Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mike: Response to Rami's 4/29 Post

Interesting, isn't it how our minds see different connections between the biblical passage in question and other scriptures or traditions. I regard such differences as a benefit derived from our ongoing conversation.

I am not at all sure that saying "the way is narrow," (etc.)is the same as saying God makes salvation difficult. Rather, I read such language as descriptive of the reality of human life. We seem to have a remarkable capacity to select intentionally or by default self-defeating ways. You write, "It seems to me that a loving God would make finding Him easy," and I agree. We humans do not so much imagine that finding God is hard as we make it hard for ourselves. From my perspective, Jesus may suggest that most of humanity will fail to find their way, but if this so, it is by the choices we make.

Certainly, God wants us to come to him. You're right. That's the major point of the Parable of the Loving Father (or Prodigal Son). Still, the son has to come to his senses and choose to take the path home to his father and trust his father with his life. As for your point about Luke 13:25 (the owner shutting the door), don't you think you might be pushing metaphor a little far? It seems to me that all Jesus is saying is that we should choose and act as if all opportunities may come to an end.

I've always loved the Kafka parable! It's written, partly, in reaction to the Christianity Kafka knows, but the point about walking through the gate seems apt. Certainly, the parable's injunction against bribery is on target. Bribery is but one of the false solutions to the quest for "salvation." It's on a par with fleeing to a far city to find one's freedom and self, when all the time real freedom and the real self could only be realized in the presence of the loving Father.

We agree, of course, that if we engage the given moment loving God, neighbor and self we enter the gate, walk through the door, or find our way. My hunch is that we differ in our estimate of human wisdom and strength.

In my next post, I'll open discussion of another passage, unless you wish to continue to explore the subject of our last two posts.

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