>Responses to readers, flamers, facebookers and others.

Posted: 11/11/2008 in Open Theism, prop 8, resurrection

>Several people have asked me questions about stuff posted in my blog. It makes me happy to know that people are reading this little project of mine. Here they are, in no particular order.

Jonathan Says says concerning my Open Theism Blog

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, J. One question. Could you explain this, a little further?
1. I sin
2. God foreknows
3. Therefore, God foreknows my sin
4. Therefore, we do not regret

Could you help me follow from 3 to 4?

I am really glad you asked, because I don’t think I was clear on this point. My point is this: Under Arminianism, God knows exactly what each of my free actions will be, including sins. If God knows exactly what they will be, they are no longer contingent (could have been some other way) because God can’t be wrong or surprised. If my actions are not contingent, it is difficult to have any real regret about them. The sinner can use God’s foreknowledge to cover up the negative feeling of regret. It makes an apology very strange.

Pete Garcia says, concerning my position on Prop 8.:

I don’t think Christ would care that much about this law, personally I think He would have been upset with it being passed as even a law… but I think he would vote yes, because if not passed, what could be tolerated and excepted is the bigger concern. Our job is to hold up a standard for others to see, popular or not popular it is to be set apart, “salt” we preserve, i am not trying to preach but Joel are you being salt?

In a specific way, I feel that I am being “salt” in this case. It is like this: when Jesus came on the scene there were several different types of Jewish religious/political groups all struggling for popular support and their own goals. The Pharisees said that everyone should keep their head down when it came to Rome. The Zealots thought that open war with Rome was God’s will. Many other Jews thought their God went over to the Romans. Finally, there was Rome itself.
When Jesus came on the scene, he did not side with anybody. He was non-political in this sense. He said “no” to all parties, including time-honored religious establishment (i.e. the religious right in our country; the many Jewish communities back then). As he, and the early Christians, saw it everyone was wrong.

Because of this, I feel perfectly justified in thinking there might be some times when the best way to be “salt” is to not vote at all. I think “the secular left” has it wrong and I think “the religious right” has it wrong. I protested against both of them, and I stand by religious conscience in doing so.

Heidi asked, concerning this blog about death

I really like that last line from the Nicene Creed. I’m curious though if you believe we should be buried, and not cremated…

I can’t speak for all Christians, but I for sure want to be buried, not burned. All of our rituals communicate things about what we believe without using words. If a body is carefully preserved and placed in the ground, it sends a message that there is something still important about this body. If it’s burned, it seems hard to say “I believe in the Resurrection of the body” because we destroy it intentionally. This is not to say that God can’t raise ashes, but I still think it sends a wrong message about bodies.

Thanks to all of you for reading!

  1. Horizon says:

    >Regarding cremation, I think it’s just as easy to say “I’m done with this body, and I know I’m getting a better one. Please burn it as a sign that I am gone from this world.”

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