Tagged: god

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In defense of Bible stories

I have spent a long time hating Bible story books. They tell a little story in isolation from the rest of the Bible’s narrative, and then they draw out some facile and vacuous moral, like: “Go be like Samson,” which happens to be awful advice. If my kids turn out like Samson, I may have to start taking drugs. But little tellings of little stories is how humans make culture. Am I short-circuiting the process by trying to dissolve the Samson story into the Jesus story? Is it perhaps not my job to hand my kids a finished pile of knowledge, but instead to induct them into a process that’s been going on a long time and is not yet finished — the process of getting to know an undomesticated God who refuses to fit into a single story?

2

Cain and Abel: 10,000 B.C.

It’s 10,000 B.C.  You live in a tribe of nomadic hunter-gatherers who have recently added goat-herding to your food production repertoire.  But one of your neighboring tribes has started farming—planting and harvesting crops from their single permanent settlement.  Their slash-and-burn technique gave them a couple good harvests until it depleted the soil and stopped producing. They sacrifice a portion of their crop to El (just like you do with your goats), but El is no longer rewarding them with good harvests.  They work their butts off from sunrise to sunset every day (in contrast to your 14-hour work week), but...

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What we talk about when we talk about God

What We Talk About When We Talk About God, by Rob Bell.  This gets at a lot of the reasons why I don’t like normal “God talk,” but why I can’t stop paying attention to this thing that I don’t have any better word for.