Nicholas, on 06 August 2011 - 06:37 PM, said:
Yes, I think God's response to Job is not merely a "you as a creature can't comprehend the Creator's purposes", but is also, in response to suffering: "Creation." That verse in Job has creation - then, now, and in the future - implicit in the response. Genesis and that verse in Job seem inextricably connected.
I find Barth's idea of the "shadow-side" of creation to be helpful here: God didn't create evil and suffering, but by creating free human beings, He created the possibility. Some people cringe at this and even assign culpability. I think it beyond us to see the infinite Good of Creation overwhelming the realized possibility of its earthly shadow-side.
He did indeed create the possibility.... he also knew that we would fall. It's not as though the fall fooled God
. So I would think that God would be culpable. Except
, I think that it's all part of a greater plan and
purpose..... although it's surely hard to see sometimes. But it has to do with grace. If we had never fallen into sin we would have know way of understanding God's grace........ and therefore no way of truly
understanding how much he loves us. The New Testament also says that the people who sin the worst have a greater understanding of God's mercy when they accept Christ. In other words without sin we would
never really truly understand mercy. That's a mind bender for you...... maybe sin is ultimately part of the plan.
I think that at the end of the day we will find out that it's all
Anyhow I agree with you. It's interesting to think that in Job; God spoke to Job out of the whirlwind (or cloud depending on your translation.) Of course the New Testament says that God is in all things. I
would think that Job portrays creation as something cosmic through which God can speak.
Remember Job is the first written scripture, and he existed before Moses wrote the Torah. Job indicates that God was speaking to people (Job at least) through his creation before the scriptures. Of course he also spoke
to Moses out of a burning bush.
I think that evil existed before human beings, in the sense of the Devil. But then the question arises..... when did Lucifer fall? Was it before Adam and Eve? Or after they were created, but before they were tempted?
You see Christianity often thinks of Eden as being this luxurious place without evil. But whenever Satan came on the scene, it surely wouldn't have been the perfect paradise with him there (were the fallen angels there to,
I suspect so.) He was after all in Eden Tempting Adam and Eve to sin against God. Another thing is..... Adam sinned in Eden before
I just don't view the fall as being as huge (if that's the right word) as some Christian traditions do. Some Christians view it as Adam and Eve were in paradise and then after the fall the world became a mass of evil.
I view it more in the sense that we are in exile from Eden. In the Old testament God sent Israel into exile because of their rebellion, their temple was destroyed, then they repented and returned from exile where
they had an even bigger and better temple built.
I think that those who accept Christ will come out of exile (or are already coming) to a place that is even bigger and better than Eden...... a true paradise.......and that it was all ultimately part of God's plan to bring us to
this place. Some of the early Christians called this recapitulation.
So I don't think evil is a created thing.... but rather a perversion of something that is good. The perfect order of Creation being twisted into chaos as it were.
That I believe, is the state the world is in now. There is a cosmic chaos or perversion of the good because of evil and sin..... but this is a perversion.... at the core the cosmos is still good. Indeed very good as it was
originally created in Genesis.
It's almost as if the seed of God's creative activity is still very good.... but this seed comes up through a ground that has to differing degrees been affected by sin.
Yet behind the chaos or captivity that goodness is still truly there.
How does one put words to these things.
Possibly there was even some sort of Cosmic chaos in Eden even before the fall. After all Satan and therefore Evil was there.
I don't know.
So what I'm trying to get at....... is that we often see what you speak of as the shadow side...... but need to look deeper still to the goodness still in creation. In fact inherent in
Creation. Creation that a loving God is in.... and even speaking to Job and Moses through.
This film does that. It shows the darkside. But also shows the magnificence of creation. The true Cosmic goodness and wonder of it all.
Edited by Attica, 12 August 2012 - 03:55 PM.