Tag Archives: needs

71: Does God Act Individually or Personally?

In this episode John and Gregg again discuss “God meeting our needs,” and God doing so within the context of furthering / in order to further God’s kingdom (as discussed in episode 68). John is particularly uncertain how Gregg is able to hold this view given the parental sexual abuse that Gregg experienced in his childhood—how Gregg can possibly still see God as good, given these experiences?

Gregg first explains that his view of evil is that people are responsible for their actions—God is not causing people to act in certain ways (i.e., God is not causing parents to abuse their children). Yet John replies that at one time Gregg did seem to hold God responsible. Gregg notes that it was more so that he viewed God as being incapable of doing the right thing—incapable of acting to bring goodness—and that God’s justice was useless: even though he was extremely angry at first, Gregg never ultimately wanted his father punished but rather wanted the relationship to be reformed and renewed because he loved him (see episode 32 for a fuller account).

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68: Hot Dogs & Tow Trucks | Does God Meet Our Needs?

In this episode John and Gregg discuss a recent conversation Gregg had with a person at Swiss L’Abri concerning their expectations that God should “meet their needs.”

John’s sees the idea of “God meeting our needs” as one that was over-sold in his Christian experience. John feels this way because he felt that God has rarely met his needs in the way he expected or understood that God was supposed to do so. John’s expectations come from the experiences he’s heard other Christians describe. Gregg is curious how the people giving these testimonies actually validated their experiences of God.

John gives an example of someone in a difficult time who prayed to God for help and support. The person then opened their Bible to a random page where they read something in the Psalms that they found to be very comforting (and so helpful). Gregg replies with some skepticism: by randomly opening a Bible it’s fairly easy to open to the Psalms (which are right in the middle) and the Psalms is very full of supportive, comforting material.
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