Sunday, 24 February 2013

Peering into the Invisible

If you wanted proof that when we threw off "religion" - we replaced one load of weird unintelligible language with another, here it is. (Available until Thursday 28 Feb)

Friday, 22 February 2013

Rational Madness

Will Storr in his book: The Heretics thinks out loud about his beliefs. I think he speaks eloquently for most if not all of us.
I consider - as everyone surely does - that my opinions are the correct ones. And yet, I have never met anyone whose every single thought I agreed with. When you take these two positions together, they become a way of saying 'Nobody is as right in as many things as me.' And that cannot be true. Because to accept that would be to confer upon myself a Godlike status. It would mean that I possess a superpower: a clarity of thought that is unique among humans. Okay, fine. So I accept that I am wrong about things - I must be wrong about them. A lot of them. But when I look back over my shoulder and I double check what I think about religion and politics and science and all the rest of it,... well I know I'm right about that... and that... and that and that and - it is usually at this point I start to feel strange. I know that I am not right about everything, and yet I am simultaneously convinced that I am. I believe these two things completely, and yet they are in catastrophic logical opposition to each other.

It is as if I have caught a glimpse of some grotesque delusion I am stuck inside. It is disorientating. It is frightening. And I think it is true to say it it not just me - that is - we all believe that we are right about everything and by extension we are all wrong.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Lamech is Alive and Well

Whilst we continue to believe that it is principles that rule our lives rather than persons, we will continue to go down strange rabbit holes.

Many consider the boosting of a person's self-esteem as the ultimate good, so what do we make of this article reporting on a recent study showing that self-esteem is more intensely boosted when we refuse to apologize for something we have done wrong compared to when we do apologize?

In what might otherwise have been a depressing read, there is the admission that further study is needed into the long term effects of these choices for, whilst in the short term subjects felt "better" (whatever that means), in the long term who knows what the consequences of those choices would be...

Reading this reminded me of Lamech (Gen 4:23-24). Self-justification may become all the rage - if it isn't already - in the world of psychotherapy. But there are few things more odious to God than a self-justifying and haughty spirit, (Prov. 6:16-17 by contrast with Isa. 66:2).

Saturday, 16 February 2013

On Nakedness and When Good could be Evil

Two different but related thoughts about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Both grounded in lectures from James B Jordan.

1. That the nakedness of Adam and Eve was not a symbol of their innocence, rather testimony that they were "babies" - the newborns of the human race.  Just as you and I didn't come out of the womb sporting the latest Primani gear, we came out naked, waiting to be clothed by our parents, so too Adam and Eve, birthed by Christ (Lk.3:38) awaited to be clothed by him.  But in their impatience for robes of glory they grasped for exaltation and fell into death. More on this another time.

2. If Adam and Eve had not eaten the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, could they still have fallen? Yes. How? The issue is not whether they knew the right answer or not, but would they submit to Christ's authority and timing or not. What was the state of their hearts? He would give them access to that tree in the course of time.

If Eve had said I see that the fruit of this tree is good for food and pleasing to the eye, and I also understand that it is desirable for gaining wisdom, but I have decided not to take it. then she and Adam would still have fallen, because they would have been setting up their own standard of morality that looked godly, but was not in loving relationship with or in humble submission to Christ. This is exactly what false religion is and it is the worst kind of evil - claiming to look like God, but in fact acting like the old crafty serpent, Satan himself (2 Cor 11:14).

Contrast this with Jesus who, being in very nature God and having all authority only did the will of his Father and waited for the appointed time of his exaltation.

John 5:19: Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.

John 8:54: Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me.

Those of us who claim to walk in Jesus footsteps, need a lot of help to think this way! Thank God Jesus is our substitute and not just our example!

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Grace doesn't supersede the Law, the Spirit does.

I may be wrong, and please tell me if I am, but I think a lot of unnecessary heat and light is created in Christendom, from the headline confusion between law and grace.

You will hear not a few Christians say something along the lines of "We are not people of law, we are people of grace." (Nods of smiling agreement all round.) But this is a confusion of categories, like saying "We aren't car drivers, we are capitalists."