This is the third post in a ten-week series on Brian McLaren's new book, "A New Kind of Christianity." I got the book as part of The Ooze's Viral Bloggers program, and I'm one of many bloggers currently working through the book and entering into dialogue about it. The subtitle of the book is "Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith," and I'm dealing with a different question each week.
In Question #3, the God Question, Brian asks the provocative question: Is God violent? I have wrestled with this question for a long time. I know that my God is one of love and mercy. The Scriptures speak to this reality, and my own experiences with God have proven it to be true. So how do we reconcile this God with the Old Testament God who orders genocide? The Flood, a cute little story we tell our children when they are young, is really, upon further inspection, a terrible story of a God who decides people are beyond redemption, so he just kills them all. Or is it?
I am always interested in this topic, and I've read a lot about it and blogged about it before. A couple of years ago, Greg Boyd was dealing with this topic in a really interesting way. You can find that writing here.
Work, family and a sem class are really taking a lot of time these days, so I'm gonna let Brian speak for himself. I think his thoughts about this particular topic are important and add to the conversation in a meaningful way. Amidst all my troubling questions, I trust my God... I know He loves me, and I know He loves the world... all of His beautiful creation. In the end, no matter what, I know all will be well.
Fourteenth century English mystic Julian of Norwich was troubled by the problem of sin and evil. In her Revelations of Divine Love she asks Jesus about this problem. His response is simple, and I love it: "Sin is necessary, but all will be well, and all will be well, and every kind of thing will be well."
Study questions for "The God Question" here. Enjoy the discussion!