andrew replied to the topic 2.3 Interpretation in the Scriptures in the forum <i>Jesus the Forgiving Victim</i> Online Course Discussion Forum 4 years, 6 months ago
In what ways is your understanding of what God requires from religious people changing? What does it mean to be a good religious person?
I am having a hard time using the word ‘religion’ because I am living in linguistic circles in which the connotative value of that word fluctuates wildly. Sometimes it is associated with perfunctory repetition and is negative; other times it is associated with a reverence for God and is positive. I think some rituals are a way to manufacture a phony reverence, but I also think virtuous habits developed over time can become so second nature the communities we live in that we should call them rituals.
I suppose a good religious person would be the one who reveres the God who really is, who and doesn’t take shortcuts so as to play the game of being reverential without bothering to actually behold the God who really is. I should add that I have been finding James’ phrase “forgiving victim” to be quite productive in making sense of theological questions. This is another case in point. The “God who really is” is the forgiving victim; the “shortcuts” are means by which we can cover over our victim and thereby preclude any chance of us seeing him forgive us.