Job and the Theodicy Problem, part 6
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion Article from


Stephen Kaufman, M.D., Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

Job and the Theodicy Problem, part 6

Previous essays have explored the Book of Job, which seems to offer an equivocal view of God as capricious and callous as well as just and compassionate. Is God complex and perhaps even inconsistent, similar to most people, or does some overriding principle characterizes God’s nature?
I suggest that God cares about creation, and I largely base that claim on the existence of conscious experience. While most properties of matter, such as hardness, color, and density, can be discerned from physical properties of atoms and molecules, science has offered little insight into about how inorganic, insensate matter can somehow have feelings. In other words, there are no evident properties of atoms or molecules that could account for conscious experience. A reasonable hypothesis is that consciousness is a metaphysical property that comes from a metaphysical source, which we call “God.”
Now, if God is the creator of consciousness, then it is reasonable to believe that God cares about the conscious beings for which God is responsible. If we are to serve God, we too should show concern for conscious beings, particularly those who are victimized by selfishness and greed. Is this a formal proof? No – and that’s why, at its core, Christianity is about faith. It is about faith that there is a God who cares, and if God cares then we as God’s servants should also care. Jesus said that we can distinguish true prophets from false prophets “by their fruits,” and those who claim to have faith but who show hardness of heart have a very limited and, from a practical standpoint, inconsequential faith.

I think Christianity calls us to have a faith akin to that of Jesus. Next essay I’ll discuss a biblical basis for having the “faith of Christ.” 

Go on to: Job and the Theodicy Problem, part 7 – The Faith of Christ
Return to: Reflection on the Lectionary, Table of Contents 

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