1010.00 UNIFIED FORMULATION: GENERAL BUTTRESS
hard cover page 153
We have presented a theodicy which preserves concepts of Divine omnipotence and benevolence in the context of a unified theology/philosophy. We have presented a unified metaphysics within the constraints of Jewish doctrine, consistent with its historical development and consistent with secular scientific thought.
The themes we have focused on are subtle, but are implicit in the biblical text. It is appropriate that our generation, which first saw its fellow Jews stare with horror into the dark abyss, and now witnesses the denizens of the entire planet standing on the precipice, should bring these themes to the surface.
When Jonah protests God’s reversal of Jonah’s prophecy that Nineveh would be destroyed, God replies:
Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for which thou hast not labored, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night: and should not I have pity on Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand, and also much cattle?
-Jonah 4:10 f.
What are we to say in the face of far greater evil and destruction? In order to reconcile the evil of the past, our formulation reverses direction and looks to the ultimate purposes of man.576
… theodicy must be eschatological in its ultimate bearings. That is to say, instead of looking to the past for its clue to the mystery of evil, it looks to the future, and indeed to that ultimate future to which only faith can look.
Our formulation views the cosmos as encompassing the interaction of many dualities. These contain potential for evil, which
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576 See Schulweis, Evil and the Morality of God, p. 61. “In Wieman’s evolutionary theodicy, the eye is fixed upon the future, whose promise of growth rescues the apparent evils of the past.”
577 Hick, “Faith and Knowledge,” p. 521.
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