The Cynic, the Saint, and the Manager

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Mr. Deity: "Fully God and fully human, that's how you do the whole 'sinless life' thing."

Jesus: "Well, that hardly seems fair."

I've gotta say: I love the wide variety of blogs I read. In fact, if you just poke through my Other Posts of Note, you can find stuff from a wide variety of perspectives. I mean, just today I've got some John Piper and Evolutionary Morality--to say nothing of the funny stuff I bump into. My hope is that this keeps me sharp and smiling.

So, what should we make of Mr. Deity's inability to make things fair/logical? Well, let's work through it, shall we?

1. Three days (well, 36 hours). Prophecies. This has pinged the back of my mind now and again: Three days? Really? I think the scholarly response would point to how prophecies work, their vantage point of history (with a compressed future), and the fact that it really was the third day. But, in the end, I haven't run into any Jewish teachers who discredit the resurrection account based on this issue, so I think we're cool with this as the three day period.

2. What Jesus gets from this. "Full partner." and 3. Why God can't do it Himself. "I'm not chicken." These points play off the difficulty of the Trinity: God, three Persons, One God. That's a pretty easy one to pick on--as Clint Eastwood does--but if you accept that Jesus and "Mr. Deity" are one, both of these issues disappear.

4. Can't You just forgive? Sin. This is another thing I've thought about, especially in light of Greek mythology. Who has power: The gods or the Fates? So why does God need blood for forgiveness? Who is He bound to? Reading all of Hebrews 9 sheds a little light on the subject, but Hebrews isn't an easy book to understand. It seems that God demands it Himself. Why? I don't really know.

5. Fully God/fully human. We're damned anyway. This goes back to the Fall, where we were set up well and decided to trade it in to become like God. And as humorous as it may be to see Mr. Deity gloat over our destruction, that's not how God is. Instead, He has provided a way for us to get back to Him, despite our demonstrations of human defiance.

6. Created way beneath God. Expected to live up to His standards or be damned. Again, this is a severely distorted view of God. He used to walk with us and connect with us. And then He did it again. His standards are not hard to keep, until we decide to rebel against them.

In the end, all of these points come from the cynical point of view--which is why it can be funny. But cynicism is hardly good discourse. And while I am hardly a Saint, I am one of the saints, and I thought I should point out that there are perfectly legitimate answers to these questions.

And I've learned something by watching Sonlight's general manager: It's easy to be cynical, to declare that you are not "duped" by this or that, and it is really hard to give an answer that will satisfy the cynic. But the great managers, like Wayne, can take such complaints and sometimes offer insights and words of wisdom that cut to the center of the issue.

Because cynicism is rarely--if ever--about really addressing a question. It's about making your point sting so you feel better about your position. I've been there. But seeing really great people respond with gracious, well-reasoned responses that point out the flaws in cynic's thinking has inspired me to try to do the same.

Try is certainly the operative word here. But I am trying.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

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