Thursday, April 10, 2008


Theodicy and God as a Parent, or, Out of Season Genesis Blogging

I was thinking (whilst having a political debate with someone) about how the Arab/Israeli conflict would be solved if it were the brothers, Isaac and Ishmael, fighting over a toy rather than two peoples fighting over land. Of course, in the Bible, God tells Abraham to listen to Sarah, but imagine if my parents or your parents were the parents of Isaac and Ishmael ... I dunno about your parents, but my parents would not even listen to any complaints about who was right or who was wrong, but would take the toy away from both of us until we could share it. This might not be the most just way to handle a fight, but that's what parents do ... and perhaps with good reason.

There are many times in Genesis where God is not just (c.f. the footnote to this post). Theodicy definitely is a problematic area. But if we view God as Our Parent rather than the Font of Justice, doesn't a lot of divine (in) justice make sense? Just as a parent takes things away from the child in the right as well as the child in the wrong rather than take sides, is it surprising that God does not do the same?

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