Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Theology of Harry S. Truman

Today is Good Friday, the day when we observe the crucifixion. Everyone who has ever shown up to Sunday School knows that it has something to do with Jesus dying to attone for the sins of men, but really, it doesn't make a lot of metaphysical sense.

We believe that everyone is responsible for his own sins, how then can someone die for us? Poetry aside, justice isn't blind.

I have, in years of struggle, found one answer that I can grasp. I'm not saying I'm right, I'm just saying it makes sense. Reformed churches emphasis that "Jesus is Lord". I don't agree with everything they claim follows from that, but I agree with that. It's not Lord in some wishy-washy "Lord of your heart" sense, it's Lord. The Big Kahuna. Boss. King. The Really Big Lebowski. El Jefe. The Man. It's his show.

And, as has been said many times, "The Buck Stops Here". The crucifixion is God claiming responsability for and paying the price for our mistakes. This also helps me to understand natural catastrophes. If you can ask me how a just God can create such a vicious world, with earthquakes and hurricanes and wildfares, I can only respond that he has taken responsability. If you ask me how he can permit all manner of evil from man unto man, he has taken responsability.

Not that the evil acts are in alignment with the will of God, that he might be morally culpable, but that this is his world, under his authority. And as it is under his authority, he may take responability for its errors, and pay the price we cannot afford.


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