When Your Bridges Collapse
The I-35W bridge across the Mississippi River in Minneapolis collapsed during the evening rush hour on August 1, 2007, falling into the river and onto its banks, killing 13 people and injuring about 100 more. No smoking gun has ever found that identifies the precise cause of the collapse, though a design flaw was uncovered that may have contributed to it.
Yesterday, Mike Cope gave links on his blog to two articles that were written shortly after the tragedy by well-known Minneapolis preachers. One of them (John Piper) is writing from a Calvinistic perspective; the other (Greg Boyd) writes from a non-Calvinist position (and directly addresses Piper's position).
The two articles are helpful in struggling with tragedy and our broken world. Like Cope, I "continue to be puzzled with how one squares Calvinism with the apparent open-endedness of the world." I like the way that Boyd ends his article--
I suggest it’s far more biblical, and far more rational, to simply say that in a fallen, oppressed world, bridges sometimes collapse — and leave it at that. Rather than trying to see the vindictive hand of God behind catastrophes, it’s wiser to simply acknowledge that the world is an oppressed place where things sometimes go tragically wrong and focus all of our mental and physical energy turning from our self-centered ways to carry out God’s will “on earth as it is in heaven.”