80.10 APPROACH TO CORE THEODICY RESOLUTION (pps.53-54)
hard cover page 53
80.10 APPROACH TO CORE THEODICY RESOLUTION
Most theodicies, in formulating their particular schemas, first focus on the maximum limits of God’s capabilities in various areas. They begin by asking: What are the limits of God’s power, knowledge, mercifulness, etc.? However, this may not be the optimal line of approach.
The challenge of theodicy is closely linked with the question of the purpose of man.192 Consequently, approaching our problem by analyzing the extent of Divine power, without first focusing on the “purpose of man” question, may be approaching the question from the wrong direction. It may be that God limits Himself in responding to man’s needs or to God’s ultimate purpose(s). These factors will prove pivotal in pointing a way to a solution.
The God of Scripture is multifaceted and more subtle and complex than the God of the philosophers. God is singular, but not necessarily the monolithic super-unity posited by many distinguished Jewish and non-Jewish philosophers.
In their sincere attempt to understand the attributes of God in the abstract, as opposed to understanding His interaction with man, many highly rationalistic philosophers, in the end, only shift the problem of theodicy onto a different plane. The result often makes God’s actions less comprehensible or defendable. Articulating the incomprehensible can be a dangerous business.
If, however, we address the following questions, we may discern a more optimal line of approach:
What is the purpose of man?
Under the dominion of which of God’s possible manifestations-
can man come closest to God?
can man come closest to reaching his own potential?
A God who created the world and the universe for man may conceivably limit His own powers for the ultimate benefit of
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192 See comments of Berkovits noted in Schlesinger, “Logical Analysis.”
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