Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I was afraid that no one would see these thoughts and questions, as they were buried on an old post. So, Serena, I thought I would post them here and see if we can get some takers....



"I'm reading the Brothers Karamazov right now and [the problem of evil] is certainly one of the chief subjects in the book. How could God allow grief and evil and suffering that is completely non-redemptive? But is there such a thing as non-redemptive suffering? Does 'goodness' necessarily mean that God should stop the above? If not, then how should we understand God? Who is this God person anyway? It makes my head hurt, all the possibilities. Ho hum. Life is very complicated. But then, if it wasn't, it would be very boring. Half the fun of living is learning."

-Serena

5 comments:

Eve and Snow White said...

Grace. Grace is the answer to the 'problem of pain and suffering.' It struck me while laying in bed last night. Like a bolt of lighting struck my brain, "duh, why did I not think of that before?" Grace. It's a concept that I cannot claim to understand even in the slightest. It's hurts like all heck and doesn't make any sense. It is perhaps the most mysterious character of God, at least to me it is. Grace is so. . . unfathomable. And yet. . . .

"Yet would you believe it, in the final result I don't accept this world of God's and, although I know it exists, I don't accept it at all. it's not that I don't accept God, you must understand, it's the world created by Him I don't and cannot accept. I believe like a child that suffering will be healed and made up for. . . that in the world's finale, at the moment of eternal harmony, something so precious will come to pass that it will suffice for all hearts, for the comfort of all resentments, for the atonement of all the crimes of humanity, of all the blood they've shed; that it will make it not only possible to forgive but to justify all that has happened with men. . ."

Grace. The grace of God. The unfathomable, rediculous, mysterious, dark, painful grace of God. This is what redeems all of man's evil and stupidity and cruelty. All of our hate and ugliness is, and will be, wonderfully, beautifully atoned for and somehow grace will justify all of it. The grace of God in Jesus Christ. I know all this, just like Ivan knew all this. But it is one thing to know something and another thing to believe. I, like Ivan, have to say," - but though all that may come to pass, I don't accept it."

In the face of such wonderful 'Dark Grace' I can only throw up my hands and say I do not understand and I cannot understand and I will probably never understand. I do not understand why a loving God could allow the brutility and cruelty of mankind to continue. But His ways are not like mine, neither is God's love like our love.

Perhaps I am wrong, if so I hope someone else has a better idea. :D In the meantime, someone should pop over and read my blog, it's the "Life Is Beautiful" one. Sorry for taking up so much space, but there are so many ideas jumping around in my brain I cannot contain them all. Good books do that to you I suppose.
-Serena

father foos said...

Trying to speak of the topic of grace is difficult, isn't it? This must be why there is art. This is why there is a Brothers Karamazov. It is so difficult to speak of so many things that have to do with the human heart and its responses to this life, that beautiful music and poetry and dance and drama have to take over for our rational side, and we understand at some deeper level--at the level of the sublime.

Miss Steinberg said...

Flannery O'Connor, whose work you're reading for summer reading, said that evil was "not so much a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be endured." Do you think Dostoevsky would agree with this? How is her artistic treatment of evil similar to Dostoevsky's? Of course I'm eager to tell my comparison, so hurry and read and tell me what you think!
Good post, Serena.

Miss Steinberg said...

And if Flannery had a blog, here it would be:

http://flanneryoconnor.blogspot.com/

Eve and Snow White said...

I think that it is all well and good to say that evil is a mystery to be endured, but somehow I don't think that really gets us anywhere. It is one thing to accept that you won't ever understand because you can't and another thing to give up trying. We cannot understand God, in a way He also is a mystery to be accepted. But that doesn't stop one from trying to understand God. I think that evil perhaps is the same way. There is no one 'solution', because it isn't a 'problem', not like the flu. It is a mystery that must be endured but can also be explored and understood deeper every day. Grace and evil... so different and yet so alike. As you learn about the nature of one you learn about the nature of evil. Evil perhaps is the antithesis of Grace? Brings to mind Perelandra. But more of that later.
-Serena