>Here is a blog from my virb that I posted in Nov ’08. (edited)
Love & War
The love of God in a world at war.
Theologians use the term theodicy to describe a branch of theology that’s goal is to vindicate the character of God (i.e. His goodness and justice) in the face of the evil and suffering in the world. Phrased in a question, it sounds like this: “How can you say that there is an all loving, all powerful, all knowing God, when there is so much evil and suffering in the world?” I think this is a fair and valid question. The Bible affirms the love, omnipotence, and omniscience of God yet we do not have to look far to find gratuitous suffering and unthinkable evil in our world. Furthermore, it is needful to point out that we are seeing genuine evil (i.e. the holocaust, Stalin, Rwanda 1994 etc.) not just the perception of evil or suffering misinterpreted.
Life is teaching the people of the world that there is something missing between the ideas of God that Christians have declared and the reality of what they are experiencing on a daily basis. The world-wide statistics of disease, war, and poverty alone are enough to question the consistency between what we emphatically declare that we believe about God and the rapidly declining state of the humanity.
Our revelation and understanding of the nature of God and the nature of creation is critical in communicating to a hurting world. And it is even more important to play an active role in God’s redemptive plan for humanity based on an accurate understanding of His nature and creation. If we cannot frame the context of the world we love in, to begin with, we will (and have) misinterpreted our role in partnering with God to be the answer that this world so desperately needs.
Again, the people of world are being taught through life experience that God is not, who we say He is, we are a clear representation of Him, that goes way beyond our understanding of a theodicy. However, without understanding there isn’t a clear course of action and a strong basis for motivation.
Now, God has partnered with the church over these last two-thousand years to be an extension of Himself in the world. He has given us His Spirit and He has commanded us to go in power and demonstration of the kingdom. This is our calling. Church history tells of some who have taken up the call and ran their race with diligence. They saw a clear demonstration of the kingdom in power, like the early church. If we are going to see that kind of display (or greater!) of the kingdom of God through the church in these last days, we need some common threads of revelation in the church. I believe, one of these threads is the realization of the spiritual war that we are living in.
Lets be a voice to the world that, God didn’t design your pain and there is forgiveness and redemption with Him from our fallen state in Jesus Christ. The One who came to kick the devils teeth in.