Lately I've been thinking quite a bit about theodicy, "the branch of theology that defends God's goodness and justice in the face of the existence of evil." It is interesting for me, because I've never really struggled with it before. And even now, struggle isn't exactly the right word. I'm thinking and trying to figure stuff out, but not in the same way I know others have struggled with it. While I think it is important to think about it, I also know that in the end I'm ok with the ambiguity. I'm still confident of both God's love and power.

So last night I was thinking about the relationship between the wars of the Old Testament and the wars of today. At first I want to say war today is just because of our own stupidness, but then what do I do with large parts of the Old Testament? I'm not sure I want to write it off as just the experience of the Israelites. I'm not comfortable saying that the Israelites experienced these wars as God's will because they won. That seems a little too human centric to me.

I wonder if it has something to do with the old covenant and the new covenant. I'm not sure it really makes sense, but I know war was prevalent throughout the Old Testament, but in the New Testament Jesus was more of a pacifist, turn the other cheek. The Israelites were God's chosen people in the Old Testament, while in the New Testament we are all heirs of the covenant through Jesus.

It still doesn't seem very loving, but maybe it had to do with survival. The Israelites would have been totally wiped out if they hadn't fought back. And they were mostly self propagating. While there were some converts, most Jews were born Jews. However it is different in the New Testament. All can be "born" into Christianity, so the self defense wasn't as necessary.

I'm not even sure if any of this makes sense, but they are the random thoughts floating around in my head right now.

No comments: