Friday, June 27, 2008

Musings

I have been listening to old podcasts from Speaking of Faith. I discovered this NPR program during my time in Michigan. I haven't heard it anywhere else I've been. In late 2007 (I think) Krista Tippett interviewed Jim Wallis and Rick and Kay Warren.

A quote from Wallis: hope is a decision that change is possible.

From Rick Warren: He is trying to bring together both strands of Christianity: personal morality/family values and social justice. He talked about being "pastor" to leaders including GW Bush. When questioned about what he said to those leaders, he said he was a pastor and never talked about policy. He only talked about issues of character: their integrity and so forth. Hmmmm, what about social justice? I have ordered Kay Warren's book.

Free Will. I have been searching for about half and hour for something I read yesterday. I can't find it, so I hope I'm not mis-representing what I read. McCain is quoted as saying that God did not choose to make him a prisoner of war, and so forth. The quote was on a more right wing blog/website. The reaction was that the God that McCain protrayed was not a God that Christians believe in.

So, assume we have free will. When a person who is drunk, chooses to drink too much and runs over me, does God make that happen? Was that God's will? If so, what happened to the drunk's free will?

If humans don't have free will, if everything in life is preordained, under God's control, then why does anything I do matter? If I am already predestined for heaven/hell, then I should just do what I want to do. I believe the traditional Calvinist reply is that we don't know; those predestined for heaven act well, therefore we should act as if we are destined for heaven.

I think the reaction of the writer was that if God is not in control of everything, then that makes God a stand off God, like the God of the deists. What that criticism misses is a middle position. What if God is like a parent of a teen ager (a not overly protective parent). The parent lets the child choose and make mistakes and suffer the consequences of the mistakes. The parent doesn't control the child, but is there to be with the child as s/he picks up the pieces.

4 comments:

Songbird said...

Yes.
I hate to think that everything is pre-ordained. It's particularly on my mind as I come to grips with learning I have a chronic illness, and I can only imagine how true that is as you go through cancer treatments.

Joan Calvin said...

One oncologist called my cancer "just bad luck cancer." No genetic markers, no environmental factors (that I know of). Random, chaotic.

Miracles happen. Not because God intervenes, but because dedicated men and women search for answers, for cures, for medicines.

I don't think God wanted to teach me a lesson, but I will learn from this experience. (Once I get over the anger currently directed at doctors.)

She Rev said...

That series about the "new Evangelicals" was a good one on SOF. I discovered the show in Lincoln, NE, but it was on at the worst time! They played it Sunday mornings at about 7:00 a.m. A whole lot of people of faith who might listen to it are getting ready for church at 7:00 a.m. I would catch a little on my way in to the church, but then started downloading the podcasts when I got an iPod. Much better for me! I'm sure it's on the NPR stations here in the Twin Cities since it's recorded right in downtown St. Paul, but I've never bothered to find it since I download it.

LOVE it!

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