“Woe to the Assyrian, the rod of my anger,
in whose hand is the club of my wrath!” Isaiah 10:5
I know I have joked (kind of) in previous posts about how theology watchdogs in the blogosphere (and in the church) are annoying in the same way as that teacher in high school who constantly corrected your grammar while you were trying to talk. But I also do recognize that God has given us brothers and sisters whose giftedness and very calling is to help us keep our doctrine pure…they are the doctrine disciplinarians, if you will. You know the ones I mean. They blog about your favorite pastor, who made a horrendous, unbelievable, heretical, probably-not-saved-if-you-say-this theological error in his sermon last week. They call him out by name, and the venom with which they attack him is, well, pretty ungodly. Or they review the most recent book by one of your favorite authors and basically question his very humanity, not to mention his spirituality, because of the position he seems to have taken on this theological issue or on that social issue…again, with uncommon rancor.
[And, as an aside, you know what is one of my pet peeves? That blogger almost never makes any attempt at all to actually contact that pastor/teacher/author in order to practice this “discipline” or “accountability” Biblically, which pretty quickly gets me wondering whether they are really loving this brother or rather are just a little envious of his acclaim. But I digress.]
I know that God disciplines us. And I know that he often uses others to do it. I am really OK with that. In fact, it seems like a good plan to me. I think scripture gives us plenty of examples of God using people to discipline his children. …
Tuesday Remix – This is a popular post from last year, updated and re-submitted for your consideration and comments.
Hello. My name is Blake (everyone yell altogether: “Hi, Blake!”), and I liked The Shack. Reading some of the theological reviews of the book, I feel like there must be something very wrong with me, that I would dare to favor a completely fictional story which contains some (allegedly) questionable theology. But I do like the story and found it quite helpful even in a Spiritual sense, which leaves me wondering if it is possible for God to use an allegedly theologically flawed story to draw me closer to Him in our relationship. Apparently it is possible, and judging from the many positive reviews from Christians around the country, I am not exactly out on a limb in this judgment.
Let’s first be clear about some things: (1) I am no theologian, at least not in the “seminary-trained, original Greek and Hebrew” way of talking about theology, and I have never held myself out to be so; (2) I suspect I can find some theological point on which to disagree with almost any author writing today, so I do not derive my understanding of God by trying to emulate any person’s theology; (3) take point number (2) and magnify it several times as it may relate to works of fiction.
So, with all those caveats firmly established, I recommend The Shack…as an allegory for the healing process and as a story that explores the question, “How can a loving God allow such unspeakable pain as our world sometimes experiences?” I like the book. As a person called to a ministry to hurting people and as a friend called to walk alongside those hurting people, I appreciate the …