Nov 19, 2009
Theodicy and the New Testament
In the process of researching a topic I came upon this bit from Nils Dahl. I think that I understand the first reason, but I am not sure that I understand the second reason (I only see two reasons although the word “several” normally applies to more than two). Thoughts anyone?
“The New Testament writers pay remarkably little attention to the problem of theodicy or to other problems inherent in any theology that asserts that God is simultaneously omnipotent, just, and loving. There are several reasons for this: The general concept of God is more or less taken for granted; the writers do not deal with dogmatic theory but address some vital issue, if they do not present their ‘theology’ in narrative form; they expect that God will in the near future publicly vindicate both himself and his faithful servants. Yet the more profound reason why New Testament authors do not seem concerned about problems and inconsistencies in their ‘doctrine of God’ may be that all general and traditional attributes of God are predicated of ‘the Father of Jesus Christ,’ that is, the Son of Man, who was abandoned and subjected to violence, injustice, and hatred–and who is one with his Father.”
Nils A. Dahl, “The Neglected Factor of New Testament Theology,” in Jesus the Christ: The Historical Origins of Christological Doctrine, ed. Donald H. Juel (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1991), 160-1.
Posted by Charles Savelle at 7:02 AM
Labels: Biblical Theology, New Testament, Theodicy
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
Hey, Charles. Which phrase are you taking as reason #2. If you mean the sentence beginning from "Yet", I don't understand your conclusion.
I love the quote, by the way. Unless I'm the one who doesn't understand... (?)
Thanks for stopping by.
I am not exactly sure what Dahl means with the sentence beginning with "Yet the more profound reason . . ." How would your paraphrase or summarize this point?
Now that I read it again, more slowly, it does look like a convoluted series of phrases. On my first breeze through, I just thought the point was that since the message of the Gospel was that God didn't spare his own Son, the NT writers figured it would be obvious that the same God would allow us to suffer also.
"all general and traditional attributes of God are predicated of ‘the Father of Jesus Christ,’ that is, the Son of Man, who was abandoned and subjected to violence, injustice, and hatred–and who is one with his Father.”
That is pretty obtuse. If "general and traditional" applies to 1st century Jews, how could the statement be true? But what other 'tradition' did the NT writers have besides the Jewish one?
My money's on bad writing and a slip by the editor. The logic of the passage as a whole seems to "predicate" what I said above. ;-)
Post a Comment