Not to be confused with “The Odyssey”, Homer’s epic poem, no. While they may intersect tangentially, theodicy refers to letting a “good” god, or God off the hook for the simultaneous existence of His opposite, i.e. evil. In other words, how can God allow so much suffering and evil and negativity in the world He created? A vexing and perplexing question, no? I find it interesting how, even if the question were satisfactorily answered, people who don’t believe still wouldn’t necessarily be inclined to believe. To each their own.
“The Lord hath made all things for Himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” (Proverbs 16:4)
It’s a touchy subject, to be sure. Something that one should endeavor to wrap their mind around. Something that Christians should seek to understand, because it’s one of the common questions you’ll encounter should you try and tell someone about Jesus. Assuming it’s the same Jesus as written about in the Bible–the One who leads back to God the Father, the One who causes any real heart change to take place. You can’t just believe Jesus was a “good person” or that He was a “great expounder of morality, etc.”. Gotta believe Jesus is all that and more. From human to God to Creator. That’s what the word omnificent means, by the way. “Creating”. One who is “omnificent” has “unlimited powers of creativity”. And He created you.
Actually, I am omnificent. Well, unless you count having to eat, sleep, etc. I also encounter the odd temptation. That spate of depression for whatever reason. The fickleness of my feelings that seeks to derail me from creating. Point is, if I could write all the time, I would. Why is this? There seems to be a correlation to my wanting to create and my insistence in believing God is Creator. And that He created me. And this is something you can’t fully wrap your mind around. You must submit. And in submitting, every other question is parried and/or answered. Or, you don’t have to submit. The questions, however, remain.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.” (John 1:1-3)
The “origin of the gods”. As God always was, (and always is) a divine (read: Christian) theogony is unnecessary. In the previously cited verse, it says “The Lord hath made all things for Himself.” What I believe this is referring to is that everything will ultimately testify to the goodness and veracity of God. Even, it says “the wicked for the day of evil”. Otherwise known as “judgment day”. The Apocalypse, Armageddon, etc. Many (if not all, I haven’t checked) cultures have a “final end” story in their myths. Also their respective theogonies. But with Judeo-Christianity, we see God as the “first cause”. Things started with and because of Him. I believe there were things, of angels–fallen and non, going on prior to the opening accounts of Genesis. But as I am but one person, obsessed with eating and sleeping and coffee and writing, I don’t care much for things that would explain away the need and therefore existence of my God. I’ve been put here for this time. “The Lord hath made all things” including me, I might add, “for Himself”. I can choose to want this and believe it and feel a commensurate response in my relationship with God. And I can neglect these seemingly outmoded things of faith and delusion. I choose the former.
“But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:8-10)
I look at Jesus akin to a foreign body having been injected into culture at just the right time. He came from without, into a fallen world. And when we accept Him as that (and more), that’s how we are, too. We, as card-carrying members of another realm, enter back into a world from which we’ve been rescued. We integrate into our positions, whatever they may be, and begin radiating that light. We’re like portals to Heaven. If the eyes are the windows to the soul, we are like windows into God. When we choose to base our life and then thoughts on the pattern of Jesus, we will become like Him (and consequently, like God) whether we realize it or not. And this is where theology comes in.
“And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known of Him.” (1 Corinthians 8:2-3)
Literally “knowledge of God”. But you can’t just have knowledge about God. If there’s no God, the concept of theology is a joke. In much the same way, without being disrespectful, that one fleshes out a fantasy epic through tome after tome, the same could be done for a “God”. But if God is indeed real, I’d wager to say that He wants to know us and therefore that we know Him before we know all there is to know about Him. To know He loves you is the point.
In Jesus, God spoke three words to us. He used His Son–spirit, soul and body–to say “I love you”. Let us in turn do the same through our life–say “I love You” back.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2)