instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Monday, June 22, 2009

Maritime theodicy
A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up.

Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?"
That's the real question, isn't it?

Not, "How can God be both omnibenevolent and omnipotent in the face of human suffering?" That's at best a fruitless exercise of reason, at worst a sophomoric attempt at sophistication.

The real question, the question people really ask, is not asked of each other. It's asked of God. Whatever the words used, what we want to know is not "Does God care?," but, "God, do You care?"

The disciples didn't know Who Jesus was as He slept through the storm; they were still calling Him "Teacher," not "Lord." But their question to Him reflects our question to Him, Whom we do call Lord.

And His answer to us is the same as His answer to them: "Do you not yet have faith?"

It's not the answer we want. The answer we want is, "Oh, my, yes. Sorry. The perishing stops... now!"

When Jesus stopped the perishing of His disciples, they were filled, not with faith, but with awe, and with questions. Awe and questions are fine for those who are not yet His disciples, but it is only our faith in Jesus that will save us.