Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote a poem called In Memoriam A.H.H. which reveals the tension between what Scripture says about God and what nature seems to reveal. The poem is famous for the statement that although Scripture says God is love, nature is “red in tooth and claw.”
Tennyson wants to know how we can get Scripture and Nature to agree on what God is like.
In Canto 54 he states that he is like a baby trying to find the truth, but all he can do is cry out wordlessly. How do you speak to God or to Nature if you are not sure either is listening?
So runs my dream, but what am I?
An infant crying in the night
An infant crying for the light
And with no language but a cry.
In Canto 56, Tennyson states that what he sees in Nature is not love and peace, but blood and death. Nature seems to scream against the teachings of Scripture that God is love.
Who trusted God was love indeed
And love Creation’s final law
Tho’ Nature, red in tooth and claw
With ravine, shriek’d against his creed.