Looking at life... from an oblique angle / and I sometimes Twitter (normally only when riled up): @brindafella

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The theology of the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami

Do you feel like peaying for the earthquake and tsunami victims? Do you want to write a prayer and leave it somewhere so others can see?

Go to Kippax Uniting Church, a suburban church in Canberra, Australia, and find the link "Add Your Prayers to our Prayer List".

I can now spread the URL for a useful reflection on the theology of the 2004 Indian Ocean earquake and tsunami. (By the way, read in particular about the power of the earthquake!)

Anyway, at our church on Sunday, the writer/speaker (Dr John Williams, a senior scientist who also trained in theology) tackled the question that has had considerable media coverage, "God... Why did you do this?" (Here is the link to the full text - "Christmas and Creation - Reflecting on the earthquake and tsunami".)

In part, anyway...


I then want to take us to the John and Ephesians reading and ask you to consider how John and Paul's understanding of Christmas and the nature of the Christ Child...can help us address these big questions about a Loving God who has created a universe and a planet where many natural processes can impact on us with pain, destruction, much suffering and death of individuals and cultures.

These processes include:

- Animal & plant/kingdoms of food chains in which we are part where tooth and claw drive the living system.

- Disease organisms, from bacteria to virus to cancer cells

- Genetic defects that leave deformed and handicapped babies

- Earthquakes, Tsunami, Floods, Cyclones, Volcanoes....

We could go on... But we must also note that the features (physical processes) of a dynamic earth that make it habitable for complex life (anything more complex than bacteria and, therefore, including human beings) are just those features that lead, inevitably, to plate tectonics, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, sea-mounts on which such places as the Hawaiian islands and the Maldives etc. form.

The beauty and wonder of the creation is the other side of the creators design outcomes. That God created our world with all its complexity and possibilities - most of which we rejoice in and tend to take for granted.
For example if a volcano spills lava and does not damage human settlement it is not a disaster but a replenishment of the earths soils and fertility...however if the lava flow intercepted a village or town it would be seen as a disaster. Both are the same outcomes of the creators design.



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