Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Theodicy Question – the 5-year-old Perspective

My son Wesley is five. Today in the car he said, “Daddy, I just thought of something.” Now, whenever Wes says something like this, I buckle my mental seat belt, because I know that the road ahead is fraught with twists and turns.

Wes continued, “Is Jesus inside of our bodies and controlling us, like whenever we move our arms Jesus is controlling that?”

Hmm … free will, predestination, incarnation – pick your doctrine.

I punted: “Well, what do you think, Wesley?”

“Yeah, I think so. Jesus is inside of us, and he wants us to do good things, so he is probably controlling what we do.”

After a pause, I asked him, “Well, why do you think that people do bad things sometimes?”

Wes did not hesitate, “I think they are like fighting against Jesus, when he wants them to do something they have to fight against him inside and then do something else.”

This is as good an answer to the theodicy question as I have ever heard. Basically, he was saying what Paul said, “I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do.” But Wes was not done.

“And then, once they get done fighting Jesus, they just go ahead and do what Jesus wants them to,” he said.

“When are they done fighting?” I asked.

Wesley thought a moment, then said, “I guess they just get all tired out from fighting so much.”

Then, since we had arrived at preschool, Wesley said, “I’ll race you to the door,” and took off across the lawn without waiting for an answer.


Stephen said...

Great post Andy!

Better theology than I have witnessed in some adults.

Greg Hazelrig said...

I sure wouldn't argue it...especially with a five year old (I'd hate to get in over my head mentally)! :)

Matt Kelley said...

There needs to be a "Theology From Kids" book with stories like that. If you end up putting it together just make sure I get a nod on the Acknowledgements page.