If you speak to me on anything like a regular basis, then you probably know that I like to make a lot of random observations. What you may not know is that the random observations that I do make are only about 10% of the random thoughts that come into my head that I want to share but don’t. That’s what this blog is for-it’ll be a mixture of politics, NBA/college football, and thoughts about religion, roughly in that order of volume.
At church yesterday, we were talking about prayer in the after-sermon discussion group. People had various theories as to why some prayers are answered, with most people thinking that if you had enough belief/were godly enough, you were more likely to get your prayers answered. There’s some scriptural basis for that, but it doesn’t entirely coincide with lived experience-I’ve seen plenty of godly people be denied their most serious prayers. Nor did it really coincide with the passage of Mark 9:14-28, when the father’s prayers for his son are answered despite his admittedly only partial belief. To me, it seems clear that we just don’t know why God answers some prayers and denies others, and probably will never really know short of heaven. But it seems like it’s incredibly hard for even that roomful of devout people to admit that God’s ways are entirely beyond their comprehension, so for 20-30 minutes some people tried to come up with steadily less plausible explanations for why God answers some prayers but not others, and yet the percentage of your prayers that are answered is still strictly correlated to how strong your “belief” in God is.
I’d rather just admit that I don’t know, and in fact one of the things that I admire most about the post-modern and emergent Christians is that they’re willing to admit they don’t know the answers to a lot of the tough theological questions.
Where I disagree with the po-mos though, is that I think we need to, and are able to, come to contingent conclusions even while recognizing our skewed perspectives and imperfect knowledge. After all, as the blog title suggests, our time here is fleeting and irretrievable. Hopefully by thinking out loud on this blog, I can add, however slightly, to the sum of my knowledge about the human condition. That’s the goal anyways, and you’re welcome to help me along with comments and suggestions if you care to read.