To know the Redeemer is to belong to the Church. Augustine emphasized this in his teaching on the whole Christ, Christus totus , Head and Members together. For it is the plan of the Son of God to make us Christ, the final Adam, by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and His love, fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear..
Since human nature as He assumed it was not annulled, by that very fact it has been raised up to a divine dignity in our respect too. For by His incarnation the Son of God has united Himself in some fashion with every man. He worked with human hands, He thought with a human mind, acted by human choice and loved with a human heart. Through the incarnation of the Word the Redeemer's uniqueness becomes discernible to us already in its redeeming force.
The gift of Pentecost enabled his apostles and disciples finally to recognize who and what Jesus was as in the fellowship of the Church—the teaching, the breaking of bread, the prayers Acts —they became aware of what Jesus had done for them, what he had taught and commanded. This is precisely the function of the Holy Spirit in Johannine theology cf. Jn Hence we as human beings can come to know who the Redeemer is, but only within the community of the Church and through it.
Christ cannot be isolated from the Church. Christ is precisely the one who nourishes his body as Church and so draws the community of believers into the work of bringing about the redemption. It would also be a mistake to burden the Church with an autonomy it could not bear on its own. The Easter mystery forms the context for the Church's liturgical year. The Christ event will be made available through the Church in so far as the Church perceives, explains and preaches the uniqueness of the Redeemer. The Church makes present the one and only Redeemer in that as a community koinonia living out the Easter mystery, the Church welcomes all who experience justification in Christ in Baptism or in the sacrament of Reconciliation and want to live out the redemption.
The meaning of the redemption and the uniqueness of the Redeemer are revealed in the activities that are constitutive of the Church in this world: martyria , diakonia and leitourgia. As the Lord's koinonia the Church summons humanity to a selfless prosphora lifestyle which has its basis principally in the Eucharist but also in the communion of saints—in which Mary has a special place.
This knowledge, acquired from the lived faith of the Church, that an inter-subjectivity exists between the redeemed and the one and only Redeemer, can be objectified in genuine theological statements. Such statements, when they start from the objectivity of the Redeemer, can strengthen the individual's life of faith and give it a precise shape. Very ancient, for example, and inseparably linked to knowledge of the uniqueness of the Redeemer, is the celebration of Sunday as the Day of the Resurrection of the one who was crucified.
The association of the Church in the redemptive work of Christ is eminently verified in the person of Mary, Mother of the Church. Mary's cooperation shares, in its subordinate character, in the universality of the mediation of the Redeemer, the one Mediator. The Father has made us his children in that he redeemed us through the human will of Christ.
In that Christ obeyed the Father's will and gave his life for many, his person and his work of redemption in our world acquire a meaning and a dignity that are unique and beyond comparison. Christ's being-from-the-Father continues in his surrender-for-us.
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This unique relationship, of its very nature, cannot be theologically integrated into any other religion, even though the work of redemption is accessible to all. In the course of the justification that the believer can receive in the Church, Christian experience passes over with the Redeemer into a sanctification of the redeemed life which is guided and perfected—more intensively than in justification—by the Holy Spirit.
This means that we are invited through Christ in the Holy Spirit to share, already now, in the divine life of the Trinity. The Father's gift, namely the person of his Son and the sharing in the Holy Spirit, thus forbids a Pelagianism that would attempt to justify human nature through its own resources—and likewise excludes a quietism that would involve the human person too little.
The Christian life is correctly seen in the tradition as a preparation for eternal fellowship with God. However, the uniqueness of the Redeemer is revealed in the life of believers here and now. In this world, marked as it is both by the goodness of creation and the sinfulness of the Fall, Christians try, by their imitation of Christ, to live out and to propagate the redemption.
Their virtuous living and the example of a Christian lifestyle make it possible for people in every epoch to come to know who the one and only Redeemer of this world is.
The Many Faces of Evil: Theological Systems and the Problems of Evil by John S. Feinberg
Evangelization is precisely this. Christian faith in the redemption is first of all faith in God. At the same time, however, we must note that this God-Savior also reveals mankind to itself: its own condition is therefore radically situated and constantly called to define itself, in relation to the salvation which is offered. How is the human condition enlightened by the salvation which God offers it in Jesus Christ? How does humanity appear in the face of redemption? The answer could enlighten the human historic situation, but as we have noted in Chapter I, it is also marked by important contrasts.
It could be said that in face of the redemption that Jesus Christ offers, humanity discovers that it is fundamentally oriented towards salvation 1 and profoundly marked by sin 2. The first light that Christ's redemption throws on humanity is that he reveals it to itself as at one and the same time destined for salvation and capable of accepting it. The entire biblical tradition is full of situations in which the people of Israel—or the groups of poor people who are called to become the people of Israel—were led to search for and to confess their God through interventions by which God rescues them from distress and perdition.
From the Exodus adventures where Yahweh intervened with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, to the pardon given to the broken and repentant heart, it is clear that for God's people and for every believer, it is to the extent to which God appears to bring salvation , that God reveals himself. But correlatively it is clear that God intervenes and thus reveals himself in relation to a need for salvation clearly manifested in its true dimensions to those who benefit from the salvation which God gives them. This general characteristic of biblical revelation will be highlighted in the New Testament.
In Jesus Christ, God came among them, God became one of them. The Father sent his only Son, in the Holy Spirit, to share the human condition in all things except sin , so as to establish communication with mankind. This was done to allow them to return fully to God's favor and to enter fully into the divine life. The result is that the human condition sees itself in a completely new perspective. Then there is the fullness of destiny which awaits humanity in accordance with the salvific will which God manifested in its regard in his Son who became incarnate, died and rose from the dead.
There is also the radical nature of salvation which God destines for humanity in Jesus Christ: it is invited to enter in turn into the dynamism of the paschal mystery of Jesus, the Christ. On the one hand this salvation takes the form of a sonship , in the Spirit of Christ the Son. Drawn and supported by the Spirit participants through the sacraments , they are called to live by faith and in hope their condition of sons of the Father who is in heaven, but with the duty of fulfilling his will on earth, by loving and serving their brethren in love.
On the other hand if they are not spared the experiences of hope and sadness, indeed the sufferings of this world, they know that the grace of God—the active presence in them of his love and mercy—will accompany them in all circumstances. And if they must also experience death, they know that it will not seal their destiny, for they have the promise of the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.
Although humanity may appear to be impoverished and unworthy, we must not conclude that it is totally worthless in the eyes of God. On the contrary, the Bible constantly reminds us that if God intervenes on behalf of humanity, it is precisely because God considers human beings worthy of his intervention. How can this be and how does the human person become aware of it?
The biblical and Christian response is given in the doctrine of creation. They exist because they have been and are called. They were called when they were not in existence but so that they might come into being. They are called from non-being to be given to themselves and thus to exist in themselves. But if such is man's native condition in this world—a condition which defines him precisely as a preacher of this message—there are important consequences which faith makes explicit. God does not create humanity without having an intention.
He creates it for the very reason that the divine interventions in history reveal: out of love for humanity and for its good. To put it more precisely, he creates the human person to make a covenant with it, with a view to making it a participant in God's own life. In other words if there is creation it is for grace , for the life of God, with God and for God. If God calls us to a destiny which clearly surpasses our human powers, since it can only be pure grace, it is nevertheless true that this destiny should correspond to what the human person is as such.
Christian Theology and Disasters: Where is God in All This?
Otherwise it would be a person other than the one who is called to be saved who would receive the gift of God, and who would be the beneficiary of grace. In this sense, while respecting the gratuity of grace, human nature is orientated towards the supernatural, and fulfills itself in and through it in such a way that the nature of humanity is open to the supernatural capax Dei. However, as this is only meaningful in the context of a covenant, it must also be noticed that God does not impose his grace on humanity; he simply offers it. However, this involves a risk. Using the freedom which God has given, the human being may not always act in harmony with God's intentions but may misuse the talents which God has given for its own ends and its own glory.
God has given these gifts so that the desire which would lead mankind to seek and to find God as the only fulfillment should come from the human person itself. But the human person can always re-orientate the dynamism of his nature and the movement of his heart. It nevertheless remains true that the human being has been constituted and will remain so for the love of God: for the grace and salvation that God intends for it. Christ's redemption gives us a second viewpoint on humanity in its historical condition: the negative aspects which mark it 1 are also the result of human sin 2 , but this does not cast in doubt God's faithfulness to his creative and saving love.
As in the case of any common experience, faith must take note of the negative aspects of the human condition. It cannot ignore that, in history, everything does not take place in accordance with the intentions of God the Creator. This however does not invalidate faith: the God in whom faith is professed can be trusted. Not only did God not renounce his first intention, but he took means of restoring, in a most admirable manner, what was compromised.
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Intervening in Jesus Christ, he showed himself to be faithful to himself, despite the infidelity of the human person, his partner. In sending his own Son in human form, God the Creator of the world and Savior, removed every justification for doubting the divine plan for a saving covenant. This manifestation of God's faithfulness to his covenant shows up the negative aspects of the human condition and consequently the extent and depth of the need for salvation among the human race.
If indeed God had to send his only Son to restore his plan of salvation founded in the very act of creation, it is because this plan had been radically compromised. If the Son became incarnate to reestablish God's covenant, it is because the covenant was broken not by the will of God, but by the will of human beings. And if in order to reestablish it, the incarnate Son had to do the will of the Father, if he had to become obedient unto death even to death on the Cross, it is because the true source of human misfortune is in its disobedience, its sin, its refusal to walk in the ways of the covenant offered by God.
Thus the incarnation, life, death and resurrection of God's own Son, as well as revealing the love of God the Savior, at the same time reveal the human condition to itself. If Jesus appears as the only way to salvation, it is because humanity needs him for its salvation, and because without him it will be lost. If God sent his only Son to re-open the gates of salvation to all, it is because he did not change his attitude in their regard; the change was on the part of the human race.
The covenant which was willed from the beginning by the God of love was compromised by human sin. Consequently there was a conflict between God's plan on the one hand, and human desires and behavior on the other Rom In refusing God's invitation from the beginning, humanity deviated from its true destiny and the events of history are marked by an alienation from God and from his plan of love; history is indeed marked by a rejection of God.
The coming of God's only Son into the heart of human history reveals the divine will to pursue the application of its plan despite opposition. There is no effort to equate them, but their traditional rapprochement is nevertheless rich in meaning. The main Pauline passages which make the parallel Rom and 1 Cor , use it to highlight the universal dimension of sin on the one hand and of salvation on the other.
Immersed in a history of sin, disobedience and death, as a result of its origins in Adam, humanity is called to enter into the solidarity of the new Adam whom God has sent: his only Son who died for our sins, and who rose again for our justification.
Christian faith makes it clear that with the first Adam there has been a proliferation of sin, and with the second Adam a superabundance of grace. The entire course of human history and the heart of each person constitute the stage on which the drama of the salvation and the life of all human beings, as well as the grace and glory of God, is being played out between these two Adams.
It was primarily to rescue human beings that the Son of God made himself our brother Heb , like us in all things except sin Heb Inasmuch as one member of the human family is God's own Son, all others have been raised to the new dignity of being his brothers and sisters. Precisely because the human nature that Christ assumed retained its creaturely identity, human nature itself was raised to a higher status.
By revealing the mystery of the Father's love, Christ fully reveals humanity to itself and discloses the supreme calling of every individual. In its relation to their final destiny Christ's redemptive work affects all human beings, since all are called to eternal life. By shedding his blood on the Cross, Christ established a new covenant, a regime of grace, that is directed to all humanity. Everyone is called to share by adoption in Christ's own Sonship.
God does not issue this call without providing the capacity to respond to it.
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Thus Vatican II can teach that no human being, even one who has never heard of the gospel, is untouched by the grace of Christ. The first condition of entering the new covenant of grace is to have a faith modelled on that of Abraham Rom Faith is the fundamental response to the good news of the gospel. No one can be saved without faith, which is the foundation and root of all justification.
For the life of faith it is not sufficient to assent with one's mind to the contents of the gospel or to place one's trust in the divine mercy. Redemption takes hold of us only when we acquire a new existence grounded in loving obedience. By Baptism, the sacrament of faith, the believer is inserted into the body of Christ, freed from original sin, and assured of redemptive grace.
A renewed consciousness of the mystery of Baptism, as death to sin and resurrection to true life in Christ, can enable Christians to experience the actuality of redemption and gain the joy and freedom of life in the Holy Spirit. Baptism is the sacrament of liberation from sin and rebirth in the freedom newly chosen. Freed from sin by the grace of God, which arouses the response of faith, the believer begins the journey of the Christian life. Through the faith aroused by grace, the believer is liberated from the domination of evil and is entrusted to Jesus Christ, the master who bestows interior freedom.
This is not a mere liberty of indifference that authorizes every possible choice, but a freedom of conscience that invites people, enlightened by the grace of Christ, to obey the deepest law of their being and observe the rule of the gospel. It is only with the light of the gospel that conscience can be formed to follow the will of God without any constraint upon its freedom. This Vatican Council likewise professes its belief that it is upon the human conscience that these obligations fall and exert their binding force.
The truth cannot impose itself except by virtue of its own truth, as it makes its entrance into the mind at once quietly and with power.
Problem of evil
Living members of the Body of Christ are made friends of God and heirs in hope of eternal life. Liberation from sin by redemption in Christ reconciles a person with God, with neighbor, and with all creation. Since original and actual sin are essentially rebellion against God and the divine will, redemption re-establishes peace and communication between the human being and the Creator: God is experienced as the Father who pardons and receives back his child.
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ The word of the gospel reconciles those who have rebelled against the law of God and points out a new path of obedience to the depths of a conscience enlightened by Christ. Christians are to be reconciled with their neighbors before presenting themselves at the altar. The sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation permits a sanctifying return to the mystery of Baptism and constitutes the sacramental form of reconciliation with God and the actuality of his pardon thanks to the redemption given in Christ.
Within the Church Christians continually experience the mystery of reconciliation. Re-established in peace with God and obeying the commandments of the gospel, they carry on a reconciled life with others with whom they are called into community. Reconciled with the world, they no longer violate its beauties or fear its powers.
Rather they seek to protect and contemplate its wonders. Freedom from sin, fortified by reconciliation with God, neighbor, and creation, permits Christians to find true communion with their Creator who has become their Savior. In this communion they realize their latent potentialities. However great are the intellectual and creative powers of human nature, they cannot bring about the fulfillment that is made possible by communion with God.
Communion with the person of the Redeemer becomes communion with the body of Christ, that is to say, the communion of all the baptized in Christ. Redemption therefore has a social character: it is in and by the Church, the Body of Christ, that the individual is saved and finds communion with God. United with baptized believers of all times and places, the Christian lives in the communion of the saints, which is a communion of sanctified persons sancti through the reception of holy things sancta : the word of God and the sacraments of the presence and action of Christ and the Holy Spirit.
All who live in Christ are summoned to become active participants in the continuing process of redemption. Incorporated into the Body of Christ, they carry his work forward and thereby enter into closer union with him. Just as he was a sign of contradiction, so the individual Christian and the whole Church become signs of contradiction as they struggle against the forces of sin and destruction, amidst suffering and temptation.
The faithful are united with the Lord by their prayers 2 Cor ; 1 Tim , their works 1 Cor , and their sufferings, all of which have redemptive value when united with, and taken up into, the action of Christ himself. Since every meritorious human action is inspired and directed by divine grace, Augustine was able to declare that God wills that his gifts should become our merits.
The communion of the saints involves an exchange of sufferings, honors and joys, prayers and intercession, among all the members of the Body of Christ, including those who have passed before us into glory. In view of the mutual reconciliation of Christians in the Body of Christ, the suffering of each is a participation in the redemptive suffering of Christ.
The faithful do not flee from suffering but find in it an effective means of union with the Cross of Christ. It becomes for them an intercession through Christ and the Church. Redemption involves an acceptance of suffering with the Crucified. External trials are alleviated by the consolation of God's promises and by a foretaste of the eternal blessings. The different stages of redemption unfold within the Church in which the liberation, reconciliation, and communion already described are to be attained.
Life in the Holy Church, the Body of the Redeemer, permits Christians to achieve progressive healing of their nature, wounded by sin. In solidarity with fellow believers in the Church the Christian experiences progressive liberation from all the alienating slaveries and finds a true community that overcomes isolation. The life of faith fortifies Christians in the assurance that God has pardoned their sins and that they have found communion and peace with one another. The spiritual life of the individual is enriched by the exchange of faith and prayer in the communion of saints. In the celebration of the Eucharist the Christian finds the fullness of ecclesial life and communion with the Redeemer.
In this sacrament the faithful give thanks for God's gifts, unite themselves to the self-offering of Jesus, and participate in the salutary movement of his life and death. In the Eucharist the community is freed from the weight of sin and revivified at the very source of its existence. Eucharistic communion grants forgiveness of sins in the blood of Christ. As the medicine of immortality, this sacrament removes the effects of sin and imparts the grace of a higher life. The Eucharist as sacrifice and communion is an anticipation of the Kingdom of God and the happiness of eternal life.
This joy is expressed in the Eucharistic liturgy, which enables the Christian to live, at the level of the sacramental memorial, the mysteries of the Redeemer who liberates, pardons, and unites the members of the Church. Freed from sin, reconciled and living in communion with God and the Church, the faithful undergo a process of sanctification that begins with baptism into death from sin and into new life with the risen Christ. By hearing the word of God and participating in the sacraments and life of the Church, the Christian is gradually transformed according to the will of God and configured to the image of Christ to bring forth the fruits of the Spirit.
Sanctification is a sharing in the holiness of God who, through grace received in faith, progressively modifies human existence to shape it according to the pattern of Christ. This transfiguration can undergo heights and depths according to whether the individual obeys the promptings of the Spirit or submits again to the seductions of sin. Even after sin the Christian is raised up again by the grace of the sacraments and directed to go forward in sanctification. The whole Christian life is comprised and summed up in charity, unselfish love for God and neighbor.
Redemption has effects that extend beyond the inner lives and mutual relations of Christians in the Church. True friendship establishes a climate favorable to peace and justice, thus contributing to the redemption of society. It remains true that, as several Popes have warned, redemption cannot be reduced to liberation of the socio-political order. Paul can speak of all creation being in travail and groaning inwardly as it waits for a redemption that will set it free to share in the glorious liberty of God's children Rom The reception of redemption in the present life is fragmentary and incomplete.
For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. Although faithful Christians receive the forgiveness of sin and the infusion of grace, so that sin no longer reigns in them, their sinful tendencies are not fully overcome. The marks of sin, including suffering and death, will remain until the end of time. Those who conform their lives to Christ's in faith are assured that through their own death they will be given a definitive participation in the victory of the risen Savior.
Christians must constantly combat the presence of evil and suffering in so many forms in the world and in society, by the promotion of justice, peace and love, in an attempt to secure the happiness and well-being of all. Redemption will attain its completeness only when Christ reappears to establish his final kingdom. Then he will present to the Father the abiding fruits of his struggle. The blessed in heaven will share in the glory of the new creation. Mk ; ; Lk ; , ; ; ; Lake, Apostolic Fathers , Thomson [Oxford, ], Mueller, Deane, Basic Writings of St.
Anselm , Bartsch, ed. Freiburg, , Maryknoll, N. John Hick and Paul F. Knitter,, at CCC for further references. CCC Redemptor hominis , 8, 13, and passim. GS Council of Trent, sess. The Actual Situation 1. Relationships with the World Religions The essential elements of this liturgy were: a.
YHWH is the one who forgives. Continuing but transforming the Old Testament understanding of blood as the essential mark of life, sacrificial language and theology emerged in the early Church: i. It has a threefold dimension: i. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. May 29, Roger rated it it was amazing. Like most of the things I've been reading lately, this was a required text for a graduate course. This book is quite comprehensive. To give you an idea, I'll provide a brief sketch. One of Feinberg's primary goals in this book is to get the point across that 1 there are more than just one problem of evil and 2 how anyone deals with any one of those problems will depend on their particular theology.
The book is written from a Christian perspective. Feinberg is himself a moderate Calvinist, bu Like most of the things I've been reading lately, this was a required text for a graduate course. Feinberg is himself a moderate Calvinist, but he deals fairly with other theological systems Hick, Leibniz, Theonomy and draws competently and in detail from a broad range of theist and non-theist literature. Which, to that end, reading this book is so much more valuable if, either, a you already have a solid grasp on the relevant POE literature or b read the literature in conjunction with this book.
Unless, of course, you're already an expert in the area, to which I probably have nothing of value to add. This is not easy to read at times, mostly because of the detailed unpacking Feinberg does for many of the arguments. But that just makes it all the more valuable. Feb 05, Stephen Angliss rated it really liked it Shelves: christian-living. Remarkable book on the philosophic, theological, and personal problem of evil. Goes beyond the typical devotional book. It rolls up its sleeves and tackles the difficult questions non-Christians ask, and does so in an academically respectable manner.
Jan 15, Joel Mitchell rated it it was amazing Shelves: theology-philosophy. John Feinberg deals with many variations of the "How can we reconcile the existence of a good, all-powerful God and the existence of evil in the world? He points out that potential answers will vary depending on one's understanding of God, morality, free will, etc. For each separate problem of evil, Feinberg interacts in great detail with answers given by those who hold different theology than him and their detractors he interacts most with Alvin Pantinga's free will defense.
In most, but not all, instances he concludes that the theists' arguments are logically consistent given their theological system. He then offers and defends his own answers that fit into his theology a moderate Calvinism. Wading through some of the detailed logical arguments can be slow going, but it is worth the effort.
This book is a huge help in thinking through issues of theodicy. Mar 05, Jonathan Washburn rated it liked it Shelves: master-s-degree. John Feinberg systematically and carefully discusses many different solutions to the POE in a fair and intelligent manner. His writing is not particularly exciting, but it's generally concise and always cogent. I do think he misses the mark regarding the free will defense - in my opinion, the most powerful defense against the POE - but he never hides the fact that his determinism and compatibilism are the driving forces The Problem of Evil POE has long been a source of frustrations for Theists.
I do think he misses the mark regarding the free will defense - in my opinion, the most powerful defense against the POE - but he never hides the fact that his determinism and compatibilism are the driving forces behind his rejection of the FWD. This book is worth the read, not only because it offers a broad history of many views, but also because of the depth to which Feinberg takes the reader into those views.
For quite some time, I said nothing. I would not be disloyal to what I knew or to whom I loved by failing to assert that you did nothing to deserve autism, that it was neither punishment nor judgment, that God is neither arbitrary nor cruel. Note that Artson has a different type of problem to deal with than Jonas. Greek philosophies, he argues, transformed the very way Jews understand their Judaism.
Nevertheless, Artson claims to find a way to solve this problem, through integrating process theology and Jewish philosophy. For him, human beings, like all there is, including God, are not autonomous substances. Rather, everything that is is a dynamic event that is interconnected with other events. As modern physics teaches us, we are all interconnected with the entire cosmos, which is in a process of continuous and constant change. Crucially, this organizing force exists not outside the world, but rather within the world. According to Artson, this God is neither omnipotent nor omniscient but is limited in power and knowledge and not in full control over creation.
Like Jonas, Artson points out the logical fallacy inherent in the notion of omnipotence,  which is rejected by Artson for theological and moral reasons as well. Earthquakes and hurricanes, for example, are simply natural, necessary, and amoral events. The dynamism and change of this world mean not only growth and flourishing but also decay and death. We must stop here and ask, first, what kind of power does such a God possess? And second, where do we find or experience such a God in life? For Artson, God is the force in the cosmos generating creativity, novelty, innovation, complexity, and growth.
For example, reflecting on the death of Joel, one of his congregants who succumbed to cancer, Artson says:. I never expected God to guarantee an outcome or suspend reality.
go here I did expect to find God in the steady constant lure toward good choices and responsibility. And that expectation God did not disappoint. Consequently, such a God, in which both good and evil are included, is amoral.
In firm Jewish tradition, the Kaplanian perspective chooses to identify the divine with the prophetic and rabbinic ethics rather than with an all-inclusive embrace of the totality of all things—even at the expense of an account of the world that makes complete sense. What about the theologies of Jonas and Artson? How do they relate to this tension? An attempt to provide full answers to these questions, as well as an attempt to point out all similarities and differences between Jonas, Artson, and other process thinkers and theologians is beyond the scope of this paper.
Nevertheless, I would like to suggest several comments on them. To begin with, unlike other process theologians, Jonas does not see his myth as systematic theology. In fact, the opposite is true. All this, let it be said at the end, is but stammering. Even the words of the great seers and adorers—the prophets and the psalmists—which stand beyond comparison, were stammers before the eternal mystery. True, Jonas consciously rejects the traditional Jewish concepts of God as the Lord of history or as the God of justice who rewards and punishes. To the Christian … the world is anyway largely of the devil and always an object of suspicion—the human world in particular because of original sin.
The Lord of history, we suspect, will have to go by the board in this quest. I know that if I saw a baby about to be murdered and I could intervene and stop it, my refraining from action would violate my Torah obligations. Such an abdication does not stop being a monstrosity just because God did it. That is to say, Torah tells us explicitly that we share the same criteria. Furthermore, Jonas and Artson do not understand God to be the amoral all-empathetic God of Whitehead. It is not only that God is not amoral, but it is God who provides morality and value to an otherwise cold and indifferent cosmos.
Human beings possess the choice whether or not to listen, to follow, or to join God in this endeavor. All God can do is to persuade us, and our enemies too, to act with love, justice, and compassion. But this very expectation from God to act in favor of the sufferer is at odds with the basic premise of process theology—that is, that God acts in the world in a persuasive, rather than in a coercive, manner. Before or after the event, can we ever read the intent of mind of the One who lures? This is so because God, according to Schulweis, is not responsible for evil.
Godliness must be found within them, in human actions of encouragement, in compassion, in mutual aid, and in cooperation. As we have seen, scholars have argued that it is theodicy that lies at the heart of Jewish adaptations of process thought and theology. It asserts that only a moral God is worthy of worship. That is to say, only a moral God can deserve our love—and not merely our fear.
Second, the Jewish process theology manifested by Jonas and Artson understands theodicy as futile insofar as it is not primarily a call for action to eliminate suffering. For both Jonas and Artson, human beings are responsible for moral evil in this world, and any intellectual attempt to explain evil theologically not only misses the mark but testifies to irresponsibility on our part. In a critical essay of post-Holocaust theologies, Amos Funkenstein claimed that the focus on theology diverts us from acknowledging the real problem, namely, that human actions led to the catastrophe.
Instead, Funkenstein called us to turn our attention from God to humanity.