Friday, July 4, 2014

Conversations with BLB

The Boy has become a conversationalist. He still talks a lot of nonsense (really...a lot) but it has become increasingly clear that he prefers conversation to communication and chit chatter.

We have a lot of theological discussions. He thinks about these things.
Our first was last year during a thunder storm. I half jokingly tried the God rearranging his furniture a segue to explaining that God is an immaterial being. He laughed and then, in a very matter of fact, ohhh Daaaady, tone he explained to me that God doesn't need furniture because he doesn't have a body. Well then... 
There's been quite a few conversations about the fully Human nature of Christ...conversations and observations.
"Jesus had a..."
"Yeah son I reckon he did"
I think that was established at the little known, actually entirely unknown, Council of Ephesus in 327. Jesus did have a penis (or wiener if you prefer) and yes he did go potty. Fully God....Fully man.
If fully man....then there is a possibility that The Boy could have beaten Jesus in a foot race. Maybe he wasn't that fast...that was an exciting possibility.
This week's talk was different tough. A much beloved security guard at his school finally succumbed to cancer. It's been a few weeks since Mr. Joseph passed but it perturbed his thought a couple of days ago while he was putting on his shoes.

"Why does God give people get cancer." You could hear the irritation in his voice.

I was taken aback and honestly a little excited...he's pondering these things. If he doesn't think about them he'll never hold them True or dear. He'll drop it like a bad habit or even worse just spend his life going through the motions...or horror of horror's end up at some Six Flags Over Jesus, listening to contemporary Christian music...wondering in a panic why the Holy Spirit hasn't moved over him like an epileptic fit...or why God hasn't blessed him with a Rolex because God wants his followers to be rich...or God only knows what.*

First, I gave him a Christian answer...God doesn't give people cancer. The world is fallen because of Sin but God by his grace has provided a way out. That is what I believe and I hope that is what the Boy believes but, that is not a very satisfactory answer to the's a conclusion to be drawn after considering and thinking through a series of questions about Evil and suffering, etc.

The first thing we have to do is establish the fact of Evil...or Good for that matter. I started to ask him why it was bad for someone to get cancer...but, he was satisfied for the moment (we will return to it I'm certain) and went on a rant about Adam, Eve and Judas....he really dislikes Judas right now. Now I'm trying to explain that Judas is not responsible for Sin in the world but....

"Ok Daddy first thing we have to do when we get outside is go down the water and make sure the Japanese aren't attacking by boat." Our backyard has been battled over more times than the last Twinkie and The Boy has fought gallantly against Yankees, the Imperial Japanese, Pathans, the British, Zulus and the French Foreign Legion.

When we got to the water he determined that the Japanese had already come ashore and were to our rear...between us and our base (the deck). He assessed the situation like a salty veteran would...


Salty indeed.

"You're not gonna tell Moma are you?"

*There is of course the rainbow, social justice, liberation theology option...where he agitates for some new legislation because Jesus came to establish the modern coercive welfare state....where he admonished his followers to feed the poor with threats of violence and incarceration...but, that's highly unlikely around here.

I think of all these options being forced to listen to contemporary Christian music would be the most punishing.


  1. Sharp lad. It's always exciting when they start to through you these challenges. And you can't fob them off - he'll be back on your case as soon as you think it's safe to come out from under the covers. Keep him away from contemporary Christian music and show him the way of Mississippi Fred.

    1. He's a handle...but so long as he doesn't have a question about simple addition and subtraction...I'm ready.

      We have at least two contemporary Christian stations in town...then there are a few religious stations that play it from time to time. These people claim the Triune God as their muse...the great I am, the creator of the universe, the friction that holds the universe together...and this is the best they can come up with? IT's an Abomination...and every time one of those songs play a kitten dies.

  2. That boy is smart. I was quite happy to believe the God moving his furniture around theory...because God looked a bit like Catweazel.

    You know me, I'm not religious, don't believe in heaven and hell etc., but it is with some irony perhaps that my current book and the next two lined up are for American Christian publishers. In fact the two forthcoming ones are based on psalms and prayers. It's a strange thing for me as I'm a non-believer (and I had a very brief moral dilemma over it) but I grew up in a Christian culture which taught love and tolerance, whether or not this is actually practised by some of its advocates, and, whatever I might think now, I've never doubted that Jesus himself, whether real or fictional, was an alright geezer and we could do worse than to follow his lead. And, of course, in my mind he still looks like Ian Gillan.

    1. I got the furniture thing from you. Ha!

      C are you trying to tell me you are a Materialist like that Adamparsons (who can't figure out how to comment with his ipad...and who hates with a purple passion to be defined, boxed, in any way...and who I take great pleasure in winding up :0)? Am I gonna have to process that?

      I'm always a little dismayed when I discover that creative people, people who spend their lives in creative endeavours, surrounded by creative people...don't believe in anything but particles.

      It makes me so upset I could eat a cupcake. :)

      Social Gospel is what you're exists and has it's origins at the turn of the last century...don't know if they had a picture of Jesus as a 70's teen beat pin up though.

  3. Your lad would run rings around me, that's for sure.

    1. In a foot race? 'Cause that's all he's gonna want to's all he really cares about. Evidently it is the ultimate test of manliness among the five and six year olds of his set.

      His Daddy talks a lot of nonsense and has always done so with him under the assumption that he could keep up...I don't assume anymore :).

  4. I love these discussions and am terrified by them at the same time. Heard Gilby making a logical theological discussion (is there such a thing?) with our neighbour (a passionate atheist). He did better than I would have done.

    1. Ha. Good job fella.

      Those are the only kind worth having. In fact, the only illogical thing here is someone holding to a non-belief passionately...and yet some seem to.

      The picture of Gertie's communion was absolutely precious.

  5. I'm pretty sure if you're overheard having theological discussions with your children over here in the UK, the police come round and take them into care. If things get any more rabidly anti-Christian, we'll probably end up having to chalk fish symbols onto walls in the dead of night. Anyway, for various reasons, I've just spent the past week reading two fascinating books about Christianity - but I reckon listening to your conversations with your boy on the subject would have been equally illuminating. Better fun, that's for sure. He really does sound alarmingly bright!

    1. It is alarming sometimes.

      His curiosity is outrageously expansive...I had to look up the age of Queen Victoria during the Zulu War for him today. 65 there 'bouts.

      He's been asking a lot of questions about Hurricane Katrina this week....don't know where that came from but they've been pretty steady.

      We are Anglicans...and it's funny to think that we look more to the Church in Africa than England....a juicy ironic twist of history.

  6. Nice to have found your site....a great post, I have never reeally had a discussion with my son on such subjects....maybe its time....well he is 40. Anyway I hope you explained to your little boy that it was not Judus that made Dylan turn was God himself

    1. Glad you found us...welcome to the party. need to worry. Knowing the Boy he would have punched Pete Seeger for crying about it.

  7. On witnessing me reading the Bible (again and again) Jamie, aged 9 yrs, was horrified that his (stress on 'his') mother was 'religious'. He is the child I got 'the call' from the Headteacher about - asking me to ask him to refrain from harrassing the School Chaplain about such matters as 'does God really exist' and 'prove it'.
    I've always wondered about his staunch atheism.
    Does such certainty mean he'll succumb to happy-clappiness later in life and be born again with writhing and fitting?
    With an MA(Hons) (jointly) in Religious Studies I liked the liberation theology best.
    Surprised? Nope I thought not ;-)
    Great post e.f. - even if I am agnostic.
    You captured the joy of conversation with our kids. Being taken aback by their insightfulness - glimpsing the emerging developing person.
    (and why was I reading the Bible? - To better understand and appreciate the culture I have always been part of - as Christian a worldview as you could ever get. Scotland is like that though).

  8. It's not at all my place but, that Chaplain needs a pair...he should get up in the morning wanting to be asked such questions....especially from the young.

    It's hard to say where he's headed. Staunch Atheism is an intellectually awkward place to find yourself...especially if your concerns are over proof in the material sense (besides proof itself is such a tenuous idea)'ll be interesting I'm sure.

    Just as a matter of heritage and tradition (and the underpinnings that come with it) I'll never understand the willingness of some people to just turn their backs on 2000 years of history. I heard Melvyn Bragg recently say he went to Church for Tribal reasons. I certainly hope that there is more to people's Christianity than that but, dammit that oughta be enough to get you to the Church on Sunday.