Today’s Readings: Job 4:1-21; Romans 8:1-11; Psalm 26
There are a lot of issues that cause modern Christians a great deal of confusion as they theologically wrestle with them. Some of these include issues like theodicy (why do bad things happen to good people?), the nature of Scripture (is its meaning primarily allegorical or literal), Christology (to what degree was Jesus human and Divine), and the like.
One of the more challenge issues has to do with the notion of a personal God – a God whom an individual can both relate to and feel care for by. The notion that God was a personal God was the prevailing notion for many centuries. In the days since the Enlightenment, however, this view has grown out of favor with many.
While many would find such a shift intellectually satisfying, I have watched many people - especially those in the midst of a personal crisis like the death of a loved one or a life-threatening illness - wrestle to resolve their intellectual commitment with their personal feelings.
I was reminded of this tension when I read today’s passage from Romans that said: “God went for the jugular when God sent God’s own Son. God didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In God’s Son, Jesus, God personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all” (Romans 8:3 from The Message).
So how do you balance the tension between the competing concepts of God that on one hand would describe God as remote and on the other hand describe God as personal? Do you gravitate toward one end of the theological spectrum, or do you land somewhere in between? Til next time…