(1) “Because can you still say you can trust God to keep you safe, or keep you fed, if the provisions have those limitations?” (OSS)
I am willing to put the blame squarely where it belongs – right on our own shoulders. Now maybe these limitations mean it will suck for many – that’s true – but should God just start raining manna down to solve human problems all the time? At some point we just become dependant on that and not ‘grow up’ and become responsible…we get that once we will look for it forever.
For me the point is all about responsibility – and God providing when asked, IMO, seems like a cop-out from personal responsibility and human community. If anything, God should be striking down the dicks that hold the supplies back from everyone else. Then again, we see one of those and we will want more of the same….at some point these are our problems to solve.
“In that case, why bother involving God at all? Why present Him as a source of help? Why pray to Him for solutions?” (OSS)
Good question – better one – are we sure this is how God thinks on issues like this? We ask for the handout – He gives. Is this how this Spirit entity actually interacts with humans…I personally see very little proof of that close of an interaction.
Maybe the prayers are our voicing of what needs to be said – and God listens. Now maybe God allows us that much clarity when we do such an act (meditation) that we start to find in some strange way — God has provided all those answers in us already (and this Spirit nudges our spirit in those moments). Maybe the ‘kingdom of God’ is truly ‘within us’? Maybe we are created with that gem in us already.
Why is God involved? Because there is a mystery to this whole thing I don’t quite get. Humans can help humans and make this world such a great place or such a horrible place…but somewhere in there is a thing called faith that makes us people more loving, hopeful, and bright.
I believe humans actually do live succesful and happy lives by using and dealing with the faith aspect that’s all around us…from God to others – this idea God also seems to have left as is.
(Continuation of last blog – comments taken from OSS’s ‘How far do you trust God’)
I just watched lord of the rigns for the first time in a long while and i was shocked to see how catholic the movie was. hope in the face of certain doom and death. if you are a humanistic nihlist as the catholics are, then faith in God gives you this hope. if you are a humanistic liberal, faith in your fellow human beings gives you this hope that one day things will be made right. having both, i think, is the strongest approach. but faith in the individual, i don’t think so, i go more corporate than that. faith in nothing or faith in “reason” which is always left undefined and is a rather subjective term are both short-sighted.
good stuff Jay-Bird. RAWK out!
“having both, i think, is the strongest approach” (Luke)
Here’s where you get to see the focus of my theology – it’s not about an approach but about a reality (what do we really know about God and how does this look?). For me theology is about something I call a ‘working theology’…It’s not about nice formula’s and the most orthodox set of beliefs – no – not at all – but about what makes sense in your personal existence and friendship with this Spirit.
From what I can tell – Abraham was working from very little to no knowledge of God and what was expected. He learned as he went – had a living experience that shaped his worldview and even where he lived (or how he lived). But no law, no gospel, no rules, no preconceived theologies about God, no statement of faith, etc.
In some sense, Abraham makes the most sense to me (and anyone pre-Torah). All they could go by was what they learned of God and not other people’s notions and formula’s…no – they had to develop their framework in what I can only call ‘isolation’ (no surrounding influences or denominations telling them what they ‘should’ believe about God). If we do not start from there (in some respects) then we start from another’s line in the sand.
well.. i think that i was talking about the nature of man, and you’re talking about a practical theology. i think that praxis is the best way to go, very pragmatic approach. if it works, great! if you can’t do anything with it, why bother?
but there are certain things that you’ll come to expect. and that’s where it’s cool to have some doctrinal understanding.. like what is the nature of humanity, good, evil, indifferent. how does Jesus fit into the picture, is God one, three in one, or is it a He with an elephant’s head? 😉 i think that in some ways, we don’t exist in isolation, we can’t. we’re relational beings, so when we say “what is your view of God?” we must keep an open-mind towards the other and an open-hand on our own concept of God.
“if you can’t do anything with it, why bother?” (Luke)
Good point – in what dimension do you frame this question? As in, if I cant do anything with it because I am not part of a denom or if it is not practical then it’s no good?
“i think that in some ways, we don’t exist in isolation, we can’t. we’re relational beings, so when we say “what is your view of God?” we must keep an open-mind towards the other and an open-hand on our own concept of God.” (Luke)
Agreed – now we don’t – we aren’t like Abraham in that respects. However, something about the genuineness of real faith can only be found in a somewhat ‘isolation’ position…in that we have to work our faiths out (we are the ones that have to live with what we believe). In this sense, isolation is part of the position of developing a personal and real theology…
In a real sense, I don’t care what the church(es) believe anymore – not a hell of a lot of it is carefully studied anyways…how do I know this? Name churches that change the way they do things or even so much as question their statements of faith? In that sense, the room for change is limited – or non-existent.
“if it is not practical then it’s no good?”
theory without practice is useless and practice without theory is thoughtless.
“In this sense, isolation is part of the position of developing a personal and real theology”
which can only be tested in a community and in relationships… like what we’re doing now ;-). if only we lived closer, we could do this for certain once a week, if not more! as for Churches changing… that’s changing. they either will and will grow.. or they’ll fade away.
“which can only be tested in a community and in relationships… like what we’re doing now ” (Luke)
Not 100% true – remember the history of monks (including Assisi) that lived in isolation and developed their ‘faith’. I would say it was lacking without community – but it did show some of this faith stuff is deeply personal and can take a lifetime of focus.
I do agree though – without community and somewhere to ‘put faith into action’ then I am also not sure the greateness of a person’s commitment to God (so I scratched Calvin – scratch Assisi now – lol).
One by one I will shake free from the shackles of church history – only to offer a new definition of what Christianity can look like.
oh, i know the history of the monks… and i think that’s rather a limited life. and notice how they ended up living together in monestaries… in COMMUNITY! come on now.
we need to shake free of the old way of thinking. and establish a new form of Christianity. but to through out church history will only lead to the same mistakes that these reformers made. they had wisdom that we can learn from, but we can esp. learn from their failings and gleen what we too can do. like Einstien said “Everything has changes, save for our thinking.” i view this change of thinking from a linear and limited view (dualistic) to a wider, more associative thought pattern that recognizes the interconnectedness of things. “web-thinking” or network or ecological thought patterns are emerging. but to throw out the wisdom of history is folly.
“but to throw out the wisdom of history is folly” (Luke)
I am keeping the scriptures…not throwing out everything. LOL
“I am keeping the scriptures…not throwing out everything. LOL”
and that’s what Zwingli said. and that’s why it’s important to know that you’re not the only one who has thought this way.. but techincally, you’re not keeping just the scriptures either because we all bring something to it.
“you’re not keeping just the scriptures either because we all bring something to it.” (Luke)
Agreed, Im not an island (lol). I guess I am only to make the progression I have made because of reading all that history and knowing many of the debates…although I must decide these issues for myself – I am made aware by a community of people – and my theology is shaped by real world experience (also community). You win…damn you LUKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
it’s hard to realize we’re dependent on each other for our holistic spiritual growth and well-being. i’ve sure as hell struggled with it and i’m gonna need all people, christian and non, past, present and future, to help me figure out this existence. i’m happy you’re on board for this process… for my own selfish interests 😉
It’s a good example, bringing up Abraham, I think. I suspect that God expects us to do a lot more soul-searching and heavy lifting that most of us do. The scriptures don’t provide a clear “how to” to life because they exist from a very specific time and place. They are not meant to be directly appllied to all of the shifting and evolving patterns of life.
It’s a strong basis, and in the scriptures I can find good guidance on how to acquit myself in life, but as a dot-to-dot exercise, it doesn’t work.
God gave us these big brains to use, and it’s a shame when people go to one side or the other…either totally rejecting scripture as bogus and useless…or totally absorbing it as a black-and-white thing and never putting it into the context of reality.