« The boots at the top of the stairs | Main | Assisted suicide is moral, Scalia isn’t »

January 16, 2006


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I believe the reason even a confirmed atheist might resort to prayer in a foxhole is that the chaos, violence and horror of war short circuits the rational brains abililty to focus on survival and that a frightened plea to God for confidence or protection is an automatic response like a scared child's cry to his parents.

if prayer worked they way the man in the waiting room thinks it should work then, yes it would lead to insanity. if you could change reality at any time then reality would become pretty screwed up, to understate it.
that's exactly why God says "no" sometimes. An "inconsistent and stingy" God is really an all knowing, loving being who listens to your prayers and mine, like a Father listens to His children's requests for cookies. sometimes he says "no." From the child's perspective this is inconsistent and stingy, "he has a lot of cookies, sometimes I get to eat cookies, but right now I can't because dad says 'no'"
is this common? yes.
is this rational? no
our father know's what's good for us, and sometimes we don't. we'll ask Him for something we won't need and He'll say no. sometimes he'll give us what we need without us even asking for it. does this mean that we should stop asking him for things? should we just not talk to him at all because he already knows it all?
when we ask God for things, we are reminding ourselves that God know's what is best for us and has things under control.

This is all fine when god is santa claus. but that's fairly immature perspective, even when reduced to terror. Pray for something because we know what's best? Are you praying for your heart to keep beating? for your spleen to pump out what ever it is that thing does?

the point about the foxhole is that it's not a situation to sit back and micromanage your life. the environment drills one to the spot, and there is very little else beside martin buber's "I & Thou."

Prayer is exactly what the man in the waiting room did: find his perfect place in god. and his impressive mind and body worked it out for him when he needed it.

profoundly sneaky, that prayer stuff. it gets you past insanity, and fear, and it gets you to sharing the growth.

If you believe that God 'only gives such help when it(he) is promised loyalty and obedience in return' then of course he would seem 'stingy'.

However I don't think a stingy God would send his own son who he loved to die an excruciatingly painful death to save everyone who would accept him as their saviour.
I don't think a stingy God would go through complete torture to save people who were rejecting him and hurting him.

There have been many miracles where people haven't promised loyalty and obedience in return, as a result of the complete transformation of their life due to the miracle people may well then choose to follow God.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)


  • Welcome to the Church of the Churchless. If this is your first visit, click on "About this site--start here" in the Categories section below.
  • HinesSight
    Visit my other weblog, HinesSight, for a broader view of what's happening in the world of your Church unpastor, his wife, and dog.
  • BrianHines.com
    Take a look at my web site, which contains information about a subject of great interest to me: me.
  • Twitter with me
    Join Twitter and follow my tweets about whatever.
  • I Hate Church of the Churchless
    Can't stand this blog? Believe the guy behind it is an idiot? Rant away on our anti-site.