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theodicy_star of bethlehem


									Many great thinkers have grappled with the problem of evil,
moreso considering what is logically possible but not really
touching on what is metaphysically plausible (much less
scientifically probable). However, to this day, there have
been no finally satisfying answers, neither emotionally nor
intellectually. Like the reality of God, the absurdity of
evil remains immersed in mystery. In the end, though, what
humans really need is not a rational explanation but an
existential solution, in other words: help! And the more
pressing questions become 1) To Whom shall we go? and 2) How
can we best respond with compassion?

As a People of God, we didn't fashion our outlook regarding
evil as much from metaphysical speculation or theological
reflection as we did from mere common sense and incredibly
broken hearts. Evil (such as suffering & death) has no
ultimate meaning. A privation of the good, it is neither
metaphysically nor morally comprehensible. It is a viral
corruption of --- and contributes nothing to --- reality.
Evil, however otherwise conceived, is the enemy of creation
and of the Creator, Who will rescue us. That is what we hope
and believe. And, for now, we simply love.

Since the Bible employs both history and metaphor, literal and
figurative language, it is fair to ask whether the Star of
Bethlehem was literally true or a legend? And, if factual,
whether it was a miracle or some predictable astronomical
phenomenon? I think that movie was based on the work of Craig
Chester ( see
1996&month=12 ). There are competing theories such as by
Michael Molnar (see ) and
Chris Corbally (see
today-articles/the-cosmology-of-the-magi ). While these are
interesting questions and worthy of scholarly investigation,
we simply do not know THE answer. Still, the true meaning of
Christmas remains and is not to be found in examining the
wrapping paper of such exegetical fine points but in our
discovery of the Gift to be found inside the deeper meaning of
the narratives.


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