response to Suffering? Motlmann, von Speyr, the Cross, and the Suffering of God, the Trinity

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Matthias Grünewald, Isenheim Altarpiece, chapel of the Hospital of Saint Anthony, Isenheim, Germany,       c. 1510-15, oil on wood

 

Undoubtedly, suffering and death changes us in some degree or another.  It’s a given in life.  A death of a close friend, parent, or loved one can profoundly affect the outlook of one’s life.

I can only imagine the unimaginable pain a parent has to go through if their child dies.  It would undoubtedly change the parent’s life.

Is it the same for God then?  Did God change when he experienced Jesus’ death?  Does God himself change in response to suffering, pain, and death?

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