What are some of the toughest questions you have ever asked about God and Jesus?
You see, if you grew up in the church like me, chances are, at some point in your life, you started asking some difficult questions about God that your friends and family couldn't answer to your satisfaction. Did it matter? Well, maybe.
Here's the thing: questions have the capacity to strengthen your faith, or possibly even destroy it.
In this episode, I interview Brad Jersak. Brad is an author and teacher based in Abbotsford, BC. He's on faculty at Westminster Theological Centre (Cheltenham, UK), where he teaches New Testament and Patristics. He serves as adjunct faculty with St. Stephen's University (St. Stephen, NB). And he's also the senior editor of the CWR (Christianity Without the Religion) Magazine, which is based in Pasadena, CA. Some of his books include Can You Hear Me?, Her Gates Will Never Be Shut, and A More Christlike God.
IN THIS EPISODE, BRAD ANSWERS THE FOLLOWING:
• Can you tell us a little bit about A More Christlike God and why you wrote it?
• Is there such a thing as "the God of the Bible"?
• Is it possible that we find the kind of God we want to find in the Bible (God of peace/grace/anger/war)?
• Humans have produced a vast pantheon of gods, how do we know what God is like?
• There seems to be as many versions of God as there are people. How is your God the right one?
• Are our ideas of God simply glorified projections of ourselves?
• Walter Wink said, "atheism is the first step toward true worship." What exactly does that mean?
• In your opinion, what are some of the false images of God?
• Why does the "God of the Bible" seem so un-Christlike?
• Why did it take so long for God to reveal himself perfectly in Jesus?
• Mark Driscoll said he can't worship a Jesus he can beat up. What is your response?
• How do we know your understanding of Jesus isn't just an upgraded version of yourself?
• Did God punish Jesus for our sins on the cross?
• What does the cross demonstrate about the nature of God?
• How is the cross a response to the problem of suffering?
• Who or what is Jesus saving us from?
• In what sense do you believe Jesus died for us?
• Can Jesus truly identify with a person who has been married, divorced, molested, or raped?
• Isn't it arrogant to talk about God's nature? Who are we to say?
• Is God free to do whatever he pleases (even things considered to be evil in our eyes)?
• Why is God so violent? Didn't he even command genocide in the Bible?
• Does God have a dark and wrathful side that balances out his goodness and love?
• If God is in control, then why is there so much chaos in this world?
• If God is such a loving Father, then why is there so much suffering?
• Why doesn't God protect us from natural disasters?
• Desmond Tutu says that "God does nothing without a human partner"? Do you agree?
• You say that God operates in the world by consent. What do you mean by that?
• According to you, what is "The Beautiful Gospel"?
• What is "The Gospel in Chairs"?
• Hector Avalos argues, in The Bad Jesus, that Jesus is flawed. What is your response?
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LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
• Brad's new book More Christlike God
• Brad Jersak on Youtube
• Brad Jersak on Facebook
• Brad Jersak on Twitter
• Brad Jersak on Instagram
• Clarion Journal of Spirituality and Justice