What I Write About

I write about the infinite number of intersections between every day life and the good news of the God who has come to get us.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: John Mayer meets Frederich Nietzche

[This week I'm giving a talk at large group entitled "If God is Father I don't want anything to do with Him!" So I've been thinking a lot about fathers, fatherhood in general, and God's Fatherhood...and so I've been thinking about this post from last February. I'm in and out of meetings all week, so this might be a slower than normal blogging week!]

A couple weeks ago we had a speaker at our large group talk about part of his Ph.D. studies where he looked at the lives of famous atheists. He said that the one thing they all had in common was that they had either extremely dysfunctional relationships with their dads or they had no relationship with their fathers whatsoever. His point: if you're going to try to share your faith with Frederich Nietzche, you better listen and know what his issues really are. Not all 'presenting objections' are actually the totality of the obstacles to someone embracing faith.

This has stuck with me over the past few weeks as I've been growing into being a father of two. God made fatherhood to function as a sign or a pointer to his true Fatherhood. Just like all marriage (Christian or not) is fundamentally designed to point to Christ's love for the church (see last month's "Sacred Marriage" and Holiness and Happiness discussion under the archives) so, too, all fatherhood, Christian or not, points to God's Fatherhood.

I see this on campus with students all the time--dysfunctional dad relationships invariably produce issues in the students that I work with in terms of trusting God, understanding unconditional love and grace and acceptance, and experiencing real freedom and joy in the safety of their relationship with God.

Of course, our relationship with our dads, functional or dysfunctional, is not the final word on our relationship with God--C.S. Lewis had a highly dysfunctional relationship with his dad and there are few that I know of who knew God's heart and mind more intimately, but it's a significant part of our development as children of a good and perfect Father.

So as the not-so-great philosopher John Mayer once sang, fathers, be good to your daughters (and sons, too, for that matter), they'll begin to understand God's love like you do.

No comments: