Atheist in Amsterdam

Just by accident I caught a report on BBC News 24 early yesterday morning about how the Protestant Church in The Netherlands is rethinking its Protestantism. In many cases this has resulted in vicars openly preaching that God as a being does not exist, that God is between people and where they are and that this life is all there is.

Well, yes, God is between people “Where two or three are gathered together in my name I am present” and “God has no hands on earth but ours. etc” the prayer of St Theresa. And I can’t answer the question of what comes after death. However, I come back to this quote of St Paul. It is one of the knife edges on which I test my faith at times,

“If in this present life we have a *hope* resting on Christ, and nothing more, we are more to be pitied than all the rest of the world.” 1 Corinthians 15

Without a real, personal, living God our faith is barren and dry. The wonder and the joy of it is that even as we are God wants a relationship with us. Without compromising us.
Plus it’s hard enough to interact with the world on a daily basis when you believe God wants you to do it in a certain way, let alone deciding to do it that way without any encouragement and joy in it. It would be better to openly demonstrate integrity and respect for the beliefs of others and openly call the whole thing a delusion.


One response to “Atheist in Amsterdam

  1. The problem with the passage from Corinthians that you cite is that no one knows exactly what it means. The issue is that it is impossible to say what ‘monon’, meaning ‘only’ (translated in your version as “and nothing more”) refers to. Hans Conzelmann, in his commentary on 1 Corinthians, says that it is “not unequivocal” and can mean:
    – “if we have hope only in this life” or
    – “if in this life we have only hope”
    but he admits in a footnote that some people prefer to take monon to refer to the whole clause, which is what the translation you use does.
    Conzelmann prefers the first version; another commentary I looked at preferred the third, whole-clause option; another commentary I looked at preferred the first. Conzelmann implies that most “modern exegetes” prefer the second.

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