There's been a whole slew of articles addressing the question of where God was in the tsunami disaster. Many of them present a view of the divine which makes one wonder why such an entity could be worshipped. Philip Jensen, Anglican dean of Sydney thinks that the disaster may be reflective of God's judgment. Albert Mohler, of the Southern Baptists agrees, arguing that Christians are required to see God's hand in this event which has killed 140,000 people while affirming God's goodness.
To have such a view, supposes that human life is worth little, and can be dispensed with if some divine 'good' can be had. In one piece, this translates into God protecting religious shrines while doing nothing to protect human life. The result is we cut God off from human good. It recently has occurred to me, that this might be a line which separates religious adherents, especially in protestantism today. Perhaps liberal protestantism in seeking to humanize religious faith ends up agreeing with Plato who says:
"God, if he be good, is not the author of all things, as the many assert, but he is the cause of a few things only, and not of most things that occur to men; for few are the goods of human life, and many are the evils, and the good only is to be attributed to him; of the evil other causes have to be discovered."
This is not, as Albert Mohler charges, deism or an absent deity. It's rather a God which is found in those things which make for good, for life, and for deepening community. One other item of note: The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America has just released it's long anticipated sexuality report. The recommendations? Maintain the status quo by keeping the ban on gay and lesbian ordination and same sex unions in the church. The denomination has decided that gay and lesbians can be sacraficed for the goal of avoiding conflict. Not a high moment for the church.