This global pandemic requires us to confront the possibility of death – not fearfully or obsessively, but with intentionality born of the reality of the present moment, longing for Easter as Gethsemane and Golgotha linger.
Millions are now experiencing the social distancing and isolation I have felt in the months following my kidney transplant. I hope they will also experience the kind of creative love and care my church offered me.
Frank Tupper, a Baptist theologian who taught generations of seminary students that when it comes to the problem of evil and suffering “God always does the most God can do,” died Friday, Feb. 28, just more than three years after suffering paralysis in a fall at his home that left him confined to a wheelchair.
Frank Tupper’s view of providence is unflinchingly honest. We survive our personal Gethsemanes, not because we experience miraculous rescue, but because we are not alone: “Jesus has already gone through Gethsemane, a Gethsemane that we will never comprehend, and he stands with us in ours.”
I wanted to view a display that chronicled the founding, theological drift, depths of heresy and resurgence of the seminary as interpreted by the current administration. Apparently, I figured prominently in the tableau as exemplar of the HEResy that required my dismissal.
It’s an over-reach to conscript God’s favor for our political calculations, as if God has a pre-determined plan for each discrete nation, political party or individual leader. Our prayers to God about present circumstances should prompt our own actions to mend the world. God is always on that side.
A Baptist theologian who spent a quarter century reformulating the Christian doctrine of providence says most mainline theology about evil, suffering and God’s goodness is wrong. “We’re still living in the 21st century with a vision of God in relationship…