January 11, 2005

The patience of Job  

Sorry for the lack of new content around here. I'm actually leaving this evening for Italy to visit my sister -- I haven't been there in years, and I'm really looking forward to the break. We'll be in Rome for a few days, and then to Macerata, in the Marche region. It's possible I might post some photos if I can find the time (a la Heidi Bond), but no promises!

No time for extended discussion -- I've got to pack! -- but I did want to voice my dismay at William Safire's column about the tsunami and the Book of Job, with its simplistic dismissal of the question posed to faith by this tragedy. God's answer in Job is that humans can't comprehend God's reasons -- that they needn't try, and should rather accept their faith as part of God's (apparently sadistic) plan. But how is an incomprehensible, unknowable God compatible with the modern quest for knowledge and understanding? And anyway, what would justify faith in such a being?

But Safire also has this provocation:

Job's moral outrage caused God to appear, thereby demonstrating that the sufferer who believes is never alone.
I'm sure he didn't mean this in a sociological or psychological sense... but couldn't "God" be contained in our own outrage against God's utter incomprehensibility? From a sociological or psychological standpoint, this outrage might be more important than God anyway.

Balasubramani  {February 1, 2005}

welcome back.

Robert Sutherland  {February 3, 2005}

You might be interested in "Putting God on Trial: The Biblical Book of Job" (http://www.bookofjob.org)
The book was highly praised by leading Job scholars: Clines, Habel, Janzen and by the Review of Biblical Literature. The entire commentary is online.

Post a comment

Remember personal