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God Lets His Children Tell the Story

Try not to nitpick the details with theological caveats; just enjoy the analogy.

But I never mentioned the many things my father did that were also heroic but not quite as exciting—like coming to all my little league games, working long hours to make sure we kept a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, and cars to get around in even though money was very tight. Had I talked like that, it would have fallen on deaf ears.

[I]f we want to extend this to the New Testament, we can think of the teachings of Jesus as a more “mature” telling of God’s story. Jesus tells the story in a way that is more in line with who God is (“you have heard it said, but I say to you…”). Such things as land acquisition and killing and enslaving enemies is no longer part of God’s narrative.

It’s like a boy who grows up to be an adult, gets a job, and has a family of his own. Now ask him to tell his father’s story. The son’s life experiences have brought him to a deeper knowledge and appreciation of his father’s experiences, and the story will reflect that.

Now he will talk about seeing his father get up at the crack of quarter before light to trudge off to work, come home late in smelly and filthy machinist clothes, and then on the weekends build his son a fort, or renovate the basement, or sometimes just crash on the couch.

Both narratives, the child’s and the adult’s, are expressions of love. But now the less heroic acts become the more heroic and dominate story, the things the grown son is truly proud of and wants to tell others. And this story reflects the real thing more closely, with greater three-dimensional depth.

I would only add that my sense is that Judaism itself from the Second-Temple period on is also a more “mature” telling of the story of the God of ancient Israel.


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