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Friday, July 15, 2005

Reprise: Genesis 12-50 and Illusions

I have been writing about “illusion” for the last six weeks within the context of the book of Genesis. I have more Bible study to share later, though maybe not as in depth as I have been doing with Genesis. Having reached the end of the book I thought I would suggest some of the themes I have seen as I have studied the book. You will find a link to my posts on this topic at the end of this post. I conclude at least the following.

* God created us to be in loving relationship with him.

* There are evil forces at work that want to destroy that relationship.

* The primary means of destroying the loving relationship is to trap humanity into seeing a false image of God and flaming the passion within us to be our own gods. We become deluded in our minds.

* Apart from God there is no meaning and purpose for existence. We either can not find God because we are cut off from him or we chose not to find God because of the implications it would have for us. We are between a rock and hard place.

* Our solution to our dilemma is to create a powerful enough illusion to reinforce our delusions of autonomy. The illusion will also characterize God as someone other than who he is. The most symbolic representation of this illusion project is the city. Enoch and Babel being the most significant examples in Genesis.

* God reaches “down” to us with a promise to restore the relationship between humanity and him. (i.e., Jacob’s ladder)

* The plans of God can not be thwarted as evidenced over and over again in the stories of Genesis. God is sovereign.

* While not fully revealed in Genesis, the first signs are present about God’s intended means of returning humanity to himself: Disillusion. He will dispel human illusions so we may see him for who he is and how much he desires to be in relationship with us.

Are there others? I hope this study has been meaningful so far.

Here is a link to the post dealing with Genesis 12-50:

Tale of Two Cities
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Magical City
Going West
Melchizedek
Inconceivable!
God Will Provide
Isaac’s Failing Vision
God Gets the Last Laugh
Stairway to Earth
Jacob's Prayer
Jacob or Israel
Jacob's "Safe" Option
Jacob Returns
Joseph

For links to post dealing with the first eleven chapters of Genesis:

Reprise

3 Comments:

At July 21, 2005 12:46 PM, Anonymous will spotts said...

I have greatly appreciated this series.

A couple I would suggest: as a corollary to "The primary means of destroying the loving relationship is to trap humanity into seeing a false image of God and flaming the passion within us to be our own gods. We become deluded in our minds." -- One thing that makes us more susceptible to this is adding to or taking away from what God says. This shows up with Eve, but also with the partial obedience of Cain (offering A sacrifice, but not the right one), Abram (going to Haran).

Related to that it emphasizes the necessity of trusting God. What God told Noah and Abraham to do was not reasonable or logical. It didn't fit with their plans. He didn't even tell Abram where he was leading him. There seems to be a tension between belief and disbelief or trust and its lack. Abraham fathers a child with Hagar because he doesn't really trust. Yet he offers Isaac because he does.

 
At July 21, 2005 6:41 PM, Blogger Michael W. Kruse said...

Thanks for the great insights, Will. I once heard it said that liberals destroy God's call by taking aways from it and conservatives destroy it by adding to it.

I am not done yet with illusion and I expect my globalization thread to weave back in to this topic.

 
At July 21, 2005 8:11 PM, Anonymous will spotts said...

"I once heard it said that liberals destroy God's call by taking aways from it and conservatives destroy it by adding to it. "

That's a lot more accurate than any of us really want to admit.

 

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