Lord’s Day, November 18, 2012

    1. Tacit Theodicy.
    2. Collectivism and Individualism.


Ashlyn Blocker feels no pain. Her story might evoke musings about theodicy, though The Hazards of Growing Up Painlessly isn’t about why God allows evils (like pain) in the world.

This, however, is the beginnings of an Orthodox theodicy of of sorts:

Man is mud whom God has commanded to become god.
– St. Gregory of Nyssa


How do you create a God? How do you create a being that has true freedom, true love and thus, true existence?

This is obviously not an entirely rational question – but it is a serious question for Christian thought. For, as St. Gregory of Nyssa notes, the creation of man is more than the story in early Genesis. The creation stories of Genesis are only a prelude to the greater story fulfilled in Christ. In Christ, the mud has become light.

Freedom and love are necessary to true existence – at least true existence as made known in Jesus Christ. For things do not have existence in themselves – everything that exists does so because it is brought into being and sustained in its being by the good God who created it.  But to human beings a greater existence is gifted. In the Genesis account that gift is to exist “in the image and likeness of God.”

To exist as God exists – requires freedom ….

I supposed almost every theodicy, with the possible exception of ones by fatalists or Über-Calvinists, leans heavily on human freedom. But what’s remarkable about Fr. Stephen’s blog entry is that he gives a precis of what the teleology of human freedom is – From Mud to Light: The Saving Work of Christ.


Wesley J. Smith, whose consuming passion is advocating for Human Exceptionalism, steps back from that to look at the election and contrasts his religious community to his political individualism. The comment boxes are interesting, too. It’s hard even to agree on terminology.

* * * * *

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.