…It may be that God speaks to us most clearly and is closest to us simply in the awareness of his absence…For isn’t it so? The only time we can know that his “grace” is “sufficient” is precisely when he’s not at our beck and call? I suspect that if we in the church are going to be heard by those outside the church, we’d better make it crystal clear that our faith includes our experiences of God absent as well as present; that we know, as they do, what it means to live in a world which gives precious little evidence of the presence or reality of God. Maybe then they’ll listen to us for a change.
Edmund A. Stiemle, From Death to Birth
Peter Leithart has some interesting thoughts about what a uniquely Reformed and Augustinian understanding of divine passibility might entail: http://www.leithart.com/2009/12/15/passibility-and-providence/.