A few more thoughts on 2Peter

Even though it’s so short, 2 Peter has some pretty bold statements about some prettery long standing debates within Christianity.  I wonder if I never noticed these before because it’s a short book, easy to skip over.

I wonder how the predestination folks respond to : “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

If in fact our eternal destination is predestined, it would seem like God ought to know this fact.  And if God knows, why would He delay the end of the world so that no one perishes.  If who perishes and who doesn’t is a done deal, how long the universe is around is irrelevant.


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The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

3 thoughts on “A few more thoughts on 2Peter”

  1. the predestinationists (election vs. double predestinationists) would say that the key wording to notice is “wanting.” It’s a word that describes a desire or wish. God’s desire is that no one would perish, but the reality is that there is sin and if God didn’t choose to save some, no one would be saved.


  2. I guess that’s worth noticing… but it still would seem to me to ignore the whole passage. I can buy that God might want some things to happen that won’t come to pass. But I have a more difficult time understanding why God would delay Christ’s return if there is no point to it.


  3. this is one of my favorite debates. my position has evolved through the years as my understanding has grown.
    oddly enough, the more i learn about the possibilites of what spiritual things might be, the more comfortable i grow with the more frustrating attributes of God.

    God is not limited by time.

    if you just meditate on that for a while the rabbit trails are maddening. God sees the end from the beginning so the question is as you have intimated Jeff, “why bother?”

    But why would you ask that question exclusively to this issue? God’s ways are higher than our ways as high as heaven is above the earth. The question of why God permits or causes anything is either an excercise in futility or a lot simpler than we are willing to accept.

    i read this chapter as an encouragement for Christians to resist the temptation to limit God or view his timing through our limitations. Peter is also suggesting that God’s salvation plan is finite: it has number and duration.


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