Monthly Archives: October 2010

We Live Our Lives As If They Were Meaningful

Thom Stark in an interview about polytheism in the Old Testament. I like his articulation of the idea that ultimate meanings, not material details, are what we build our faith upon.

Truthful God-talk is poetry, not science—evocative, not descriptive. “Faith” is what we have when we live our lives as if they were meaningful…

He says this in the context of finding polytheism in the old-old-testament that is then reinterpreted to monotheism in the newer-old-testament. To put the quote in proper context I’ll provide the rest of it here.

…and Christianity offers us one language that helps us do that. Like any language, of course, there are different dialects, accents, and vocabularies. Just as with English speakers, some Christians get irony, metaphor, and humor, and others don’t. Moreover, just as languages evolve to adapt to new realities and new knowledge, religions do the same, and rightly so, whether practitioners acknowledge it or not.

Stop Pretending You’re a Christian

Some timely Bible application from James McGrath given the number of stories about bullying and suicide in the news lately. He started by quoting Jesus about how Christians are to treat different groups of people: friends, family, strangers, enemies, and everyone really. Then he writes this:

The heart of the matter is this: Jesus didn’t say “Bully people until they commit suicide.” And so those who engage in such bullying, and those who bring up their children in such a way that they can feel justified in doing such things, are not practicing Christianity nor bringing up their children in a Christian way. We have no record of anti-gay speech from Jesus. We do have a story about him responding to his own rejection, and the suggestion of his disciples that fire be called down from heaven upon those who didn’t welcome him, with a rebuke (Luke 9:53-56). If you don’t get this, then you don’t get Christianity – that’s all there is to it. If you are a Christian that consider homosexuals and “gay activists” your enemies, then you have two options: love them, or stop pretending you’re a Christian. I don’t see that you’re left with a third option.