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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Noah, the ark, and 'salvation by elimination.'

I heartily endorse Fausto's recommendation that you listen to Scott Tayler's sermon, "The Religion of 9/12," delivered to the First Unitarian Church of Rochester, New York. I've listened to it twice already, moved and deeply impressed each time. That's good church. His theme, drawn out of competing interpretations of the story of Noah and the flood, is the dangerous dream of "salvation by elimination."

You can listen to the mp3 file either by streaming it over the Web or by downloading it to your computer. You can also subscribe to the church's podcast, which is what I did. (I use iTunes on the Mac, so I copied the subscribe link, opened iTunes, clicked the "Advanced" menu, selected "Subscribe to Podcast," and pasted the link into the box. The sermon loaded right into iTunes, and I copied it onto my iPod. Almost simple!)

Copyright © 2006 by Philocrites | Posted 27 September 2006 at 5:59 PM

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October 13, 2006 03:50 PM | Permalink for this comment

Maybe how hard it is to look at the complexity of evil is somehow the reason that so many Christians (and others) insist that God cannot change or grow.


October 14, 2006 12:46 PM | Permalink for this comment

Maybe, for some of them. I think for the majority, though, they have a fundamental hypothesis that three of the irreducible qualities of God are perfect goodness, absolute power, and perfect knowledge. It follows from the premise of God's initial perfection that further growth or change would be impossible. Only an imperfect God could change or grow.

By contrast, in (for example) process theology, which allows for God's growth and change in response to the unfolding process of creation, it is a fundamental hypothesis that God, while supremely good, is not also omnipotent or omniscient. Thus, God can change and grow in consequence of gaining new power or knowledge.

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