Back to All Events

Forum: The Rev. Neil O'Farrell, "Evil and Incarnation - Part I"

Liberal theology since the Enlightenment has avoided talk of palpable evil in the world and humankind’s participation in it. Examining evil without at the same time talking about redemption through Jesus’ incarnation—as well as our human incarnation through God’s gracious Holy Spirit—would be an incomplete review of such a serious topic. So, as the Christian church heads towards Christmas, the liturgical year gives us warrant to look at things that are of both the dark and the light. Evil didn’t go away because Christians grew weary of discussing it or because it seemed primitive and judgmental. Evil is a theme throughout our scriptures. Jesus evinced no fuzzy thinking about evil, nor did he rationalize it away, or draw back from it. Moreover, it is a subject that has engaged theologians, philosophers, mystics, teachers, and prophets for millennia. Discussing evil requires sophistication and honesty, as well as level headedness that doesn’t allow for hyperbole or crass knee-jerk reactions. This series will consider history, theology, and contemporary analysis—even using psychology, language, culture, and political theory. Interestingly, some of the most pungent, helpful writing comes from Anglican theologians such as N.T. Wright and C.S. Lewis. As always, conversation and probing questions will be a feature of these presentations. We have all staked our lives on the sure conviction that even the most wretched darkness can be broken by a small spark.