Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Misunderstood God

I've been spending a good amount of time the last few months learning linux (see previous blog posts), and most recently installed Fedora 12 from the beta, and except for a few things that don't work quite right, I like it a lot. I even managed to get it installed on my old laptop that I thought was going to run Fedora 7 until it dies a natural death. In addition to that, I've been trying out different software to see what works and I'm using 'Bilbo Blogger' to write this. For the linux fans out there, apparently Bilbo is a KDE application but I'm using it on the Gnome desktop just fine so far. And in going to the link, I discover it's now called Blogilo. I'd tried it on Fedora 7 and it didn't work very well. But this is a newer version that has a much better look & feel already -- I really don't like using the blogspot editor much. Hopefully this means I'll be back to blogging more regularly. I do have at least 2 other articles I want to write and get posted soon.

I stopped by Facebook earlier today and saw info. about a page for a new book by Darin Hufford (I've blogged a couple of his articles on here before) called The Misunderstood God. I haven't read it yet, but I read a couple of reviews and wanted to link them here, and add a couple of comments.

This is one review by a former pastor, it's worth reading the whole thing. Here's one portion that matches some of what many of us, including me, were brought up to believe about God:

...A God with a hair-trigger temper; someone who may be nice, but only so that He can get what He wants; someone who craves attention for Himself, who loves to impress you with his power; someone who loves to remind people how wonderful He is; someone who is disrespectful toward His inferiors; someone who gets upset if He's not given enough attention; someone you need to walk on eggshells around; someone who always reminds you of your mistakes, and uses fear and threats to keep you in line; someone that focuses on your faults and weaknesses; someone who doesn't really care if you heart gets stepped on; someone who doesn't trust you to anything right; someone who is constantly disappointed in you; and someone who, if things get bad enough, will leave you...

When I read that part, my thought was (now that I know a little better) that sounds like a pretty good description of the devil, and not of the God I've come to know. Then on the other much shorter review, the author said just that.

Darin shows how religion has disfigured the God of the Bible, giving him a personality that has more in common with the devil, than it does the Father of all love. He holds God to his own definition of love in I Corinthians 13 to show us that he is the very definition of love itself and as we come to appreciate that, we’ll find greater grace and freedom to live in [t]his life.

Another view of God that some like to present is one who is in control of all things at all times; so if something bad happens it's because he 'allowed' it. I think that can lead one to feeling apathetic or somewhat condemned. I addressed that somewhat in my article (on my website) about whether the devil needs to get God's permission to harm a believer, as in the story of Job. While I'm not an expert (and none of us can be, I don't think?), I think that view is a bit too simplistic. And that's probably worth exploring in another article. In the meantime, I look forward to reading Darin Hufford's book, along with 2 or 3 others I have on my list to get soon.

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