Book Review: God and Human Suffering: An Exercise in the Theology of the Cross

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Author: Douglas John Hall
Publication details: Minneapolis, Augsburg: 1986.

Summary: Hall is refreshingly reticent to provide “answers” to the problem of human suffering. “The trouble with most answers – including the answers that popular Christianity is ready to offer at bargain prices,” he says, “is that they are usually provided by persons who have not lived long enough with the questions.” Hall rejects the classical framing of the theodicy question as too preoccupied with a speculative understanding of God’s omnipotence. In any case, our task is not to try and justify God but to proclaim his profound love for the world and his suffering engagement with it: “There is not so much an ‘answer,’” Hall says, “ but…an Answerer!” Read More

The Upside of Seeing Upside-Down

423px-Cirque_Napoléon_-_l'homme_renverséBy Matthew James Gray, Lecturer in Theology and Church History

I’m thinking of starting to stand on my head.I recently read GK Chesterton’s biography of Francis of Assisi, and in it Chesterton likened Francis to the medieval jester, “the court fool of the King of Paradise”. More than that, he suggested that Francis’ entire career was like a comic acrobat, standing upside-down. Chesterton seemed to see many upsides to being upside-down, especially for those of us who are Christians in this topsy-turvy world.

Primarily, it revealed the world’s fragility. Thinking of the impregnable walls surrounding Assisi, Chesterton wrote: Whereas to the normal eye the large masonry of its walls would make it seem safer and more permanent, the moment it was turned over the very same weight would make it seem more helpless and more in peril. He would be thankful to God for not dropping the whole cosmos like a vast crystal to be shattered into falling stars. Read More

From Palms to the Cross

A great websImageite which a number of our lecturers here at Tabor Adelaide subscribe to and use is called The Work of the People

They describe themselves as “an independent ecumenical platform that produces and publishes multimedia to stir imagination, spark discussion and move people toward discovery and transformation.” And they get a lot of great Christian thinkers contributing (including Brueggemann, Volf, and Wright).

I thought the clip at this link, From Palms to the Cross , was particularly relevant given our location in the Christian year.

 

Dr Aaron Chalmers, Head Of School, Ministry, Theology and Culture

The Invisibility Cloak

ImageEach year, Dr Phil Daughtry, the Head of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, writes a series of Lenten reflections which he shares with the staff of Tabor Adelaide. Phil has a PhD focussing on Karl Rahner and his spirituality of silence, and he has a particular research interest in youth spirituality. If you are interested in hearing some more of his reflections, let us know and we will post them on the blog.

Yesterday I had a conversation with a colleague about the invisible people. The context was a discussion about specialist youth programs in schools for students who are neither ‘gifted’ nor ‘challenged’, neither high-achieving nor disengaged. One of these young people, in year nine, had disclosed to my colleague a perception: ‘no-one notices when I’m not here’. Read More