Thinking Out Loud

September 7, 2009

Was God In Charge of the Storm?

Filed under: issues — Tags: , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 9:23 am

The disciples are on the sea of Galilee.   A storm comes up out of nowhere.   Jesus is asleep in the back of the boat.     You know the story.

Jesus rebukes the weather.   That’s what it says.    But you thought God was in charge of the weather, right?

Let me do this topic justice by sending you to the source of my thoughts today.

  1. Go to the sidebar for this blog and click on “Sermons – Greg Boyd, Woodland Hills”
  2. Click on ‘recent sermons’
  3. Select the one for August 22; it was a Saturday night Q & A they had when Rob Bell could only make the two Sunday services.  (Some of you might also like to hear Bell from August 23rd…)
  4. Listen to the first 15 minutes.    Let me know what you think.   (To save it, right click and choose ‘save link as’ or ‘save target as;’ but you should also be able to just listen live.

It really helps put some things into perspective.   Boyd would argue that we attribute far too much to God’s direct involvement that is really the product of natural forces.    Like the tornado that whipped through his hometown while the Lutherans were voting on ordination of gay clergy, for example.   But let him tell it…

And now for something completely un-stormlike:

This picture is by a friend of mine, Vancouver artist Timothy Clayton from a collection titled, In God’s Country: Vancouver Landscapes.    See, and you thought you lived in God’s country!

Timothy Clayton

For you Canadian left-coasters, Timothy has a show October 25th to November 7th at the Havana Gallery.   Of note:  Timothy is married to actress and film producer Gina Chiarelli.


  1. As I’m sure you’re aware, Boyd is considered controversial in some circles. It’s nice to be able to discuss his statements without assuming he’s a heretic (Crosswalk)

    I think that Boyd nails this one. If you would believe that God would use a storm to punish certain people, then we should be looking for the reasons why storms strike in all places.

    I have often wondered why some preachers claimed judgment on some places and not others. It really didn’t make sense. Are there not sinners in all places? Why would God select punishment for one place and not another? If the Lutherans were to be punished, then why is New Hampshire still on the map?

    Comment by sjdawson — September 7, 2009 @ 8:30 pm

    • Well stated. Boyd is controversial? Gee, I never noticed! (Kidding of course. Actually we’re huge fans.)

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — September 7, 2009 @ 8:38 pm

      • When I was growing up with a Dad who was a Pentecostal free -thinker (rare but possible!) he would preach very much along these lines…and got strung up for it often. I agrere with Boyd for the most part.

        The painting made me miss Vancouver (where I spent my teens and college years). I love the beauty and the weather but HATE the politics :)

        Comment by Cynthia — September 7, 2009 @ 9:48 pm

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