Saturday, December 15, 2012

God at War: The Bible and Spiritual Conflict

     Greg Boyd (Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary) is an Evangelical pastor and a proponent of "Open Theism."  Hardly an advocate of catholicity, I know, yet I'm drawn again to his book, God at War: The Bible and Spiritual Conflict due to the most recent school massacre.
     I found his work when my youngest child, Della, was struck with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at age 14. Our interest in alternative medicine also began then, as the pediatric oncologists and surgeons nearly killed her twice. They were more of an immediate threat to her life than the cancer. Later, holistic alternative practitioners cured her in six weeks.
     Faced with this catastrophe, the first thing I needed to know was why a 'good' God could let such a thing happen to my daughter and to the many other children we met in pediatric oncology on the 7th floor at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento.  I can testify that the most infuriating and insufferable thing a parent can hear is that the pain and suffering of your child is part of the mysterious "good" purposes of God.  Anyone who believes such a thing has lost all credibility with me.
     Boyd's work explains that the Bible from beginning to end presupposes spiritual beings who exist "between" humanity and God and whose behavior significantly affects human existence, for better or worse.  We are in the middle of a cosmic battle taking place primarily behind the scenes of physical reality.  Transcendent angelic beings can and do choose to disrupt God's plans.  This situation sounds incredibly bizarre to modern people, but after seeing the horrors of children afflicted with cancer, or hearing now of the Newton massacre, I find that it's the only explanation that can let me believe in a loving God.  Not every evil visited upon innocents is God's will, but God, with the angels and saints, works to bring some good out of everything.
   God at War: The Bible and Spiritual Conflict

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