20.05 Defining Parameters (pps.15-16)

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We will devote considerable attention to a particular area of omnipotence—”omniscience in the here-and-now,” an area not overly cultivated in theological formulations.

We posit that religious man, approaching the question of suffering, must first ask: Is omnipotent/omniscient God always watching in the here-and-now? If the answer is essentially “yes, always,” as most theologians affirm, one is tempted either to sacrifice elements of omnipotence or to put an infinite value on man’s freedom in a universe reigned over by a very stoic Divine. If not, one can do mental gymnastics from now until doomsday, but will encounter insurmountable logical obstacles that make it impossible to come up with an inclusive, satisfying answer.

If the answer to our initial question is “not always,” then there is some room for maneuver. However, the “not always” must be theologically justified and grounded. The “not always” must be reconciled with traditional religious concepts of omnipotence, omniscience. Providence, omnipresence, reward and punishment, and the biblical God clearly watching and interfacing with man in the here-and-now. The whys and wherefores of the “not always” must naturally be fully explicated and buttressed.

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