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Re: Out with the new, in with the ancient

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  • Chris G Criminger
    Wow Carl, I find your post to be a very postmodern one as you unpack your ideas about the Bible and corporal discipline. As the resident schizophrenic one, my
    Message 1 of 16 , Jul 12, 2001
      Wow Carl,
      I find your post to be a very postmodern one as you unpack your ideas
      about the Bible and corporal discipline. As the resident schizophrenic
      one, my postmodern side agrees that God endorsing any kind of violence is
      evil and should especially not be used in any sense for Christians today
      to commit violence (much less genocide). Of course my modern side says
      God created us and can do any damn thing God pleases (there are lots of
      references of God killing people in the Bible). If anyone can give life
      and take it away it is God. So how do I work out these tensions, I
      don't! I struggle, pray, hope, and walk through the dark nights and
      those moments where there seems to be many rays of light. Faith is
      neither easy nor starry eyed but often haunted by the many varied
      experiences of life.

      Grace and peace - Chris Criminger


      ******************************************
      On Thu, 12 Jul 2001 14:56:35 -0700 (PDT) Carl Bergstrom
      <carlpb92111@...> writes:
      > I've just stumbled onto this discussion group in the
      > past few days; and I'm reading with fascination,
      > confusion, questions and a bit of horror. So this is
      > how enlightened Christians think.
      >
      > I'm not a theologian, nor do I know much about post
      > modernism, apologetics, etc. And I cannot even figure
      > out exactly whose comments are whose. But in
      > reference to the ones below about "Take the OT command
      > from God for the Israelites to wipe out other nations,
      > including innocent children." In all due respect to
      > your learned comments about modern vs. post modern,
      > did it ever occur to you that whoever wrote the words
      > in the OT was just plain wrong? That he probably
      > thought that's what God wanted---just as throughout
      > the ages people have done things "in God's name"---but
      > that wasn't really right? And what we're suppposed to
      > understand today, be it modern or post modern, is that
      > there is a danger in thinking we have the only and
      > correct pipeline to God. And that we can use that
      > fallacy to justify all kinds of horrible treatment to
      > other of God's children?
      >
      > I thought the "post modern" reading was supposed to
      > see things in their proper context? Is this heresy?
      >
      > And while I'm at it in my ranting and raving, yes, I
      > do react to someone with 9 kids beating (forget the
      > word "spanking" and recognize child abuse for what it
      > is, and don't cop out by quoting "spare the rod and
      > spoil the child") his child. This seems so
      > stereotypical of groups (fundamentalist christians,
      > mormons) who believe they are "right": over-population
      > is justified since I'm producing more of my ilk. No
      > wonder this person cannot think of a better way to
      > teach a little child than too beat her, he has too
      > many kids!!!
      >
      > Carl Bergstrom
      >
      >
      > and Rachel Ramer <crramer@...> wrote:
      > > Stephen,
      > >
      > > Here you are on vacation, and the board starts
      > > hoppin'! Please feel free to delay your response.
      > >
      > > Hey Rachel! That's some good analysis and very
      > > helpful! Thank you!! I really haven't spent a lot
      > > of time on Miller's site, so I genuinely appreciate
      > > your insight on this.
      > >
      > > The only drawback I see with Miller's site is that
      > > he is so thorough, his articles are extremely long.
      > > But IMO he's an "apologist" with long thought out
      > > answers (not in the dogmatic way some have ANSWERS)
      > > but who also has heart. � When you get the time,
      > > check out the way he sorts through the problems and
      > > possible answers, and let me know what you think. I
      > > would be interested if you think he addresses the
      > > postmodern mind--not directly as I said--but in a
      > > way that they can stomach. For those of you who want
      > > to check it out, it's www.christian-thinktank.com
      > >
      > >
      > > I can relate to this. For the first 8 years or so
      > > of my spiritual pilgrimage it would not be an
      > > overstatement to say that I was paralyzed by
      > > crippling doubt. It was just horrible.
      > >
      > > Yes, that's exactly what I felt. Perhaps that was
      > > the beginning of postmodern thought for us?? (See, I
      > > still want to categorize and make it all fit.)
      > >
      > >
      > > If you've read my Delights and Dangers articles,
      > > please forgive me for being repetitive, but there I
      > > tell about my friend who has 9 kids who decided that
      > > one of his girls, after she had disobeyed at one
      > > point, was mentally ready to be corporally punished
      > > (I trust that anyone's objection to corporal
      > > punishment will not inhibit them from being able to
      > > see the point here). He began to spank her and she
      > > was terrorized. Not scared, not upset, but
      > > confusedly horrified. He stopped immediately. She
      > > was too young and he realized he had misjudged. She
      > > knew two things to be true at that moment: 1) Daddy
      > > loves me; 2) Daddy is intentionally hurting me. And
      > > she was horrified because in her little universe
      > > those two facts could not both be true. In her
      > > dad's mind, of course, those two facts were entirely
      > > consistent. So if such a confusion exists between
      > > man and daughter separated by scant decades, imagine
      > > the amount of data that would be antinomous between
      > > us and the Divine.
      > >
      > > I don't mind at all you being repetitive. Yes, I
      > > read this example on your site. I think it's a very
      > > good one! I like it very much, and it's one way to
      > > help resolve the dissonance--to accept that there
      > > will be some. And there certainly is some with our
      > > relationship with God.
      > >
      > > Let me add this and see what you think. Take the
      > > OT command from God for the Israelites to wipe out
      > > other nations, including innocent children. To the
      > > modern mind, this can cause quite a bit of
      > > dissonance--today we could say they were acting like
      > > Hitler. In fact, this very thing contributed to the
      > > rejection of Christianity for those I referred to
      > > earlier. Okay so there are varied responses we can
      > > give to this:
      > >
      > > 1. The "heartless" apologist (grin) might say
      > > something like, well the children were not really
      > > innocent. We are all fallen, and God knew that they
      > > would reject Him anyway. God has a right to send us
      > > all to hell anyway. The modern mind would respond,
      > > "WHAT!?!" That response causes MORE dissonance! The
      > > Israelite children were also "fallen" in this way,
      > > so why aren't they being killed as well? And how can
      > > we say God is no respecter of persons with this
      > > scenario??
      > >
      > > 2. The apologist with more heart would explain how
      > > the other nations had attacked the Israelites first,
      > > and that they were responding the same way we
      > > responded as a nation in WWII. This is half the
      > > answer, in my view, and works quite nicely for all
      > > but the innocent children part. We would not
      > > intentionally spear innocent children in WWII. So
      > > it doesn't go far enough.
      > >
      > > 3. Those ministering to the postmodern mind
      > > (forgive me if I misrepresent here, I'm trying to be
      > > accurate) would say, well that does cause a lot of
      > > dissonance, to be sure, but we can't fully
      > > understand God, so we will have to put that in the
      > > deep freeze for awhile. The modern mind (and
      > > perhaps the postmodern mind) would respond, NO WAY,
      > > with all the options for God to choose from today, I
      > > will NOT choose this gory version! That's enough to
      > > reject the Bible. (And I'm saying, some have done
      > > just that.)
      > >
      > > 4. The thorough apologist (with a heart �) would
      > > say that none of the above work well. But with a
      > > little inductive logic we can come to realize that
      > > God CAN order this and STILL be loving/just and
      > > worthy of worship. It's a matter of shaking us up a
      > > bit in our wooden (modern) concept of morality, and
      > > our wooden (modern) reading of the Bible, but it can
      > > be done. (Please don't ask me to do it here �)
      > >
      > > I guess what I'm saying is that I AGREE that the
      > > apologist with the answers needs to be tempered with
      > > the reality that dissonance is something to be
      > > recognized and not just brushed aside with
      > > in-your-face answers. However, it seems to me that
      > > too much dissonance, and not enough rigor in our
      > > responses leaves us hanging. A little more rigor in
      > > our thoughts can produce a certain amount of peace
      > > with issues like the above.
      > >
      > > We probably aren't disagreeing at all, really.
      > > And I appreciate being able to hash this out with
      > > you.
      > >
      > > My concern about evangelicalism is that some put
      > > God in a box. Many years ago I noticed that a
      > > feature of cults is that this characteristic is
      > > exaggerated.
      > >
      > > Yes, I agree with both of these statements. Very
      > > good insight!
      > >
      > > Perhaps you've seen one of the treatments of
      > > stages of spiritual growth.
      > >
      > > Yes, I read this in Finding Faith, and it was one
      > > of my favorite parts of the book. I can see this
      > > progression in my own life, and in the lives of
      > > others.
      > >
      > > Typically the first stage is the stage of black
      > > and white. In the area of behavior, for example,
      > > something is either absolutely right or absolutely
      > > wrong. Maturity brings an appreciation of the gray.
      > >
      > >
      > > Yes, and I see your point that the apologist can
      > > fall into this same trap that the cults are in! I
      > > see it!! Too much is black and white and pinned
      > > down. But I am making a distinction between what I
      > > referred to as the "heartless" apologist--for lack
      > > of a better term, and the apologist with the heart
      > > who has gone through the stages at least to some
      > > extent and can deal with the grey--but who can STILL
      > > say that enough of the dissonance can be dealt with
      > > to come to a peace.
      > >
      > > Please feel free to disagree or point out where I
      > > am off track or still stuck.
      > >
      > > This is very difficult for the adherent because
      > > they then have the challenging process ahead of them
      > > of throwing out bathwater while retaining baby. It
      > > becomes easier then to just say, "Forget it" and opt
      > > out of the spiritual game
      > >
      > > I see you point here as well, and I think you have
      > > a very good one. I think you are saying, that
      > > instead of driving people away with answers that
      > > don't really work (like the heartless apologist)
      > > accept the dissonance. I can see that in many cases
      > > this could be the better option. I'm just saying
      > > that too much dissonance (and how do we know how
      > > much is too much for each person--that's another
      > > issue) will also cause relationship with God to
      > > collapse.
      > >
      > > Whew, I'm getting long-winded. Hope you can enjoy
      > > your vacation!!
      > >
      > > Rachel
      > >
      >
      >
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    • Carl Bergstrom
      I ve just stumbled onto this discussion group in the past few days; and I m reading with fascination, confusion, questions and a bit of horror. So this is how
      Message 2 of 16 , Jul 12, 2001
        I've just stumbled onto this discussion group in the
        past few days; and I'm reading with fascination,
        confusion, questions and a bit of horror. So this is
        how enlightened Christians think.

        I'm not a theologian, nor do I know much about post
        modernism, apologetics, etc. And I cannot even figure
        out exactly whose comments are whose. But in
        reference to the ones below about "Take the OT command
        from God for the Israelites to wipe out other nations,
        including innocent children." In all due respect to
        your learned comments about modern vs. post modern,
        did it ever occur to you that whoever wrote the words
        in the OT was just plain wrong? That he probably
        thought that's what God wanted---just as throughout
        the ages people have done things "in God's name"---but
        that wasn't really right? And what we're suppposed to
        understand today, be it modern or post modern, is that
        there is a danger in thinking we have the only and
        correct pipeline to God. And that we can use that
        fallacy to justify all kinds of horrible treatment to
        other of God's children?

        I thought the "post modern" reading was supposed to
        see things in their proper context? Is this heresy?

        And while I'm at it in my ranting and raving, yes, I
        do react to someone with 9 kids beating (forget the
        word "spanking" and recognize child abuse for what it
        is, and don't cop out by quoting "spare the rod and
        spoil the child") his child. This seems so
        stereotypical of groups (fundamentalist christians,
        mormons) who believe they are "right": over-population
        is justified since I'm producing more of my ilk. No
        wonder this person cannot think of a better way to
        teach a little child than too beat her, he has too
        many kids!!!

        Carl Bergstrom


        and Rachel Ramer <crramer@...> wrote:
        > Stephen,
        >
        > Here you are on vacation, and the board starts
        > hoppin'! Please feel free to delay your response.
        >
        > Hey Rachel! That's some good analysis and very
        > helpful! Thank you!! I really haven't spent a lot
        > of time on Miller's site, so I genuinely appreciate
        > your insight on this.
        >
        > The only drawback I see with Miller's site is that
        > he is so thorough, his articles are extremely long.
        > But IMO he's an "apologist" with long thought out
        > answers (not in the dogmatic way some have ANSWERS)
        > but who also has heart. � When you get the time,
        > check out the way he sorts through the problems and
        > possible answers, and let me know what you think. I
        > would be interested if you think he addresses the
        > postmodern mind--not directly as I said--but in a
        > way that they can stomach. For those of you who want
        > to check it out, it's www.christian-thinktank.com
        >
        >
        > I can relate to this. For the first 8 years or so
        > of my spiritual pilgrimage it would not be an
        > overstatement to say that I was paralyzed by
        > crippling doubt. It was just horrible.
        >
        > Yes, that's exactly what I felt. Perhaps that was
        > the beginning of postmodern thought for us?? (See, I
        > still want to categorize and make it all fit.)
        >
        >
        > If you've read my Delights and Dangers articles,
        > please forgive me for being repetitive, but there I
        > tell about my friend who has 9 kids who decided that
        > one of his girls, after she had disobeyed at one
        > point, was mentally ready to be corporally punished
        > (I trust that anyone's objection to corporal
        > punishment will not inhibit them from being able to
        > see the point here). He began to spank her and she
        > was terrorized. Not scared, not upset, but
        > confusedly horrified. He stopped immediately. She
        > was too young and he realized he had misjudged. She
        > knew two things to be true at that moment: 1) Daddy
        > loves me; 2) Daddy is intentionally hurting me. And
        > she was horrified because in her little universe
        > those two facts could not both be true. In her
        > dad's mind, of course, those two facts were entirely
        > consistent. So if such a confusion exists between
        > man and daughter separated by scant decades, imagine
        > the amount of data that would be antinomous between
        > us and the Divine.
        >
        > I don't mind at all you being repetitive. Yes, I
        > read this example on your site. I think it's a very
        > good one! I like it very much, and it's one way to
        > help resolve the dissonance--to accept that there
        > will be some. And there certainly is some with our
        > relationship with God.
        >
        > Let me add this and see what you think. Take the
        > OT command from God for the Israelites to wipe out
        > other nations, including innocent children. To the
        > modern mind, this can cause quite a bit of
        > dissonance--today we could say they were acting like
        > Hitler. In fact, this very thing contributed to the
        > rejection of Christianity for those I referred to
        > earlier. Okay so there are varied responses we can
        > give to this:
        >
        > 1. The "heartless" apologist (grin) might say
        > something like, well the children were not really
        > innocent. We are all fallen, and God knew that they
        > would reject Him anyway. God has a right to send us
        > all to hell anyway. The modern mind would respond,
        > "WHAT!?!" That response causes MORE dissonance! The
        > Israelite children were also "fallen" in this way,
        > so why aren't they being killed as well? And how can
        > we say God is no respecter of persons with this
        > scenario??
        >
        > 2. The apologist with more heart would explain how
        > the other nations had attacked the Israelites first,
        > and that they were responding the same way we
        > responded as a nation in WWII. This is half the
        > answer, in my view, and works quite nicely for all
        > but the innocent children part. We would not
        > intentionally spear innocent children in WWII. So
        > it doesn't go far enough.
        >
        > 3. Those ministering to the postmodern mind
        > (forgive me if I misrepresent here, I'm trying to be
        > accurate) would say, well that does cause a lot of
        > dissonance, to be sure, but we can't fully
        > understand God, so we will have to put that in the
        > deep freeze for awhile. The modern mind (and
        > perhaps the postmodern mind) would respond, NO WAY,
        > with all the options for God to choose from today, I
        > will NOT choose this gory version! That's enough to
        > reject the Bible. (And I'm saying, some have done
        > just that.)
        >
        > 4. The thorough apologist (with a heart �) would
        > say that none of the above work well. But with a
        > little inductive logic we can come to realize that
        > God CAN order this and STILL be loving/just and
        > worthy of worship. It's a matter of shaking us up a
        > bit in our wooden (modern) concept of morality, and
        > our wooden (modern) reading of the Bible, but it can
        > be done. (Please don't ask me to do it here �)
        >
        > I guess what I'm saying is that I AGREE that the
        > apologist with the answers needs to be tempered with
        > the reality that dissonance is something to be
        > recognized and not just brushed aside with
        > in-your-face answers. However, it seems to me that
        > too much dissonance, and not enough rigor in our
        > responses leaves us hanging. A little more rigor in
        > our thoughts can produce a certain amount of peace
        > with issues like the above.
        >
        > We probably aren't disagreeing at all, really.
        > And I appreciate being able to hash this out with
        > you.
        >
        > My concern about evangelicalism is that some put
        > God in a box. Many years ago I noticed that a
        > feature of cults is that this characteristic is
        > exaggerated.
        >
        > Yes, I agree with both of these statements. Very
        > good insight!
        >
        > Perhaps you've seen one of the treatments of
        > stages of spiritual growth.
        >
        > Yes, I read this in Finding Faith, and it was one
        > of my favorite parts of the book. I can see this
        > progression in my own life, and in the lives of
        > others.
        >
        > Typically the first stage is the stage of black
        > and white. In the area of behavior, for example,
        > something is either absolutely right or absolutely
        > wrong. Maturity brings an appreciation of the gray.
        >
        >
        > Yes, and I see your point that the apologist can
        > fall into this same trap that the cults are in! I
        > see it!! Too much is black and white and pinned
        > down. But I am making a distinction between what I
        > referred to as the "heartless" apologist--for lack
        > of a better term, and the apologist with the heart
        > who has gone through the stages at least to some
        > extent and can deal with the grey--but who can STILL
        > say that enough of the dissonance can be dealt with
        > to come to a peace.
        >
        > Please feel free to disagree or point out where I
        > am off track or still stuck.
        >
        > This is very difficult for the adherent because
        > they then have the challenging process ahead of them
        > of throwing out bathwater while retaining baby. It
        > becomes easier then to just say, "Forget it" and opt
        > out of the spiritual game
        >
        > I see you point here as well, and I think you have
        > a very good one. I think you are saying, that
        > instead of driving people away with answers that
        > don't really work (like the heartless apologist)
        > accept the dissonance. I can see that in many cases
        > this could be the better option. I'm just saying
        > that too much dissonance (and how do we know how
        > much is too much for each person--that's another
        > issue) will also cause relationship with God to
        > collapse.
        >
        > Whew, I'm getting long-winded. Hope you can enjoy
        > your vacation!!
        >
        > Rachel
        >


        __________________________________________________
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      • Caroline Wong
        ... That s quite a dilemna. If we assume the writer of Joshua is wrong about what God really wanted (No, you idiots! I said make peace, not war!) then what
        Message 3 of 16 , Jul 12, 2001
          Carl Bergstrom wrote:

          > But in
          > reference to the ones below about "Take the OT command
          > from God for the Israelites to wipe out other nations,
          > including innocent children." In all due respect to
          > your learned comments about modern vs. post modern,
          > did it ever occur to you that whoever wrote the words
          > in the OT was just plain wrong? That he probably
          > thought that's what God wanted---just as throughout
          > the ages people have done things "in God's name"---but
          > that wasn't really right?

          That's quite a dilemna. If we assume the writer of Joshua is wrong about
          what God really wanted (No, you idiots! I said make peace, not war!) then
          what can we really say about what is true and what is not. We can't believe
          God would order Joshua to annihilate the Canaanites because we believe He is
          a good, loving and just God. And we believe He is a good, loving and just
          God because the Bible says so.

          Other religions believe their gods are capricious and sometimes malicious.
          Christianity would not have this cognitive dissonance if we didn't insist on
          Yahweh being good AND sovereign.

          >And what we're suppposed to
          > understand today, be it modern or post modern, is that
          > there is a danger in thinking we have the only and
          > correct pipeline to God. And that we can use that
          > fallacy to justify all kinds of horrible treatment to
          > other of God's children?
          >
          That raises another interesting question. How do we know that we're hearing
          and seeing God correctly? Odd that we can so quickly say so-and-so who
          thinks he's hearing God correctly but so-and-so is clearly out to lunch. By
          what standard do we make those judgements? And how did we come by those
          standards??

          > I thought the "post modern" reading was supposed to
          > see things in their proper context? Is this heresy?
          >
          The Joshua story can be read in several ways. My current way of seeing it
          is as a spiritual allegory. I'm suppose to possess my promised land (the Me
          that God has always wanted) and like Joshua, God has given me a strategy to
          take over hostile territory. First, I'm suppose to capture the heart of the
          land (Jericho) and then branch out from there.

          Actually, Joshua and his crew did not annihilate all the Canaanites and take
          over as they were commanded to. They thought it was too difficult, or they
          thought they could subjugate the Canaanites or they thought they could live
          with them. One only have to open the next book, the book of Judges to read
          about all the troubles the Israelites had with trying to live with the
          Canaanites.

          That addendum to Joshua's story would still be a spiritual allegory of me
          trying to remove evil from my life :)

          Yeah, yeah, I know it's a bit of a cop out to read a story that's held to be
          historical as an allegory. It's something that I've had to put into deep
          freeze for a while. BTW, what Joshua was called to do was more humane than
          what was actually done in his time. All battles had religious overtones to
          them. Torture, rape and brutality was common. So was the idea of
          sacrificing all living things (yup, babies too) to the gods if the gods
          would grant the army victory. Since most battles resulted in one victorious
          army and one defeated army, there was a lot of sacrificing, er, dedications,
          going on.

          Curious question: If you were God, how would you clear up land for your
          chosen people? Drought? Plague? Loud rock music? Battle under a chosen
          leader?

          Caroline
        • Curtis and Rachel Ramer
          Carl, Thanks for your comments. So this is ... Um, I don t see myself as enlightened. I see myself as struggling forward and occasionally getting rays of
          Message 4 of 16 , Jul 12, 2001
            Carl,

            Thanks for your comments.

            So this is
            > how enlightened Christians think.

            Um, I don't see myself as enlightened. I see myself as struggling forward
            and occasionally getting rays of light through my darkness. :0)

            In all due respect to
            > your learned comments about modern vs. post modern,
            > did it ever occur to you that whoever wrote the words
            > in the OT was just plain wrong?

            Oh yes, that has certainly occurred to me! I shared earlier that I went
            through a long period of doubts about Christianity and the Bible. What I
            discovered through that was that while accepting the Bible caused quite a
            bit of "cognitive dissonance", rejecting it caused even MORE. You may not
            understand what I mean by that, but the description of God in the Bible
            seems to me to be the best description of what a God of this universe would
            be like--in other aspects, not this passage in particular. While I struggle
            with these difficult passages of the Bible, other passages shine through
            gloriously with meaning that I find nowhere else. I'm not very good at
            putting this into words, I know. Jesus stands out as true from its pages,
            and He was able to somehow hold this together in His mind.

            That he probably
            > thought that's what God wanted---just as throughout
            > the ages people have done things "in God's name"---but
            > that wasn't really right? And what we're supposed to
            > understand today, be it modern or post modern, is that
            > there is a danger in thinking we have the only and
            > correct pipeline to God. And that we can use that
            > fallacy to justify all kinds of horrible treatment to
            > other of God's children?

            Yes, I agree that this is extremely dangerous!! God help us.

            As I said, Glenn Miller has addressed quite a few difficult issues. You may
            not find it helpful, but you could check out his site and see what is up
            there. www.christian-thinktank.com For example, you might want to check out
            his Objection Index, and his Hallway of Questions.

            Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

            Rachel
          • Stephen Shields
            Hi Carl, You wrote: And I cannot even figure out exactly whose comments are whose. I can empathize! I m on a number of yahoogroups and I subscribe to them
            Message 5 of 16 , Jul 13, 2001
              Hi Carl,

              You wrote:

              "And I cannot even figure
              out exactly whose comments are whose."

              I can empathize! I'm on a number of yahoogroups and I subscribe to them in
              digest form. Sometimes it's very hard to discern the threads!

              "But in reference to the ones below about "Take the OT command
              from God for the Israelites to wipe out other nations,
              including innocent children." In all due respect to
              your learned comments about modern vs. post modern,
              did it ever occur to you that whoever wrote the words
              in the OT was just plain wrong? That he probably
              thought that's what God wanted---just as throughout
              the ages people have done things "in God's name"---but
              that wasn't really right? "

              I'm not remembering who wrote that on this list but those passages are the
              most disturbing ones that I find in the Scriptures. I don't get them. To
              be honest with you, Carl, with respect, I'm not comfortable with how you've
              reconciled yourself to those passages - that approach creates other problems
              for me - , but - on the other hand - I don't feel that I have an alternative
              explanation that I could give you that would make you go, "Oh, ok, *that*
              makes perfect sense."

              Yesterday one of the networks ran a story about the fact that 4-5 children
              have died in the last few days from people leaving them in hot cars. I saw
              a gripping scene of a group of cops trying to free 2 kids from a Dodge
              Caravan when a mother walked up. One of the cops pointed at this woman and
              demanded, "Are you the mom??" Yesterday here in Va Beach a car careened out
              of control and snuffed out the life of a 2 year old boy who was being walked
              by his mom in a stroller. I also don't understand why God lets this stuff
              happen. It's one of the most difficult aspects of my faithmap and I don't
              have a good, satisfying explanation.

              For what it's worth, when I was a small child and had somehow gotten an idea
              of my father's hourly wage, I also could not for the life of me understand
              why he did not buy me more of the little $1.39 toys that hung from the
              little metal bars on those circular toy racks that used to be in grocery
              stores. It didn't make any sense at all to me. I simply did not have all
              the information and wisdom at that time to make an informed judgment on the
              matter. That is what I feel about myself now with these issues. I just
              don't think my brain is big enough or informed enough to get it.

              The only comfort I do get from such questions is that I would expect that if
              God really does know everything and have all wisdom, it would make perfect
              sense that there would be things that he would do that would leave me
              scratching my head. If I completely understood him, that would be
              indication that the human mind created Him rather than the reverse. But I'm
              not writing this to make you go, "Oh, ok, I'm all fine then" !

              And regarding spanking, there are many Christians who agree with you. I'll
              have to consider whether using that story as an example is too much of a
              distraction in future contexts.

              Anyway, Carl, thanks for being honest and open with us here. I think you
              are expressing the kinds of feelings that many of us have had.

              Stephen Shields
              sshields@...
              http://www.faithmaps.org
            • Stephen Shields
              addition in ** ** s For The only comfort I do get from such questions is that I would expect that if God really does know everything and have all wisdom, it
              Message 6 of 16 , Jul 13, 2001
                addition in ** **'s
                 
                For
                 
                The only comfort I do get from such questions is that I would expect that if
                God really does know everything and have all wisdom, it would make perfect
                sense that there would be things that he would do that would leave me
                scratching my head. 
                 
                read
                 
                The only comfort I do get from such questions is that I would expect that if
                God really does know everything and have all wisdom, it would make perfect
                sense that there would be things that he would do **or allow to be done** that would leave me
                scratching my head. 
                 

                Stephen Shields
                sshields@...
                http://www.faithmaps.org

                -----Original Message-----
                From: sentto-1145832-95-995020618-stephen=shieldsplace.org@... [mailto:sentto-1145832-95-995020618-stephen=shieldsplace.org@...]On Behalf Of Stephen Shields
                Sent: Friday, July 13, 2001 6:40 AM
                To: findingfaith@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: RE: Out with the new, in with the ancient

                Hi Carl,

                You wrote:

                "And I cannot even figure
                out exactly whose comments are whose."

                I can empathize!  I'm on a number of yahoogroups and I subscribe to them in
                digest form.  Sometimes it's very hard to discern the threads!

                "But in reference to the ones below about "Take the OT command
                from God for the Israelites to wipe out other nations,
                including innocent children."  In all due respect to
                your learned comments about modern vs. post modern,
                did it ever occur to you that whoever wrote the words
                in the OT was just plain wrong?  That he probably
                thought that's what God wanted---just as throughout
                the ages people have done things "in God's name"---but
                that wasn't really right? "

                I'm not remembering who wrote that on this list but those passages are the
                most disturbing ones that I find in the Scriptures.  I don't get them.  To
                be honest with you, Carl, with respect, I'm not comfortable with how you've
                reconciled yourself to those passages - that approach creates other problems
                for me - , but - on the other hand - I don't feel that I have an alternative
                explanation that I could give you that would make you go, "Oh, ok, *that*
                makes perfect sense."

                Yesterday one of the networks ran a story about the fact that 4-5 children
                have died in the last few days from people leaving them in hot cars.  I saw
                a gripping scene of a group of cops trying to free 2 kids from a Dodge
                Caravan when a mother walked up.  One of the cops pointed at this woman and
                demanded, "Are you the mom??"  Yesterday here in Va Beach a car careened out
                of control and snuffed out the life of a 2 year old boy who was being walked
                by his mom in a stroller.  I also don't understand why God lets this stuff
                happen.  It's one of the most difficult aspects of my faithmap and I don't
                have a good, satisfying explanation.

                For what it's worth, when I was a small child and had somehow gotten an idea
                of my father's hourly wage, I also could not for the life of me understand
                why he did not buy me more of the little $1.39 toys that hung from the
                little metal bars on those circular toy racks that used to be in grocery
                stores.  It didn't make any sense at all to me.  I simply did not have all
                the information and wisdom at that time to make an informed judgment on the
                matter.  That is what I feel about myself now with these issues.  I just
                don't think my brain is big enough or informed enough to get it.

                The only comfort I do get from such questions is that I would expect that if
                God really does know everything and have all wisdom, it would make perfect
                sense that there would be things that he would do that would leave me
                scratching my head.  If I completely understood him, that would be
                indication that the human mind created Him rather than the reverse.  But I'm
                not writing this to make you go, "Oh, ok, I'm all fine then" !

                And regarding spanking, there are many Christians who agree with you.  I'll
                have to consider whether using that story as an example is too much of a
                distraction in future contexts.

                Anyway, Carl, thanks for being honest and open with us here.  I think you
                are expressing the kinds of feelings that many of us have had.

                Stephen Shields
                sshields@...
                http://www.faithmaps.org



                Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
              • carlpb92111@yahoo.com
                Hi Stephen--- I appreciate your kindness and gentleness in your remarks. If I remember my scripture correctly, when Jesus was asked what were the two greatest
                Message 7 of 16 , Jul 13, 2001
                  Hi Stephen---

                  I appreciate your kindness and gentleness in your remarks. If I
                  remember my scripture correctly, when Jesus was asked what were the
                  two greatest commandments, he said "To love the Lord your god with
                  all your heart, soul and mind; and the second is a lot like the
                  first: to love your neighbor as yourself." And if Christians believe
                  Jesus was God's son, come to save the world, and certainly help us
                  better understand God, then why wouldn't we assume God is the love
                  Jesus expressed? And hence God would not command someone to "wipe
                  out children." It always seems to me that we pick and choose what we
                  want to use from scripture to support our particular point---I just
                  did it. There is such a danger in that.

                  Another point, all behavior is so culturally relative. I watched a
                  PBS TV show about this recently; and just about any human behavior,
                  no matter how repulsive we might find it, has been acceptable by some
                  group at some time. I think this is an important consideration when
                  reading the Bible. And for reacting to these times: an example is
                  the stem cell research. How were the early organ transplants viewed
                  by society? Today, just about anyone accept a Christian Scientist
                  would probably consider this procedure, or some type of artificial
                  implant. 10 years from now we'll probably all embrace harvesting and
                  using organs from stem cell factories.

                  Also, regarding the spanking comment and the large family, I'm the
                  5th of 10; and my father whipped me with a leather razor strap many,
                  many times. He was a devout Christian, always justifying his actions
                  with some Biblical quote. My father is long dead, and I'm 58 with 3
                  grown children (and four grandchildren) and I think I've forgiven my
                  father. But I still react to some of the old tapes.

                  Also, I'm not a Christian, not by any fundamentalist definition. I
                  am a Christian by upbringing, by baptism, by confirmation, etc., but
                  it just isn't my belief---so I know I see scripture differently than
                  Christians. But the first 15 years of my life I went to church,
                  Sunday school, Sunday night service, Wednesday night prayer meeting,
                  youth groups; and heard my father daily read the Bible, pray, give
                  homilies as we worked on our 80 acre vegetable farm, ad nauseum. And
                  I spent about 15 years as an adult involved in churches that were
                  more middle of the road, i.e., Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian. So
                  the old tapes there die hard, too; and apparently I'm drawn back to
                  Christianity by the very fact that I'm writing this when I have other
                  work to do to wind up my week. Incidentally, I ordered the other two
                  McLaren books, "Finding Faith" and "Church on the Other Side";
                  started reading COS.

                  Peace and love---
                  Carl Bergstrom



                  --- In findingfaith@y..., "Stephen Shields" <sshields@f...> wrote:
                  > addition in ** **'s
                  >
                  > For
                  >
                  > The only comfort I do get from such questions is that I would
                  expect that if
                  > God really does know everything and have all wisdom, it would make
                  perfect
                  > sense that there would be things that he would do that would leave
                  me
                  > scratching my head.
                  >
                  > read
                  >
                  > The only comfort I do get from such questions is that I would
                  expect that if
                  > God really does know everything and have all wisdom, it would make
                  perfect
                  > sense that there would be things that he would do **or allow to be
                  done**
                  > that would leave me
                  > scratching my head.
                  >
                  > Stephen Shields
                  > sshields@f...
                  > http://www.faithmaps.org
                  >
                  >
                  > -----Original Message-----
                  > From:
                  > sentto-1145832-95-995020618-stephen=shieldsplace.org@r...
                  > [mailto:sentto-1145832-95-995020618-stephen=shieldsplace.org@r...
                  > .com]On Behalf Of Stephen Shields
                  > Sent: Friday, July 13, 2001 6:40 AM
                  > To: findingfaith@y...
                  > Subject: RE: Out with the new, in with the ancient
                  >
                  >
                  > Hi Carl,
                  >
                  > You wrote:
                  >
                  > "And I cannot even figure
                  > out exactly whose comments are whose."
                  >
                  > I can empathize! I'm on a number of yahoogroups and I subscribe
                  to them
                  > in
                  > digest form. Sometimes it's very hard to discern the threads!
                  >
                  > "But in reference to the ones below about "Take the OT command
                  > from God for the Israelites to wipe out other nations,
                  > including innocent children." In all due respect to
                  > your learned comments about modern vs. post modern,
                  > did it ever occur to you that whoever wrote the words
                  > in the OT was just plain wrong? That he probably
                  > thought that's what God wanted---just as throughout
                  > the ages people have done things "in God's name"---but
                  > that wasn't really right? "
                  >
                  > I'm not remembering who wrote that on this list but those
                  passages are the
                  > most disturbing ones that I find in the Scriptures. I don't get
                  them. To
                  > be honest with you, Carl, with respect, I'm not comfortable with
                  how
                  > you've
                  > reconciled yourself to those passages - that approach creates
                  other
                  > problems
                  > for me - , but - on the other hand - I don't feel that I have an
                  > alternative
                  > explanation that I could give you that would make you go, "Oh,
                  ok, *that*
                  > makes perfect sense."
                  >
                  > Yesterday one of the networks ran a story about the fact that 4-5
                  children
                  > have died in the last few days from people leaving them in hot
                  cars. I
                  > saw
                  > a gripping scene of a group of cops trying to free 2 kids from a
                  Dodge
                  > Caravan when a mother walked up. One of the cops pointed at this
                  woman
                  > and
                  > demanded, "Are you the mom??" Yesterday here in Va Beach a car
                  careened
                  > out
                  > of control and snuffed out the life of a 2 year old boy who was
                  being
                  > walked
                  > by his mom in a stroller. I also don't understand why God lets
                  this stuff
                  > happen. It's one of the most difficult aspects of my faithmap
                  and I don't
                  > have a good, satisfying explanation.
                  >
                  > For what it's worth, when I was a small child and had somehow
                  gotten an
                  > idea
                  > of my father's hourly wage, I also could not for the life of me
                  understand
                  > why he did not buy me more of the little $1.39 toys that hung
                  from the
                  > little metal bars on those circular toy racks that used to be in
                  grocery
                  > stores. It didn't make any sense at all to me. I simply did not
                  have all
                  > the information and wisdom at that time to make an informed
                  judgment on
                  > the
                  > matter. That is what I feel about myself now with these issues.
                  I just
                  > don't think my brain is big enough or informed enough to get it.
                  >
                  > The only comfort I do get from such questions is that I would
                  expect that
                  > if
                  > God really does know everything and have all wisdom, it would
                  make perfect
                  > sense that there would be things that he would do that would
                  leave me
                  > scratching my head. If I completely understood him, that would be
                  > indication that the human mind created Him rather than the
                  reverse. But
                  > I'm
                  > not writing this to make you go, "Oh, ok, I'm all fine then" !
                  >
                  > And regarding spanking, there are many Christians who agree with
                  you.
                  > I'll
                  > have to consider whether using that story as an example is too
                  much of a
                  > distraction in future contexts.
                  >
                  > Anyway, Carl, thanks for being honest and open with us here. I
                  think you
                  > are expressing the kinds of feelings that many of us have had.
                  >
                  > Stephen Shields
                  > sshields@f...
                  > http://www.faithmaps.org
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
                  Service.
                • Stephen Shields
                  Thanks Carl. Here s to your search for new CDs and to mine. Stephen Shields sshields@faithmaps.org http://www.faithmaps.org ... From:
                  Message 8 of 16 , Jul 13, 2001
                    Thanks Carl.  Here's to your search for new CDs and to mine.

                    Stephen Shields
                    sshields@...
                    http://www.faithmaps.org

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: sentto-1145832-101-995061376-sshields=faithmaps.org@... [mailto:sentto-1145832-101-995061376-sshields=faithmaps.org@...]On Behalf Of carlpb92111@...
                    Sent: Friday, July 13, 2001 5:56 PM
                    To: findingfaith@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: edit

                    Hi Stephen---

                    I appreciate your kindness and gentleness in your remarks.  If I
                    remember my scripture correctly, when Jesus was asked what were the
                    two greatest commandments, he said "To love the Lord your god with
                    all your heart, soul and mind; and the second is a lot like the
                    first: to love your neighbor as yourself."  And if Christians believe
                    Jesus was God's son, come to save the world, and certainly help us
                    better understand God, then why wouldn't we assume God is the love
                    Jesus expressed?  And hence God would not command someone to "wipe
                    out children."  It always seems to me that we pick and choose what we
                    want to use from scripture to support our particular point---I just
                    did it.  There is such a danger in that.

                    Another point, all behavior is so culturally relative.  I watched a
                    PBS TV show about this recently; and just about any human behavior,
                    no matter how repulsive we might find it, has been acceptable by some
                    group at some time.  I think this is an important consideration when
                    reading the Bible.  And for reacting to these times: an example is
                    the stem cell research.  How were the early organ transplants viewed
                    by society?  Today, just about anyone accept a Christian Scientist
                    would probably  consider this procedure, or some type of artificial
                    implant.  10 years from now we'll probably all embrace harvesting and
                    using organs from stem cell factories.

                    Also, regarding the spanking comment and the large family, I'm the
                    5th of 10; and my father whipped me with a leather razor strap many,
                    many times.  He was a devout Christian, always justifying his actions
                    with some Biblical quote.  My father is long dead, and I'm 58 with 3
                    grown children (and four grandchildren) and I think I've forgiven my
                    father.  But I still react to some of the old tapes.

                    Also, I'm not a Christian, not by any fundamentalist definition.  I
                    am a Christian by upbringing, by baptism, by confirmation, etc., but
                    it just isn't my belief---so I know I see scripture differently than
                    Christians.  But the first 15 years of my life I went to church,
                    Sunday school, Sunday night service, Wednesday night prayer meeting,
                    youth groups; and heard my father daily read the Bible, pray, give
                    homilies as we worked on our 80 acre vegetable farm, ad nauseum.  And
                    I spent about 15 years as an adult involved in churches that were
                    more middle of the road, i.e., Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian.  So
                    the old tapes there die hard, too; and apparently I'm drawn back to
                    Christianity by the very fact that I'm writing this when I have other
                    work to do to wind up my week.  Incidentally, I ordered the other two
                    McLaren books, "Finding Faith" and "Church on the Other Side";
                    started reading COS.

                    Peace and love---
                    Carl Bergstrom



                    --- In findingfaith@y..., "Stephen Shields" <sshields@f...> wrote:
                    > addition in ** **'s
                    >
                    > For
                    >
                    > The only comfort I do get from such questions is that I would
                    expect that if
                    > God really does know everything and have all wisdom, it would make
                    perfect
                    > sense that there would be things that he would do that would leave
                    me
                    > scratching my head.
                    >
                    > read
                    >
                    > The only comfort I do get from such questions is that I would
                    expect that if
                    > God really does know everything and have all wisdom, it would make
                    perfect
                    > sense that there would be things that he would do **or allow to be
                    done**
                    > that would leave me
                    > scratching my head.
                    >
                    > Stephen Shields
                    > sshields@f...
                    > http://www.faithmaps.org
                    >
                    >
                    >   -----Original Message-----
                    >   From:
                    > sentto-1145832-95-995020618-stephen=shieldsplace.org@r...
                    > [mailto:sentto-1145832-95-995020618-stephen=shieldsplace.org@r...
                    > .com]On Behalf Of Stephen Shields
                    >   Sent: Friday, July 13, 2001 6:40 AM
                    >   To: findingfaith@y...
                    >   Subject: RE: Out with the new, in with the ancient
                    >
                    >
                    >   Hi Carl,
                    >
                    >   You wrote:
                    >
                    >   "And I cannot even figure
                    >   out exactly whose comments are whose."
                    >
                    >   I can empathize!  I'm on a number of yahoogroups and I subscribe
                    to them
                    > in
                    >   digest form.  Sometimes it's very hard to discern the threads!
                    >
                    >   "But in reference to the ones below about "Take the OT command
                    >   from God for the Israelites to wipe out other nations,
                    >   including innocent children."  In all due respect to
                    >   your learned comments about modern vs. post modern,
                    >   did it ever occur to you that whoever wrote the words
                    >   in the OT was just plain wrong?  That he probably
                    >   thought that's what God wanted---just as throughout
                    >   the ages people have done things "in God's name"---but
                    >   that wasn't really right? "
                    >
                    >   I'm not remembering who wrote that on this list but those
                    passages are the
                    >   most disturbing ones that I find in the Scriptures.  I don't get
                    them.  To
                    >   be honest with you, Carl, with respect, I'm not comfortable with
                    how
                    > you've
                    >   reconciled yourself to those passages - that approach creates
                    other
                    > problems
                    >   for me - , but - on the other hand - I don't feel that I have an
                    > alternative
                    >   explanation that I could give you that would make you go, "Oh,
                    ok, *that*
                    >   makes perfect sense."
                    >
                    >   Yesterday one of the networks ran a story about the fact that 4-5
                    children
                    >   have died in the last few days from people leaving them in hot
                    cars.  I
                    > saw
                    >   a gripping scene of a group of cops trying to free 2 kids from a
                    Dodge
                    >   Caravan when a mother walked up.  One of the cops pointed at this
                    woman
                    > and
                    >   demanded, "Are you the mom??"  Yesterday here in Va Beach a car
                    careened
                    > out
                    >   of control and snuffed out the life of a 2 year old boy who was
                    being
                    > walked
                    >   by his mom in a stroller.  I also don't understand why God lets
                    this stuff
                    >   happen.  It's one of the most difficult aspects of my faithmap
                    and I don't
                    >   have a good, satisfying explanation.
                    >
                    >   For what it's worth, when I was a small child and had somehow
                    gotten an
                    > idea
                    >   of my father's hourly wage, I also could not for the life of me
                    understand
                    >   why he did not buy me more of the little $1.39 toys that hung
                    from the
                    >   little metal bars on those circular toy racks that used to be in
                    grocery
                    >   stores.  It didn't make any sense at all to me.  I simply did not
                    have all
                    >   the information and wisdom at that time to make an informed
                    judgment on
                    > the
                    >   matter.  That is what I feel about myself now with these issues. 
                    I just
                    >   don't think my brain is big enough or informed enough to get it.
                    >
                    >   The only comfort I do get from such questions is that I would
                    expect that
                    > if
                    >   God really does know everything and have all wisdom, it would
                    make perfect
                    >   sense that there would be things that he would do that would
                    leave me
                    >   scratching my head.  If I completely understood him, that would be
                    >   indication that the human mind created Him rather than the
                    reverse.  But
                    > I'm
                    >   not writing this to make you go, "Oh, ok, I'm all fine then" !
                    >
                    >   And regarding spanking, there are many Christians who agree with
                    you.
                    > I'll
                    >   have to consider whether using that story as an example is too
                    much of a
                    >   distraction in future contexts.
                    >
                    >   Anyway, Carl, thanks for being honest and open with us here.  I
                    think you
                    >   are expressing the kinds of feelings that many of us have had.
                    >
                    >   Stephen Shields
                    >   sshields@f...
                    >   http://www.faithmaps.org
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >   Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
                    Service.


                    Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
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