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AuthorLee, Jung Young. author
TitleGod Suffers for Us [electronic resource] : A Systematic Inquiry into a Concept of Divine Passibility / by Jung Young Lee
ImprintDordrecht : Springer Netherlands, 1974
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Descript 128 p. online resource


Dietrich Bonhoeffer, writing in his cell in a Nazi prison, expressed a most remarkable idea. "Men go to God in His need. " This is the insight, he observed, which distinguishes the Christian faith from all other religions. It is a universal belief that God, or the gods, should come to help man in his mortal, human need. But this is not the God and Father of Jesus Christ. Even as Jesus in Gethsemane chided his disciples for their sloth in not keeping watch with him during his agony, so God the Father must look to His creatures for their faith and sympathy. Therein lies the basis for the Christian answer to manยญ kind's perennial complaint: Why do men suffer? Not all theologians, believing Christians, or believers in a personal God can share this idea. Traditionally the Eastern Orthodox thinkers have adhered to the rule of apophatic theology: that is, there are boundaries of knowledge about God which the human mind, even when enlightened by revelation, cannot cross. So who can say that God the Eternal One is susceptible to what we call suffering? It is better to hold one's silence on so deep a mystery. Still others are loathe to acknowledge God's passibility for varying reasons. God is ultimate and perfect; therefore he cannot know suffering or other emotions. God is impersonal; therefore it is meaningless to ascribe personal, anthroยญ popathic feelings to Him. Many angels may fear to tread on the ground of this most difficult question


I. A Criterion for the Ascription of Divine Passibility: The Empathy of God -- The Foundation of a Criterion: Agape as the Content of the Christian Faith -- A Definition of the Criterion: The Empathy of God as a Function of Agape -- An Application of the Criterion: The Meaning of Divine Passibility -- II. The Negation of Divine Passibility: An Examination of a Traditional Doctrine of Divine Impassibility -- The Basic Assumptions for the Assertion of Divine Impassibility -- Some of the Serious Objections Against the Ascription of Divine Passibility -- An Examination of the Validity of These Assumptions and Objections in the Light of the Empathy of God -- III. The Affirmation of Divine Passibility: Its Compatibility with the Major Doctrines of the Christian Faith -- Creation and Divine Passibility -- Incarnation and Divine Passibility -- Atonement and Divine Passibility -- The Holy Spirit and Divine Passibility -- The Trinity and Divine Passibility -- IV. An Application of Divine Passibility: The Overcoming of our Suffering in the Fellowship of Divine and Human Suffering -- The Fellowship of Divine and Human Suffering -- Overcoming Human Suffering in Divine Suffering -- Appendix: A Theological Method: An Analogy of Faith -- Biblical Justification for an Analogy of Faith -- The Application and Development of the Analogy of Faith in the Theology of Karl Barth -- The Significance of the Analogy of Faith for the Problem of Divine Passibility

Religion Religious Studies Religious Studies general


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