Doctrine

Lesson 21:  How Does God Operate in this World 3

Lesson 21: How Does God Operate in this World 3

Bob and Myron were discussing which option is more an impediment to Christian faith: 1) God only rarely intervenes in the natural world or 2) God can not or elects not to intervene at all. Both indicated neither option is very satisfactory. I think some of the problem is we inevitably frame the problem as […]

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Lesson 22: How Does God Operate in Natural Events

Lesson 22: How Does God Operate in Natural Events

Let me add another thought before we move on. We used to see meaning in nature and even thought we could discern natural laws which taught ethical principles. So it made sense that we could ask questions such as “How does God operate in natural events?” However, things have changed greatly in the past couple […]

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Lesson 23: How Does God Operate in People?

Lesson 23: How Does God Operate in People?

Lupe from Bolivia in the Lesson 20 comments wrote: “The grain of sand has no notion of the beach, the drop of water has no notion of the ocean. They are, for a certain period of time, and so are we. That we suffer and are aware is a gift, of course, with consequences for […]

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Lesson 24: How Does God Operate Through People?  Part 2

Lesson 24: How Does God Operate Through People? Part 2

Last week I noted that just about every major character who acts for God in the Old Testament is called “God’s Servant”. I suggested Isaiah’s four servant hymns offer the best definition of what that means: God’s servant works for justice, cares for the weak, uses only words not weapons, and suffers for God. This […]

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Lesson 25: How Does God Operate Through People?  Part 3

Lesson 25: How Does God Operate Through People? Part 3

Both Bob from Italy and Lupe from Bolivia move us to acting for God as service rather than servanthood. Bob speaks of co-operation and individual acts of mercy, such as feeding the hungry neighbor. Some theologians believe we should make co-operation, in contrast to competition, a primary contemporary Christian emphasis. Lupe suggests looking at service […]

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Lesson 26: How Does God Operate?

Lesson 26: How Does God Operate?

I can best explain my position on suffering by enclosing below a short paper I wrote decades ago to start discussion at a Lutheran conference. I think the Christian faith is contrarian by nature. We have some trouble seeing that, because it is so closely aligned with Northern American society. Most of the time I […]

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Lesson 27: How Does God Operate Through Words?

Lesson 27: How Does God Operate Through Words?

Enough about God operating through natural events and people! Let’s get to the bottom line. God operates in this world primarily through words. The religions claim words provide our contact with God. The ancient Vedas of the East say, “On the spoken word all the gods depend, all beasts and men, in the word live […]

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Lesson 28: How Does God Operate Through Words?  Part 2

Lesson 28: How Does God Operate Through Words? Part 2

Last week Bob commented, “How do we separate these false prophets from those who truly proclaim the word of God? I think to do so we have to have a conception, an overall picture, of what Christianity truly is… So from the Bible, other religious writings, sermons, prayer, discussions, etc. each of us must decide […]

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Lesson 29: How Does God Operate Through Words? Part 3

Lesson 29: How Does God Operate Through Words? Part 3

Two weeks ago I suggested present day false prophets are either liars or bull-shitters. Bob added a third category- the truly stupid. Last week Myron agreed that “an informed consumer” is our best hope in overcoming these “wolves in sheep’s clothing” and “money-grubbing televangelist charlatans”. Obviously, the three of us do not like false prophets. […]

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Lesson 30:  How Does God Operate Through Words?  Part 4

Lesson 30: How Does God Operate Through Words? Part 4

Bob suggests we’ll always have false prophets, because we’ll always have people looking for religious interpretations that support their preconceived ideas and prejudices. I think we are bound to have more, because of the way modern media uses words. We are leaving the age of the printing press when people saw books as “hard copy’ […]

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