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Defending GodBiblical Responses to the Problem of Evil$
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James L. Crenshaw

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195140026

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195140028.001.0001

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A Disciplinary Procedure

A Disciplinary Procedure

Stimulating Growth in Virtue

(p.99) 6 A Disciplinary Procedure
Defending God

James L. Crenshaw

Oxford University Press

The necessity for parental discipline to instill virtue in children raises the possibility that God employs evil for similar purposes. This popular understanding of evil and the possibilities inherent to this approach to theodicy permeate the Bible and Deutero-canonical literature. Sirach 4:11–19 introduces a personification of divine wisdom as disciplinarian, while Wis Sol 11:15–12:27 stresses God’s measured and timely punishment of the wicked. Biblical precedent for such divine discipline is found in a liturgy of wasted opportunity in Amos 4:6–11 and in a poignant revelation of God’s pain in Hos 11:1–7.

Keywords:   discipline, parental, children, evil, theodicy, Sirach, wisdom, liturgy, pain, Hosea

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