Thursday, November 20, 2008

and yes it does matter

Even if we could answer the question of who is and who isn't a child of God, it wouldn't help us be better followers of Jesus;
Nanette Sawyer, in the book "An Emergent Manifesto of Hope", p. 47

Well, we're so glad it's not really all that big a deal in her mind. After spending a couple of rather long pages trying to convince us that all are God's children, it's a relief to hear that it's not really all that big a deal to her.

In case you may not have noticed. I'm being a bit sarcastic in the above, though with a point; after all, this sudden "it doesn't matter" type of thing just really doesn't hold with the concern she has shown before.

it would only help us divide people into categories.

And this is wrong...why???

I mean, seriously, are we to believe that there are no legitimate categories? Or that if there are legitimate categories, then we should not see that there people in them?

The thing is, the Bible does divide people into those categories, as we looked at before. Saved and lost, those that are God's and those that are the world's, redeemed and not, Christians and those who worship false gods. These are large categories, important categories, even categories of eternal importance and consequences.

It's rather amusing, though, when emergents and postmoderns try to play this "don't categorize" game. It's amusing, because it's the thing they do. They say "This way of thinking is Modern, or Pre-Modern, or (insert whatever here)", they say "Those beliefs were fine in (insert time period here) or in (insert nation or culture)". In other words, an importance facet of Postmodernism is, simply, labelling and categorizing. Another important facet of it is that they themselves try with might and main to avoid being labelled and categorized; thus, Postmodernism seems to be something that to them is beyond definition, or else the more successful they are at avoiding being defined, the more succeesful they think they will be.

But the important thing here is, this appeal to not categorize is a bit of nonsense, or even more than a bit of it.

First John answers a different question, I believe, and a more helpful question.

I John probably answers many questions.

Addressed to a community that has just gone through a painful schism, this sometimes rhetorically inflammatory letter seems primarily about how to follow Jesus, and it pivots on two point: the persistent practice of love and the paradox of human nature in relationship with divine nature.

I really hope she didn't think she was saying something profound (though the text is italicized in the book) when she wrote that I John is 'primarily about how to follow Jesus', because one could say that about any book in the New Testament, and it may even be a legitimate observation in regards to the Old Testament books. So I hardly see how such a statement is saying anything more than the blindingly obvious.

And whatever primary concerns John may have been writing about, doesn't mean that there were no other things addressed.

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