1. I’m sorry for the “loaded” question (#3) from last time. Some of you felt it wasn’t fair, and you were right. Please forgive me.
2. I’m sorry I won’t be around again to comment. I know y’all will keep it sweet.
This week I’m just going to highlight some of the quotes from the book that I found most interesting and ask you for your thoughts.
Starting on page 84, with Nathan the Soldier:
“I’m not trying to offend you or anybody, but there’s this attitude that we’re Americans, we’re right, and God is on our side, and they’re Muslim, so they’re wrong, and God wants us to defeat them. People think we’re over there fighting a one-dimensional enemy. They think we’re over there fighting evil.”
What would you say in response to Nathan?
And now, a series of quotes about hell:
“But the idea that this woman (Zarmina) passed from agony to agony, from torture to torture, from a lifetime of pain and sadness to an eternity of pain and sadness, all because she had less information about the gospel than I did, seemed cruel, even sadistic.” (p.91)
“In Sunday School, they always make hell out to be a place for people like Hitler, not a place for his victims.” (p.92)
“If salvation is available only to Christians, then the gospel isn’t good news at all. For most of the human race, it is terrible news.” (p.93)
“Are we supposed to believe that five seconds after Jesus rose from the dead, everyone on earth was responsible for that information?” p.94)
“We just assumed that little kids and mentally disabled people go to heaven. The Bible doesn’t come right out and say that. So why can’t we believe that people without the gospel go to heaven? What’s the difference? Why won’t anyone give me a straight answer on this?” (p.94)
Do you have a straight answer (or any kind, really) for Rachel?
I loved Chapter 8, where a doubting, angry girl fell in love with Jesus, God in the flesh. I underlined and starred so much of the chapter, but I’ll just quote one paragraph from p. 106-7:
“It was the summer I encountered a different Jesus, a Jesus who requires more from me than intellectual assent and emotional allegiance; a Jesus who associated with sinners and infuriated the religious; a Jesus who broke the rules and refused to cast the first stone; a Jesus who gravitated toward sick people and crazy people, homeless people and hopeless people; a Jesus who preferred story to exposition and metaphor to syllogism; a Jesus who answered questions with more questions, and demands for proof with demands for faith; a Jesus who taught his followers to give without expecting anything in return, to love their enemies to the point of death, to live simply and without a lot of stuff, and to say what they mean and mean what they say; a Jesus who healed each person differently and saved each person differently; a Jesus who had no list of beliefs to check off, no doctrinal statement to sign, no surefire way to tell who was ‘in’ and who was ‘out’; a Jesus who loved after being betrayed, healed after being hurt, and forgave while being nailed to a tree; a Jesus who asked his disciples to do the same.”
How would you describe the Jesus you’ve encountered? What would you keep/change from Rachel’s description?
That’s it for today, folks. Excited to hear your thoughts as usual!
*Homework for next week: Read Chapters 9-11.