Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Reading Ahead -- Pentecost 10

This week's parable is about the weeds and the wheat ... how an enemy comes and sows weeds among the wheat, the servants want to pull up the weeds, but the Master says no, leave them all alone till the harvest, for fear of pulling up the good wheat along with the weeds.

One of the hardest struggles people have is how a good God allows evil and suffering in the world. The parable helps with that in one sense ... that we do not know how rooting out evil might also root out the good you desire along with it. But why the evil in the first place?

This is a long-standing theological question. It is called theodicy -- the question of why God allows evil in the world. We all do our time in the fields of theodicy, trying to distinguish weeds from wheat, wondering why the weeds at all, why not bring in the divine Roundup and spray them all?

The parable says the question is not that easy. I find it very hard to let go of the question and let that be the answer. In fact, the most irritating person I learned about in college literature courses was Alexander Pope, who wrote "Know thyself, presume not God to scan. The proper study of mankind is man."

I never bought that argument. Do you?

+ Kit

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