Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Gospel Medicine: Chapter 5 - Refreshing God's Memory

This blog series is based on the book "Gospel Medicine" by Barbara Brown Taylor, an Episcopal minister who has written several books based on her own life and her sermons. "Gospel Medicine" is a book of sermons around the concept that the Gospel of Christ is medicine to the soul. I discovered this book while attending a morning book club at my local United Church and I was blown away by the depth and beauty of Taylor's writing. These posts will be looking at each of the chapters of this particular book. 

In this chapter, Taylor focuses on Noah and the Ark and the rainbow of promise. I wrote my own blog post about rainbows several years ago which won me a place on a well known blog and scholarship money for my education. You can find that post here.

 Chasing Rainbows.

Self promotion aside, Taylor offers a distinction I had never thought of before.

The promise of the rainbow wasn't for humans. The promise was a reminder to God himself.

She talks about covenants but says that the rainbow wasn't a covenant, which is a two way promise. There were no conditions placed upon this promise. It was God promising never to do it again and He sets out the rainbow to jog his memory and remind himself that no matter how horrible we are, He loves us.

As parents we all need that sometimes.

She also offers us a God who repents. A God who says not only that He made a mistake in creating the world and in anger destroys it, but a God who regrets destroying it.

It's a unique take in a world where God never makes mistakes, never has to repent.

And yet when we read the Old Testament the change that we see from the Old to the New isn't in the people. People remain the same. They murder and cheat and do amazing acts of sacrifice and are all over the place. That part is consistent.

No, the bible tells the story of a God that changes. A God who punishes and repents. Who loves and hates, who gives and takes back. A God who controls and relinquishes control.

I have no problem with an imperfect yet still wiser God. It actually fits into my Mormon belief (one of the ones I still hold onto) that "as man is God once was, as God is man may become."

I actually like the idea of a man and a woman (for I believe God is a couple) working things out and trying to make the best world possible and finding out what succeeds and what doesn't.

For some that may be sacrilege. For me, right now, it makes sense.

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