Saturday, March 01, 2008

Some Grey Bloke

Another thing I need explained for me.



h/t Aric Clark

8 comments:

Smartiniz said...

Um, I don't see what's so confusing about all this. It's all pretty obvious:

Jesus is God.
God is crazy.
Jesus loves you.
Don't piss them off.

Mainly, just focus on the last one.

Matthew said...

Excellent summary.

Frank said...

Why did they have to make his teeth so yellow?

Funk said...

I am definitely not qualified to speak on the subject, but understanding something, and being able to convey it to others are two different things.

Start listening to some apologetics would be my suggestion. RZIM (Ravi Zacharias) has an amazing apologetics ministry. They have a daily (15 minute) and weekly (30 minute) podcast.
They do Q & A's at seemingly every major university in the world (well at least mostly western culture universities).

But first off, God is just, His love isn't the same kind of love that we would describe as love. One of the downsides of english, is that is only has one word for love, while the greek (which the NT was written in) has 3 different versions of it.
God, being just, must punish everyone under His law, unless we have faith in Him. We're all deserving of hell, and to get anything other than it, is... grace. Love doesn't always mean giving someone what they want either, does it? Father disciplines his child if he loves him... right?

paul maurice martin said...

Funk - "Love doesn't always mean giving someone what they want either, does it? Father disciplines his child if he loves him... right?"

Right. But a loving father's discipline doesn't include such actions as starving his child to death, inducting his child into warfare, passively allowing his child to die from a horrific disease, flood or fire, or arranging for his children to be slowly tortured to death in secret locations...

If God is a divine Micromanager, then God can't be both all good and all powerful. Conceiving God in such terms makes the problem of evil a flat-out contradiction. And all the centuries of apologetics this world can muster aren't nearly enough to turn a contradiction into "mystery."

paul maurice martin said...

Maybe the Holy Spirit stayed behind so that we'd start to become full-grown sons and daughters of the Father and relate to him more in the way that Jesus did: becoming part of the process in our own right and in our own ways instead of expecting or demanding Daddy to make everything all right for us. As it is, when we plainly see that some things aren't right, we tell ourselves that really they must be OK anyway because, after all, Daddy's supposed to do all the work while we play and watch TV.

And if we get up and take the graham crackers out of each others hands sometimes or knock each others building blocks down, well, Daddy's given us free choice till he comes back into the room, so we can really go to town and mess stuff up. The whole planet, even. It's all OK because our Daddy planned for things to be like this. It’s kind of nice having a really paternalistic Daddy.

And then, right after we’ve ravaged our own habitat to the point that we can’t live here anymore, Jesus, who by then will have grown up to become pretty much Daddy – he’ll come sailing in on a cloud, say abracadabra, and all the earth’s beauty and integrity will be restored. Along with ours, I guess. That last one will have to be an especially impressive feat.

Meanwhile, let’s sit and watch TV, look at a lot of commercials, buy lots of stuff, fight a lot, go to church once in a while, and call that religion – while history ticks by and the big hand on the history clock reads more than half-past Pick Up Your Cross and Follow Me time.

siehjin said...

i believe that the flames of hell are metaphorical, and that the main thing about hell is that it is a place of separation from God.

so then it makes sense that God sends people to hell if they reject Him. just like if i really love a girl, i would not force her to be with me against her will.

Matthew said...

@siehjin

That's a much more humane doctrine of hell, a la C.S. Lewis's The Great Divorce, and I think it's much better than the torture scenario. But I think universalism is a much better doctrine, and actually jives with the text of the Bible much better.

See Richard Beck's series on universalism if you're curious. Here's a summary.

> so then it makes sense that God sends people to hell if they reject Him.

I don't think it does. This means that when people reject God, God rejects people. But working under the assumption that God is more good than people, and the pattern of the Prodigal Son, we should instead expect that when people reject God, God continues God's saving work anyway.