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by Arthur C. McGill

eBook Suffering: A Test of Theological Method download ISBN: 1597529451
Author: Arthur C. McGill
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Pub; Reissue edition (January 1, 2007)
Language: English
Pages: 130
ePub: 1383 kb
Fb2: 1552 kb
Rating: 4.5
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Category: Christian Books
Subcategory: Theology

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How can an omnipotent God allow suffering and violence to pervade the world? Arthur McGill approaches this disturbing question by examining the concept of power that is violent, destructive, and dominative, and the power of God that is creative, totally open, self-giving, and expansive.

Arthur McGill approaches this disturbing question by examining the concept of power that is violent, destructive, and dominative, and the power of God that is creative, totally open, self-giving, and expansive. Through consideration of power, McGill provides reflections on the nature of God's inner life in the Trinity and concludes that "service" characterizes God's relationship to the world, not "domination. How can an omnipotent God allow suffering and violence to pervade the world?

McGill, Arthur C. Suffering: A Test of Theological Method Geneva: Philadelphia

McGill, Arthur C. Suffering: A Test of Theological Method Geneva: Philadelphia. Reprinted Westminster Press, 1982. McGill, Arthur C. Critique II Theology Today 25 (1968) 317-19. Is Private Charity Coming to an End? Vanguard: A Bulletin for Church Officers 6 (1969) 3-6, 16. The Ambiguous Position of Christian Theology, Paul Ramsey and John F Wilson Ed. The Study of Religion in Colleges and Universities. Princeton UP: Princeton. The Crisis of Faith Thesis Theological Cassettes: Pittsburgh.

McGill, Arthur C. Bibliographic Citation. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1982, c1968. Related Items in Google Scholar.

Suffering: A Test of Theological Method.

Introducing Theological Method: A Survey of Contemporary Theologians and Approaches.

Suffering softens the metal of the soul so that it can be bent and formed into a new and improved being. There is no such theological problem. Suffering is a problem for all these that suffer physical or emotional pain. The only theological problem is to find an explanation as to why suffering hits religious and nonreligious people indiscriminately. Where is god in all this? Good luck explaining beside realising that there is simply no god to blame.

11 McGill, Arthur . The Power of God and the Problem of Suffering (lecture series . Much that is contained in these lectures McGill later reworked and published as Suffering: A Test of Theological Method (see n. 7 above). The Power of God and the Problem of Suffering (lecture series at Princeton University, 1963) 1. 11, 13. I refer to these six lectures with some hesitation. McGill writes in a brief Preface : In view of the informal character of all this material, I would like it understood that it is to be kept strictly within the local Princeton scene, and treated only for what it is, not finished theology but some rough and ready sketches of a theological topic

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Arthur McGill had numerous opportunities to air his rich theological musings outside of the classroom.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Arthur McGill had numerous opportunities to air his rich theological musings outside of the classroom. These homilies reveal the core themes that distinguish his theological writings: relaxing in our neediness before God, participating in the death-to-life pattern of self-expenditure, and rooting our hope in the unique power of Christ.

How can an omnipotent God allow suffering and violence to pervade the world? The author approaches this disturbing question by examining the concept of power. At opposing ends of a spectrum lie two powers--demonic power that is violent, destructive, and dominative, and the power of God that is creative, totally open, self-giving, and expansive. Through consideration of power, McGill provides reflections on the nature of God's inner life in the Trinity and concludes that "service" characterizes God's relationship to the world, not "domination." Combining the scholarship and clarity that characterizes the greatest theological writing of our time, Suffering addresses the need for renewed faith in the almighty powerfulness of God's self-communication and self-giving until the time "when the pretenses of demonic power are swept away."
Comments: (7)
Punind
After having read and loved Arthur C. McGill's other book, "Death and Life: An American Theology," it is tempting for me to simply compare these two books. I enjoyed "Death and Life" better and yet often felt I would have enjoyed it more had I understood the basic building blocks that McGill puts forth in this book.

"Suffering" lays out the basic framework of McGill's take on theology and the nature of God and His followers - a nature that is foreign to much of American theology because rather than focusing on the "otherworldliness", "absoluteness", and "magnificence" of God's nature, McGill instead focuses on the suffering, relational giving, and full expenditure of God in Christ. This leads to focusing not on the self-glorification of the Christian through good works and the like (in fact, it's even at times shocking how that is absolutely derided), but focusing on the neediness of Christians, the sinful tendency of trying to possess God and neighbor by religious acts, and the suffering nature of the Church.

Much like reading a more modern translation of Bonhoeffer's "Cost of Discipleship", McGill is unyielding in holding our feet to the fire of what true discipleship in this world must look like. Simply stated, McGill shows us that true discipleship is absolutely frightening to consider without the power of Christ - something that we cannot say about the "12 step discipleship" that we see in many popular Christian books and sermons.

McGill lays forth how the frightening nature of "suffering" is the crucible in which we can put any theology to test its mettle - both in terms of a theology of God's inner self (the economy and nature of the Trinity, especially as seen through the argument between Athanasius and Arius), and in terms of the theology of what God does for man (especially seen in the parable of the Good Samaritan).

Another excellent book from McGill that should probably be read before "Death and Life" in order to add further enjoyment to that book.
Kashicage
This book could transform your life if you read it carefully.
greed style
Makes you think
Gaeuney
I was recommended it because of chapter 4. I like the way McGill talks about power and sees behind the issues.
Uste
Excellent book for those who work with people facing personal hardships or with those suffering. Clear and easy to read.
Skiletus
Great book.
Anicasalar
I think, read, and write about theodicy a lot and I was looking to this book for an orthodox Christian answer. I don't think it contains any kind of a panoramic explanation for the existence of evil - an answer to the question of how evil can exist if God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-good - but what it does contain is surprising and profound: a solid and inspiring description of God's power, the power of total self-giving. McGill employs what he calls a "method" to plumb the Bible's depths, illuminating several parables in a way that seems so obvious after your read him but which you probably never thought of before. In particular, his rendering of the Good Samaritan parable stunned me and I can't get it out of my mind. He is no Biblical literalist as he makes clear only at the end of his little, highly readable book, but he takes what the Bible says with utmost seriousness. This book could transform your life if you read it carefully.
As someone working on a theology of the cross where the "power of God is perfected in weakness," I look for others writing on the same topic. This small, extremely readable book put so much together in such a small package that it is hard to rate the book highly enough. There really is nothing absolutely new here, but McGill has prayed through things to the center, and as a result, his writing reflects a really new coherence, brilliance, and perspective. You've heard it all before, but then again, it is all new --- and it is all incredibly compelling! One thing which is particularly helpful is his comparison of the Gods of Arius and Athansius. Two entirely different paradigms of God's power are at work here. It is a wonderful way to approach the debates involved. Also, McGill's understanding of the demonic will resonate with modern readers. Above all, however, McGill provides a theology which makes real sense of suffering, and introduces the God of Paul and John, et al, in a way which contrasts sharply with the absolutely powerful God so many espouse by mere reflex. A really great (and fast!) read.