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Reply to Rabbi Van Lanckton "My Spiritual Journey"

John Wylie

October 19, 2013

Category: Philosophy and Religion > Belief Systems

Rabbi Van Lanckton,

I am interested in your statement that "God does not have will, does not exercise choice, and does not have the power through conscious decision to cause any particular outcome." What would you say to Abraham Lincoln's conception of God's role in the Civil War expressed in his Second Inaugural Address?

"If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said 'the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.' "