We Are Losing It, Can’t You Tell?

This post aspires to be the fastest Zoomtard entry. This is a product of necessity. After a beautiful morning and afternoon off enjoying the spring sunshine and amongst other things, reading philosophy (God, Freedom and Evil), history (Jesus And the Eyewitnesses) and re-reading Rob Bell’s lovely little Velvet Elvis, I have one quick thought to share. I want to share it before the pasta boils.


When Jacob had wrestled with the Angel
(who many speculate was the Lord, the Logos, the Word, Jesus), he was left limping. When we wrestle with the text of the Bible and with the big-ass questions it raises, we are not left untouched either. There are dark territories and deep holes involved in the task of being a Christian passionately. And we can end up picking up scars and bruises along the way. But that is no reason not to run full force at those questions, just as the fact that it took him the whole night to overcome should not have depleted Jacob’s desire to know the name of his opponent. Sometimes the deepest and darkest of holes turns out to be a well.

I have friends who are wrestling with specific huge questions right now and they are on my mind often. They are limping. But that should be no indicator that they should stop wrestling. It is not an act of unfaith to ask questions. It is when we stop asking that we stop being faithful. Doubting our faith should not lead to the death of our faith. Its apathy that is fatal. It makes no difference if you are apathetic in the church or out of it, fulfilling rituals or ignoring them. Instead, the faith and the church ought to be the place where we wrestle with God. Are we not the new Israel after all? (Jacob was renamed Israel by the angel he wrestled…)

Your Correspondent, Your Eternal Itch.

8 Responses to “We Are Losing It, Can’t You Tell?”

  1. John says:

    Well some would say we are not the new Israel. Not me though. 🙂
    Have you read Rob Bell’s new book Sex God?

  2. Bob says:

    Ah…good old Alvin Plantinga. An analytical philosopher in an age of `continental philosophy’. Seriously though, `God Freedom and Evil’ is excellent and Plantinga is a really great writer. `God and Other Minds’ is also worth a read. I’ve not managed to get around to his more recent stuff (Warrant, etc.) but I’m sure I will someday.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. I’ve been thinking of buying myself a copy. Chris Tilling has been doing an interesting series on it.

    Bob, who still exists despite what a glance at his blog might indicate.

  3. Bob says:

    Also, a Radiohead quote in the title doesn’t mitigate the evil of your “Zoommusic” sidebar. Well, it does a little, but not much.

  4. zoomtard says:

    John, I am sure that there are some people who don’t believe that Christians are the New Israel. But don’t we call them the lost?

    Sex God is on order but has not yet arrived.

    Bob, my music rocks. I merely share it with you so that you learn how to be cool. Like me. The Presbyterian minister in training. Cooolio.

    I totally agree with you on Alvin and I think Bauckham’s book is great but I’d be happy to lend it to you rather than have you spend €30 on it…

  5. Sam says:

    great stuff. I always thought Jacob was a bit of a loser – at least the deceiver was the only bit I was taught about in Sunday School. But then the church I belonged to didn’t exactly encourage asking questions or wrestling with the text. How about a velvet elvis review for the site of your former employer?

  6. Sam says:

    on another note, as an ignorant northerner trying to understand our superior relatives in the south i’ve just watched ‘the wind that shakes the barley’. Don’t tell my mural painting neighbours but it succeeded in making me have some sympathy for the early idealism of the RA. What’s your take on it?

  7. MG says:

    Knowing your love of all things that refute Dawkins and given your appreciation for Plantinga this article ought to interest you (that is if you haven’t already read it)… http://www.christianitytoday.com/bc/2007/002/1.21.html Incidentally I picked up God, Freedom and Evil over the summer and got confused merely by the contents page, oh well!

  8. zoomtard says:

    Hey MG. The Plantinga response is up there with Terry Eagleton’s and Marilynne Robinson as the ultimate statement on the God Delusion. It is brilliant, isn’t it?

    I feel a need to clarify that I am not against Dawkins but against Scientism, of which Dawkins is an instantsiation. 🙂

    God, Freedom and Evil intimidated me too but once I read the first page I couldn’t stop. I basically read it one long, slow read. It helps if you have done logic at college and are married to a philosophy graduate however….