Readers React

A former clergyman's crisis of faith

To the editor: There are two points that I wish to add to the discussion on ex-minister Ryan Bell's crisis of faith. ("A relationship with God isn't all-or-nothing," Readers React, Dec. 24)

Belief is not taken up in a vacuum. The a priori decision is practice. People believe what they practice.

Secondly, a reader proposes the Apostles' Creed as the test of being Christian. Many Christians consider the Apostles' Creed an outmoded formulation. I believe it to be — along with other religious vocabulary — symbolic.

We have only materially based vocabulary to express spiritual realities. Different faiths express them in different ways according to their histories.

To narrow it to the peculiarity of "Christian," I have a briefer definition: One who believes that a creator God as understood in Jewish terms was somehow incarnated in Jesus.

Koreen Miller, Granada Hills


To the editor: I think the point is not so much that whether there is a God is unknown, but that it is unknowable. The folks who wrote the Bible realized that.

There's a scene in Exodus where God tells Moses that he may see God's back, or essentially his attributes and what he is trying to teach him, but Moses cannot see God's face, for to see it is to die.

I think that is exactly the point. Just imagine a world in which God's face was visible — not just some vague image, but clearly his face. Life on this planet would be meaningless. We would have no free will; we would be automatons. There would be no need for us to strive to make this a better place.

In essence, we would be dead.

Robert M. Miller, Sherman Oaks

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