Thanks to my young friend Wai Nyan for entrusting me with the task of “facilitating the session”. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the five groups attempting to think through what’s going on in their own heads and hearts plus trying to articulate some coherent response. Of course, right from the beginning I wasn’t interested in doing a mere “intellectual exercise” in theodicy. I felt it was important to start where everyone was, provide a variety of understandings/approaches on how Christians have tried to “see” God, humanity and the world in the midst of tragedy, suffering and evil, somehow in the midst of searching for some kind of answer, I believed what is more important is for us as Christians to respond in action. I just couldn’t help but come back to Christ – his life, death and resurrection and how to be God answer is intimately connected to God’s action in and through Jesus Christ. And I strongly believe in the midst of the human cry for answers, I hear God’s call for action.
All in all, I’m happy to hear from the mouth of the Christian Fellowship president the meeting was Alright.
Here’s an exceprt how he described last Saturday … I’m really glad that I could play some “catalytic” role.
And more than ‘alright’ it turned out to be.
Firstly, I thank God for the added interest among some of our college students. Whilst some genuinely could not make it (and of course, some had excuses) we had quite a number of first-timers join us as well, which was very reassuring. I was expecting about 20-25 people, and God did not disappoint. Sometimes, I wished I had the faith to ask for a higher attendance. But nevertheless, a small step of faith is still what it is – a step of faith.
Secondly, I was very impressed at the response of the CFers and first-timers coming to the discussion. I felt that it was very open, “say what you wanna say”, non-threatening and a valuable method of understanding what goes on in our minds. The wrap-up by Ps. Sivin was icing on the cake, so to speak. And he points it all back to Christ (plus quoting from a host of people including Bonhoeffer, Philip Yancey, Rowan Williams, Martin Luther, Brian McLaren and NT Wright – just like writing a law essay).
If anything, the open-ended finish on the discussion has left us thinking about the issues involved and will continue to positively ‘plague’ our minds. At least we don’t get spoon fed, and that’s a very wonderful relief. Stereotyped answers seem to always gain the worst disdain.