A Christian That Gets That Christians Don't Get God

RichD is one of our Christian commenters. No matter how much we disagree, we can always find a way to inject a little good humor into the dialog. He's smart, he expresses himself clearly, he doesn't seem to take it personally, he keeps his goal in view and he keeps a positive and humorous outlook which, in my view, exemplifies a "good Christian", adds tremendous value to the dialog, and to this blog in general. In my view RichD is one of the commenters that sets the standard.

In this comment from my article Heuristics and When Ones Values Are Out Of Sync With Ones Thinking, he's teasing me by using my name as a suffix. He's a pleasure to have around and I want to feature one of his comments where (for once) we do agree!

I say that Christians are Agnostic with a Bias for God and RichD seems to agree with me. He disagreed with a comment that another Christian named Logismous made and was providing a rebuttal to it. At the end of his comment he asks rhetorically if its not possible for Christians to come to an agreement on the Primary Tenet of Salvation. See what you think.
Hello Lee, Logismous,
I think I'll jump in, and most likely surprise you once again.

I think a key thing that comes up in all of this, and never really takes off, is as follows.

You, Lee, say you were once a Christian and lost your faith, so you obviously understand Christian doctrine. I think we could rule that part out of further discussions, even though I don't recall ever claiming this about you. Logis also claims to understand christian doctrine but not the same as lee, apparently (maybe that's apparentLee).

Logis added [the following bold italicized comment] that should clear everything up
If Christians disagree about things, it's not because we're not all listening to the same Holy Spirit, but because we each misunderstand Him in different ways. We actually claim that none of us understands Him well enough.

So obviousLee, no-one knows anything about God. Or did I miss something, because Logis also said she/he knows God because of the spirit that is always misunderstood differently by everyone. There that ought to clear things up.

So in reality we have a bunch of denominations of Christianity because they all have a different misunderstanding of the doctrine of Christ and they form their own groups based on these misunderstandings. Once saved always saved, saved by faith, saved by grace, saved by works, saved by faith and works, and so on. Which is exactLee what Lee, and others, are confused about.

How can anyone say they understand the doctrine of Christ if all Christendom claims to not understand it "well enough"? 

I agree that we don't understand everything about doctrine, but can't we get enough understanding to come to a consensus about the PRIMARY tenant of the gospel, Salvation?

Thank you RichD for agreeing with me for once, for constantly keeping me on my toes, and making me smile! Keep that BS detector calibrated and ever vigilant! I'll try not to set it off!


Harry McCall said...

Greetings Lee,

Back in the mid 1980’s I was watching a Sunday morning broadcast by Robert Schuller from his California based Crystal Cathedral. He was addressing the issue of faith and I was shocked to hear him emphatically state that a Christian who is truly honest with himself will admit that he or she is an agnostic. Then Rev. Schuller told the audience that he himself was an agnostic when it came to understanding God.

What we find in the Bible are two theologies of God which confirm this fact. The first and most well known is the theology of God portrayed in the standard Covenant Theology where God can be trust to enter into a binding contract with Israel where he is bound to them as their protecting savior and they are his loyal chosen people. This Covenant Theology is what scholars know as the Deuteronomistic History and Theology.

However, when we consider the God and his buddy Satan in the Book of Job, one finds not only a God who does not fit the God of Israel’s Covenantal Theology, but a God who acts in a way that is totally strange and shocking to the deity reestablished under Josiah’s reforms.

What the Book of Job tells us is that if you think you really understand God and that he is bound to function and act in a certain established way (as the God of Israel based on a Covenant), than you don’t really know God at all!

Thus, we find agnosticism already presented in the Hebrew Bible itself.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Harry,
awesome comment!
Then if there are no parameters for God, there can be no description, then God can't be defined, then there is no way to tell if God exists or not because if you think you've identified some aspect of God, there is no way to tell if you are right or not.

Christians must be agnostic about Gods existence as well.

So God is just a simple anthropomorphic way to describe chance.

If God is a mystery, then his existence is mysterious as well.

Harry McCall said...

Lee, I totally agree. Well put and one Hell of an Amen here!

Christians simply need to be HONEST ABOUT THE TRUTH.

Most Christian apologetists are educated beyond their intelligence and this is where brainless dogmas are parroted just like the worn out church liturgies.

The use of the Rosary as a liturgical tool in the Roman Catholic Mass is a prime example here.

If there ever was a living and active god, then the use of the Rosary and church liturgies means this God is in the advance stages of Alzheimer’s Disease and must be told what to do (via prayers) and constantly reminded of who and what he is (via church liturgies)!

It’s little wonder God, in the Book of Revelation, uses a book (Lamb’s Book of Life) to write down the saved peoples names in least he forget (a true form of agnosticism via default). Fact is, this all knowing God just can't remember!

jUUggernaut said...

There's a beautiful hymn sung by Unitarian Universalists - many of whom do very well without believing in a god:

“Where Do We Come From?”
Where do we come from?
What are we?
Where are we going?
Mystery, mystery, mystery . . .
Life is a riddle and a mystery.

Greg Mills said...

"Most Christian apologetists are educated beyond their intelligence"

I had a friend who trained as a evangelical shock trooper, deconverted, then went to get his MFA in Creative Writing at the height of postmodernism's grip on academe (early '90s).

He was stunned: "It's the exact same bullshit, to different ends. It's trying make more out of words on a page that what's actually there."

_ Piers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
_ Piers said...

There is an obsession when analysing the written word to assume that not only is the writer some kinda of uber-genius, but is also trying to purposefully obfuscate the true meaning of what is being written.

More often than not I suspect authors actually write what they mean and do not have a super secret sub plot, only accessible to those who love to do cryptic crosswords on a Sunday morning..

Greg Mills said...

I'll do you one better _Piers: I think almost all authors, at least authors writing anything more involved than a picture book, do not have the mastery of the craft required to achieve total clarity in regards to their creative intent.

I think text is trickier and more unreliable than we usually realize, which is one of my issues with Christianity.

RichD said...

Hi Lee,
I appreciate the kind words and I look forward to keeping you on your toes. (There not tired yet are they? No? They will be;)

I would like to point out that I have agreed with you on other occasions and I will never be shy about admitting that.

I learned, as a younger boy, that you should look to find common ground with people and that it is OK to disagree, just be respectful. OK so maybe the second part came much older, but I at least learned it. I think that attitude has served me well in relationships of all kinds, even those with heathens such as yourself.

Now for the meat. To any believer reading, I just find it hard to swallow that you refuse to make the connection between a God that is suppose to care about us and want to save us and the fact that no one can agree on the method of salvation. Does that mean it doesn't matter what the real path to salvation is? It sure doesn't follow that we are either going to be in bliss or misery for eternity and we'll never know until the day comes and the characteristics that we say we belive God has. God needs to be a staight shooter not the author of confusion. God can't be guiding every single religion that is in the world, because they all teach different things. If you lesten to yourself talk about God you do believe him to posses such traits as all knowing, all caring, ect... Now ask yourself how those things can be true if we as believers have an inter witness of the same tenant of the gospel, but that interwitnes is contradictory?