Monday, April 17, 2006

The Problem of Evil


Yesterday I started my doctoral program with "The Problem of Evil," a class I am sure I can use in the soon-to-be-started WIP. As a pastor's wife, the one thing I heard over and over during tragic times is "How could a loving God allow THIS terrible thing to happen?" I've seen people get angry at God and even turn away from Him because they couldn't understand that yes, bad things do happen to God's people. Jesus promised persecutions.

I've developed a theology that allows suffering, but I want to be able to present it, defend it, and explain it with grace and truth. So I opened the first textbook (there are three), and started wading through the material. Actually, I started yesterday at the hair salon, but between the denseness of the material and the drowsiness of the stylist's chair, I didn't get very far. I had to read each paragraph three times just to let the material sink through my brain fog.

Paragraphs like this: "There are, in fact, many so-called solutions which purport to remove the contradiction without abandoning any of its constituent propositions. These must be fallacious, as we can see, but it is not so easy to see in each case precisely where the fallacy lies. . . . in order to solve the problem one (or perhaps more) of its constituent propositions is given up, but in such a way that it appears to have been retained, and can therefore be asserted without qualification in other contexts. Sometimes there is a further complication: the supposed solution moves to and fro between, say, two of the constituent propositions, at one point asserting the first of these but covertly abandoning the second, at another point asserting the second, but covertly abandoning the first."

You still with me? LOL! I think the best way for me to learn this stuff is simply to rewrite each chapter in plain English!

In any case, every Sunday afternoon for the next two years will be filled with reading like this . . . and writing my down-to-earth summations. But I got three, count 'em, THREE great book ideas from my master's work, so I'm looking forward to learning more in my next program.

I'll be traveling again this week, speaking in Florida schools on Tuesday and Wednesday, then home to do some more reading for the WIP. Hope your week gets off to a great start!

Oh--BTW, about Catherine, the talking head (here and on my web page)--what's your verdict? Keep her or lose her?

~~Angie

6 comments:

lisa said...

Thumbs up for the doctorate and theodicy. Thumbs down for Catherine. I always make sure my sound is turned down before I log on. (Yikes! Sorry!) Love you Ange!

Betsy said...

I like Catherine.

Terry said...

I like Catherine's thoughts for the day!

Anonymous said...

Angie, you are like the queen of multi-tasking! I sure don't know how you manage a family, a writing and speaking career AND a doctorate degree study! I'm working on a master's and it's driving me crazy! I can sympathize with your textbook issues. I think they write these things that way on purpose just to weed out the wimps among us! LOL
As to Catherine--the whole talking head thing has been a little creepy from the beginning and she makes it slower to download your page on some computers--but on the other hand, I'm sort of getting used to her and her pithy quotes--though her enunciation leaves something to be desired.
I guess my final vote would be to lose her. You could still share those great quotes with us. How about a "quote of the day" box?

Ane Mulligan said...

I enjoy Catherine and her thought for the day. Glad i's you and not me studying those books! LOL But I can't wait to read the books you got the ideas for, though.

Amy A. said...

I love your blog! I check in everyday. To be honest, my speakers are never on unless my kids have used the computer first, so Catherine was a rather creepy surprise to me one day when I wasn't expecting it. Now, I try to turn on the speakers just so I can hear her, but she still gives me the willies. Sorry!