Tuesday, September 16, 2008

God talk and blogging

My longtime friend Brad Hightower started blogging again. Brad's my token Christian friend. He's also a pastor, although he is in-between jobs currently. Brad's a smart guy. His posts are interesting and thought provoking. He even references me in a recent post on his current theological fanboi crush, N.T. Wright.

Such a view takes many forms in the popular mind. For example, I have an acquaintance, an intelligent and educated man, who believes that the most likely scenario is that Jesus didn’t even ever exist. This reconstruction starts with the idea that there is a gap between the historical Jesus and the Christian faith as developed by the biblical writers and takes this gap to its logical extreme.

He thinks I'm smart, so be nice.

Brad and I had one of our fundamental God disconnects today. We were discussing comments made by survivors and relatives of victims from a local commuter train wreck. 25 people died a horrible death. The local news is full of stories of people claiming the untimely deaths were "God's will", or stories of survivors who missed certain death because "God had a plan" for their lives. In one case, a woman who normally rides in the front car sat in the back of the train instead and thereby avoided certain death. When asked why, she said it was God's will that she live (instead of admitting that the car was full). I understand if people need a higher power to help in the grieving process, but thinking that God had a plan and it somehow involved saving your life while 25 other people were killed and another 135 were injured, well... that's just nuts.

I pressed on... so God has a plan, but he does not actually ever step in and do anything, right? Brad's answers are contradictory, and confusing. Apparently God sends messages to your heart and you know this through knowing the bible. But God does not ever actually step in and cause train wrecks. You see, people who believe that God takes an active hand in their life's don't really understand the bible. At this point my mind goes POP.

Dear Brad. I would venture a guess that 8 out of 10 Christians would disagree. They pray for a new car, or thank God when they survive a train wreck. They believe God guides their fate. You either have freewill or you don't. From where I sit it looks like Christians think they have both when they have neither.

Welcome back Brad. Now go forth and write.

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