Saturday, December 01, 2007

Agnostic Bible follower?

A.J. Jacobs is a guy who's done some pretty crazy stuff, not the least of these being his literal following of the Bible for a a self-professed agnostic.

Check out the blog interview here.

Pretty crazy stuff! I guess this misses the point of faith and just sticks to the rules, missing the heart of why the rules exist...there is no relationship here. Still, it's pretty interesting for sure. Ha ha, I love it how he "stoned" an adulterer by throwing a pebble at him. :)

Any thoughts?


Random Destiny said...

Pretty cool interview. It was interesting how he said it made decisions very straightforward by applying rules to any situation. In Omnivore's Dilemma they talk about how the food eating rules in many religions came about partly as a way for humans to deal with the huge amount of food options we have, some of which is harmful, without having to use all your brain hours devoted to figuring out each meal.
I think there's a lot of cases where the decision making gets even harder, especially when you bring in the New Testament, like where Jesus Didn't stone the adulterer. Now you need to weigh everything from discipline to compassion to just ignoring the whole thing.

Tricia said...

Right, it's straight forward and maybe some people can be more disciplined than others, but impossible to follow to a T. And when you look at Christ, he's even more strict in some ways from the religious "big wigs" of the day. (These folks were so focused on keeping the law that they missed that the point was Love.) In Matthew I believe he has a whole series of parables saying, "You've heard it's been said...but I tell you..." He compares simply being angry with someone as being equal to killing them! The point being, we can weigh and measure everything we do and try our best, which is good, but we'll never be able to fully follow the law on our own power. If we could do this stuff on our own, what point would Jesus' death and resurrection have had?

And the point is not that we follow the law, the point is that we can grow closer to God and each other. Jesus is the story of God breaking through to us...not just showing us the rules in yet a different way...he was here to reestablish a lost relationship. It's much bigger and more amazing than food and clothing...and even if I'm a punk don't realize this, God is still present. Awesome! That's why I say, I need to give up...trying so hard doesn't help... I'm not always faithful or have it together, but God IS and that's all that matters.

All that said, the law is is meant for our good and keeps us in the ways God intends, as long as we keep it in the right perspective. Following the law strictly can have it's benefits, but leave it at that and you're missing something deeper. The best perspective is one that comes from knowing we are weak and being reliant on God. Not sure if that makes sense to many people, but that's how I see it.