Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The Problem of Evil and Jacob Böhme


"Woe to you who teach law, who preach rules"

Conventional Christianity does not have an acceptable answer to the problem of evil. 

Typical Christian doctrine attributes evil to the fall of man and the devil, a consequence of Satan's hubris and a deceived humanity's free will. This current travail is therefore a consequence of a fallen creation. But, we are working towards the dawning of the New Age where Christ returns and creation is perfected with no possibility of sin and evil.

So, if that state of nature is possible, a perfect creation with no possibility of sin and evil, why did the all powerful creator God not start with that? Why go through all this awful horror and pain to get there? Conventional Christian doctrine offers no real answer to this beyond the "ineffable" (or inexcusable as some may say...) will of God. 

When Christians pretend to have all the answers people tend to see right through them.

Recently a dear friend told me about a German Christian mystic who used alchemical terms for his writing, and was therefore (and still is) seen as a terrible heretic. This, naturally, intrigued me a great deal.
 
The mystic in question is Jakob Böhme:
Jakob Böhme was a German Christian mystic and theologian. He was considered an original thinker by many of his contemporaries within the Lutheran tradition, and his first book, commonly known as Aurora, caused a great scandal.
So my thinking on sin, evil and the cross has been around this "current travail" as being the birth pangs of humanity and indeed the whole universe. Something necessary. Some of my flirting with ideas like this can be seen in "Goodness out of Chaos".

So this passage on the theology of Böhme particularly resonates with me:
Böhme saw the incarnation of Christ not as a sacrificial offering to cancel out human sins, but as an offering of love for humanity, showing God's willingness to bear the suffering that had been a necessary aspect of creation. He also believed the incarnation of Christ conveyed the message that a new state of harmony is possible.
Is it heresy? My confession is that I really don't care. Heresy is not something I care about. It's a made up concept to scare people into doing what they're told. Is that passage above real, is it true, is it helpful? Those are the questions I care about. 

I don't know the answers but it's definitely interesting to think about.
 
  
"Dogma is not an attitude capable of finding truth. It chooses to be blind and is therefore always wrong."

No comments:

Post a Comment