Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Tom Wright on the Tsunami

I spotted this link on Klippt Och Skuret:

Meanings of Christmas: In the new world there will be no more sea
Does God have a responsibility to stop earthquakes and tidal waves? The story of Jesus raises much subtler questions
Tom Wright

I have a mixed reaction to this. I can't help feeling sorry for our religious leaders in their quest to say something meaningful, something helpful in the wake of this tragedy, and poor Rowan Williams has had a struggle to make himself heard clearly in the Sunday Telegraph, but at the same time I feel completely uneasy with the religious leaders' responses, not least because however much they want to say "I don't know" and "Why?", they still apparently feel obliged to say something that helps shed divine light on the catastrophe. I might comment a little more later on this in relation to Tom Wright's article later on, if I can face it.

1 comment:

Whit said...

Mark, I appreciate your comments on the difficulty of saying anything meaningful in the light of such a tragedy.

Just as there are expectations on biblical scholars to provide comfortable answers to people, there are expectations on clergy as well (especially as regards tragedy and death). I can't tell you how often I hear people's horror stories about how inadequate answers damage or destroy what faith they have. Yet in light of tagic situations, it seems a human need to cry out for answers (and expect clergy to have them). Perhaps the best response a clergy person can make is to join others in the cry to God for answers.

On a seperate note - I just spent three days with Bishop Wright and Dr. Richard Gaffin at the Auburn Avenue (Presbyterian Church) Pastor's Conference. It was three pretty intense days and I think I may need to digest it a while before commenting further.

One interesting point, the invitation of Bishop Wright seems to have created a bit of stir in the reform Presbyterians here. The discussions between Wright and Gaffin were kept in the best spirit of good debate and the conference was very well attended.

One last point, Bishop Wright had some kind things to say about you and some of the things you two have participated in together. He also said that because of your Case Against Q perhaps the next generation of students would not be so quick to assume Q as a given.