Over the past century, the traditional doctrine that God is impassible -- that He is ''without passions,'' and therefore does not suffer -- has been increasingly and radically called into question. One could even say it is the consensus of modern theologians that God does indeed suffer, and that in that capacity to suffer with His creation, we can find great solace and the beginnings of an answer to the problem of evil. This new book would beg to differ, and instead claim that it is only in the orthodox doctrine of God's impassibility, rightly understood in terms of a similarly orthodox doctrine of the Incarnation and the ''communication of idioms,'' that we can truly find the rock- solid, eternal love that can assuage our pain. Through a closely-argued survey of the scriptural background, the Fathers, and Aquinas, Weinandy makes his claims (following a supporting quote from Cyril of Alexandria emphasizing the Son of God having truly suffered in the flesh): ''Who is it who truly experiences the authentic, genuine, and undiminished reality of human suffering? None other than the divine Son of God! He who is one in being (homoousion) with the Father. What is the manner in which he experiences the whole reality of human suffering? As man! It is actually the Son of God who lives a comprehensive human life, and so it is the Son who, as man, experiences all facets of this human life, including suffering and death.'' This important study offers not only important conclusions in support of orthodox tradition, but also the best sort of example of theologizing through the sources and grammar of orthodox tradition. 310 pp.
An Eighth Day View:
A Christian Theology of God and Suffering