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Posts tagged "Evil"

Fear and the Reality of Horror, Part 3

Fear and the Reality of Horror, Part 3

Find the other installments in “Fear and the Reality of Horror” here: Part 1 and Part 2. The perpetual complication that hinders the attempt to understand evil is that of isolating what exactly evil is in its being. In many ways it seems as plain as the meaning of time: immediately intuited as a resource […]

Another Week Ends: Working Class Christianity, Farewell Toast, High-Functioning Anxiety, Cheeto Moms, and Evil Thoughts

Another Week Ends: Working Class Christianity, Farewell Toast, High-Functioning Anxiety, Cheeto Moms, and Evil Thoughts

Click here to listen to this week’s episode of The Mockingcast, which features an interview with theologian Miroslav Volf. 1. J.D. Vance wrote an op-ed in the New York Times entitled The Bad Faith of the White Working Class. In it, Vance describes his own upbringing in not only a working class Southern Ohio town, […]

The Danger of Rolling Suffering Into Evil (According to Gerhard Forde)

A helpful and ever-timely distinction from pages 84-85 of On Being a Theologian of the Cross:

luther-preaching

“Contemporary theologians talk much about the problem of evil. Some think it is the most difficult problem for theology today and one of the most persistent causes of unbelief. … Since suffering is itself classified as evil, it is of course simply lumped together with disaster, crime, misfortune of every sort, abuse, holocaust, and all manner of notorious wrong as one and the same problem. So it is almost universally the case that theologians and philosophers include suffering without further qualification among those things they call evil. … Evil does cause suffering — but not always. Indeed, the usual complaint is that the evil don’t seem to suffer. However, the causes of suffering may not always be evil — perhaps not even most of the time. Love can cause suffering. Beauty can be the occasion for suffering. Children with their demands and impetuous cries can cause suffering. Just the toil and trouble of daily life can cause suffering, and so on. Yet these are surely not to be termed evil. The problem of suffering should not just be rolled up with the problem of evil…”

“Identification of suffering with evil has the further result that God must be absolved from all blame. Thus, the theologian of glory adds to the perfidy of false speech by trying to assure us that God, of course, has nothing to do with suffering and evil. God is “good,” the rewarder of all our “good” works, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow of merit. …Meanwhile, suffering goes on unabated. If God has nothing to do with suffering, what is he involved with? Whoever does not know God hidden in suffering, Luther asserts in his proof, does not know God at all.”

And speaking of God hidden in suffering, today’s bonus track would have to be JAZ’s new mix, “For the Heads and the Heart”, which was selected as Dream Chimney’s current mix of the week:

The Difference Between Jesus and the Devil

The Difference Between Jesus and the Devil

This comes from Robert Farrar Capon’s take on evil, found in The Third Peacock. He is talking about Christ’s Temptation in the Wilderness wherein, according to Capon, Satan’s requests aren’t all that silly: In any case, the clincher for the argument that the Devil’s ideas weren’t all bad comes from Jesus himself. At other times, […]

The Unexpected Benefits of Growing Up With a Nazi Name

The Unexpected Benefits of Growing Up With a Nazi Name

A fascinating review of the BBC documentary series Hitler’s Children appeared in The Atlantic recently. The film catches up with various descendents of major Nazi figures, such as Herman Goering and Heinrich Himmler, and explores how they’ve dealt with their family names and legacies. These are people for whom “the inheritance of sin” is not […]

Batman: The Agony of Loss and the Madness of Desire, Part 5a

Batman: The Agony of Loss and the Madness of Desire, Part 5a

We’re back! And just in time to lead up to a certain major blockbuster, we bring you the next installment of Jeremiah Lawson’s epic treatment of the moral, philosophical and theological underpinnings of the Batman mythos, in particular as they play out in what many consider to be the most authentic and inspired incarnation of […]

Nine Year Old Psychopaths and the Limits of Compassion

Nine Year Old Psychopaths and the Limits of Compassion

If you haven’t read Jennifer Kahn’s lengthy piece about child psychopathy in The NY Times Magazine, “Can You Call a 9-Year-Old a Psychopath?,” it’s eye-opening to say the least. Perhaps not recommended for parents of small children…  Ms. Kahn profiles a few of what are officially classified as the “Callous Unemotional” or “C.U.’s”, children whose […]

That Somehow Indispensable Word: Neuroskepticism and the Replacement of... Evil

That Somehow Indispensable Word: Neuroskepticism and the Replacement of… Evil

Slate put up a phenomenal piece of ‘neuroskepticism’ by Ron Rosenbaum last week, posing the timely question “Is Evil Over?” We’ve been following the recent explosion of pop-neuroscience pretty closely and enthusiastically, mainly for the sympathetic conclusions it is coming to in regards to willpower and agency. However, Rosenbaum wisely cautions us not to swallow […]