Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Letters from a sceptic (part 2)

Greg  Boyd places a great deal of his explanation for suffering on the concept of human freedom.  Now I agree that the actions of people are responsible for so much of the evil in our world.  Yet Boyd presents human freedom as so important to the relationship between God and people that God is unwilling to act in such a way that undermines it; I am not convinced. 

I fear that he restricts God's involvement in human affairs to much.  I am not convinced by his answer to the question, 'why didn't God simply place people in heaven and avoid all the suffering associated with this life?'  (His answer relates to the idea that people should be given the opportunity this life gives to choose God).  His emphasis on the role of demons in human suffering challenged me because I have not given sufficient thought to it.

All through reading this book I am thinking, 'would this be a good one to give to my friend Phillip?'  I am not sure.  I am enjoying it, it is written in a warm and engaging style, but are there too many places where I disagree with Boyd?

One final thought; Boyd states that 'the main business of this life, from a Christian perspective, is not this life but the next.'  When I was younger I thought that life would last for ever.  Now that I am approaching middle age it seems to be shorter.  While some people say that Christians spend too much time focusing on 'pie in the sky when you die' the truth is that the eternal perspective is central in the Christian message.  Of course God wants us to experience life in all its fullness now, but teaching about heaven and hell must not be neglected.

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