Saturday, January 21, 2012
Just look at this guy, not for long mind you, but look at him. Do comic creators have NO shame? And by the way, this is not a joke, he is a real comic villain, with a bio, and TV appearances and everything. Comic relief he may have indeed mostly been, but still, shouldn't there be limits?
What's next? And yet when I try to think of something more extremely silly, there is a good chance someone, somewhere has tired it.
Hey, that's comics!
Friday, January 20, 2012
"So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ."I think there are two important things to remember here. The first is that the agency of a human being can be a lot of things, friendship, sympathy, help with chores - it is presence and true humanity, but after that it is not necessarily a lot of the things we think it has to be - preaching, teaching, eloquence.
- Romans 10:17
It is worth noting that no person in the New Testament came to faith apart from the agency of a human being. Have you ever stopped and thought about that? We can find example after example.
There was the Ethiopian (see Acts 8:26-39). There are many ways that God could have reached this man from a distant country. He could have sent an angel to meet him. Instead, the Lord sent an angel to Philip and told him to go.
The second thing is that the agency of a human being was sent, Phillip did not make the Ethiopian come to him. That pretty well sets most of what we do and call evangelism on its ear. Evangelism does not happen in the rally or service - it happens at work and in the neighborhood.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Be Vewy, Vewy Quiet...
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10We all have our places. I first discovered those words written on a cross located at 13,000 feet on Mt Princeton in Colorado - a truly wonderful place to be still (or be "quiet" as the KJV puts it.) Problem is, that is not a place I get to very often.
I’m early for dinner at a friend’s house. She lives in the upstairs apartment in a big old house, and on her front porch is a table and two chairs. I decide to sit on her porch for 15 minutes, until the time we had planned that I would arrive. I settle into one of the chairs, hoping that these 15 minutes might give me the opportunity to enjoy God’s presence and God’s world.
Two huge camellia bushes with shiny leaves shelter the front porch. I can see out, but the few people passing on the street don’t see me. Two women walk by, chatting. I can hear their voices but not their words. Two different birds are singing. I find myself wondering why I never learned to identify bird songs. A man walking three black and white dogs, and carrying a big handful of plastic bags, passes by on the other side of the street. I hear the noise of a plane overhead. A minute passes, then comes the noise of another plane.
I hear a car pull into a driveway. I see a man get out, and then I hear his footsteps as he walks toward his house, coupled with the clink of dishes. From his house? From someone else’s?
The cool air of the shaded porch washes over me. I marvel that God knows all the people, animals and sounds in this neighborhood. I try to rest in the wonder of that fact, but my mind races on to other thoughts.
I am so very bad at sitting still in God’s presence.
I fins I need such very out of the way places to be really still - tend to fall asleep.
But then, that's the reason I like "quiet" better. Quiet I have, sometimes alone, sometimes with someone - a lot of times with a cat in my lap. (They do not give me an option.)
We need to remember that God is omnipresent. We don't have to find Him, we just have to listen.
Related Tags: Illuminated Scripture
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
He assumes all religion are "brands." Is argument comes formt he failure of organized religion to produce results and to actually produce evil in some instances. He has a point. If we are to claim to be God's people we must wear His "brand" which is a life altered and good. A lot, a whole lot even, of religious institutional brands are tainted.
Should there be one common message every religious believer needs to hear, perhaps it could be something like this:
"If Christ cannot be glimpsed in the followers of Christianity, they should admit their religion is a mistake and stop faking it; Muslim's should not advocate Islam until Muslim against Muslim carnage ends and Salaam Aleikum becomes a reality in true submission to God's will; If Hindus want to prove their religion is the Sanatan Dharm, why not break free from Samsara by revolting en masse against India's caste system? That will eliminate a far more insidious form of apartheid than South Africa's, because the caste system persists in the guise of religion."
Nonetheless I attach great importance to genuine faith in God. The Bible records several instances where the faith of outsiders is commended and rewarded. Confused by my stand, here, in No 2 Religion, Yes 2 Faith, people sometimes ask me what it means to have a simple, personal faith in God.
But to claim an individual relationship with God without authority or accountability is where most of the really deep nastiness comes from. It is when people have set themselves adrift from the institutions that they have gone so terribly awry.
I think the answer to Mr. Raj's issues is not to cut oneself adrift, but rather to set oneself to helping your particular institution reclaim its true brand.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Or is that the Holy Spirit?
It is a universal experience that conscience is largely autonomous in its operation; though sometimes we can suppress or stifle it, it normally speaks independently of our will, and sometimes, indeed, contrary to our will. And when it speaks, it is in a strange way distinct from us; it stands over us, addressing us with an absoluteness of authority which we did not give it and which we cannot take from it. To personify conscience and treat it as God's watchman and spokesman in the soul is not, therefore, a mere flight of fancy, it is a necessity of human experience.Look, I think full on Pentecostalism is problematic, even dangerous, but I equally tire of my hyper-rationalistic hyper Calvinist friends failing to give credit where credit is due.
The Holy Spirit is busy in our lives and part of submitting to the Lord is realizing His immediate, indwelling presence. To do otherwise is to make Him less than Lord. Course, Packer may be hinting that direction with his "to personify" thing, but why beat around the bush? What are we afraid of?
Monday, January 16, 2012
Character, NOT Argument
So understood, an apologetic character is not a set of answers a person memorizes and adds to a life otherwise defined without regard to the apologetic mandate. No, an apologetic character is a way of being present in the world, an approach to life, a part of the very structure of one’s embodied soul.There is a question to ask yourself everyday when you wake up - Is your character evidence to the existence of God and the truth of the gospel?
That'll take some work.