Saturday, March 12, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
Sometimes when reporters try to make sense of the phenomenon, it creates funny results.The other from John Mark Reynolds:
God, and not just Al Gore, considers the polar bears, though God may value Gore more than bears. When I read the work of modern scientists studying the complexities and fragility of even one ecosystem, I recognize how hard it would be for me to see God’s actions in any particular detail of environmental history.If there is a consistent strain that runs through these two pieces it is our failure to FULLY understand and comprehend - pretty much anything. I consistently stand amazed at sin's ability to have us turn our uncertainty into certainty - our lack of understanding into hubris - our attempts to control everything when in fact we control very, very little.
I can see God’s goodness overall in Creation, but the devil has room to roam in the details, cracks created by our sin. To paraphrase Saint Augustine, we can see Providence in the existence of polar bears, but strain to see it in any given day of their, or our, lives.
So consider the polar bears.
No place is this phenomena more evident than when it comes to the environment. The JMR piece is specifically about the fact that environmental systems are so complex that that they defy understanding let alone control.
What is so amazing is that the evidence of our inability to control is all around us. We fail so consistently. So we struggle to overcome our failure rather than understand its inevitability.
Why do we not respond with trust - trust in the only trustworthy one there is - trust in God?
We'd be so much better off.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Science As It Should Be
Pope Benedict XVI told scientists that their research can lead to knowledge of God by revealing the natural order of the universe.I often marvel at the fact that we have grown to the point where for many such an assertion is viewed as absurd. That is the origin of science - a means of discovering the ordered God by finding the order in His creation.
The pope made his remarks on Thursday (Oct. 28) before a plenary session of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences at the Vatican.
The evident logic governing the universe "leads us to admit the existence of an all-powerful Reason, which is other than that of man, and which sustains the world," Benedict said.
Frankly, the current state of affairs vis-a-vis the "battle between science and religion," is the best proof of the sinful nature of man I have ever encountered. The fact that some think science replaces God is amazing testament to just how self-centered we truly are. Only a complete egoist absent knowledge, or at least acknowledgment, of the many failures shortcomings and misunderstandings of science could believe such a thing.
Yes, the church does wrong - but we, absent the church, do so much more wrong.
It is also the reason I think apologetics is interesting, even necessary, but not an important part of evangelism. The problem here is not the arguments - there is something much deeper that has us put such unsatisfactory substitutes into play. It is on that deeper level that we need to reach out.
Related Tags: Illuminated Scripture
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
Jesus came in an age without media and became a very unique sort of king.
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
What's To 'Get'?
Theologically, I am not a cessationist. I don’t think the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit’s gifts expired after the apostles or when the first Bibles were bound. I can accept that signs and wonders may accompany the proclamation of the Gospel and confirm its message with power. But I’ve never seen it, at least not in the way my pentecostal brethren claim it happens. Instead, in charismatic and pentecostal Christianity I have most often seen a sort of manic enthusiasm that emphasizes all the worst aspects of evangelical/fundamentalist faith practice, and then adds to them additional layers of hype, hoopla, and hysteria.With the caveat that my friend Adrian Warnock is one of the most reasonable charismatic leaders I have met. I have not been to services at his church (It's London after all - I do not get there that often) but from his blog and writings - there seems a different tone.
But what Mike is really writing about is "the next big thing" - yet another tent revival. He claims to not "getting" such things. That's because, in my opinion, there is nothing to get. It's promotion, pure and simple. Preachers that do these things work for a cut of the gate - it is managed and run like a pure entertainment deal. Meaning, of course, that while the Holy Spirit may work anywhere and in any circumstance, as far as the promoters are concerned the thing is pure hokum.
If a preacher or music person is working for a cut, then it cannot possibly be about truth, it must be about draw, and we all know those two things do not equate. There are some interesting scriptures to quote here:
2 Pet 2:2-3 - And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
1 Cor 13:1 - If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
Monday, March 07, 2011
I Agree - So Why IS It True?
"It can be exalting to belong to a church that is five hundred years behind the times and sublimely indifferent to fashion; it is mortifying to belong to a church that is five minutes behind the times, huffing and puffing to catch up."I agree with that statement, as I bet David does, but it is in this age controversial and should be examined. At a time when the church is constantly morphing in the name of "relevance," this sentiment demands justification.
There is a twofold argument to back this up. The first has to do with the fact that the church DEFINES what it means to be relevant, and does not follow it. The church is the most relevant thing there is - well, actually He who the church worships. Salvation is relevant, music is not. The fact that the world demands such things as musical relevance from us means the world is trying to distract us. Sadly they are being very successful.
Secondly - the church is about truth - timeless, changeless truth. A constant search for relevance makes that truth look changeable, somehow in flux. When the church constantly changes we give credence to the argument that truth is somehow relative. (Wait - I sense a shared Latin root between "relevance" and "relative." Hmmm....)
Fashion does not matter in church because the church is supposed to rise above such things. That s what is at the heart of the quote. Church uplifts and takes us to someplace we could not otherwise access.
I like that places - I'd like to go there more.