Archive for March, 2011

God is Irresponsible

What do these verses have in common?

Isa 12:4 And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.

Psa 141:4 Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.

These verses seem to be very different. The first proclaims the Lord’s glorious acts, using a distinctive Hebrew word that is often used to describe his glorious doings. The second condemns men for their wicked behavior, again using a distinctive word that characterizes human wickedness. Remarkably, these two distinctive words are one and the same: עלילה! What does this word mean? What does it tell us about ourselves, and about God?
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Is God angry with Japan?

Japan is wrestling with multiple catastrophes of unprecedented proportions. The earthquake of March 11 led to a devastating tsunami, and the combination of the earthquake and the tsunami disabled the cooling systems at the Fukushima nuclear complex, leading to dangerous instability and release of radioactivity. Any one of these events would be major disaster. Three days later, Shintaro Ishihara, mayor of Tokyo, suggested that the events carried a spiritual message: “We need to use tsunami to wipe out egoism, which has rusted onto the mentality of Japanese over a long period of time. I think (the disaster) is tembatsu (divine punishment), although I feel sorry for disaster victims.” Could he be right?
Continue reading Is God angry with Japan?…

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