The Third Peacock and Theodicy

In The Third Peacock, Robert Farrar Capon presents the reader with an interesting exploration of the problem of evil in the face of a good God (theodicy).

Capon writes with an easy prose that sounds more like the conversation one would have while sitting and enjoying a beer together (or whatever your drink of choice might be). He dispenses with theological jargon, offering instead a plain spoken, no holds barred assessment of the rough and tumble world we live in. How can this world possibly align with a good God? The reader may not agree with everything that is written, I didn’t, but this book does offer some insights for anyone that asks questions – either silently or aloud – about why there is so much suffering, both moral and natural, in creation.

I should warn you that this post is part book review and part blogging through a book. It summarizes many of the main points made in the book and thus contains spoilers.

The book opens with the sentence – “Let me tell you why God made the world.” By the middle of the next page we find the Trinity drinking wine, telling jokes and throwing olives at each other. With this analogy, which even Capon admits is crass, the author seeks to present the reader with the theology of delight. This attempts to overturn ideas of God as a cosmic kill-joy or stern judge. Perhaps it could serve as a rebuttal to the servant in Matthew 25 who sees God as overly harsh. The theology of delight offers up creation as one big party in which God took, and continues to take, great delight in what He has created.

Continue reading

Tis the Season to ponder the Nativity (poem)

Merry Christmas to all. I was reading through the Christmas accounts in Matthew and Luke in the Word for Word Graphic Novel: The Christmas Nativity. I decided to capture the story in anapestic tetrameter.

‘Tis the season of census, when all thro’ the land
every person was trav’ling, by rulers’ command.
To their ancestral home they’ll go to comply.
It’s this rule Joseph and Mary abide by.

The unwed Mary was with child you know
and before this trip she was starting to show.
An angel had told her she was the one favored.
She accepted this, her faith never wavered.
Joseph was sad till an angel did visit
telling him, Mary did nothing illicit.

Continue reading

Twas a Tale of Two Falls

A theological poem using the rhyme scheme known as anapaestic tetrameter found in Twas the Night Before Christmas.

Illustration for John Milton’s “Paradise Lost“ by Gustave Doré

Twas before the beginning when God formed a plan
to create heavens and earth and even a man.
Before earth’s big debut, there was a prior start.
The angels were created and given a part.
Praising the Ancient One in His glorious light. 
The winged creatures serve Him all day, there’s never night.

But wait. How can we know the order of these things?
Can angels rejoice before they’re made by the King?
For eternity has no before or after.
It’s one endless now without former or latter.
Now, if time is the space that’s between two events, 
then to order them ask: when did the clock commence?
Before earth and sky are spoken into being,
what else can give things chronological meaning?

Let’s go back to the start before our inception 
when angels were pure and were without deception.

Continue reading