Monday Musings for October 08, 2018

Good morning, Musers,

We live in a fallen world — one in the process of being redeemed… but it’s also one that feels like it’s being redeemed because redemption hurts — and God more than hinted about redemption in the way he built the physical universe. For instance, the laws of thermodynamics constrain us from certain activities: we can’t obtain the speed of light, and if we hit a bridge abutment going 120 MPH, the odds are we will die.

But he built this revelation into the metaphysical world, too. God’s holiness is reflected in the moral nature of humankind… which is fitting because we are the objects of his redemption. This metaphysical world, too, makes us feel like we are being redeemed… or at least, that we need to be… and this too constrains us. Like light, we will never attain to God’s holiness, and like the highway, if we hit God’s justice going 120 MPH, we will die.

Fortunately, God is also merciful. But how does that play out? Does God’s mercy mean that we will never experience the process of being redeemed? That we will never fail? That we will never be punished? That we will never be put into uncomfortable positions because of sin? No… and what kind of world would that even be? Not one where redemption was taking place!

Now, did you ever hear anyone call God a rapist? That’s one of the more head-scratching epithets I run into. To be fair, I doubt that these name-callers think that God personally raped anyone. They are probably referencing the conquest of Canaan where God told the Israelites to take the younger women as part of the spoils… but leaping to the idea that rape was implied in his instructions. That’s absurd! The Bible neither says nor implies this.

Now, it would be reasonable for them to ask the question, “If your God is so loving, why did he kill all these people — including these children’s parents?” But not, “Why did God suborn the rape of those young women?” The text simply does not warrant that accusation.

But warrant doesn’t matter to an anarchist. The point of name-calling is to inflame, not to inform… and the word “rape” certainly does that. But the damage to society runs deeper than a mere dent in our decorum: name-calling shuts down dialog… and dialog can help us find the truth. But some ideologies feel they are served by hiding the truth.

Communism lost much of its romance after Alexander Solzhenitsyn published The Gulag Archipelago, shedding light on a very dark — and a very large — corner of the world. China is well known for its internet censorship as well as for suppressing ideas that offend the state. Here at home, the recent demonization of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has reduced a potentially useful debate into name-calling… and shame on us! That too is a form of suppression in the land of the free!

So, when you hear unreasonable epithets, ignore them. We don’t have to respond to an absurdity any more than we have to respond to the rantings of the mentally ill. But when an earnest seeker asks about these accusations, that warrants a response… and that’s what we have today.

To read the article referenced above, visit the link below.

(For comments, or to join the Monday Musings mailing list, contact us at To submit a question about God, the Bible or the Christian culture, click here.)