I’m reading a book right now, The Devil Walks in Mattingly, by Billy Coffey. The BookLook Bloggers program sent me this book to review. This particular post is not my official review, but the review will come soon in the future.
As I was reading the book last night, a particular passage on page 18
stood out to me, and I was reminded of that passage as I listened to my
pastor’s sermon at church this morning. The context of the passage is
that Kate, the wife of the local sheriff, is visiting Lucy. Lucy is
said to be a troubled young lady, in that she has swiped cigarettes and
alcohol and has had lots of boyfriends. As a matter of fact, a
half-naked man is fleeing Lucy’s house when Kate arrives! Kate notices a
stack of philosophy books in Lucy’s home, and Lucy says that those
books are where she (Lucy) seeks her answers. Lucy asks where Kate gets
her answers, and Kate responds, “Church, I suppose.” Lucy then
“You’re not here to give me Jesus, are you? Because I’m afraid I’ll
just stick to my books. Church brings God down to man. I’m more
interested in what lifts man to God.”
The book then goes on to say: “Kate said nothing to this, though she
thought that sort of thinking could do more damage to a young lady than
any half-naked [young man] could manage.”
This morning at church, my pastor was talking about the
transfiguration and the incarnation. He said that God came down to
human beings in the incarnation, but that God is also transforming human
nature, in a sense, to make it more divine. As church fathers said,
God became as we are, that we might become as God is.
My pastor and the church fathers most likely did not have in mind the
sort of teaching that I got in my Armstrongite heritage: that human
beings will become godlike beings within a God family, creating planets
in their own universe. But they may acknowledge that there will be
overlap between believers in the eschaton and God: both have
immortality, and both are perfectly moral.
The point is that God came down to human beings, and yet God also wants to lift human beings to God.
What was Kate’s problem with Lucy’s statement? Perhaps Kate thought
that what Lucy said reeked of hubris, or that Lucy needed to rely on and
submit to a higher power rather than trying to exalt herself as some
sort of God. I agree with honoring a being who is greater than myself,
while accepting the gift of that being’s compassionate presence in my
own life. At the same time, I also believe that this being is leading
people to become greater than they currently are.
Comparative religious miracles
14 hours ago