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Posted by Adrielle 
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September 08, 2012 01:47AM
Has anyone read the book

"Beginnings - Reflections on the Bible's Intriguing Firsts" By Meir Shalev ???

I started reading it as it was recommended to me. However, it has messed totally with my idea of who God is. I realize that some of the interpretations are merely that of the author, but I am really struggling with, well.. lots of things. I've tried to balance it with Wayne Jacobsen's book "He Loves Me" - but the God that is written about in both these books seems very foreign to me, and if He is this person/Godhead..... then, argh!!! I am sooooo messed up at the mo, I don't know what to think. My mind spins in circles. See saw I'm almost too scared to search the scriptures (as did the Bereans), in case I don't like the conclusions and discoveries I might find. Sigh, it was just sooooo much easier in the IC and to be told what to think. I'm glad I took the red pill (or was it the blue? I can never remember).
Re: Beginnings
September 08, 2012 08:15AM
Hey take a second to breathe relax chill it's not a race to get it right, 'first person to understand God get a prize!".

In fact I personally think its a process of unlearning we need.

(these are my thoughts only, I don't claim any of them to be right, or fully thought through, they are just my gut feelings today, please bear in mind that 15 years ago I would of been fully into the ic scene believing all that, things change, god for me was real in both).

So for me Im learning or unlearning stuff, for most of my life I have been told that God is like x, because in terms of the worlds population a tiny group of people say so and say this can be proved by the bible.

I also had been taught that I needed to have a relationship with god based on these understandings to avoid those who may have different or no faith, and although my salvation is in gods hands I need to fully have faith and believe in the right god to get to heaven.

So in my unlearning I am discovering that for me God is too big for me to understand, for a group of Christians to understand, for all the Christians in the world to understand and if we could understand or contain fully the nature of god in our tiny little grey cells then it wouldn't be a god of much.

For me it's either a case that god is love or it doesn't matter, by that I mean unless god is this awesome being that can love and accept all of humanity including me, without any need for me to jump through hoops then I'm not bothered.

Could you leave all your friends, family loved ones in a state of poverty to fly first class to live in luxury for the rest of your life? What sort of resort would it be if the entry requirement was leaving people suffering behind.

Peter Rollins talks about declining heaven to live with the damned because that's what Jesus would do, or where Jesus would be.

Most of my real friends are atheists but these are the people who saved my life and I wouldn't leave them a the gates of heaven to join the lot that turned their backs on me.

So for me God is love or it doesn't matter, so I look for evidence of love, in the bible, in creation, in the world in sinners in myself and say there is God, and I imagine God like one of those photos made up of pixels that are in fact photos themselves.  All of creation is each a photo pixel filled with a tiny part of the character of Gods love only the collective nature of the whole picture reveals a truer picture of god.

Lots of people study the bible and prove that god is like their pixel, what I would say to then is that's great, but my pixels not quite like yours, if it was we wouldn't have a picture but a bland image of all one colour.
Re: Beginnings
September 08, 2012 08:34AM
Great topic, and awesome answer by the J-man! I like the many pixel-picture analogy.

However, it has messed totally with my idea of who God is. I realize that some of the interpretations are merely that of the author, but I am really struggling with, well.. lots of things
Hey, I know that place too. It's not comfortable, nor secure... but who said we had to be those things? What if we were meant to be unsure of our idea of God?

Whilst it can be assumed that God made the garden of Eden and wandered with Adam and Eve in it, talking to them, if they already knew all there was to know of him, then wouldn't that spoil the relationship? Who can stay interested in something or someone that is utterly predictable? Only him. And we are not him.

So I think it is great to challenge our idea and concept of God. And challenge our knowing ( if that occurs too ). Because if something cannot stand up to the challenge (be tried by fire, as it were), then it is not really all that valuable. But there I believe there is a difference between challenging and actively seeking to destroy faith, and that is obviously down to the attitude with which you approach life. Thomas was honest enough to admit he doubted, but he wanted help to believe. Christ honoured that.

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.
- Lenny Bruce
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