Saturday, April 28, 2012
Like the most malevolent DC character, The Joker, I marvel that Loki still lives. Odin should have put him down centuries ago. Oh sure, he's immortal and all, but come on, Odin is the All Father, he can handle it. That Thor has not removed limbs is equally astonishing to me.
Unlike the Joker, who is insane, Loki is simply evil. There is no madness that drives him, only desire for power. The Joker gets off on mass murder, Loki simply views everyone and everything as a means to his own ends. Their deaths do not excite him, they do not interest him. It is his uncaring nature that makes him so vile. Lies in the service ultimate selfishness, I can think of nothing more heinous.
He does; however have a really cool helmet. I do not know how he holds his head up with that thing.
Friday, April 27, 2012
Shouldn't That Be "Is God?"
Is the Gospel Influencing Your Daily Life?First thing that popped into my head was the question that is the headline to this post. Amid the endless posts about summarizing "the gospel in one sentence" and "preaching the gospel every Sunday" it seems like God has gotten lost somehow. It seems like God has been reduced to a character in a story He wrote.
Too often it seems like "the gospel" is a means of us to limit God to a specific narrative. But God is without limits, and he has come to our lives to invade and overwhelm every inch of them. He will not be limited to a narrative that we find comforting.
Beware of placing such limitations on God, He will do whatever it takes to break out of them, not for His sake, but for yours.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Should a pastor have a day off every week?The discussion is old hat and frankly trite, heard it all before. Not gonna belabor it. What I want to do is talk about the question.
Asking it simply sounds like whining to me. For example, pastors do not need "a day" for their families to come first, their family better come first ALL THE TIME, or they need to reexamine their calling. Excuse me, there I go getting lost in the minutiae. Back to the big issue.
People that worry about a paycheck worry about days off. People that worry about succeeding do not. That is a pretty simple statement that applies to just about any endeavor. That does not mean that successful people do not rest or have their priorities straight or anything like that - it means that they figure out a way to have their priorities straight and rest and do whatever else matters while giving their endeavor the necessary attention and effort.
You know, it strikes me that there was barely a clock throughout most of church history. Just sayin'.
Related Tags: Illuminated Scripture
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Science and Proof
Reality is rational.Jepsen understates how terribly important his initial observation is:
Now, I do believe reality is rational, for I believe it is the creation of a rational being. And I suspect the legacy of this belief gives a clue to why science developed more successfully in theistic societies than pagan, pantheistic or animistic ones. So I am not arguing that reality is not rational, but that science is logically dependent on a belief that it cannot prove. Unless reality is rational, science is not possible.This can end up as a variant of the cosmological argument, and I do not want to go there, but science in fact sprang from the notion that reality is ordered becasue it came from an ordered creator. To study that order is to learn of the Creator, and hence science is more than a field of study, it is a calling.
Which brings me to a very important point. Science is not our enemy, it is our calling. If we do not want not be our enemy, the best way to do so is to engage in it as a Christian. That does not mean we develop Christian science centers that set out to disprove evolution - such is merely asking to be ridiculed. Our arguments need to be far more subtle and convincing.
The important thing to remember at this point, is science is not the enemy, but our calling.
Jepsen's remaining points
- Reality is knowable.
- The uniformity of nature across time and space
- The very existence of an external universe consisting of matter
Deep readers and thinker will recognize some of these as classic philosophical arguments. Jepsen is right about all of them. IF we are going to deal with science we have to know it. Its limitations and its successes.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Stretching A Point
According to the article, an “international team” (how exciting!) of scientists at the CERN laboratory has “recorded subatomic particles traveling faster than the speed of light – a finding that could overturn one of Albert Einstein’s long-accepted fundamental laws of the universe.”Caryn Rivadeneira then goes on to describe what i the old days would have been called a "nervous breakdown" on her part and how she has overcome it. As I read through it, I understood and empathized with Ms. Rivadeneira's pain, but found that it confused so many things - physics, emotional well-being and our relationship with the Creator.
Turns out, if Einstein’s 106-year-old theory of special relativity is undermined, this could upend what physicists have used to “understand (or describe) the way the universe and everything in it works.”
While I may not understand what difference 60 billionths of a second makes in understanding the universe, what I do understand is what it means when ideas you’ve once lived, beliefs you’ve once held true and dear, laws you’ve maybe even once built a life around get upended. When suddenly all that you thought was, turns out to be not so.
Our tendency to tie such things into a big ball reveals in us the basic belief that it all swirls around us. It is that apparent conviction, more than any other, that defines sin. Perhaps that is why it is the last thing we tend to let go of as we mature in our relationship with Christ.
As I tyhink about the "equations of Christianity" I try and guard against having an "I" in them. I often fail - very often.
Even Christ, God Incarnate, had to surrender His will.
Monday, April 23, 2012
For What Sunday School?
When it began, Sunday school was a creative response to a particular societal need and setting, confronting the massive illiteracy present among British and American youth. Later, enhanced by denominational networks and the sociology of the Protestant Sunday it offered opportunity for extended biblical instruction and Christian community.I think this a dodge - Sunday School is not the issue - the fact that the church generally is selling something other than the full faith is. Biblical illiteracy is a symptom, not the disease.
As the sociology of Sunday changes can Sunday school remain an effective vehicle for addressing the escalating biblical illiteracy evident among American Protestants? If not, then we’d better do something fast. Otherwise we’re nothing but a bunch of prodigals!
The church, apparently in the name of keeping the pews full, has turned from the Body of Christ to a massive self-help organization. In focusing on the portion of our faith that "sells" we are emasculating the faith.
If we treat the disease, instead of the symptoms, then we can finally get somewhere. So as always, our first response should be to get on our knees and examine our own failings.