"Toothless" Christianity

Allan Harvey (aharvey@boulder.nist.gov)
Sat, 28 Mar 1998 12:19:19 -0700

At 11:44 PM 3/26/98 +0000, William B. Provine wrote:
>Why should Phil apologize to kindly Christians if what he wants is
>with teeth still left in it? Why is toothless Christianity so appealing?
Tell me
>again why you believe in modern evolution and are given any satisfaction
>your divine origin from that? God is present in everything? That is not
>enough--that approaches atheism to me.

This does get to the heart of the matter. To Will Provine, a God who
does not choose to show himself in the ways Will wants is toothless and
worthless. Some of us fear that Phil Johnson shares that outlook, or
that the church (mis?)hears this message from him. But toothlessness is
a part of Christian theology -- read the Beatitudes to see how Jesus
valued being "toothless" by the world's standards. Of course those of us
whose lives have been transformed can testify that God does work
powerfully, just not necessarily in the ways Will demands. It should not
surprise us that Will scoffs at God's choice to work through humble,
mustard-seed-like means, as Paul (of Tarsus, not Nelson) tells us that
the Gospel will seem foolish to those who do not trust God. It is more
disturbing when some Christians share Will's outlook that God, in order
to be meaningful, must satisfy their human expectations for showing
himself off to the world.

| Dr. Allan H. Harvey | aharvey@boulder.nist.gov |
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