Wednesday, October 7, 2009

a question one emergent doesn't like

Coming up soon--emergents start having questioners screened to make sure they ask questions only emergents want to answer, so they don't have to sound like abject wafflers.

btw ht

One day I hope to believe in God…

Bear in mind, Rollins is a pastor (or at least plays one on the internet).

The first question that William asked was, ‘do you believe in God’?

Yeah, such a plain, straight-forward question. In fact, one a pastor who is suppose to Christian should be able to answer with conviction in the affirmative. Heck, one would expect a dyed-in-the-wool atheist to answere it with conviction in the negative. I may disagree with such an atheist, but at leat the honesty would be respected.

But for Rollins, the question becomes...difficult, through no fault of the questioner.

The first thing to notice however is that the question itself rests on the idea that we all have a shared understanding of what belief is and what we mean by the word ‘God’. And, of course, in our cultural context most of us do have a shared understanding of these terms. If we use Saussure’s linguistic theory of the sign we can begin to isolate what that shared understanding is. For Saussure a linguistic sign is composed of a signifier (sound/word) and a signified (a concept that the word brings to mind). Using this idea the question basically can be broken down as such,

I'll let you check out the "as such". I just want to show you the types of hoops and loops he twists himself in to try to avoid the question.

Rather tell, though, is this statement, from a paragraph or two later.

If I was asked this question in the university I would be happy to discuss it, but being asked it in ikon is problematic as it might suggest to people that ones answer to this question is somehow important to the life of faith. To me it is as relevant in the setting of ikon as the question, ‘do you believe in string theory’.

So, to him, the question of his own belief or disbelief in God is not important to his life of faith? The question of any person's belief or disbelief in God is not important to their life of faith?

On may think that is what he's saying, by this statement later on...

So the question remains… as a Christian, do I believe in God? Well, while I am drawn to the idea that there is a Supreme Being I must confess that I don’t believe in God, at least most of the time.

One could certainly say that verbal shenanigans are going on in his "answer". For example, his attempts to redefine God.

The ideas that God should be described as love and that belief in God is intimately connected to how we treat our neighbor are, of course, deeply heretical and one must be wary of even suggesting them.

I've already dealt with someone else, Steve Chalke, trying to make the love of God the big thing with God while leaving out all the other things God tells us about Himself in the Bible. It's at this link...

come on, at least do a bit of research

And his attempt is make it seem as if how we treat other people is somehow only something a waffler like himself sees as important is laughable. As someone who has been for years in fundamentalist and evangelical churches, I know the ideas of "walking the walk" and "living like you believe" are very much a part of what they teach.

Rollins is a poser. That's all he is, that's all he has.

1 comment:

Makarios said...

When it comes to the question, Is God real? It all depends on what the definition of the word Is, is.