From: Don Winterstein (email@example.com)
Date: Sun Feb 16 2003 - 05:51:11 EST
Rich Faussette wrote:
>What is the significance of this metaphor for our Christian lives, a significance heretofore unseen. What changes with this new metaphorical understanding?
First, I believe God's marriages are true marriages, not metaphors, if that's what you're referring to. It's just that we need to redefine, to generalize, what we mean by marriage and sexuality. I realize I'm using familiar concepts in very unfamiliar ways, and a lot of detailed explanation will be necessary to convey the meanings I intend. For now we'll just have to live with misunderstandings. But I request readers to keep in mind that the Bible clearly refers to God's marriages to Judah and Israel in several OT passages, and no one can prove that the basic facts conveyed by these references are not to be taken literally.
In my original posting of "my new paradigm" I tried to make clear what the significance of this new paradigm might be for Christians who largely accept the scientific view of origins. I've pasted the relevant portion below for your convenience. I suspect from other things you've written that you may not accept some of my fundamental assertions, so perhaps you are just saying that the things I find significant are not acceptable to you. That's fine. I neither expect nor require anyone in particular to agree with me. Or possibly I've left out something crucial because I'm too close to the material and can't put myself in the shoes of the unfamiliar reader.
These new paradigm views are particularly valuable to me because they mesh well with and in fact derive from key personal experiences. I expect that these views will be helpful for certain others. Ultimately I expect this paradigm to become widely accepted among God's people and to enable them to live much more comfortably than they can now with both scientific views of origins and basic Christian beliefs. We need to keep in mind that a large fraction of Christians (in fact, most of those I know personally) cannot understand or deal with the scientific view of origins, and only a very simple paradigm like this is likely to ever work for them. If Christians cannot come to terms with basic and well-established discoveries of science, the future looks bad for the religion. I believe God is personally behind my new paradigm and is giving it as support for his Church.
I apologize for the sarcasm of my preceding post. That was uncalled for.
As for your comments on my remark that ".the world operates free of [God's] special input.," I believe I address some of your points in my response to Don Perrett.
From the original posting:
So what relevance does this paradigm have to science? I can't predict how others will respond, but to me it gives profound relief particularly on questions pertaining to origins and the problem of evil.
The fundamentals once again are extremely simple and intuitive. The following three paragraphs come from my Web site:
Sexuality of God explains his mode of creation. God's goal involves finding a person whom he can love sexually. One does not have sex with one's children. That would be perverse. From the kind of creation described in Genesis, God gets only children. That is, a dominating father figure like the God of Genesis, who brings the world into existence by speaking a word, does not create persons suitable for marital relations but only children who are forever dominated by their creator.
Persons whom God can love sexually must somehow come into existence independently of him. When a man takes a wife, he does not choose a daughter, sister or other close relative, but someone who has grown up independently of himself. Therefore, to satisfy his need for a lover, God's creative activity must be so subtle that the persons he creates must seem to come into existence on their own, independently of him. This is why species appear to scientists to have originated haphazardly and not by design. Those of us who believe in God know that he somehow guided the processes to give him the lovers he needs, but his touch has been so subtle that we can think of ourselves as having come into existence independently of him.
A consequence of God's sexuality is thus that the old problem of evil disappears. Question: How can an all-powerful and good God allow this or that terrible thing to happen? Answer: God wants a lover more than he wants a child. The world in many ways functions as if independent of him. His control nevertheless remains sufficient to yield his desired outcome.
An associated concept is that the creation is not God's toy or idle diversion but is an undertaking that is integrally tied in with his own meaning. He gives himself fully to it and eventually will identify with it.
As I said, I have no idea how others will respond, but these concepts put me completely at ease with such things as the great age of the world, the "haphazardness conundrum" and the problem of evil. With God as loving husband, all such conceptual difficulties disappear, and I can be comfortable with God and with the world as science has revealed it. Science in fact has helped humans become the kind of independent beings that God seeks for a wife.
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