Sunday, March 14, 2010

Blogging through The Orthodox Heretic day 19

One of my oldest and closest friends sent me an e-mail the other day after I mentioned how difficult it has been to stay with this little discipline. Tom told me that the commitment is the good part and to keep at it as best as I can...

that was before I got three days behind.

So... I actually read day 19 on day 19 but didn't get around to writing. The title is the Agnostic who became an Atheist. The story tells us that the agnostic spent years trying to definitively prove the non-existence of God to no avail. He made it his life's work until in his ate 50's he began to despair that he would never succeed. One evening in his study, he was surrounded by a deep stillness. Then he heard a voice speak, "Dear friend, I do not exist."

Pete says that to say one does not believe in God or that "God" does not exist implies a definition of God... one does not believe in a certain conception of who God is and likewise to say one does also implies a certain conception of who God is. You can run with tat one.

The story made me think of a long discussion I had on an airplane with a staunch Calvinist. She told me that God had created her brother, gay... so that God could condemn him to hell. As we talked she looked at me and said, "You and I do not worship the same Jesus." She was absolutely right. If anyone was to ask me whether her god exists, I could easily say, "no." Indeed, if her god is the only option... then I think I'm an atheist.


Kathy Moore said...

For me, this was the most important story in the book (although there were others that were close...). Again, I just finished reading "The Case for God" which deals with this topic in a much more dry way.
I found this story very affirming, because the God that 20th century Christianity describe(d) is very limited. I feel like an impostor saying I believe in that kind of Super-Man-God. I am much more comfortable with the idea that in order to draw close to God, I need to enter into an "unknowing" state, letting go of preconceived ideas based on my all-too-human notion of "existence".
Needless to say, this is a difficult idea to articulate and I think Rollins did an excellent job with it.

roy said...

amen Kathy