Wednesday, July 31, 2013

How to make sense of Kong Hee's claim that God apologised to him?

The news about Kong Hee's claim that God apologized to him has been circulating. Besides seeing its frequent appearances on my timeline, I was tagged twice by two friends and notified by another through private message. People are intrigued by it. So, here is my 2-cents take.

The Reformed tradition emphasizes these 3 things:

1) The history of the world is moving towards a direction.

2) The direction is set by God according to His just will, sovereignty, and love.
 
3) All contingencies in history should therefore be understood in the mystery of God's just will, sovereignty, and love.

For this reason, God not only does not but also cannot 'apologize'. If God can 'apologize' in the sense that He thought there is a better way than what He has ordained to take place, then His will is not just: God is not giving the best out of His will, sovereignty, and love. Probably for this reason, God did not apologize to Job. Neither did God the Father apologize to God the Son for embodying both the divine love and justice on the cross.

In the words of Elihu in Job 34:10-15:
“So listen to me, you men of understanding. Far be it from God to do evil, from the Almighty to do wrong. He repays everyone for what they have done; he brings on them what their conduct deserves.

It is unthinkable that God would do wrong, that the Almighty would pervert justice.

Who appointed him over the earth? Who put him in charge of the whole world?

If it were his intention and he withdrew his spirit and breath, all humanity would perish together and mankind would return to the dust.
Nevertheless, we can not dismiss Kong Hee's plight for God's comfort and peace especially at times of crisis. The controversial phrase could be Kong Hee's momentary slip of tongue/mind during this stressful time. The question before us is therefore how can we see this in a sympathetic way while maintaining the notion of God's just will, sovereignty, and love?

I cannot speak for God on how would He sees this. Nonetheless, I can imagine that the eternal God can overlook this momentary slip and continue to embrace His child who is pleading for divine warmth.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Upcoming Talk: Hawking, Extra-Terrestrials, and Accelerating Universe – Challenges to the Christian Faith in 21st Century

Prof. David Wilkinson is the Principal of St John’s College of Durham University, a professor in the Department of Theology and Religion, and a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. He holds two doctorates in theoretical astrophysics and systematic theology. His recent books include Christian Eschatology and the Physical Universe (T&T Clark, 2010) and Science, Religion and SETI (Oxford University Press, forthcoming).