By H. P. Owen (auth.)

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Yet they were centred in one 'person' and united by a perfect interchange of properties (commun£cat£o z"dz"omatum). To put it simply, it is very hard to believe that if God fully became Man he did not experience any of the pains that his Manhood endured. Lastly, von HUgel admits that if God is Love we must speak of him as One who 'sympathises' with us. But can one meaningfully speak of a real sympathy from which all sorrow and pain are absent? However, can the postulation of suffering in God be made compatible with belief in his immutability?

If God is both infinitely loving and omnipotent why does he permit evil? A full consideration of this question belongs to another volume in this series. Here I must be content with a few observations. The answer given by classical theism to this question consists in stressing the last of the qualifications which I introduced into the idea of omnipotence. God has given man freedom; moral evil (or sin) results from man's abuse of this gift; hence both God's omnipotence and his love are secured. 33 But this answer is inadequate for several reasons.

Some theologians, following Kierkegaard, have left this antinomy as it stands. But surely some attempt to solve it must be made if theism is not to be irrational at its very core. There are three possible solutions. 1. It may be said that our positive symbols of God cannot be given an objective reference; they are purely subjective constructions; they signify merely our response to a totally non-characterisable Godhead. But this 'solution' is invalidated by two simple observations. First, how can we validly worship and obey God unless we have grounds for believing that the theistic language of worship and obedience is objectively true?

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