Romans 8:31-39

At a funeral recently, this was the lesson, from which I excerpt:

31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

(see here for some analysis and commentary, that looks fairly mainstream to me).

And I thought at the time, what doesn't seem to be in the commentaries: very nice, but what about the other side: if we believe that God gave up his Son (ignoring for the moment the manifold theological problems with a divisible God) to torture and "death", we can be pretty sure that he won't shrink from offering the same to us. And observation confirms that :-).

And yes, it leads to this.

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Well said!

I should remember this for if I ever decide to take up one of my Christian friends, who are always inviting me along to their bible reading groups, on their offer.

As an Abbess, I must beg to contribute a few thoughts from my lifelong study of this matter.

The key to understanding the teaching of St Paul in my view is to remember that he must be read through the filter of his own self-sacrifice, which he constantly uses as an example to guilt trip other people with.

Yet, at the root of St Paul's writing, we still find the essence to be love and forgiveness, tolerance and reconciliation, as in this very clear passage from Philippians 2:6-10 :-…

The death of Jesus was a natural consequence of the life of Jesus, since he brooked no compromise in his message of love and forgiveness, as it was important to bring. He gave up security in order to do this service. He was even prepared to give up his life in service. He considered it vital to be able to bring the good news of love and forgiveness, even though it risked his life.

My interpretation means for me that the life of Jesus was more important than his death. His life's work enabled people to secure peace with God.

What's interesting is that Jesus clearly became (more) aware during the course of the narratives of the Gospels that he was going to be killed, but he also believed that he would not stay dead. This he took from the Psalms and the Prophetic writings.

The overall picture is not martyrdom or warfare for me. The net result of all this reconciliation is a wonderful new world. I urge you to re-read that Scripture you quoted from in the light of the hope of renewal :-

Yep I have to agree.

Where Christianity really fails for me is the idea that sending your son out to get tortured and murdered by your own children is not only needed but is seen as a wonderful and noble thing to do.

The key to understanding the teaching of St Paul in my view is to remember that he must be read through the filter of his own self-sacrifice, which he constantly uses as an example to guilt trip other people with.

Paul was the original religious schizoid. While proclaiming love, he also pursued extremism and fanaticism as a way of life, and telling the women in the church to STFU. He started a long and proud tradition of mental instability, self loathing and a love that never actually seems to feel like you would imagine love would feel like.