Agonizomai: And a Little Child Shall Lead Them...

Friday, October 02, 2009

And a Little Child Shall Lead Them...

Albert Einstein was a Jew. He was a Jew who knew both the Old and the New Testaments. At various times he seems to have been an atheist, a theist, a deist, an agnostic, a panentheist and, perhaps, even a Perls-Jungian Gestaltist. Whatever his view of creation, it does not seem that he ever embraced Jesus Christ as His Savior - so he was never a Christian, as far as we know. But that doesn't mean that he did not have insight into the heavier questions of life, including the philosophical and theological ones.

In the following representation of what is purported to be a true incident from Einstein's schooldays we see the truth about the nature of God being attacked by the teacher (who was undoubtedly an acolyte of the spirit of his age) and being defended by a small boy who understands the nature of purity and the impossibility of a good God being the proximate cause of evil, even though we live in a world where evil plainly does exist.

I won't go on to argue the case in more detail. I think this little scene necessarily falls short and leaves stuff out. But the nature of God as to His goodness was known to the Jews back in the first century and before, just as it was to this Jewish boy in the late 19th century. It was because of their heritage - because they had the writings and were linked to the history of which the writings spoke - and the Jews knew that God was good and merciful and faithful - and that God hated the evil which men did, even though He permitted it.

The first century problem in the Jewish sectors of the church wasn't about the goodness of God - ALL agreed on that, Jew and Gentile alike. The problem was to do with the "goodness" of man. The problem wasn't even about the love of God in providing a sacrifice - it was about the SUFFICIENCY of that love in the form of it's sacrifice, once and for all. The upcoming Hebrews study comes to grips with this problem.


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