jruss, I think that I'm an evangelical, fundamentalist Christian -- many of my close friends and even my husband disagree, but whatever; I am -- and I'm head-over-heels about your post.
I think that the text of the Bible is the Greatest Story Ever Told. It's not a one-way story. God created mankind because of His need. We make so many mistakes from failing to understand this basic idea. God needed us.
It's not the story of some authoritative God pronouncing one-way abominations. You'd have to be blind to see it that way. Before God even created man, he'd created a tree that could transform man into knowing like Himself. He created man in his image and waited. Sure enough man had enough God in him to take from the tree. Just like God wanted.
The Fall is just symbolic of the fall into being like-God, responsible --for whatever happens next -- to what God really wanted.
If you haven't read "God a Biography" by Jack Miles, do so. I think it won a Pulitzer.
The story elucidated in the Bible is then a relationship between God and the God-man he created. God's pissed that some of his man-god creation wants to f--- when it can't be procreative. He smites them. The text of the Bible, in fact, makes a tragic hero of a woman who turns back to mourn God's decision. It makes heroes out of Abraham and Lott who bargain for saving the "abominations." It makes heroes out of a man who offers his daughter to the "degenerates." At every turn the Biblical story begs the question -- what's right? God doesn't know. Lott is okay in God's eyes despite that offers up on his daughters in place of an angel.
Only an idiot would read such an account and fail to see Lot's failure. He was willing to let his girl child die by rape to save a stranger. Either he did not believe this stranger was an angel, capable of supernatural feats. Or he didn't give a crap about his daughter.
Either way, the Biblical account calls readers to judge. To judge God. For me, this is the beauty. I see a unveiling story of God's desire to create a race that will fight and inform his nature. So God didn't care about women and slaves and fags. Until...we did. I kinda think God is outside morality. He created us because he longed for relationship, which necessitates morality. We give that notion to God as much as he gives it to us.
That may seem all heretical, but I'm a evangelical, fundamentalist Christian. And I think and read the whole of the Bible as much about God trying to understand what he created and being moved by his creation enough to change his mind. (Like He does over and over in the Bible -- in fact you could think of the Bible as a naked, no-PR story of God changing in response to his creation.)
Also morality doesn't exist with out man in concert with other men; or God in a life-less universe. When God created life, he then became involved with morality. God's conscious creatures teach God morality as much as God teaches us. It's a relationship. God learn' we learn.
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