Sep 1, 2005

God and Katrina

My heart goes out to all those who are suffering in the wake of hurricane Katrina, especially my extended family members living in and near Hattiesburg, Mississippi. In this time of trouble, I am reminded of the verse in the prophet Isaiah:

"I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things." (Isa. 45:7)

We should never think that God is uninvolved when calamities like Katrina occur. God is the one who causes these things to happen for his own good reasons. And for all who are suffering at this time, God's Word calls us to contemplate what God may be trying to tell us at this time. Some people, God is testing. Some people, God is purifying. Some people, God is warning. Some people God is judging.

3 comments:

Convergent said...

Here we go again, catastrophes as noted continually by priests and preachers are part of God's master plan. Give me a break!!!

Edward Schillebeeckx, the famous contemporary theologian, has the correct thinking about God and catastrophes like Katrina and crucifixions.

"Christians must give up a perverse, unhealthy and inhuman doctrine of predestination without in so doing making God the great scapegoat of history" . "Nothing is determined in advance: in nature there is chance and determinism; in the world of human activity there is possibility of free choices. Therefore the historical future is not known even to God; otherwise we and our history would be merely a puppet show in which God holds the strings. For God, too, history is an adventure, an open history for and of men and women." Church: The Human Story of God, Crossroad, p.91,1993 (paperback).

In my opinion, this conclusion is one of the most important of the last 60 millennia as it rectifies the tragic history of humankind and voids all Old Testament and contemporary prophecies. Priests and preachers have a hard time voiding OT prophecies so they continue their constant harangue about "God's Plan".

God's gift of "free will/ choice" equates to the gift of future !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

janet97maegan said...
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Dr. Steve Cowan said...

convergent said. . .
Here we go again, catastrophes as noted continually by priests and preachers are part of God's master plan. Give me a break!!!
. . . .
God's gift of "free will/ choice" equates to the gift of future !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Convergent's (and Schillebeeckx's)view of God and the future sounds initially pious and plausible. However, it is actually a recipe for dispair. When it comes to understanding catastrophes like Katrina, there are really only two options. On the one hand, I can believe that God is perfectly in control, that nothing happens in this world and nothing happens to me except what God ordains in his good providence. In this case, though I may not always know why God has allowed what he has allowed, I still have a basis for hope--because I know that there is a good reason why I am experiencing the suffering I'm going through.

On the other hand I can believe, like convergent, that God is not in control, that God is as surprised and consternated by things like Katrina as I am. In which case, I might as well not get out of bed in the morning because I can't know what horrible and absurd disaster will happen to me today that niether I nor God wanted or foresaw.

Convergent's view leaves us with dispair, the traditional view of God leaves us with hope. I think I will take hope, thank you.