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Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Is the Old Testament the Story of God's People's Adolescence?

Doing some reading on theodicy, (eeeeew! who's she think she is, Doctor Bloody Bronowski?) and came across some snotty mockery of Christianity, saying something along the lines of, Apparently church types think God was real, real, real mad at us so He killed Jesus and then He got nicer to us, 'cause that calmed Him down.

But what suddenly jumped out at me was a memory of a documentary I saw on tv, don't recall if the overall subject was human facial expressions, or the adolescent brain, but whichever it was, I think work by Deborah A. Yurgelun-Todd and William D.S. Killgore or something like this was the source of a tidbit about teenagers, that really stuck me at the time, and has stuck with me.

The adolescent brain, it seems, reads facial expressions in a way that allows for their frequent misinterpretation.
For instance, "fear", such as one might see registered on Mom and Dad's faces when junior has done something REALLY stupid and REALLY dangerous is misperceived as "anger."
(I certainly knew many kids who complained that "my mom is always mad at me, she hates me..." when that was clearly not the case. I, of course, was never so mistaken ;oP)

The Old Testament is full of Angry Father God, right?
But maybe it just seems that way because of the inadequacy of humanity's language to fully express God's inspired word, maybe what it's really full of is this and we're just too dumb in our teenage angst to see it...

Dad whose sorrow and fear for me only looked like anger....
When all the while he was searching the horizon for my return, ready, even when I am still a long way off to catch sight of me, and filled with compassion to run to me, embrace me  and kiss me. He'll stop me when I have hardly begun, Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be-- and order that I be adorned in the finest robe and jewels and sandals on my feet, and a groaning board prepared . He will celebrate with a feast because his dumb kid was dead, and has come to life again;was lost, and has been found.
He wasn't angry at all.

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