bible christianity philosophy theology

life: mess included

One of my favourite Proverbs is 14:4

Where there are no oxen, the stall is clean, but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest. 

In order to have a harvest, you’ll have to put up with a fair whack of crap!  I was thinking of this in relation to the problem of evil.  In order to have an existence where relationship and meaning are real, you’ll have to have genuine freedom and thus put up with evil and suffering.  I might put it in proverb form like this:

“Where there is no genuine freedom, the cosmos is void of evil and suffering;but from the genuine freedom given to creation, comes the possibility of love, meaning and relationship.”

3 replies on “life: mess included”

Is cow crap evil? Only a problem with intensification where is not treated correctly. So it requires some work to keep the stall clean. But aren’t we to sweat before eating?
Not sure that what we call positives in the universe like love, truth and freedom are defined only by the presence of respective opposites. Is that a little too Zen to be Christian?
Currently we share an antithetical universe. The wheat and weeds that Jesus spoke of describes that situation well. A vivid picture if you have ever gotten your hands dirty weeding the garden. It’s very difficult to lift ‘bad’ weeds without damaging some ‘good’ plants.
Thankfully the universal situation is not forever!

Yes, I’d not want to say anything so simplistic as to imply that “pain = evil” (or the converse, “pain-free = good”). But evil is evil :) And you seem to only get evil (and love/relationship) within a creation that is genuinely free. So, indeed, God had to put up with a weedy garden – for now :)

Interesting, particularly connecting the idea to love and relationship. It reminds me of the Steven Curtis Chapman song “Signs of Life” and how when you visit the house of a large family that’s full of life, you hardly expect it to be perfectly tidy and quiet.

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