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A little over a month ago, Ann started writing for Busted Halo, an "online magazine for spiritual seekers" published by the Paulist priests.  She is answering scripture questions for their "question box," and you can see all of her articles here.  Feel free to submit some questions and see if you can stump her! This new job coincides with her teaching another section of her Intro to the Four Gospels class this summer at a local Paulist parish - Newman Hall on the Cal Berkeley campus.

David Jacobson
9/27/2016 11:39:33 pm

"Rather than reading the story as one in which God sets us up for failure, we can read it as a description of how life happens. Just as a human parent tries to protect a child from evil, he or she will never be able to guarantee the child’s safety. ETC..."

Dear Ann, this is an invalid analogy and it compels me because you attempt to write about something that has disturbed me since the age of 8.

To make your analogy valid, the parent must place something forbidden into the child's home and say nothing more but, "don't do that."

God is omnipotent, omnipresent and OMNISCIENT. The parent is not but probably has a pretty darned good idea that children will be children- and will do the forbidden thing. That point actually has no bearing on the validity of your comparison.

The parent DOES NOT tell the child what the consequence will be (and figures the kid is going to do the bad thing- isn't that as close to omniscient a mortal human can be? I submit that it is, as we were kids once upon a time and screwed up plenty- so, on the basis of personal experience, we can anticipate the chances are far greater that our child will do the forbidden thing as it is a child's nature to want the forbidden thing! (there's another tangential dimension right here. God created the human and the "program". Sure, we have free will but we have instincts, reflexes, reactions, fight or flight phenomena, ADRENALINE, testosterone... our behavior are mediated by hormones God gave us that we CANNOT control! There's a fascinating question: is our free will really... free? Read a Biochemistry textbook and then a Neurobiology textbook, think- and get back to me!

sorry, where was I?

disturbed by your pulled punch.
kid gloves!
you got the analogy WRONG.
try again:

God placed the forbidden thing there pretty much (omnisciently) knowing what would happen. Forget that. Back to the point-

He didn't tell his children what would happen if they didn't listen.
Good parenting?
He said just don't do it.
... and they did it. Surprise!

So, we have children being children who do not know what the consequences of breaking a rule will be- they trust their father!
Their loving, kind, forgiving, protective [your word!] father- who does not even protect them from themselves!
how can I say that?


We haven't touched upon the serpent!

Okay- we're constructing a valid analogy. I respectfully submit that you missed your own point completely and got lost trying to spin it, like Donald Trump and his taxes.

So, we have to put candy in our kids room, tell them not to eat it, and then send another adult in there who entices them, charms them, get's into their heads- and loquaciously and deliciously prompts them to eat the candy.

(which is what we KNEW that devious adult would DO! After all, WE created the heavens, the earth, the universe... AND that devious adult who goes in there to completely mess with their heads. yes. this is also necessary if you are truly interested in a valid analogy)

So, then- our kids eat the candy while the devious adult laughs;
we throw the kids out into the street and lock the fucking door.

there you go.
that is a valid analogy!
yours is not even close.
over to you-
i'm all ears.

ps: shortly thereafter, we tell Abraham to prove himself by killing his son! NO! Wait- first came Job. Seems God was okay with Satan killing off 10 innocent children [Don't lay hands on Job himself- I guess "The Kids Were Alright"!]

Well, well, that's okay because Job got back his riches! and had a bunch of new kids! ( to take the place of the aborted ones )
Happy ending!

Can we go there next? Abraham and Job- I'd sincerely love an analogy to help me accept these acts of God so I can be at peace with the Bible
I humble myself with sincerity at your feet. Nothing I have written is facetious. I intellectualize and analogize too- and I simply disagree with your and ask you to reconsider the logic.
God bless you and anyone who appreciates the childish awe and curiosity I bring before you as a Jew who wishes to understand and accept Jesus. What did Jesus expect the Jews to do? Instantly abandon thousands of years of worshipping God's original word, religion, culture... just suddenly accept "it doesn't matter what you put in your mouth [forget all that stuff about Kosher] it matters what comes out of your mouth" but if you don't give up those thousands of years of Tradition and start all over again, you do not enter the kingdom of Heaven without Jesus.

Is that fair?

Doesn't Mohammed sorta say the same thing to Christians?
Forget all that.
This is the new deal, God willing!

Imagine being told that! That YOU don't get to Heaven as a Christian any longer- you must accept, submit, and love Allah as a Muslim!
Imagine THAT-
and now you can appreciate how difficult it might be for a Jew to give up being a Jew in order to accept Jesus and become a Christian!

Fair analogy?
:)

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