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“…theodicy has a useful purpose nowadays. For those who might not know, theodicy is expressed by the question, if God is good and all powerful, why is there suffering in the world? The useful purpose of theodicy nowadays, or rather the usefulness of reflecting on theodicy, is that it forces us to examine the assumption of individuality. That is, one of the several aspects of the conundrum of theodicy is the assumption that human beings are autonomous individuals, that human beings are unconnected and thus not sharing together in the responsibility for the suffering that each and all bring into the world.” (Fr. Michael Gillis)

“In our contemporary world, much ink has been spilled on the subject of theodicy. This is, literally, the attempt to justify God. The presuppositions behind this entire discussion are founded on a loss of the understanding of the Scriptures described above. There are seen to be two kinds of evil in the world. The first originates in man and his decisions to do evil. The second is sometimes called “natural evil.” It includes things like disease epidemics and natural disasters. The former have a human agent. The latter is seen to be the product of essentially random chains of material cause and effect. In both cases, it is objected that God ought to do something to stop both of these or to disallow them entirely. This presupposes that God stands away and apart from the created order. It assumes that the only conscious agents in the created order are humans. It assumes that creation other than humanity operates on purely material principles. All three of these presuppositions are false.” (Fr. Stephen De Young)

“There has been something of an abandonment of the concept of providence in many theological corners in modern times – probably brought on from the crisis within theodicy (the technical word for the understanding of the relationship between God and evil – or the question, “How is God just?”) Events of the 20th century, particularly the horrors of modern war and the like, have tended to push the question of God’s providential involvement with the everyday world to the outer realm of theological discourse.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“Mine is a rarer form of OCD that means I am plagued by intrusive thoughts of violence, religious guilt, and sexual perversion. But three weeks into my studies, I discovered the term theodicy, a word describing the way we defend God’s goodness and power in so evil and aching a world. It allowed me to understand my illness not as God’s inexplicable will for me but as the evil He came to banish by his own presence…What if, in the bent and twisted darkness of our broken world, beauty is God’s theodicy? What if God can speak in creation and song, story and vision the things words, in their frailty, cannot yet bear? What if God’s hand reaches out to us clothed in beauty, and by grasping and trusting it, we may learn to walk through the darkness in hope?” (Sarah Clarkson)

“Going back to the very beginning, we see Adam and Eve in the Garden playing out these intended and unintended, predictable and unpredictable, positive and negative consequences. The evil one manipulated the revelation of the significance of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, with the result that we continue to fall into sin and separation from each other and from God. And the other side of the coin is that God continues to work and to find ways of using our very separation and sin as a means of teaching us freedom and love.” (Andrew Williams)


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