But, on the other hand, there is no intermediary between us and God -- no son of God, no mother of God, to appeal to. Those who guide communities to meaningful prayer lives will find this to be the precious companion for which we have yearned. I never would have thought that a question of publishing something could be so complicated. When things are good, forget that the person was ever bad. Bernstein Chair of Jewish Studies in the Department of Religion and Classics at the University of Rochester.
It is indelibly engraved into the mind. There are several advantages to the letter genre for doing theology. The fear of God is not, and should not be, the same as the fear of violent human beings. First, both authors can allow their doubts to surface and their thoughts to evolve. But the later essays are much more eloquent, especially those related to prayer and to the High Holy Days.
When things are bad, forget that the person was ever good. At that time I was struck by the fact that some Christians would say she was going to hell because she was Jewish, but I thought her response in the face of suffering was more courageous and faithful than most Christians would be able to manage. Part of it was an uncertainty with myself and part of it was a fear of the consequences. It is not possible to have a normal relationship. Do you expect your marriage to be without anxiety? Human abusers are actually physically present when they abuse.
He was drunk when he did it. I believe that liturgy should be developed and incorporated that speaks to the many experiences of those who pray -- even the difficult ones. With his colleagues from Harvard Medical School, he authored the seminal studies on the adoption and use of health information technology in the United States. I have to essentialize God as good in order to worship, or I just couldn't do it. I face the abusive God, but I keep Him separate. Indeed, my experiences in the Lutheran church were extremely positive. What would your worldview, especially your theological worldview, look like using a Venn diagram? It is my general outlook that improved.
Blumenthal proposed some ideas for liturgy at the end of Facing the Abusing God, they have not taken hold. Actually seeing something means the image will remain and it can crop up at any time; it can haunt you. God has lackeys who do His dirty work for Him. If you do decide to do it, you can sign your name; or you can remain anonymous. I would not, however, hold God or the Bible or, for that matter, all of Christianity and the church responsible for the stupidity and cruelty of the people you knew. You did not address the other part of the sailing example and it is important here.
I identified as a Jew, but I knew I wasn't officially a Jew yet. I should add that, in spite of my doubts, I do still relate to God and do it as an abusive God. But actually seeing is different. However, my story about Tamar and the commentary I wrote on Psalm 30 both reveal a different view. I would not say good things about him, but I wouldn't protest either because protest, as you said, requires a belief that the abusive one would change.
Before Abraham, God was acting in ways that covered the spectrum of good and bad. One thing is certain, even talking about this subject brings up all my feelings of rage at God. I don't necessarily mean that God must be good. The question is: Can I overcome my own fears? My experiences there hurt me on an emotional and spiritual level that does not always respond to logic. One does not worship an abusive God or an evil God; one worships in the sense of praise the non-abusive side of God. I am afraid of being open and emotionally vulnerable.
Second, I do not normally talk this openly. Yes, anonymous is a cop-out, but discretion, especially at a vulnerable stage in life, is not foolishness. This is my way of relating to God. When you don't see the abuse, it is easier to deny it, to distance it. Keeping God at the Center is informative as well as instructional. I am not asking that the relationship with God be all positive or all negative.