I have been taking a break from big thoughts this month. Just enjoying life, reading some entertaining novels, wondering how I am going to lose the weight I gained from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
I am amazed in my reading how often I run into thought traced back to Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo, fourth century, as the source of a big theological idea. This dude was prolific in developing doctrine and his thought, right or wrong, has influenced all western thinking.
Example: Reading a review and some of the thinking of pastor/theologian Greg Boyd on "spiritual warfare" four views. I realized that I had been taught the following thought all my life. "God foreordains whatsoever comes to pass". This is like the foundation of all Calvinist thought about the knowledge and power of God. It causes Pastors to come up with all kinds of reasons why this or that thing was allowed by God.
Unfortunately this thought causes a great deal of pain when we question why God allowed the massacre of children in New Town, or any sort of question about theodicy, the reality of evil in the world.
Boyd apparently makes the simple point that we must realize that God is fighting evil, and there are evil things going on that are sourced by this ongoing struggle in creation. Evil happens because there is still a titanic struggle going on in the restitution of all things. God weeps with us when these events occur.
I have not started studying this issue, but the open theology debate is very interesting. Like the picture from days gone by, questions keep spinning around me and I keep looking up for answers.