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My choir is putting on a "Come and Sing" on the afternoon of Saturday 2008-09-20. Vaughan Williams and (alas) Rutter. Details at the far end of the link in the first sentence. Please come and, er, sing.

While I'm plugging the New Cambridge Singers: we'll be singing Bach's Magnificat in Trinity Chapel on Saturday 2008-11-22. (In the original E-flat version, for those who care.) It'll be good. Please come but preferably don't sing unless you join the choir first.

More consistent notifications of our concerts than you'll get from me are available by email. Let me know if you want to be signed up.

On 2008-10-02 at 15:34:53, Jim Myers said:

I will let you know that I am a 38 year old college student, husband, father of two sons, real estate agent turned future educator. I am taking an ethics class which has used a link to your paper on utilitarianism, and I found it pretty agreeable. I would also like to mention that I felt moved to go to your home page and try to see what reasons you would offer up to walk away from your walk as a christian.

When I began to read your explanation / mind set I must say that you brought up some very good points, that is to support your awakening. I must also submit though, that while I was reading your analysis of Chrisitan people, i.e; the lack of pure lives, I was very troubled.

Let me announce this in a gentle way. I am not preaching here, I am giving you my reader's digest version of where I cannot prove you are wrong, but where I can imply that there is a better choice for you. Assume if you will for the sake of this "sermon" that God - not some old man with a white beard and robe, but the power and thought behind the universe is all powerful, but has chosen by devine choice to allow free will, not just for man, but for the entire cosmos; why then assuming, and we have to assume, would God intervene where evil exists. For that matter why would evil exist, you may ask? Because in this world of free will, everything has an opportunity to defy order.

Stepping back, I submit that if you spent just as much time digging for support and personal passion (not stubborness or stupidity) then you would be still a fallen child God, a sinner trying to model a christ like life. Many "Chrisitans" share the belief that by being Chrisitan you are a certain type of person. As a matter of fact, and you will argue with me perhaps, I submit that you are still a Christian, one who prays for wisdom and guidance in living a "God-like" existence, and in spite of your peaks and valleys you still turn to him for answers. You, me, Paul, Mark, Peter - we all fall short of the mark for which we feel the urge to grow toward. If you want to assert that God did not find it a need to enter the world and exist as Jesus, and live a perfect life without sin, and be crucified- one time for all humnaity - to prove to humnanity that through sacrifice we can achieve a salvation for our own eternal soul then yes I must say you should continue to examine y! our thoughts.

Does the devine intervention, virgin birth concept challange my intellect? Yes it does many biblical works do. However, as much as I struggle with that, I do not attribute it to ignorance, stubbroness, or stupidity that I choose to hold fast, I see it is me embracing a worldly view, and being that I understand so little bit about all the "natural laws" how could i begin to expect myself to hold judgment of how God sees fit to run the universe and how he has seen fit to "instruct me"

Excuse my spelling errors I typed fast and there is no spell check in this subission form. I am sorry if I rambled, and equally sorry if I come across as being preachy. This is not meant to argue you, I am merely sending you an intelectual "life preserver". Thank God for that .01% that you have given him in your mind, because your heart still holds him.

On 2008-10-03 at 19:00:41, g said:

Jim,

Thanks for your comments (though I confess I don't see that they have much to do with this blog entry!). Yes, I do assert that God didn't find it a need to enter the world, etc.; in fact, I go further and assert that so far as I can tell there is no God at all.

I don't (I hope) think of God as an old man with a beard and robes, and I don't think I ever did, and I don't think most people who believe in him do. If anything I've written gives the impression that that's my concept of God then I must have written very unclearly, and I'm sorry about that.

Why would God intervene where evil exists? Because it's evil and he (supposedly) hates evil. Because it harms and distresses us, and he (supposedly) loves us. My wife and I give our daughter as much freedom as we reasonably can, but we won't let her run into the middle of a busy road and if she behaves in a way that seriously threatens the welfare of someone else we'll stop her.

I'm not passing judgement on God -- that's no more my job than it is yours. I'm passing judgement on some human beliefs concerning God. It appears to me that they don't stand up to scrutiny, at least as far as the information I have goes.

Finally: good luck with your new career. Getting out of real estate is a very understandable move just at the minute :-).

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