Theodicy, the Question of Evil, and Stephen Fry

Posted by: Richenda at Tuesday February 10, 2015 in

This video came across my facebook feed and, wow, what a clip. First, I love the ferocious courage of Stephen Fry. He knows himself. He’s smart, and snarky, and often right on point, and I love that about him.

He has also experienced his share of unfairness and looked theodicy (the question of evil) in the eye. And even uses the theological word for questioning evil, which means he has made direct inquiry, right into the heart of of it where all the answers are supposed to be. ‘Theodicy’ isn’t a word you generally hear outside of seminary—and then maybe only for a class or two. To know this word is to have asked the really big questions.

Stephen Fry and I, we ask the same questions—but we answer them differently.

I think we should never back away from demanding to know why there is evil in the world and asking, as well, how we are called to respond to it, and what we are called to do about it. I am not smart enough to have it all figured out, I am not that powerful or great. I trust instead to humility in the face of power greater than my own, be it God or a swarm of ravenous insects. I believe despite our make-no-sense world that we can in fact be a force for serving what is good. Is there capricious suffering in the world? You bet. But I will not serve it.

Why is there suffering? I do not know. But I will stand here with you and I will abide through the pain and injustice, and I will never let go of love and I will declare God good.

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