On two plagues: Bishop N. T. Wright and Albert Camus.
Bishop N. T. Wright has written a challenging book about Covid, titled God and the Pandemic. It’s challenging because it requires us to rethink God. We tend to think of God, if we think of him at all, as all powerful, able to fix Covid in a moment if he wished, as Jesus healed the sick and the lame. So why doesn’t he?
Wright’s answer, though it takes a while to figure it out, is similar to that finally arrived at in several places in the Bible. God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). Job comes to a similar conclusion. The best way to understand God in the face of Covid is to accept that we shall never understand.
Wright does not stop here, however. He says that God’s non-answer is really an answer. God is a God of suffering and lamentation. Until we understand that God is not a mighty warrior who exists to vanquish our enemies, we shall be lost. Consider what Jesus first did when he learned of the death of Lazarus. “Jesus wept,” the shortest sentence in the Bible (John 11:35). Consider Jesus hanging on the cross, crying out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34)