Ryan H. wrote:
: Far be it from me to say that it makes it okay
, as if the notion of God-as-human-sufferer is enough to create a robust theodicy--if there can be such a thing--but yes, the fact that, as Bonhoeffer wrote, "Christ bore in himself the whole burden of the flesh, under the curse, under condemnation" does serve as one of the key notions in working towards one.
Well, I don't think Keller was dealing with THEODICY here. Yes, the fact that Christ "bore" things in solidarity with us is a key component of any remotely interesting theodicy, but that isn't what Keller is talking about here.
: Forgive me if this has been covered elsewhere -- if it has, please point me to it -- but how does Orthodoxy's views on hell, God's judgment, etc. differ from what Keller describes?
I haven't had a chance to trawl through the archives yet (maybe Jeff could link to some of the old threads he found before starting this one?), but suffice it to say that, for me, one of the key problems with the evangelical approach to damnation and salvation has been aptly caricatured in the Jack T. Chick parody below, which I first came across in the late 1990s. I don't agree with the caption, not least because it casually tosses aside any notion of human free will, but the panel itself sums things up succinctly.
Some time after I first came into contact with this parody, I came across Robert Jewett's Saint Paul Returns to the Movies: Triumph over Shame
, which takes aim at the dominant western interpretation of Romans and what it has to say about some of these issues. (Among other things, Jewett traces this dominant interpretation all the way back to Augustine, who was famously obsessed with his own feelings of guilt etc.) And it was several months later, when discussing these issues with some friends online, that one of them piped up and said the Orthodox church (of which he was a member) wasn't particularly fond of Augustine's views on these issues either (to say nothing of Anselm's views, which came several centuries after Augustine).
I didn't actually visit an Orthodox church until a few years later, but it was heartening just to hear that a church existed which had more-or-less avoided falling into this Augustinian error -- that I wasn't forced to venture into post-evangelicalism or some other form of rootless make-it-up-as-you-go Christianity.
That doesn't really answer your question, I guess, but what I'm getting at here is that working through some of these issues was a process that took me several years and I'm not sure how to summarize them all that pithily.
I will say this, though: Evangelicals, despite their scripture-centricity, are awfully fond of the expression "Jesus paid the penalty for my sins" -- despite the fact that neither this statement nor anything resembling it appear anywhere in scripture itself.