In his book Is God to Blame? Beyond Pat Answers to the Problem of Suffering, theologian Gregory A. Boyd challenges the “Blueprint Worldview” that says all things — bad included — happen according to God’s plan, or divine blueprint, and we should accept it all believing God is in total control. He thinks this view of life is pernicious and contrary to the revelation of God’s unfathomable love in Jesus Christ. In contrast Boyd argues for the “Warfare Worldview” in which the creation is a war zone where bad things happen contrary to God’s will, and there are casualties of war, but our loving Creator is actively engaged in the battle, working to bring good out of evil, sustaining believers in the fight, and ensuring the final triumph of the kingdom of God. I think Boyd works too hard to reconcile every verse in the Bible to his warfare worldview; I am okay with there being blueprint believers among the biblical writers. But having said this, I also think he makes a strong case for the warfare perspective as being in accord with the whole of scripture and with the portrait of Jesus Christ in the Gospels. He does well in exploring the factors that limit what an almighty Creator can do in creation’s context, as well as in locating the mystery of evil not in the Creator’s will but in the infinite complexity of creation itself. We can no more understand why one baby is born healthy and another dies at birth than we can understand why any event happens in one way and not another. There are an infinite number of factors at work, visible and invisible, in the deep complexity of God’s creation. We can trust, though, that the God shown on Jesus Christ loves us passionately, grieves the evil and suffering that afflict us, and is present with us to guide, support, and bring us to eternal life. This is truly an encouraging, enlightening, and provocative book.
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