I’m in the middle of an interesting book; “Ready for Rapture” by Daniel Radosh. I doubt it is a book that many Christians will pick up – but they should. Radosh, a practicing Jew that happens to be agnostic (?) brings an outsider’s fresh perspective to the inside of Christian pop culture. And that is what he is critiquing; not Christianity itself but the unique, separate and often silly world that many American Christians have created and so many have misinterpreted as the ‘faith’.
I’d like to discuss this book in more depth when I finish it, but every once in a while Radosh shares something that I think is worth mentioning. At one point he tells us of attending a “Christian” skateboard event, ostensibly presented by Stephen Baldwin, (who never shows up). It’s a rainy day but just as the skate boarding demonstration is about to begin the skies clear:
“An MC hopped onto the central platform holding a wireless microphone. After a few words of welcome to the spectators—about four hundred lined up behind yellow caution tape—he pointed to the sky. “You noticed it stopped raining? That’s because God is good!”
Radosh says that he found the skateboarding pretty boring but the following BMX biker show much more exciting.
“Except that twenty minutes in, it started to rain and the event had to be cut short. The MC made no comment on this, but I could only surmise that either God was now bad, or that he prefers skating to BMX—in which case we’re just going to have to agree to disagree.”
Some Christians may think this a little naive or even cynical of Radosh, although perhaps expected of someone who professes to have no faith in any god. But simple statements like “God is good” tend to sound a bit trite when they fall so easily and so often off the religious tongue. Because when any trivially ‘good’ thing is used to point out God’s goodness someone else can just as reasonably point to a significantly ‘bad’ thing as proof of his lack of goodness. Or, his lack of existence.
If God is good when a cancer patient is ‘miraculously’ cured then what is he when the patient dies? (In an earlier post I asked similar questions.) Perhaps the indiscriminate dropping of these little God-bombs are one reason why the ‘outsider looking in’ can sometimes only scratch his head in bemusement.