Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What God? What God?

Benjamin: I will not be silenced like a child speaking out of turn at the dinner table! Joshua - Joshua died and mother died and father died and these men - and Joshua, Joshua -
Miranda: Hush, Ben.
If you say one more stupid word I will go mad. Now is the time to lament, not to rage.
Benjamin: Not Joshua. Not Joshua, too. It isn't right. What God? What God?
Miranda: Shh. Do not blaspheme. God honors us with our suffering. Remember Job and all he was asked to give? Let that be a comfort to us both.
Benjamin: Damn the book of Job.
- Locke & Key: Clockworks #1
by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

Hindsight might reveal certain themes highlighted in this blog during certain periods. Some of that is obviously intentional. I find it more interesting, though, when it is honestly not intentional. During the brief moments in my life when I actually exhibit some organizational skills, I keep a running list of potential Daily Quotes I come across in my reading and plan to write about in the near future. Other times they suddenly appear and I feel pressed to immediately write about them.

This is one of those times. A little bit ago I read and issue of The Unwritten which turned into a post last week asking whether or not God is a bastard. If you recall that wonderfully blasphemous blurb, I rambled about theodicy, the book of Job, and how the problem of suffering is never adequately answered. Days later I was reading this issue of Locke & Key, purely for my own enjoyment, when I came across this panel that just made me laugh. Apparently I'm not the only one dissatisfied with popular conclusions about the book of Job.

I know, I know, cursing God and the Bible can be offensive. No, it is offensive. Very offensive. It happens all the time in popular culture and life in general, yet our Christian response is either to ignore or condemn. Rarely do we engage. And I am finding such engagement to be quite refreshing.

The church has been relegated to a domain of uplifting happiness and contentment. This doesn't really jive with the reality of life. When people only talk about how consoling and comforting they find reading the Bible, I wonder what book they're actually reading. Yes, Scripture can be very uplifting. But it is also dark, depressing, and very graphic. We gloss over these parts or try to construe them in a way that doesn't say "this just sucks."

But popular culture isn't afraid to read them and conclude "this just sucks."

Sometimes, if you want to confront the hard, difficult issues of theology, you need to go outside of the church. You need to engage with pop culture. You need to read some graphic literature.

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