(NY Times Op-Ed) Ross Douthat—The Loss of the Innocents

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s famous novel, Ivan is the Karamazov brother who collects stories of children tortured, beaten, killed — babes caught on the points of soldiers’ bayonets, a serf boy run down by his master’s hounds, a child of 5 locked in a freezing outhouse by her parents....

It’s telling that Dostoyevsky, himself a Christian, offered no direct theological rebuttal to his character’s speech. The counterpoint to Ivan in “The Brothers Karamazov” is supplied by other characters’ examples of Christian love transcending suffering, not by a rhetorical justification of God’s goodness.

In this, the Russian novelist was being true to the spirit of the New Testament, which likewise seeks to establish God’s goodness through a narrative rather than an argument, a revelation of his solidarity with human struggle rather than a philosophical proof of his benevolence....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksChildrenEducation* TheologyTheodicy

Posted December 18, 2012 at 7:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Teatime2 wrote:

Well said. Earlier today, CNN had an Episcopal bishop on who expressed similar thoughts. That suffering and sin are an unfortunate part of the human experience but what Christians can do is bring the comfort of faith and God’s care into the equation because God DOES understand and care. And our faith clings to the Cross, the source of our redemption and hope.

It was a Georgia bishop, +Robert Wright? I thought he did a really good job in bringing complex issues to a secular audience in a very, very tiny amount of time. Not easy AT ALL. He did well.

December 18, 5:41 pm | [comment link]
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