Wednesday, April 23, 2008

so here's one of the things that happened. A couple of days after I deleted those posts, I woke up at about 6 a.m. with this question ringing in my head, as if someone had just spoken it: "Are you willing to go to hell if you're wrong?" I spent the morning turning that question over and having several somewhat visceral reactions. It took me until noon to realize that the question itself was fundamentalist and not necessarily legitimate. All the underlying assumptions-- that there is a hell, that people go there based on whether or not their theology is correct, that you could be punished for eternity for honestly asking questions-- all of that comes from the way I internalized the religion of my childhood. It was such an enormous feeling of relief to just let it go. But then over the next few days, it came back. It's still hanging around back there in my brain somewhere. I guess you never entirely get over this stuff.


  1. The crux of the dilemma is faith. The authors of the Books of the Bible must have had a strong desire to have readers develop faith. The resurrection is just one more occurrence that provides a substrate for faith to arise. Whether one subscribes to a literal or metaphoric interpretation of the Bible, faith is a central requirement. The celebration of Easter is a ritual whose significance is fostering faith in the heart of the supplicant.

    Jesus as a physical being had to be transformed into a spiritual being in order to make the connection with God, and therefore become part of the supernatural Trinity. Otherwise, Jesus as a human who died and whose body just withered away into dust, would be considered too mundane. By arising from the dead, his connection to God is firmly established.

  2. Hi, drb, thanks for commenting--hmmm, you bring up exactly what I've been thinking the last few days-- that faith is the crux of the matter-- but I can't tell from what you've said here if we mean that in the same way. My current belief is that Jesus attained some sort of spiritual mastery (mastery may not be the right word here) that allowed him to transcend the phenomenon we know of as death. If we consider him to literally be God incarnate, then by his very nature he may have been able to attain this transcendence. But for me that is a big if.

    Love the idea of a substrate in which faith arises. Thanks for that.