The Evangelical Universalist Forum

"Love Wins" by Rob Bell

I’ve decided this is a better spot to post the “Love Wins” study.
(It’s a book study and is more suited this lower traffic, slower moving area where it won’t be so quickly “buried”.")

I’m sharing my impressions. Anyone who has read/is reading the book feel free to share yours.

The old thread with the discussion of Chapter 1 and 2 is here. This thread will start with Chapter 3 in the next post.

Chapter 3- Hell

I know JRP thought it was dishonest of Rob to say on pg 64 “I want to show you every single verse in the Bible in which we find the actual word ‘hell’”, but my (non UR) theology degreed husband thought this was a strong point. He verified this for himself in the concordance and was surprised how few verses there are and their context, compared to the dire sounding maxim “Jesus preaches more about hell than anyone else in the Bible”.

I resonated with and find the chapter strong in expressing what I call “hell on earth”.

and personally very apropos, his observation of the hell on earth caused by a cheating husband. One day in 2008, I had a very strong impression that me and the children were in danger; I could feel my husband’s hate and contempt spewing and I feared that he would literally burn down the house with us in it. Turned out that, unbeknownst to me, he was in the midst of an affair at that time. He WAS burning down the house with us in it (figuratively speaking). I know hell. I’ve been there.

Though JRP seemed to approve of Bell’s handling of the Rich Man and Lazarus, this was the huge hermeneutical stretch that my husband caught and I agree with him. Pg 75* “The rich man wants Lazarus to serve him… The chasm is the rich man’s heart! It hasn’t changed, even in death and torment and agony. He’s still clinging to the old hierarchy. He still thinks he’s better” * So, Rob makes this story about hierarchy, where the man in hell “still sees himself as above Lazarus” (italics in original). Though I am all for equality (advocating for women’s equality is a personal ministry of mine), imposing it into this account is a real stretch and I don’t buy it.

This statement about the Rich man and Lazarus is more on target IMO “how does the darkness of that individual’s heart display itself? He fails to love his neighbor. In fact, he ignores his neighbor…” pg 77-780

Out of the ballpark on HELL:

AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! A quick look at the concordance will show that Jesus speaking of hell is most frequently in the context of that pesky member which leads one into SIN. * “If your _____________ causes you to sin, CUT IT OFF! It is better to ENTER LIFE without it than to [burn up your life in the garbage dump; create a living hell for you and those you are supposed to love]” * Choose today: LIFE or DEATH, BLESSING or CURSING. Its about TODAY, not bye and bye fire in the sky…

Oh, for a church like that!

pg 85- God’s wrath is remedial and corrective- I TOTALLY AGREE! Bell goes on for several pages with Scriptures supporting this

The wrap up two paragraphs of the chapter on hell are a good summary IMO. You can read them yourself here.

Peter Hiett paints the picture of “hell on earth” well- see the quote posted here. (I bought “Eternity Now”- good price used on amazon- and resonate with his reading of Revelation. Also bought “Evangelical Universalist”. Hopefully can get my husband to read the latter. McDonald writes with the appeal to academic authorities kind of aura that appeals to him.)


Thanks for sharing your take. FWIW, I could add very lttle; your reactions are very close here to mine!

I bought this book when it came out and have just spent the weekend reading it again. It is one of the most thought provoking books I’ve ever read. It speaks truth to me and what Bell presents, is so amazing that if it isn’t true, then I couldn’t be satisfied with anything less. I don’t know about literary matters and so all I can do is read Bell’s writings and see how they affect me- they affect me powerfully and joyously. The many questions seems to help me focus or stay with him as he builds a theme and as he builds upon these ideas with scriptures and more questions the ‘good news’ of what he’s saying gets better and better…for me.

There are a few ‘bung notes’ along the way (the woman who wrote Hebrews?? seems very unlikely but possible I suppose- but an unimportant point for me).

Bell is saying to me, that God’s love for every single human who will ever exist, is not going to fail, ever, and that His love will win ie the eventual reconciliation of all creation. However…

When I was half way through it, I nearly didn’t finish it, because I felt this pang of depression come on me. It struck me that it was all very well Bell relating this wonderful ‘good news’ but what if it’s just a ‘story’ made up? If God is as loving etc as Bell says, then why do I feel so disconnected from Him- why is Bell’s (the Bible’s) Jesus no more real to me, as before? The happiness I felt when reading the amazing good news that Bell was relating, soon evaporated, and the cold reality of this life and my doubts etc very much dominating as usual, reminded me that maybe it’s all just a story and not real,no matter how much I want it to be real.

Catherine really enjoyed reading what you write above

indeed what you experience might be more common than people expected

e.g. for me reading The Shack at that time in my chaotic turmoilof living drenched my face eith deep emotionnal tears however daily life was still there
but then again more later from Samsung

Greetings again … :slight_smile:

    During the time I was reading "The Shack" my life had finished going thru a huge financial, social, 
 psychological disaster... so naturally the powerful waves of deep emotive feelings went coursing 
  through my entire person ...    however, my daily living still continued to *suck* ... 

  At another time in my life ... 
      well let me ask you this way ---  :wink:  :wink:  :wink: 
    What do you think God would do to you IF you stood in the middle of an intersection 
      and launched a screaming, yelling, boisterous expletive filled monologue towards God ?

      Would God then do something ?   

     Well .. I certainly do not have any answer except to say ... 
        I did it .. and on other occassions I have been really pissed off at "God" or others too ...

       I believe God easily handled my outburst quite well... 

but then again maybe at times many people are putting God into an anthropomorphic setting too aggressively

       I am not an agnostic, nor atheist, nor 6 day Creationist, nor Fundamentalist, nor Liberal 
     nor Conservative N. American Evangelical ,  I do not accept Evolutionary tinkering either on the Macro scale---
        Since I joined this forum --- I guess I fit in as yet another Member who has his own personal 
      Devotional Literature might help, aid, support or enhance one's Spiritual pilgrimage too ...
        but then again it has not been my cup of tea for decades ...   

       I have witnessed lots of hurting people in many a religious forum for decades too ... 
      who are struggling with their doubts, their "demons" , their "dark nights of the Soul " 

       When I was in Seminary I really annoyed my Professors by skimming or attempting to read quickly
         the vast Spiritual devotional literature from various Famous Theologians and Writers in the past 

       Whether it was a very famous Preacher, Missionary ( wow .. memory is getting rusty ...
      not from Cognitive slowdown either  :laughing:  :laughing:   --- just have not used any of this information 
         for tooooo long ) 

         During the Early Church Fathers there were numerous very Famous Theologians who became
         something akin to an Ascetic Monk and wandered into the desert (metaphorically and realistically )

        As I am now skimming through a myriad of names from Wikipedia search to refresh my memory...
          I am filled with awe also that so many involved their lives with such Passionate effort in their 
         Missionary quests ...   so I am not one to disavow this pursuit in their lives... George Muller
         David Brainerd -- Jim Elliot -- Hudson Taylor --- Corrie Ten Boom --- Spurgeon -- Moody 
          to name only a tiny few ...

         All of these plus a huge cloud of witnesses elsewhere most likely endured more than enough 
         of their share of emotional depressing times during their daily living too ..
          I recall a book I had before that illustrated many pages of said book from 
            the depression of many famous Christians .. Even Moody would complain to Spurgeon
            and vice versa ... 

         [ ... 77129.html](
          before I would to follow this advice as much as I could .. which is really common within
            N. American Church Culture...    

          Where am I now ?   I am still sailing my dinghy on the seas ...   :wink:  :wink:  :wink: 

          I often suggest to my friends over here ... since I live in a virtual Ocean of them ...
          to find something .. find a hobby .. find an interest...  walk in the park .. ride bicycles...
           read books... do something that you enjoy doing 

           more importantly put Passion ( meaning fire in heart -- my direct translation from Chinese )
          which includes putting effort with active attention to doing something with Patience 
              which means not seeking convenience ... along with an attitude that You can do it 
            better and better ... 

          My advice most likely does not sound "spiritual" or "devotional"  :wink:  :wink:  :wink: 

            Most people I meet are continually bored with their daily living ... which means to me 
       they are seeking convenience for their emotional moods...

          Also for me I try to develop my social skills and build up "networking connections" ( relationships )
           with others .   I also put passion into allowing my own Theological paradigm to flow out into
          my personal daily living .

         Thus, although I have energetic moments of joy, happiness, laughter I continue to focus 
          my attention towards my goals for living -- whether or not my dinghy capsizes often enough 
          while sailing on the seas...  

         Most people living over here rarely know my Theological academic research background 
           and when they do -- they always ask me why I did not become a Pastor or Priest or Missionary ..
            My response is to laugh smile and give some short comments ... since there is no need 
           to attempt to get into the "thick of it " ---  just live with people flowing from my own 
               particular view of Trinitarian theology...   

           so for me I do not worry any longer about my up or down for feeling spiritual ...
             also it took me a decade to finally beat down, reduce to a pulp, and kick out ...
            that typical "guilty" feeling that came with much of my previous Church experience ...

           If you enjoy Art then visit Museums!  If you enjoy an Irish pub then drink & sing with gusto!
          If you enjoy movies then grab more popcorn & something to drink --- grab another friend to join you 
            over here people go gaga for KTV ( a place usually quite big as a bldg which has too many rooms
             where there is a large TV screen, computer, microphones, sofa along the walls .. for singing )

            If you enjoy Nature then get outside !  even on Sundays -- take photos of Waterfalls, rivers & flowers!
           I took thousands of photos of Nature while living in Taiwan especially flowers... 

            Whatever it is --- find it & do it with gusto !  
             then I am sure that your emotional mood / framework will change dramatically enough ...
           whereby your sense of Awe for living and God will blossom more radiantly ...
            Fundamentalists always fight & bicker with me ... including Conservatives over this ...
           Telling me that people will then use this "gusto" for sinning ...  :astonished:  :astonished:  :astonished: 
             those who are not wishing to find babysitters will put enough reasoned thinking 
            into discovering what enhances their lives instead of what ensnares their living ... 
            addictive autonomous behavior along with guilt usually drives people into depressive bouts ...

           Remember We are all invited to the Grand Dance at the Eschaton ---
               and this invitation stubbornly insists that we will all be present during the Grand Dance at the Eschaton
           only those dimwitted lightbulbs will attempt to walk out ...  
            So discover what makes Life enjoyable to You !

        all the best

Yeah, I’ve read both Love Wins and The Shack, and they both encouraged me and gave me hope while reading them… but after reading them life went on, and I forgot some of the encouragement, and some of the hope…
It’s hard to remember what it was that encouraged me or gave me hope, only the vague memory that I was encouraged or made hopeful in the moment…
It’s been the same with every good book, or movie, or song, or sermon, or whatever; the same with every kind word and with every gentle touch or embrace and with every positive experience… life goes on, and the darkness keeps coming back in one form or another… I guess that’s how life is, or at least how life is in this world we live in right now…

Sometimes the light is hard to hold onto… sometimes the things that impart wisdom or courage or love to our hearts don’t seem to stick very well, and often peace and joy seem like fleeting phantasms, and sometimes we go from moment to moment feeling as though nothing is truly solid or certain, and wonder if we just use lovely words and come up with beautiful concepts to give ourselves some sanity in what often seems an insane world…

And it’s hard to remember, and to hold on to, what is good, and to light and to meaning and to hope.

But this is the nature of faith. This is how the journey goes.
Maybe the encouragement and the hope we find in the moment isn’t meant to leave everything resolved for us… maybe it’s only meant to help us take one more step… and even if all we retain is just one word from that book, or one image from that film, or one note from that song, one flash of a memory, one more thing we can remember in a dark moment that will help us to keep moving, then it is worth the reading, and the watching, and the listening, and what happened to us then still counts now, because it tells us something that is still true, and that has always been true… that we are loved, and that we’re not alone, and that life is worth the living, despite all of our struggling and doubting…

Here’s something that I shared last night with a friend of mine:

Our lives are like stories, Catherine. Whether in the end they will be ultimately good or bad, we don’t know… heck, sometimes we don’t even know for sure what good or bad is. :neutral_face: But I think we all want to be a part of a good story, or, in other words, a story with a happy ending, where evil is defeated, where darkness passes away, where all is well, and where, well, love wins. We want to be part of a story where we are led somewhere that is better, better for our lives, and better for our hearts. We crave an end to our wandering and our longing… in our lonely moments, we ache for it, wondering if there will ever be an answer to it, an answer to the tears we shed alone in the middle of the night, when no one else is around…

There are things in life that make us smile, and laugh, that give us pleasure, that we are grateful for, there are things in life that matter to us, that are important to us, that we even feel are worth fighting for, maybe even worth dying for, but nothing resolves all of the questions and doubts that we have, there is nothing that takes away all of the pain or washes away all of the tears, at least not permanently…

Life goes on, and we can’t stop that from happening… but, we can still have hope…

Hope that those good things in our lives are glimmers of something greater, something more, beyond the horizon, and that somehow the answer, the key to our aching hearts, is found in the One who gave us life, who gives us life enough each day to take another step, and whom we believe, in those moments of faith, amidst our seas of doubt, will be there even when we cross the veil, just as that One has always been there, and here, with us, every moment of our lives, whether we knew it or not…

What helps us to keep going is the belief that this is indeed true, and not just made up, not a pipe-dream or an illusion, not wishful thinking or chasing after the wind… that we are loved, and not alone, and that there is light and hope for us in this crazy world and in this mysterious, mostly unexplored universe in which we live… even atheists need to believe this, even if they reject the existence of a personal God… they need to believe that they are loved, and not alone, and that there is light and hope in the mess and the madness, or they begin to go crazy or shrivel inside…

We all need meaning in our lives, we all need light in our darkness, we all need comfort in our loneliness and we all need hope in our despair… when we give up on the maybe… give up on the ‘maybe these things really are true’ then we kind of give up on life, and turn into something like a shell of a person… and our hearts begin to die… but I say, we don’t know anything absolutely for sure, so why not take a shot?

Why not take a shot in the dark and believe it really is true, despite some contrary appearances?

It is worth a shot, isn’t it?
Why live in despair worrying that there isn’t any hope when there just may be hope?
Why expend all our energy and time on sulking in the darkness of our fears and doubts, when there may yet be light to be found in the darkness?

Better to keep searching until our dying day then to give up before our time here has even run out, because who knows… maybe the search will be worth it… better to try and learn how to trust even when we can never entirely understand…

I don’t know, Catherine. I can understand how you feel. There are days when I want to curl up in a corner somewhere and disappear because life is so confusing and hard to understand when I start trying to process everything… but I just try to keep going, and not give up, asking for help with my struggles and problems, and being thankful for the things in my life that I perceive to be good and worthy of thanks…
And holding onto the hope that one day, perhaps after I die, I will have peace, and will understand, and all will be well, and all manner of things shall be well, in the end, even though I can’t say that I have much of a clue of what that will actually look like… all I can do is trust that someone else, that that Someone else, has a better idea of what that would look like than I do, and can somehow bring that all about…and that in the here and now I can be a part of the journey getting there, just by living my life, and learning to love…

Sorry, it’s late and I’m tired and discombobulated and waxing philosophical :laughing:

My apologies :wink:

Hope that this helps or encourages you or gives you hope in some way, shape, or form… even if all it does is help you to take one more step, gives you just a little light for the moment, a little more light in the dark for the day or night, and little or nothing more… that would be enough. :wink:

Blessings to you, sister, and may God lead you and guide you home… and may God lead and guide all of us home…


I’ve been there, bro… haven’t we all? :wink:

Same here :laughing:

‘Lord, please be good to me, for the sea is so wide, and my boat is so small.’ :wink:

I agree, bro :slight_smile: And I’m thinking this may be better advice than mine, Catherine… seek to enjoy your life as much as you can, even the little things, watch out for wonder and beauty, and ask for it, then watch as God blesses your socks off :laughing:

Reminds me of a quote from a movie I watched recently, called The Mighty Macs… ‘Jesus likes to dance’ :wink:

Blessings to you :slight_smile:


Thanks Samsung and Matt for your much appreciated replies. :smiley:

I enjoyed the Shack (even though the trinity ‘guys’ bothered me throughout) and I remember it made me cry and had a brilliant ending.

My problem isn’t with the books. I’m sure they sow seeds of hope along the way. My problem is lack of faith, and as that is down to God, then no amount of reading good stories will effect it. When I mention my struggles I’m really having a go at God, and challenging Him to do something about it. :sunglasses:

Matt, you said: ‘‘Why not take a shot in the dark and believe it really is true, despite some contrary appearances?’’

It is ‘worth a shot’, as you say, but easier said than done. I’ve realised that I can’t conjure up belief. The most I can do is pray ‘Lord, you know I struggle to believe in You etc, and so please help me to know you are real etc.’
When I’m reminded how great the ‘good news’ is, like in the books we’ve just mentioned, I’m also reminded how impotent and stuck I am in my ‘relationship’ (that’s not really the word,as I don’t feel I’m in a relationship) with God. I’m in no position to evangelise to anyone else, as I’m not convinced enough.

I’m fortunate in that I have a good life and am a happy and reasonably content person most of the time. I’ve got the luxury of time to study and consider these things, and I certainly have hope that all will be well in the end and the story of Jesus does reach out to me and challenges me to love my neighbour etc. So, my glass is not empty for sure, and I don’t want to give the impression in my posts that I’m really struggling and depressed- thank God I am not. I’m just aware of my lack of faith and disatisfaction this causes me. I don’t understand why God doesn’t give me more faith when I’ve asked so many times, with tears, over the years. I’ve shouted at God, like you Samsung, and I know He can handle our outburts. :wink:
When I feel this dispondancy with God, it’s like a heavy feeling in my chest, and I equate that with distrust because the only other times I experience this feeling,is when a person has let me down or done something to upset me and so the negative reactions with God to seem to outweigh the positives maybe…not sure… :confused:

Right you are, sister… don’t mind the late night ramblings of a janitor trying to be eloquent and relevant :laughing:

But seriously, what you said reminds me of something I read in one of Brennan Manning’s books… he said that the one thing that we need is trust (you could substitute that with faith, or hope… in the book he says that trust is basically faith plus hope), but the strange thing is that the thing we need most is the thing we can’t conjure on our own… so true…

His last sentence in the book is:

That’s by far one of my favorite passages in the whole Bible, and one I’m sure you can resonate with deeply, where the man cries out ‘Lord, I do believe; help me with my unbelief.’

I’ve often prayed for that too, that God would help me to believe that He’s there… I do believe that He’s answered that prayer at times, in different kinds of ways, though perhaps not in ways that were always dreadfully obvious…

I’ve had amazing, unexplainable things happen in my life, which have helped me to believe that God is real… but even then I still struggle… perhaps some of us are just more prone to doubt than others…
I think you could resonate a lot with Frederick Buechner when he says ‘if there’s no room for doubt, then there’s no room for me.’

I guess the only piece of practical counsel I can really give on this is to just keep praying and not give up, because persistence may eventually pay off… ask, and then when there is no answer, ask again, and keep asking again and again, keep asking, seeking, knock knock knocking on heaven’s door, until finally there is some kind of answer… why we aren’t always answered right away or in the way we may have hoped for, I have no clue, but I keep asking anyway, and have to say that I believe that I have been answered in ways, at times… and there’s another thing… while you’re asking, ask for God to help you to be more perceptive of the answers, to be open to them, whatever those answers may be, that your eyes and ears and heart would be open to them whenever they may come…

And that’s really all any of us can do, when we can’t conjure up faith or hope or trust in ourselves, is ask for God’s help with that, because we really need the help… and keep asking.

But then the fact that you are still seeking to follow Christ, to love others, to live your life as best you can, shows that you may have more faith than you may realize… :slight_smile:
Maybe faith isn’t just in our heads, maybe it’s in our hearts too, and maybe even in our hands, and even more there… and maybe we may in fact have faith even when we don’t think we do… who knows, I would think that God knows where we’re at better than we do. :slight_smile:

Not sure if I’m making any sense… like I said, I’m a tired janitor trying to sound eloquent and relevant :laughing:

Hopefully I’m making myself useful in one way or another :wink:

And I’ll be praying for you, Catherine… I admit I’m not very good at praying for others, or even for myself, but I’ll certainly take a shot… I need help praying too… may God help me to ask for help :wink:

Blessings to you, and I must be off, I’m about to pass out :laughing:


Greetings from me … not my Samsung :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

        I am amused.. amazed and in awe watching those over here type really fast on their iphones, Samsung, HTC
    and so on ...  

    Thanks for your comments concerning my post too Matt!

    I also enjoyed reading your comments as well ... 
  Catherine ---  I really laughed when I read your comments about the Trinity guys in Young's book ---
      yeah -- I used to have interesting chats with him about this idea too ... 
    I know him personally so it doesn't bother me ... If I did not know the author / writer then I would
    definitely have "problems" with this loony crazy imaginative writing about those Trinity guys ...
     besides  :laughing:  :laughing:  :laughing: 
    One of those Trinity guys was a gal too ...  

       Should anyone here wish to have a different life experience for a brief time ... welcome to my home !

    If you are challenging God to do something about it .. 
          wait n see 
       I am in position to evangelize in the traditional sense of the word..
       I have oodles and oodles of confidence to also present an Apologia to anyone too ...
            but .. but .. In the last two decades except for a modest few times .. I do not ...
         so I will suggest to you that you do not need to worry about that at this time in your life .... :slight_smile: 
      I have changed my position over time too .. I used to say 
         I have a relationship with God -- meaning the typical Evangelical phrase ...  :wink:  :wink: 

      Due to my perception of God -- I consider myself as one in the midst of community with the 
         Trinity guys ... so I just live my Life 
         If you are invited to a Party .. a Community get together... a BBQ  ... a NFL football game...
         to play with friends in a park on a baseball team for fun... or even the Olympic games...
        then why would anyone need to have 'more faith' coming from them ?

        When students (k-12) or Adults or College age ... have very low confidence in attempting to 
        even use any English language then I continue to unleash more of my passion for learning 
         to aid, support, help, encourage -- put on a Jim Carrey comedian act ... to get them to 
        realize that they are already in the Party ... 

         If you are invited .. then you are already "in" not "out" waiting on the sidelines or outside the door
         If you are already inside the Stadium ... and there is someone passing out hotdogs, beer and cool drinks...
         then there are those who say .. (something really pissed me off a short time ago changing my mood
          from partly sunny to dark & cloudy ) -- no way I am going to eat that stuff!  who knows where it came from?
         some clever Marketing scheme...  some "bait N switch" sheme wanting me to donate time or money ...
           or I always pay my own way ...  ain't gettin me to accept somethin as a freebie ...
          over here I have been invited to countless dinners .. and while I have continually tried and attempted
          to PAY money for the meal... I have had no success in several decades ... 
             they always seem to know how to sneak around every movement of mine ... even racing to 
         the counter to pay ...  and have seemingly endless patience and insistence to make damn sure 
          they pay the money for the meal ...  :wink:  :wink: 
         finally when I moved to where I am living now .. I have enough of that behavior "internalized"
          so I can be a little sneaky sometimes (but not most of the time ) to pay for the bill...

         We then -- you & me at least -- are Fortunate in that we have a good enough life and reasonably
          content a good portion of the time ...  and I am not really challenged to "love my neighbor"
         because I decided to continue to develop my social interaction due to my concept of 
            "mutual benefit"   which came via my view of theology   

         So you are sitting in the Stadium .. with a glass that is not empty for sure... 
           but there are hot dogs ... potato chips .. pretzels ... even pizza slices that are waiting for you 
            to enjoy along with your glass of whatever you are drinking ...

          So are there any Neon signs flashing on the big screen -- saying Everyone now should have deep
           introspective yearnings for doing something to express gratitude for the hotdogs & beer ???

          I certainly have no desire, want or wish to be like the "Older brother" of the prodigal son ... 
          (also I do not hold to the typical interpretative view of it by the way )  

          Imaginative imagery gained through years of diligent research for my Worldview gives me 
            Confidence for living the way I do ... but I am not a happy sappy pie in the sky dreamer either...
            So you can sit there in the Grandstands...  wherever your imagination leads you ...
           whether in the VIP section or just amongst the huge crowd ... 
               and make a choice ...  grab the food and enjoy  or be like a lot of those I know over here
               who wish to be "polite" -- because many of them --- too many of them have this 
            social cultural embedded habit of -- not wanting to owe anyone something ... 
            I could easily bring into this post a lot of biblical texts .. from my hermeneutical interpretation 
         but then that could easily be dissed as another attempt for "proof texting"   

            If the members here are hot enough for UR then it should be a corollary that indeed 
           Everyone already has Season tickets to the Super bowl, Rose bowl, Olympic games et al....
          Let me tie this in with my comment about Evolution ...  :laughing:  :laughing:  :laughing:  :laughing: 
           I learned many years ago ... through asking myself really challenging questions ... 
          (one question took me nearly 10 years to resolve to my sense of having a decent resolution 
               another one took 20 years )
           A person should have enough confident passion for their own perspective ...
           I do not accept Macro Evolution for enough reasons .. but here I will make it extremely brief
          When viewing competing paradigms -- read as much as you can -- reflect as much as you can --
             chew the fish -- spit out the bones --  then select one ... with an open mind (not being closed )

           who has the best team in the World?  who has the best system in the World?  
               ( and so on .. which is better Linux or that bloatware from Microsoft ?  which has more security?
             which runs faster on old or new PC?  which brand of cellphone is the best ?  which diet ?
             which brand of clothing ?   election year -- who?  which religion or non-religion confucius was not religious
             What you read or view or indulge in --- surely has more than enough influence in forming your 
            Worldview ---  (is Tide better or Amway or Shaklee or NuSkin ?  Which vacuum is best ? )

             This is the goal of Marketing -- to create a psychological sociological insistent impression 
            in order that there is more than enough influence to persuade you to buy .... 

             So I put much more than enough passionate reflective thought into my Worldview...
              If others do not appreciate my creative passion for  Art ( with my poems or pursuit of viewing 
              Chinese Art painting or Calligraphy or Music -- guzheng, guqin, pipa, dizi, erhu )
             Then I smile .... or laugh .. or if they wish to annoy me .. then either it is time for "Fencing"
              or more reflective research ... aka Tally Ho!  The Case is Afoot!

             Shouting at God from hindsight makes me laugh a lot ... 
             because I have taught kindergarten kids and primary kids for too many years ...
               listening to their Shouting at me with expletives too !    
              I try to motivate them to have more passion ... by using Kungfu with their excuses ... :laughing:  :laughing:  :laughing: 

             So I do not accept Macro-Evolution because I cannot fathom how anyone could agree with 
               the exceptional par excellent Marketing approach for buying into it ...  :wink:  :wink:  :wink: 
            tons of gaps.. that suddenly become marvelous leaps ... 
                Engineering  is Awesome !!  but there has been a sociological habit of how to do scientific research
              that really does not need the Marketing claims from macro evolutionary schemes...
                even within biology et al.... I have observed and paid careful attention to more than enough
                Professors (some who are very Conservative Church members) do their research ...
                it is practical ... 

             So We are already inside the Stadium !  Watching the Super bowl !  Olympic games ... 
              Watching Bolt strut his stuff.. and the winner of the 1500m clone Bolt's behavior ..
              So I am not sure about others .. but I am going to chow down on dem big hotdogs...
              with lots of mustard .. enjoying whatever is available to drink along with it ...
                Cheering my lungs out for which ever team I am rooting for ...!

             all the best !

Some great comments on this thread.

Hothorsegz - something in me wants to call you Jim, is that right or am I just making it up? :smiley: - your comments are sparkling and honest and challenging and encouraging. Thank you.

Matt, well, what can I say about you that I haven’t said before? :smiley: As you guys say over there, don’t you go changin’!! :smiley:

And Catherine, if it is any encouragement at all, here a couple of thoughts that have sustained me through my own dark nights of the soul:

Matthew 24:12 “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (KJV). Now it may seem strange, but this is one of my very favourite Bible verses. Why? Because here, from the mouth of Jesus Himself, we get an acknowledgement, a prediction that a) the world is full of wickedness and pain – Jesus Himself was after all, a man of sorrows (Isaiah 53:3); and b) as a result many of us – and maybe that includes you and me Catherine – will find our faith and our love failing, at least some of the time.

That to me is a tremendous encouragement! No easy saccharine happy-clappy believe in me and it’ll all be plain sailing talk from the Man Himself. And I think a lot of the time we get seduced into believing that our if our faith is weak, or absent, or defective, then either there is something wrong with us, or we’re too sinful for God to care about us, or even worse, God doesn’t exist. But here we get Jesus Himself basically saying uh-uh, it doesn’t work like that.

And what’s the biggest scriptural proof of that: Matthew 27:46 “Eloi Eloi lama sabachthani.”

That, for me, is the key to everything. The true heart of the gospel. The place where it all comes together. It’s nothing to do with God punishing Jesus for our sins, as per classic PSA theology. It’s all to do with Jesus plunging to the depths of our Godforsaken humanity, suffering the worst any of us can suffer – pain, fear, loss of faith, death. Blimey, if Christ Himself felt abandoned by God, when He and the Father were one, what chance do poor little old you and me have??!!

Well we do have a chance, I reckon. Because we have Christ. And even if we don’t believe in him sometimes, it doesn’t matter. I’ve quoted it before, and I’ll quote it again, because I love it so much, from The Count of Monte Cristo:

Edmond Dantes: I don’t believe in God.

Abbe Faria: It doesn’t matter. He believes in you.

Peace and love to you Catherine


yes Johnny hothorse is jim
also really appreciate your comments ! so don’t be changing too

you really describe profound thought concerning Jesus cry
not as punishment more akin to phil 2
giving me yet another intuitive connection
god incarnate as mud
raising us …mud … up to fellowship within the perochesis of trinitarian
unity with particularly
thanks! blessings !

Ah you guys… Jim and Johnny, your counsel is so much better than mine… enjoy life… God believes in you… Catherine, listen to these fine gents, they have more wisdom than I :wink: I should stick to mopping floors :laughing:

Blessings to you all :slight_smile:



We’re all in this together, loving and supporting and helping each other - and your contribution is just as valuable and valued as anybody else’s. Jesus said blessed are the peacemakers*, which makes you blessed in my book. :smiley:

Peace and love


*or maybe it was blessed are the cheesemakers; or even all manufacturers of dairy products :laughing:


Thanks for the encouragement, Johnny, I appreciate it bro :slight_smile:

Blessed are those who take care of buildings …

    especially janitors ... which I can say -- I have done this before  :wink:  :wink:  :wink: 

I agree with Johnny too — your insightful & interesting posts are really worth reading …
which is what I do … and enjoy !

all the best !
  my favorite task to do back then was using the buffer to wax floors... 
 during one period of time -- I completely memorized 3 books of the NT 
 because I was really annoyed with the Professor's homework assignment 
   so I goaded him into allowing me to do something different ...   :laughing:  :laughing:

Yeah, I once ran across a quote someone had written on a restroom wall that I was cleaning, a few years ago, that said:
‘Janitors, for all justifiable purposes, are the unsung heroes of history.’

I was like ‘thank you’ :smiley:

Then I scrubbed it off the wall :laughing:

But I’ll always remember that nice little compliment :wink:

And thank you Jim for your compliments as well, bro, and your encouragement :slight_smile:

Blessings to you :slight_smile:


I appreciate everyone’s cousel on here and your replies to me Matt are always much appreciated.

Jim (not Samsung), I’m a bit thick sometimes. I read the sentence in your reply that mentioned ‘Samsung’ and didn’t understand it, so I read it again and thought you might be Japanese maybe and hence the name? :blush: I’m not so advanced with all the technology and so as I don’t have a modern mobile phone, I didn’t even think of that. Sorry, but it is funny. :laughing:

Johnny, thank you for your thoughts. I always think of that verse you mention, where Jesus feels forsaken by God, and it does help somewhat.

I’m going to try and focus now, on what I have got, not what I haven’t got, and so hopefully, I’ll not keep ‘moaning’ about it, in my future posts. God knows, and so I’ll leave it with Him. Great posts guys, and thanks again for all your love and help. :smiley: