Analysis Of The Doctrine Of Providence

Good Essays
Throughout history, many people have questioned God’s providence in our world. Theodicy addresses the question of God’s sovereignty in the face of the evils of this world. To better understand theodicy, one must be familiar with the Doctrine of Providence. The question of the character of God’s actions during the time “between the times” is examined by the Doctrine of Providence. Up for debate is the question of whether or not God is guiding history toward a certain end and how God is to be understood in relation to suffering and evil. The providentialist character of God is most often challenged by the harsh reality of evil. There are many theodicy arguments that attempt to answer this question of evil. In this paper, I will argue liberation…show more content…
The first of these emphasizes the “incomprehensibility of God” (Migliore 127). This view proposes that amidst inexplicable suffering, we are to be patient and trust God. There is considerable biblical support for this view, particularly in the book of Job. ““The Story of Job, Calvin writes, “in its description of God’s wisdom, power, and purity, always expresses a powerful argument that overwhelms men with the realization of their own stupidity, impotence, and corruption”” (qtd. Migliore 127). A problem with this view is that it may discourage any questioning of God and encourage the acceptance of all…show more content…
(Migliore 128) This view paints God as the punisher to both the wicked and the righteous, and that suffering is the result of one’s own actions. This argument sees the relationship between sin and suffering far too simply. Although, there is some Biblical support for this view in the old testament, it does not mirror the character of God revealed in Jesus Christ.
The third argument proclaims suffering as something that turns us to God and helps to cultivate our hope for eternal life. (Migliore 128) This view teaches that Christians are supposed to encounter suffering as an opportunity to glorify God. Migliore says of this view, “We are to learn to have contempt for the present life and to meditate on the future life” (128).
As for the recent theodicies, there are four popular arguments. The first of these being protest theodicy. Protest theodicy, from theologian John Roth, is influenced by the Holocaust. This theodicy is heavily involved in questioning the ultimate goodness of God in the face of horrendous tragedy and evil in this world. According to Migliore, “This is a theodicy with no easy answers but with the honesty to raise what earlier believers would have considered blasphemous questions and with a determination to be faithful to God even when it appears that God has ceased to be faithful”
Get Access