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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Theologians and the God Guessers *Repost*

The following(Cartoon on)is a post taken, with permission, from David Hayward's blog. I have always enjoyed David's perspectives and how he literally draws them out: 

Sociologist, Emile Durkheim wrote a book entitled "The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life". In that book he addressed one primary question, "Where do people come up with their ideas about God?" As a sociologist he moved from society to society, culture to culture and noted that everywhere he went there was some idea about God and what he/she was like. Everyone believed in God but the way in which God was defined differed from culture to culture. This may, in-turn, lead to the question, "Who of us is right?" Perhaps, in some manner, we all are?

Cartoon drawn by David Hayward
You can purchase this or other cartoons by David by clicking store.

You’ve heard the story of the blind men who were standing around an elephant trying to describe what they were feeling. One thought a tree. Another thought a snake. Another thought a mountain.
Whenever I draw a cartoon or write a post, I always try to write from a humble posture. I don’t always succeed. But I try. Because I know all too well that we are all just guessing. One guess might be better than another. But it is still a guess. I think we forget that.

I’ve also concluded that theology can be misleading in its promises. When the bible says that even the devils believe yet tremble, it means that just because you believe the right things doesn’t necessarily make you right or even good.
I like what the philosopher Slavoj Žižek says: “As I always repeat, what we philosophers can do is just correct the questions.”


Kmarie said...

Love the cartoon. How true and how funny when anyone claims to have all the answers or values said answers above anything else. I adore that you love the questions and thus often put relationships before the theological issues. It's nice to get people to think outside the box for so many reasons, but it's also nice that it is only by THEIR choice and they do not have to conform to any of our beliefs. I love living with more questions...more freedom but def less stability...Can't have it all I suppose:)
I laughed at the cartoon because on a smaller scale people also do that to people. Certainly we have experienced it, "Anglican? Evangelical? Emergents? New Age? Occult? Athiest? Christian?"
LOL. So funny. i think people feel more secure with their labels instead of actual understanding... Like we mentioned yesterday, labels are only useful as explanations and understanding AFTER there is a loving relationship established. Usually people want to skip that step and go straight to the label which is where it gets judgemental, full of assumptions and damaging...But labels can be a good way to explain IF there is some sort of base first.

CalledtoQuestion said...

I think it could be stated that the cartoon could also be related to a larger scale i.e. God-Islam, Christianity, Jew, Baha'i, Hindu etc..

Your right, there is often a security behind giving and/or having labels. It is important to establish the relationship before we define them.

Miriam (Pete) Rashleigh said...

Yes, it is hard to define God, which is why I find His "cartoon"/real life picture so much better than theology - Jesus Christ. He not only taught about His Father, but lived what He taught. He left no question that He is the only way to the Father by rising from the dead. As far as being "right", you're RIGHT in saying that relationships come first. Then, we each live according to what theology we ascribe to be "right", which should therefore, if it is truly what we believe, cause us to live according to that. So what someone else believes doesn't matter so much to me as, once I know them, do they live according to that theology? If not, their belief/faith has not done them one little bit of good.
Sounds judgmental to some,but is one way of picking through the rubble and messiness of religion to find TRUTH. Truth is very hard to quantify or qualify, but can definitely be lived in small bits, and is more likely meant to change us than to be a soap box to stand on.