That’s O.K. With Me

James McGrath doesn’t understand me (he says).  I’ll respond briefly to his confusion (and to the confusion of all those others out there who don’t understand me) –  that’s o.k. with me.  I can live with it.

Years ago (doubtless unknown to far too many who fancy themselves biblical scholars) Karl Barth wrote a booklet titled Rudolf Bultmann: ein Versuch, ihn zu verstehen. Barth didn’t ‘get’ Bultmann in the same way that Luther didn’t ‘get’ Zwingli. My point is not to compare McGrath to Barth or Luther (heaven forfend!) but simply to point out that Christianity has a great history of people who don’t understand others. And it’s o.k.

In the words of Donna Summer – I will survive…

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About Jim

I am a Pastor, and Professor of Biblical Studies at Quartz Hill School of Theology as well as Adjunct at the Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary
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5 Responses to That’s O.K. With Me

  1. It’s Gloria Gaynor, dear Jim.

  2. Gloria Gaynor sung “I will survive”, but Donna Summers sung “Gloria”…
    In Dr. John Hasselink’s commentary about the issue between Bruner and Barth (which Dr. John is old enough to have witnessed and participated) one of the two said of the other, (can’t remember which one, don’t care to check, I am in my office and the article is at home) “You were created to be a whale whereas I was created to be an elephant. We are two majestic creatures but we will never meet; each of us will have to survive in its own environment” (this is not a direct quote either, but it is the spirit of the quote). We have to “survive” and “be okay” with the fact that within Christianity we will have great creatures but created by God to be different whose “environment” will never be the same since they are two distinguished kinds. When we get to heaven we will know all things… When everybody knows all things, they will all agree with me, first, then they will know why God created so many different creatures. Let’s cherish differences because, apparently, God does!

  3. steph says:

    Brilliant response to a peculiar post. He’s not your mother and even if he was your mother, not all mothers understand their children. What could be duller than understanding each other. A bit like a fundumentalist expecting to know everyone as a fundamentalist. It’s a treasure to be misunderstood. Even more so, when it’s by the ‘right’ people

  4. Pingback: In which Jim West and I do the horizontal biblioblog thing

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