by Mel cross posted from her blog When Cows and Kids Collide
The next three chapters cover Debi’s conceptualization of the personality types of men. I will give Debi credit for coming up with a schema that I’ve never heard or seen before. The chapters on The Prophet (Visionary Man) and The Priest (Steady Man) are rather gentle and painless for a Pearl book. She gives some breathtakingly bad advice but spends less time than normal running people down.
“God tells us right at the beginning of the Bible that he created man in his own image. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26)”
One quibble: That’s not the whole verse. The rest of the verse talks about man’s dominion over the all animal life. I’m more annoyed about her (or her editor’s) lazy refusal to mark that the verse has been divided than the choice to leave off the second half.
“What is God’s image? What is God’s likeness? The word OUR is plural. Why does God refer to himself as more than one?”
*Raises and waves one hand*
I know this one! The belief system within the Hebrew Bible shows a transition fromhenotheism (God is the greatest of the many gods who exist) to monotheism (There is only one God). God uses the word ‘our’ because there are literally other gods!
*sighs with nerdy contentment*
[Debi spends an absurd amount of time explaining that “likeness” and “image” mean exactly what a native English speaker would expect they mean. She must think her readers are stupid.]
“God is Three Persons
When you think of God do you think of God the Father? Or does Jesus come to your mind, or maybe the Holy Spirit? The Bible relates that the one God is manifested in three persons. It is impossible for us to understand, but God has introduced himself to us as Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.”
Boy, Debi, wouldn’t this be a great spot for a rousing Bible quote that shows the nature of the triune God?
Or a series of strung together quotes that clearly talk about the Trinity?
*listens to the chirping crickets in the silence*
Oh, wait. She can’t do that. The quotes don’t exist. The Trinity, as a theological concept, was worked out over the centuries after Jesus died. Some Christian churches reject the doctrine of the Trinity for that exact reason. (If you want to read about the history, the United Church of God has a long, but thorough, post on the subject.)
All Debi can do is attempt to use one line from Genesis and punt. I give her a point for effort. To be fair, I doubt that Debi or Michael has ever learned about henotheism – or only as an example of how evil modern Biblical scholarship has become.
And yet, for nerds like me, this kind of Biblical scholarship enhances my faith rather than detracts from it. This world is an awesome and wonderful place. (And I’ve digressed again.)
“God created man in his own image. Which image? Well, all three persons, of course. God’s relationship with us and his ministry to us is different with each person of the godhead.”
Debi or her editor should have removed “Which image? Well, all three persons, of course.” because it’s redundant, confusing and is the worst description of the Trinity I’ve read in a while.
“Your husband-to-be will fall into one of these three categories: He will be like God the Father, a King, or what I have dubbed a Command Man. He will be healing and kind like Jesus, a Priest, or what I have called a Steady Man. He will be in the image of the Holy Spirit, a Prophet type, or a man of ideas. I call this type of man a Visionary.”
Billions of people have read the Bible over the centuries between the final compilation of the canon when God wrote it down in English in the KJV and today.
Billions of people.
Debi and Mike Pearl were the first to see and write down God’s triune nature = man’s nature = three distinctive personality types.
What a blessed age we must live in. (Super snarky.)
When you can identify a man (your dad or brother) as expressing one of these type of traits, it will help you to understand men in general.
If you really want to understand men in general, be sure to meet men who are NOT your dad or brother. Statistically, you are not going to meet enough men in your immediate family – even a bursting Quiver family – to draw any generalizations about men as a group.
“I have never known a man that is a balance of all three. Sometimes a man is mostly one with a little of another. but never balanced. What I am saying is that is not realistic to expect any man to be perfectly balanced. We must appreciate them as they are. “[Debi tapdances around why women get a separate chapter] “It should help us understand the men ins several wonderful love stories you are about to read.”
Does this mean that any one, individual man is not created in God’s image? Or is God unbalanced? Or is Debi so relieved to finally be off this painful theological tangent that she never brings it up again?
Well, I plan to bring it up again. A LOT. The book gets even funnier if you insert “The Holy Spirit” for “Prophet/Visionary” etc.
AntiPearls: It’s a twofer! I couldn’t decide, so I included both.
“The old man was peering intently at the shelves. ‘I’ll have to admit that he’s a very competent scholar.’
“Isn’t he just a librarian?’ Garion asked, ‘somebody who looks after books?’
“I will go wherever the truth leads me. It is secular scholarship, Rebbe; it is not the scholarship of tradition. In secular scholarship there are no boundaries and no permanently fixed views.”
“Lurie, if the Torah cannot go out into your world of scholarship and return stronger, then we are all fools and charlatans. I have faith in the Torah. I am not afraid of truth.”
― Chaim Potok, In the Beginning
Mel is a science teacher who works with at-risk teens and lives on a dairy farm with her husband. She blogs at When Cows and Kids Collide