Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Achilles Heel of Theology

OpinionJournal - Best of the Web Today: "The Detroit News goes out for a drink with a visitor from the east:

U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who was in town Sunday to help Gov. Jennifer Granholm campaign for her re-election bid, took time to take a jab at the Bush administration for its lack of leadership in the Israeli-Lebanon conflict.

'If I was president, this wouldn't have happened,' said Kerry during a noon stop at Honest John's bar and grill in Detroit's Cass Corridor.

Now, our first thought when we read this was: Yeah, if Kerry were president, he wouldn't spend his days moping around some bar in Detroit. But then we realized that's not what he meant. He meant that if he were president, Hezbollah wouldn't be waging war on Israel. Just like, as John Edwards said in 2004, 'we will stop juvenile diabetes, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other debilitating diseases. . . . People like Chris Reeve will get out of their wheelchairs and walk again.'

If Kedwards have the power to eliminate war and disease, why don't they use it? This is the age-old problem of evil:

Why does [John Kerry] allow evil? If He is all powerful, then He should be able to prevent it. If He is omnipotent and does nothing about evil, then we suspect that there are limits to His goodness, that there is something wrong with Him, that He is not all good. Perhaps He has an evil streak, or is truly malicious and we are merely His toys--expendable and counting for nothing.

Or perhaps, like Al Gore, he doesn't exist."

I heard for years (from Bono, TV and other megaphones of pop culture) that only televangelists made outrageous claims like this. I guess the impulse to claim "savior" in return for personal gain is strong for all sides of the culture. Huh.

Of course it is much worse to make wild claims in the name of God than making wild claims and acting like you are God. "Thou shall not carry the name of God in a worthless manner, for the Lord will not hold guiltless the one who carries his name in a worthless manner." Exodus 20:1


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