a brief response to mr. bell

“A God who refuses to override our freedom, who respects our power to decide whether to reciprocate, a God who lets us make the next move” pg. 98.

I preached a little regarding a comment like Bell’s generic – God is a gentleman theory this past Sunday. I have been preaching through Jonah, the book of the Bible (okay the narrative) that disproves this theory. Well I really shouldn’t say that it disproves it: IT ANNIHILATES IT. God calls Jonah, Jonah runs. God chases after Jonah. Like a good “gentleman” God threatens to destroy the entire ship Jonah is in. When Jonah decides that a Kevorkian style suicide is better than being with God, God tells a fish to swallow him. And finally when Jonah is pissed at God for his grace, God still relentlessly peruses Jonah. Some would say that this pursuit is the perfect example of Bell’s point, that God is basically a gentleman. What? In human, interpersonal relationships we would call this stalking. The courts would be more than happy to grant Jonah a restraining order against Yaweh. Oh yeah, he never overrides Jonah’s freedom (from our perspective), but he most certainly does not sit around waiting for Jonah to make the next move. If he did, he would have been waiting a long, long time.


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