Wednesday, August 30, 2006

One of the greatest evidences of Christianity to me is that I see the Spirit of Jesus in all of the Christians I know. Despite your different talents, personalities, and foibles, I can clearly see that God is active in you. Particularly those of you whom I've known for some time, I've seen you become more and more Christ-like, yet simultaneously "more yourselves."

Monday, August 28, 2006

Downloadable sermons?

I'm looking for recommendations for sermons I can download onto my iPod.

Friday, August 25, 2006

I’m good for nothing without God. I mean this fairly literally. Today, I didn’t manage to pray in the morning, and all the rest of the day was chaos inside. I couldn’t think straight, and there’s this angry grinding feeling in my chest, like the sounds my car makes before it breaks down. A day ago, a day in which I’d prayed, I spent an hour articulating how to respond to a burglar lovingly. Today, sans prayer, I spent an hour telling my wife I wanted to become an anarchist and detonate dynamite inside various businesses that I felt had wronged me. She looked concerned and suggested I have a quiet time (sort of like a Pre-school teacher noticing the cranky children need a nap). She also asked if I would make sure there were no people inside the buildings before I blew them to smithereens.

I think scientists have found that during prayer, certain areas of the brain become active. I think this activity must cause special tranquility chemicals to be secreted and released into my blood stream. In no way do I consider this scientific explanation of prayer/God to negate God or prayer – why would I want to offend the Spirit that gave me such a wonderful device?

Monday, August 21, 2006

3 Things You Can Do With Your Wealth:

1. Spend it entirely on yourself.

2. Spend some on yourself; give some of it away.

3. Spend only what you need and give everything else away.

Every Christian I know lives in category 2. But I wonder if we shouldn't live in category 3. A few thoughts:

First, in light of treasure in heaven vs. treasure on earth, anything one spends on one's self on Earth in excess of what"needs" is pure foolishness.

Second, how can one justify spending her abundance on herself when there are others in the world who do not have their needs met?

The only answer I've heard is that "God wants you to enjoy your wealth." Is this true or false?

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Modern Legalism:

You have heard it said, 'I may have to love you, but I don't have to like you!'

I say that love sets no limits.

Friday, August 18, 2006

I have seen a mentally ill man put in his right-mind by Christ.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Where does the Bible claim that it’s inerrant?

The positive argument for biblical inerrany goes like this: since Scripture is inspired by God, then it must be perfect, jot and tittle. This is most commonly based on 2 Tim. 3:16, which says that "All Scripture is God-breathed..." There are other iterations, such as 2 Peter 1:20 " prophecy ever came about by the will of man..." And further, if Jesus could make a central point of theology from a verb tense (I AM not I WAS see John 8:56-59), then every aspect, literally every nook and cranny, comma and comment, of Scripture must be perfect.

But where does it say it's innerrant? At the very least, it must be acknowledged that there is a significant interpretive leap from "God-breathed" to innerancy. (And then another leap from innerancy to Old Earth/Left Behind literalism).

One of my clever brothers has asked "but how could God inspire fallacy?"

And I'll leave the commenterati with that.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Can a Christian expect to overcome their greatest failures and weaknesses?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

What does it mean that "it is for freedom that Christ has set you free?" Gal. 5:1. Tell me whatever you know about it.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A prayer for myself and all my friends:

God, have grace and mercy on us,
let us live saintly lives,
let us live lives of love.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Biblical literalistic inerrancy is based on fear.

It’s not based on fear alone. There’s a positive side of the argument too, which essentially says that ‘if the Bible is inspired by God, then how can anything in it be wrong?’ That is actually an interesting idea, which I’m not addressing now.

But I’ve heard it consistently said that one of the main reasons to uphold inerrancy is that otherwise people will go off the deep end.

Here, I’ll argue that this fear is unjustified:

First, and obviously, people’s potential reaction to the idea that Scripture isn’t inerrant has nothing to do with the truth of the matter. (An interesting question is whether you would lie about it if you knew it would ruin their faith otherwise).

Second, I’ve seen plenty of good evangelicals make bad faith interpretations of Scripture to justify their behavior. Their belief in inerrancy did not reign them in. In fact, a lot of times Christians just do whatever they want without any pretense that the Bible, innerrant or not, justifies it.

Third, good-faith biblical interpretation is possible. The Spirit of truth and an open, honest, and humble heart lead people to a correct understanding of God, His word, His will, and His requirements. A hermeneutic does not save or sanctify. Who ever came to Christ because of a hermeneutic? Who ever grew in Christ or repented of any sin because they were finally convinced that the Bible was innerant and meant to be understood literally? Spiritual things happen by the power of the Holy Spirit through the various means, including the Bible, which He chooses.

In short, to the pure all things are pure. To the vile, all things are vile.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Where was Ravi Zacharias when God pierced the leviathan's nose?

I think the intellectual person should know their own limits, especially when it comes to intellectually understanding God. A simple formula: If God is infinite and our minds are finite, there must come a point when we fail to completely understand God. And I think this is a better way to approach the Trinity or the hypostatic union than trying to contrive an argument for every instance in which the divine strains our faculties.

This isn’t an excuse for not thinking through the things that we are able to. But it is to suggest the Maker of heaven and earth will probably not be impressed with a syllogism: “You see, sir, there was this Problem of Pain, and I figured that if You were all powerful, and all good, then…”

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Faith and hope in logic

Recently I was listening to Ravi Zacharias try to explain the Trinity and the hypostatic union to some college students at Cornell. RZ had earlier refuted a “both/and” wordview prevalent in eastern religion by citing the ‘rule of non-contradiction,’ that is ‘something cannot both be ‘X’ and ‘not X’ at the same time. One student asked RZ how that applied to the idea that God is 3 in 1 and how it applied to the idea that Christ was fully God and fully man.

RZ basically said that in regards to Christ you never see him operating as both God and man at the same time, so there was no violation of the law of non-contradiction. And with the Trinity, he said that because there was a hierarchy (Father, then Son, then Holy Ghost) that again, no non-contradiction.

The student was not satisfied. RZ then said that the student had used up his one question and that there were numerous journal articles he could refer to if he’d like to know more.

How satisfying was this answer? How could the question have been answered differently?