Gregory A. Boyd: Is God to Blame

1) What is the author’s picture of God?

God is a spirit who is invisible but is visibly represented by Jesus Christ. The author describes Christ as a picture of God. He is the light through Jesus Christ who is His exact imprint of His very being. He is love and his love is unsurpassable and His picture is centered on the cross. Jesus is God’s expression of thoughts and self-definition to us. The cross of Christ, reveals God’s glory as sacrificial love and not as compelling power.

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2) How is divine justice described?

The human suffering result from their rebellious ways against God’s, hence Jesus died on the cross to save mankind and unite him with God. Freedom has been given to all to choose to love God and accept the reunion or not. Hence those who trust in God are assured of rescue in times of suffering unlike those who do not.

3) What is the source of evil?

The author describes Satan as the source of evil. The lie that God is untrustworthy and that He is not altogether loving and does not have our best interests in mind forms the source of all evil. The universe is made of freedom and risks. As human beings exercise the freedom they fall into rebellion against the will of God. This created the source of evil.

4) What is evil?

Evil refers to what is ethically sinful, wicked or wrong. It is the development of bad characters emerging from engagements in bad activities. Biblically, evil is doing anything or behaving in a manner that disputes the perfect will of God and His holy nature.

5) How does the author resolve the problem of human suffering?

Human suffering is viewed by many theologians as the will of God who is the author of everything that happens in the universe. However, Gregory reveals that the universe is made of freedom and risks, hence, the mystery of suffering lies in the complexity of the universe and not as the mysterious will of God.  In his view, God allows some human suffering even though He has not ordained it. The author argues that God is in a constant fight against the evils that are unleashed on His creation by the rebellious humanity. The problem of human suffering is, therefore, resolved by Satan, the rebellious nature of humanity and the wrong exercise of freedom of understanding the good and the evil. Human suffering can be solved through trusting in God.

6) Is the solution in your opinion internally consistent?

The solution is not consistent since the picture of God given in Christ depicts that God is all loving and thus He cannot have an interest in human suffering. Many people try to seek a solution to their suffering by trying to do what is good and avoiding the bad things. By fleeing the bad things and practices people tend to believe that this will keep away human suffering from them. However, this is not the case as a solution to human suffering is found in trusting in God who has power over everything.

7) How does this view compare with the Adventist understanding of the great controversy?

The Adventist understanding of the great controversy is that everything that happens whether good or bad is in the plan of God. It is believed that God controls the universe and that He is responsible for human suffering. However, the author argues that God does not contribute to human suffering but it is Satan who does so. Again, the sufferings are significant in regulating the freedom exercised by human beings.

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