Darren H, on 10 April 2012 - 01:30 PM, said:
Greg, based on your posts here and the long Fresh Air interview with Luhrmann, I'm guessing you'd really enjoy her book.
I listened to the NPR stream today and was surprised how charitable she was to the Vineyard movement. She seems to have been genuinely touched by the things she saw in her research.
Andy Whitman, on 10 April 2012 - 01:53 PM, said:
He communicates with all sorts of folks. And he doesn't always speak with the voice of thunder and terror. Sometimes he speaks with a still, small voice. He even speaks through a donkey, which, I assume, brought its own elements of pathos and humor to the proceedings.
My OT reading has always been weak, but I can recall only one specific narrative when God spoke with a "still, small voice." On the flipside, God speaking with a thunder clap of doom is not all that prevalent either.
What I think we see in the OT-- and in the NT as well--is God speaking to a variety of people, in different ways-- quietly, loudly, with fire, in a cloud, in a vision-- but the most typical human response was fear. If that word causes a knee jerk reaction (and it does with me, I admit) then maybe it's better to just say folks were frequently surprised and unsettled
after an encounter with God. Even when God's messengers appeared in peace and said "fear not, brothers" in the most amicable Mr Rogers manner, men were still afraid. Something about God's voice and/or message caused people to be seriously startled. Comfort came later. But Fear was the primal instinct.
Are there exceptions to this? A few. But I think the bulk of man/God encounters described in the bible narratives are ones showing profound fear/surprise/prostration. There are a few encounters-- Daniel's vision comes to mind-- where he was so unsettled by hearing God's message that he was physically ill for days afterwards. The guys who talked with God were grizzled, rough-hewn weirdos for a reason.
There is something about the casual familiarity and placid nature of modern "God talk" that betrays everything in those bible narratives, in my opinion. I'm not advocating a mean, hellfire christianity-- i think everyone here knows I dont believe in a literal hell and my theological leanings are more liberal than most here. I don't believe that God speaks very often through special revelation. But when he does, brother I believe people KNOW it... and if the bible narratives are any indication, even the special ones God singled out could only handle one or two such encounters in their life. And that was more than enough, I believe.
I dont specifically believe God stopped
speaking to mankind. I don't believe God stopped anything. This idea that the supernatural was commonplace back then, is a romanticized view of scripture. I believe the Bible narratives cover thousands of years of human existence, and in those pages a FEW men encountered God and were sometimes caught up in supernatural events. Proportionally, very few. I believe the same is true today. God speaks directly to people when He wants. Sometimes his dealings include hundreds of years of SILENCE
among the general population. This whole movement emphasizing pursuing a word from God daily, via special revelation, seems completely out of whack and dangerous. Again I ask, if God wants to speak in a revelatory way to us, in a some kind of daily normative sense, then why does he NEVER tell us about the whereabouts of missing children in our neighborhoods... or other truly important matters. Why is it always
personal Hallmark messages about our devotional life and such? C'mon? How can this be so?
Edited by Greg P, 10 April 2012 - 04:24 PM.