,Malaysia, Nicaragua,adultery

Sunday, June 03, 2012

 

If they are in Palo Alto, CA, then no place is safe

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My first reaction was "Oh, no, not in Palo Alto!"  But Joan Acocella's review of Professor Tanya Luhrman's
"When God talks back: understanding the American evangelical relationship with prayer"  in The New Yorker leaves no  doubt  that the evangelicals do have a presence in Palo Alto.  Depressing.

This casualness carries over to conversations with God. The Vineyarders asked him “for admission to specific colleges, for the healing of specific illness—even, it is true, for specific red convertible cars.” Some Vineyard women had a regular “date night” with Jesus. They would serve a special dinner, set a place for him at the table, chat with him. He guided the Vineyarders every minute of the day. Sarah told Luhrmann how, one day, after a lunch at a restaurant with fellow-parishioners, she was feeling good about herself, whereupon, as she was crossing the parking lot, a bird shat on her blouse. God, she explained to Luhrmann, was giving her a little slap on the wrist for her self-satisfaction. Sarah accepted the chastisement, but others don’t. They may get furious with God. And, according to some evangelicals, he feels bad when this happens. In “Disappointment with God” (1988), the religious writer Philip Yancey claims that God can’t bear for us to turn away from him. He longs for us to like him. It is hard to understand how evangelicals, most of whom are regular Bible readers, could come to this conclusion about the God of Abraham and Job.

Ya, Habibi.



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