Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Questions about "Deconstructing criticism |"

My questions for William Lobdell and his article "Deconstructing criticism"...

I like his site and this article. Thinking of buying his book too. As you guys know, I’m currently in the process of seriously re-evaluating my beliefs and attempting to answer a LOAD of questions… So I may be heading in his direction. However I don’t quite follow some of what he says there…

“…Christian institutions should behave in a manner morally superior than their secular counterparts.”

Why would this necessarily be the case? One of the questions I asked above was about why it didn’t impact my life “enough”, so I kind of get this. But where does the Bible say that churches WILL be morally superior? Maybe it indicates or says they SHOULD be… but maybe that’s just not the case. Maybe the “success” of Christianity is not measurable by the actions of it’s followers? I don’t know what it is measurable by if not though!

“More likely, if I’m wrong and there is a loving God, I imagine he would look at me and said, 'Son, I know how hard you struggled to believe. I’m very proud of your effort. I love you. Let’s spend eternity together.' What would you do as a loving father?”
Not sure what I think about this. I kind of feel that if God is God and he sets the rules then they’re absolute… follow me & go to heaven - don’t follow me and don’t go to heaven. Is there a good reason to believe in a soft God that’ll go back on his word?

I’m interested in his thoughts and experiences, but it seems quite “me” centred - questioning the experiential truth of it (as if it should noticeably work out for him) rather than questioning the factual truth of it (Did it happen? Does he exist?). If it’s true, then any of the questions you raise above can be answered pretty much by saying “God is God, He makes the rules”.

However, the big question on my mind, and no doubt it has been on his, is: how do you know what is true?


As I was pondering these things last night I realised another reason why the above didn't sit right with me. On the one hand he appears to be saying "God can't exist, because the people who try to follow him are not changed enough by him" and on the other hand saying "If God exists, I want him to reward me for my efforts despite not being changed"... don't those 2 kind of contradict each other? It's almost like one rule for himself (Forgive me, I tried hard!) and one for the church (Unforgivable - they're trying but not changing!).

The tenable positions related to this, given that the church isn't living up to expectations, are as follows (in my view):

  • Church isn't good enough, I'm not good enough, but if God exists he should forgive us all
  • Church isn't good enough, I'm not good enough and if God exists he should punish us all
You can't go for a middle ground can you?

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