The question changes the focus

A question can create the hermeneutical approach that defines the study. Should a lesson begin with the question: “How can a good God exist in a world of such suffering” or should it begin, “How and why do so many people, despite such suffering in the world, maintain a faith.”

The first invites an investigation into the theodicy and philosophical arguments about evil and the idea of a good and loving God. The second invites you to step into the lives of people who, when confronted with suffering, walk with faith. See this video comment by Justin Welby, ArchBishop of Canterbury. His answer fails in a test of the Philosophy of Religion, at least as it is commonly understood, but it is an answer given in the ancient texts that are a source of faith for those in the Judeo-Christian traditions. It is emotional and uncomprehending. In a sense it is a submission to the moment of incomprehensible cruelty of life, and an act of despairing hope. Paradox is in the heart of good RE, I think, and we should explore paradoxes with children. Maybe the exploration of paradox and the human condition is more real than the construction of reasons.


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