God rules by creating creatures, by giving us the power to be and to act as free and responsible beings. God let’s us be, shares power with us.
God rules by setting limits. We are created and have our being in a context of structures and processess which act upon us and over which we have limited control. We are finite, subject to the vississitudes, contengencies, and accidents of natural and historical events which happens to us. We are born without being consulted , we die without our consent. We live within boundaries that are sosmetimes benign, sometimes threatening, sometimes predictable and sometimes precarious, but always limiting our powers od action and ability to manage and control.
God rules by implanting in us needs that cannot be met except as we cooperate with and support each other. Sexual drive and the desire for companionship create marriage and the family. The family is a community of mutual support in which basic physical, spiritual and moral needs are met. The state comes into being to fulfill needs that cannot be met by individuals acting alone. Other institutions come into being to facilitate the urge towards fulfillment of divinely implanted nees. The need to cooperate with each other, to create bonds of mutual support, creates organizations and institutions, laws and customs, which govern us and channels our powers of action in ways at bottome sonstitute a mode of divine action upon and within us.
God rules by judging us. The failure to create bonds of mutual support leads to deprivation , frustration, oppression and suffering. Our failure to be just creates disharmony, discontent, and disorder and tends to lead towards destruction of established orders. Evil tends to be self-destructive. Aggression and hatred tend to evoke defensiveness and hostility in return. Loving actions and just social structures cement harmony and tend towards constructive efforts and mutuality. Justice in society is like health in the body. Injustice is disease which is destructive. There is hardly ever a perfect coincidence of power and love which generates perfect justice, and unjustice and oppression frequently endure for intollerable periods. Hence, the justice of God is never fully estaablished and history is morally ambiguous. In many respects, life is not fair, but there is a ruling of GOd expressed in the tendency of injustice to provoke remedial action against oppressors in which the righteousness of God is vindicated.
God rules by the inspiration of the love in the cross of Jesus. (“The power of God is the worship He inspires” (Whitehead). The power of God is peculiary expressed in the powerlessness of Jesus on the Cross. It is the power of innocent suffering to turn us fronm our rebellious sinful ways by which God most receptively acts. This is the foolishness of the Cross; the fact that a powerless Christ has the power to save; that innocent suffereing can make the guilty whole.
God rules by implanting in all life a drive towards fulfillment with ressurection potential. There is in nlife both an urge towards satisfaction which tenaciously seeks its’ goal despite formidable obstacles and a power in life towards renewal despite repeated failure. Beyond crucifixion is resurrection, the reversal of reversal, the capacity of new life to spring fronm deat and even death. The resurrection of Christ is the symbol of the capacity for renewal depite defeat the is built into life with its’ tenacious urge to seek fulfillment of it’s potential, no matter what, despite everything. (Dr.Kenneth Cauthen, Class notes, “Prayer, Providence and the Problem of Evil, Colgate Rochester Divinity School, 1985)