ETBU Professor of Religion Dr. Jeph Holloway Writes Book Exploring “What is God doing about evil?"by Mike Midkiff
MARSHALL, Texas (5/21/13)- The East Texas Baptist University Professor of Religion Dr. Jeph Holloway has written a new book, "The Poetics of Grace: Christian Ethics as Theodicy.” Dr. Holloway searches Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians to explore a faithful response to perhaps the toughest question of all: what is God doing about evil?
"I have been concerned about what God is doing about evil for quite some time,” Dr. Holloway said. "I have taught philosophy of religion for over 20 years and one of the standard issues in that field is what is called ‘theodicy.’"
"Theodicy inquires into the nature of the relationship between God and evil, usually asking the question, ‘How can you justify belief in God in a world that knows evil and suffering?’ Dr. Holloway explained. "The various forms of this question can become quite personal when any of us ask the question ‘Why God? Why did you allow this to happen?’"
Dr. Holloway said he has discerned several things throughout the years. One, no one answer fits all situations. Two, sometimes we have no clue as to whether there is any "purpose” behind any particular instance of evil or suffering. And three, the "why?” question is not the focus of the Bible anyway.
Dr. Holloway added, "I am persuaded that more important than ‘why does God allow evil?’ is ‘what is God doing about a world that knows such evil at the personal, relational and even cosmic level?”
Dr. Aliou Cisse Niang, Assistant Professor of New Testament at Union Theological Seminary, reviewed the latest book by Dr. Holloway and said, "God, in Holloways’ groundbreaking ‘The Poetics of Grace,’ summons us to engage in the divine, transformative work that settles on nothing less than daring, responsible, and participatory Biblical ethics in line with God’s creative, peacemaking and reconciling work of sustaining life. This unique reading of Ephesians is a probing and stimulating, delicate and unfailing gift to the academy and the church.”
"What I hope any reader would gain from my book is a commitment and readiness to participate in what exactly God is doing about evil,” said Dr. Holloway. "My sense of what the Bible has to say about this is that God, through God’s redemptive work, is creating a people whose lives, sustained in worship, bear witness to God’s purpose of creation.”
"The Poetics of Grace: Christian Ethics as Theodicy” is available for purchase at www.wipfandstock.com and the ETBU Bookstore. An electronic version is available at amazon.com.
Dr. Holloway has been teaching at ETBU since 2001. He also served many East Texas churches as interim pastor and plays the guitar in the ETBU Jazz Band.