theophiletos (theophiletos) wrote,

Gardening, and a question of approximate theology

Yesterday my wife persuaded me to go with her to our little garden plot (in the community garden a block away) and help her transplant a few things she had sprouted indoors. The garden has, so far, largely been her interest, because she really likes green growing things, and I think it's kinda neat to have a bit of produce once in a while, but not enough to do a garden. But we like spending time together. The only problem was that she hadn't been out to the garden in a week, and so before transplanting there was a lot of weeding that needed to be done. Note to self: different activities use different sets of muscles. My thighs and lower back are sore from standing bent over or crouching for two hours weeding. She, however, is used to this, and was surprized at my comments about how much exercise one can get weeding! It was good fun, though, just a bit more of a workout than I expected for my lazy behind.

I was also thinking today (it happens sometimes) about approximate theology. You see, some people are much more comfortable than others saying, "God did this," or, "God thinks this," or "God desires this." I used to be very comfortable with saying this, but have found myself getting more reticent about such things. I justified it by appealing to how awful it would be to be wrong, to be attributing something to God which is not in fact true. And of course there are abuses, and anyone who uses "God wants this" as a code for "I want this" which persuades other people to do it is an awful abuser. And yet, people who attribute good things to God are not wrong ("Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of Lights..."), and if they are sometimes mistaken about what is in fact good, at least they remember the more important truth that God is good and gives all good things, and delights to give good things to people, as opposed to falling into the mire of ignoring God because one can never entirely be sure that one is thinking the right thing about God. What do people think? Is sincerely ascribing what one thinks to be good things to God better than avoiding making any mis-statements about God at the cost of typically making no statements about God at all? Is approximate theology better than no theology?
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