instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

As though we understood good

I'm beginning to believe God is love.

I've been struck by the inchoate notion that to speak of "the problem of evil" is to miss the fact that the problem we are truly facing is the problem of good. The real question isn't, "How can an all-powerful, all-good God permit bad things?," but, "How do we face the fact of an all-powerful, all-good God?" To theologize by thinking in terms of evil, as though we understood good, is like doing zoology by thinking in terms of objects that create elephant-shaped shadows, rather than in terms of elephants.

Okay, it's not very much like that at all. I said it's an inchoate notion.

But if God loves, then His love isn't just human love ramped up a million times, or even to infinity, any more than His existence is just a superduper form of our existence. It isn't just present in the things of creation as seasoning or leaven. It isn't really present in a manner similar to anything other than itself.

It's odd that something so explosive, something that simply replaces everything that is not itself, should be so easy to overlook, to ignore, and to forget. Love is weird stuff.