Dan, even though you have not yet had a chance to respond to my first post, I do have to take the opportunity to pursue a tangent, and say something about Tim Minchin’s thank you God. I confess to finding it funny on the first read but less so with time (you were right to presume that I might not be a big fan). While it might be clever humour (and it’s a shame we cannot see the live version) it is the sort of thoughtless atheism that is too common among the 95% of unbelievers (dig, dig) who, unlike yourself, set up a straw house they label ‘Christianity’ and then marvel at how easy it is to burn down. What I mean to say is, I recognise almost none of the views of my Christian friends in the thing Minchin is parodying. Of course the same is true of most Christian responses to atheism! We presume the atheist is a thoughtless pot smoking greenie. Nice to have a conversation with a brother that can get past the name-calling.
Now, while I would like to get to your important discussion of healing soon, I might take the opportunity to respond to another one of Minchin’s concerns. He says:
- ##, what are the odds
That of history’s endless parade of gods
That the god you just happen to be taught to believe in
Is the actual one and he digs on healing
But not the AIDS-ridden African nations
The victims of the plague or the flood-addled Asians
But healthy, privately-insured Australians
With common and curable corneal degenerations
I hear this complaint a lot but I actually think it’s logic is upside down. The author presumes there is no God or, at least, that the God we believe in cares for the white Westerner but doesn’t give a hoot about the starving Third World. In fact, however, it seems to me that global poverty is very much a human problem (I would use the label sin) rather than a divine one. Further, the Christian Church, in response to God concern about poverty and injustice, has a long history of working tirelessly and sacrificially on the side of the poor and oppressed. The church is criticised because its God is supposedly impervious to evil in India and Africa, yet, in fact, it is God at work in people like Mother Teresa (and countless unnamed people like her) that show us that the opposite is true. indeed, we only patronize Africans when we parody the Jesus that countless millions of them have come to believe in. In reality, it is Western secularism that tends to ignore poverty.
I could say more but I realise that this is very tangential to your point. back to a discussion of healing – or whatever you wish.