Saturday, July 4, 2009

Thoughts on Theology

Why should I bother to repeat what's been written before, and written better than I ever could?

From Robert Short, theologian and author of "The Gospel According to Peanuts" (the entire sermon is here):

I've had the privilege and pleasure of knowing Charles Schulz very closely now for a long time. And I know for a fact that the one type of "Christianity" that Schulz has absolutely no use for is the so-called "Christianity" that's finally based on fear and wrath and judgment and hell and belief in a punishment in some future existence. And on this point at least, I couldn't agree with Schulz more. From a theological point of view this is why his entire life's work is set within the context of humor. "Humor," Schulz says, "is a proof of faith, proof that everything is going to be all right with God, nevertheless those who find no humor in faith are probably those who find the church a refuge for their own black way of looking at life." There is punishment for sin, but sin carries its own punishment with it—right here and now, inside us, right here and now. But for Charles Schulz and for me as well, the very last word that God has for all of us is yes, and not no.

(Those of you inclined towards hellfire and brimstone, and a punishing, angry, vengeful God may now commence to call me whatever you will, pity me, or pray for me. I guarantee I'm right and you're wrong...and my guarantee is as good as yours. Frankly, my God is bigger than your limited God who has no choice but condemn people who walked with him their entire lives but stumbled towards the end. Or as the author says, "
Anything less would make Christ only a second rate savior of some of the people, and God only a cruel, sadistic God who knowingly creates his own children for their own damnation. So don't be afraid, little flock, and don't forget to laugh.")


  1. Kind of amusing that this comes after your last post! ;-)

    I like to think that my God is big enough for everybody; that he is all things to all people. Abraham is the father of many faiths, Christianity being just one. There are so many different factions of Christianity that it can make your head spin.

    I don't happen to follow that God is a punishing God, but there are many who do. I believe that the God of the Old Testament was into punishment, but he himself said that Jesus brought a new covenant, when His love will be written in our hearts. I think of my God as a loving God.

    I'm all with the author on this, but I'll certainly let others follow the God of their choice.

    Who doesn't like Linus, anyway? Or Snoopy? Maybe those with the mean God are more like the Charlie Browns of the world. ;-)

  2. There are people for whom it's not enough to be rich, there must be poor people for them to look down upon.

    Likewise, for some people, it's not enough that God loves them and wants them, there must be people He hates and rejects.

    I used to get angry at people like that, and I still do. But they create their own misery (and unfortunately, let it out into the world, too).