November 12, 2007

A Note About Cal

Because one of the commenters from my last two posts just called me sounding distraught and asking if the stories about Cal were real, I felt the need to inform anyone who reads them now or later that they're fictitious. Cal is only real in the sense that he represents a lot of what I've learned about God from other people who believe in certain theologies, etc.

That's all. (Sorry, Alex.)


Alex Paik said...

Sorry for being such a baby, but Lisa is a psychiatrist and works with really insane people, so nothing is beyond real for me at this point. Also, I have a problem with bad things happening to children (I cried at the end of Pan's Labyrinth)

Also, I can't help but wonder if this is really what God is like... because if so, somebody should call Childline on Him.

I mean, free will is great, but I think that this particular situation is not the way God functions. Maybe things are different because we are like his creations or something and don't really become his children until we are adopted into the family or whatever, but I find it disturbing that God would approach something like this in a cold and distant way and use a situation like our life or death to teach us a lesson about the finer details of predestination and election.

On the other hand, I guess one could argue that sending Jesus was a free gift, or, to use your analogy, sending Jesus was akin to Cal reaching out his hand to save Jack but Jack swatting it away angrily.

He gives us a choice always, but I don't think he just sits back and coldly tests us. He actively gets involved and we are the ones that send him away.

PS - now you can write all the stories you want.

Jason said...

I don't think you're a baby at all, by the way. In fact, I was up for a while last night thinking about it. Why does a story about humans sound so disturbing, but when we think similar things about God we simply accept it?

I don't like the idea of God as a father saying, "I chose to let some of my children fall to demonstrate my great love and mercy for the ones I saved."

I don't like the idea of God as our father saying, "I gave them a chance to be saved and they said No (or swatted my hand away), so I let them fall to preserve their free will."

I don't think either story resonates with the God we know.

Alex Paik said...

I was thinking about that last night too.

I was telling Lisa, "If that is the nature of God, then I don't believe in Him"

It's weird how easy it is for us to abstract God into metaphors such as the Cal metaphor and just accept it, even though we wouldn't accept it in "real" life.

I know for me that it's because it seems that God is functionally not real in my daily life (and I don't even know what a functionally real God would look like in life anymore).

It's also crazy to me that some people find that metaphor comforting. I mean, sure, justice and whatever, but I think love trumps all.

Anyways, good though-provoking post. This has been helping me think about things since I am not currently going to church.

jadanzzy said...

Jason, first off thanks so much for contributing and conversing on our blog. I hope it continues.

Reading the story of Cal and his kids I cannot support that that is an accurate portrayal of the doctrine of predestination or limited atonement.

In fact, I think it almost takes a hyper-calvinistic approach to salvation which I think misses on the mystery of God's work and actions in humanity.

If God did operate in the way Cal did, then I find it to be antithetical to the redeeming work of Jesus Christ not only on the cross but ALL throughout his living existence on earth as well.

Jason said...

jadanzzy, you said "I cannot support that that is an accurate portrayal of the doctrine of predestination or limited atonement."

Can I ask you to elaborate on why?