Here’s some audio from a forum I was invited to be a part of at Wesley Church a little while ago. It’s between me and pastor Nigel Gordon, with Paul Whitfield doing a fine job as moderator.
It was called “Do we need forgiveness?“
My take: We don’t need forgiveness from a god. We need to get forgiveness from each other, and try to become more aware of the consequences of our actions. And if the god of the Bible is real, he needs to beg forgiveness from all of us.
One thing about this discussion has stayed with me: Nigel keeps comparing the debt of sin to the debt of money. But I don’t think sin is the same as money. When I sin, does a little pile of stuff appear somewhere, and it has to be taken away? Or is it something else? What is the form of this ‘sin’, and why does it need to be dealt with? And why would god killing himself accomplish this?
Why wouldn’t god just forgive everyone? Why would he need to (in Matt Dillahunty’s words) need to sacrifice himself to himself as a loophole for a rule that he created?
It’s all very arcane, and when I try and clarify this beyond the vague details, Christians talk in circles. It’s a metaphor that you could probably accept if you don’t think about it too deeply, but when you start to unpack it, it makes no sense. Yet this pile of mush is the very heart of Christianity.