On the need to criticize God


John Hobbins has a great post, short but very poignant, reminding us that “believers must complain about and criticize biblical texts.” He rightly points out that it is incumbent upon the faithful to do so. I have written in several places about exactly this with respect to Lamentations. The fact that the poets express their anger with God and their disbelief at their condition, even while confessing their sin, is not a sign of failing faith rather it is the ultimate expression of commitment.

They key is the hermeneutic employed:

What matters is the context in which complaints and criticism occur. Do I make the criticism because I expect God or scripture to answer my questions and I will not rest until I find my rest in God and his Word? Or because I’ve decided that God and his Word are something I need to protect myself against, because I’ve found a higher standard of truth by which to judge them both?

When one no longer questions God or takes up the challenge of the Bible then faith is no more, but so long as the conversation continues the relationship remains.

 

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