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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 386)...

    I am a student at a Protestant seminary and was given Ishmael as a Christmas gift. I read it in a few days and purchased The Story of B soon after. I consider myself open minded and enjoy reading things that challenge my faith. Unlike Jared, I have not yet reached the 50th degree of losing my faith. I understand that to fully accept what is written in these works, Christianity is not an option because it is a symptom, or maybe helps us deal with the symptoms, of being a taker culture. Are there ways to understand and apply Quinn's message that would be acceptable within faith and not apart from it? Is it possible to accept that there is a God (big G) and still entertain some of the elements of the Ishmael story?

    ...and the response:

    I personally can't reconcile Christian teachings with my own. Others manage to do it somehow (which is fine with me) but so far have not been able to explain the process in any way I can understand. To me, it sounds as if they've just learned how to be comfortable with having two conflicting sets of beliefs in their heads, like someone who simultaneously believes that the world is round AND that it's flat. As for there being "a God (big G)," I have nowhere said or suggested that this is impossible. What I’ve said is that I know of no way to determine the number of the gods. There may be one, three, dozens, thousands, or none. If there does happen to be exactly one, then I would certainly have no objection to conceding him or her a capital letter.

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