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Why Does God Keep Secrets From Me?

20 Jun

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Deuteronomy 29:29, “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.”

In a discussion of where children go after death if they die before an age where they are conscious of God, we encountered the idea of God having secrets from us. The fate of unborn children and infants who die is one of those secrets. The Bible is silent on it.

We had to avoid arguing from silence and just say that God is absolutely good and absolutely just–that we can trust Him to do the right thing in those secret areas the Bible does not address.

Now sometimes some of us rebel against God reserving the right to keep secrets from us (even forever, if we can project forward from Deuteronomy 29:29).

Why do we rebel like that? I can think of three reasons.

1) In a crisis. If someone has just lost a baby, I totally understand her desire to know for sure her child is with God. That is not the time to have a deep theological discussion about arguing from the Bible’s silence. Just be comforting and keep the theological discussions for later.

2) Because we have control issues and resent the idea that God can fence off part of reality, including part of our own lives, and not let us have control over it. But . . . let’s face it. Even one devastating tornado in our neighborhood will prove to us that there is much in our own personal lives we do not and cannot control.

3) Because we have been hurt in the past by bad secrets and assume that secrets are inherently bad. That is where we make a huge theological error. Treating God like a monster because someone in our past has been a monster is just bad theology. God is not an exalted version of the most powerful human being we have known in the past. He is transcendent, meaning totally different from us in form and substance and everything else. The only reason we can ever hope to be like Him is because He is also immanent (become one with us) in Jesus Christ.

While I have all the compassion in the world for a child who was caught in a whirlpool of bad secrets, I cannot and will not form my theology from someone’s emotional state. This world is fallen. That will not change till later, when Christ makes all things new. But He remains God and is sovereign over this fallen world. We must trust Him to be as good as the Word says He is, and as wise and just as well!

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An Interview with Ravi Zacharias

2 Apr

An Interview with Ravi Zacharias

Like C.S. Lewis, Ravi Zacharias brought deep thought and insight into 20th century Christianity.

Ravi continues in this new millennium.

Is he always right?  No, and we non-Catholics don’t have a doctrine of infallibility for anyone at anytime.

But he is always worth a listen (or a read).  My world is better for having known he was in it!

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The Hipsters, who Distance from the Fundies, Review Ken Ham through their Lens of Christianity

5 Feb

The Hipsters, who Distance from the Fundies, Review Ken Ham through their Lens of Christianity

Disclaimer: not all young Christians are hipsters and not all hipster Christians spend their time acting like they would like to hide the fundamentalist folks in Christianity in a broom closet, along with their hardworking old grandmother who makes them feel ashamed in front of their friends by her terminal lack of coolness.

But there are enough young hipsters like that in Christianity to be ironic.

Ironic because they denounce fundamentalists for hating them and trying to make them go away.

They denounce us while using these same tactics against us.

Enough already. Mom here! I don’t care who started it. Let’s just stop it. We are all part of the same Christian camp.

The above post doesn’t address many things theologically.

If you want to be a hipster Christian and defend marriage as being other than Christ defined it (one man, one woman, for life), then show me where the moral authority comes from to do that.

If you want to believe in theistic evolution, explain to me theologically how death came along before Adam and Eve fell.

If you want to reconcile a world that is millions of years old with a Saviour who was born of a virgin, explain to me how a God who wasn’t capable of creating an old universe in the Old Testament (with starlight already in progress, since stars that we can see are millions of light years from earth) suddenly became capable of creating a virgin birth in the New Testament.

There are lots of things that need to be addressed theologically by the above post. They were not even attempted. The writer merely did some terminally cool posturing. I throw a flag on his play.

And just sneering at fundamentalists does not count as a logical argument. In fact, that is called an ad hominem argument, for anyone who is truly looking to learn the fair rules of debate.

Just sayin’

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Learning to Lay Down our Preferences . . . For the Greater Good!

31 Jan

Learning to Lay Down our Preferences . . . For the Greater Good!

It remains one of my greatest joys to see the Church of Jesus Christ working together and loving each other, despite the vast diversity therein.

It remains one of my greatest puzzles to try to understand how, sometimes, people can sit one seat away from each other in church, then spend the week savaging each other behind each other’s backs.

What is worse, sometimes people can equate their snarkiness and sarcasm with spirituality. Well, it is spiritual all right, but not of the place we strive to enter at life’s end . . .

But at the end of the day, I will take my church and its people, warts and all. God knows what He is doing there and why He put us together.

I am not the only person who has a familymember struggling with OCD or another life-dominating condition. It is easier to struggle alongside others who understand what it is to struggle . . . and might even have suggestions that help in my struggle.

It is better to be around people who remind me that nothing is too hard for God, even when it is too hard for me.

Who encourage me to come back to fight another day!

I am convinced that the biggest killer of fellowship and, really, of hope itself is comparisons. Especially within the Body of Christ.

God told us not to compare ourselves to others but the human race is blighted with this tendency.

I am learning, as I age, that I can’t stop that happening. I can gently point it out. I can gently refuse to join the conversations that start that way. And I can gently just leave people alone when they pick at me or others, realizing that it is not really all that important to stop them from comparing themselves to others and trying to come out favorably. Does that really harm me? No.

I love the verse that tells us to agree with our adversary on the way lest worse things happen than her accusations. I am learning to do just that. If someone is picking at me, I ask for specifics. There may be some. Or maybe not. But I won’t know if I don’t ask. And if there are specifics, God can show me whether they have some validity or are just a figment of the other person’s imperfect imagination.

What do we have to lose, other than our defensiveness? And isn’t that a good thing in the end?

I love the Body of Christ.

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What Downton Abbey’s Tom Branson Can Teach Us about Authenticity!

28 Jan

What Downton Abbey’s Tom Branson Can Teach Us about Authenticity!

A teaching on holiness riffing on Downton Abbey themes.  What could be lovelier?

Imago Dei

21 Jan

“Oh, yes. We take shortcuts in getting to know others and sum them up in ten words or less. And we do that to people made in God’s image. What smugness we exhibit.”

The above was an update I posted on Facebook several days ago.  I truly believe that.  Almost all of us have to work hard to realize that other humans are just as complex as we are.  

I see dismissive Facebook posts all of the time.  Posts that sum up an entire viewpoint in one dismissive sound byte.  

Even posts that sum up an entire group of people (all teenagers, dieters, drinkers, non-drinkers, etc.) in one dismissive sound byte.

Thing is, we all have a story.  And, most importantly of all, we are all God’s image bearers.  

Our church has often taught that principle.  No matter how fallen, each person bears somewhere in his soul the mark of his Creator.  Even the alcoholic, on his deathbed, lying with a swollen, distended abdomen amidst his own waste in his apartment (that image is courtesy of a friend who once watched her sister die that way) is an image-bearer of God’s holy image somewhere in his being.  

I know some churches teach that, since the Fall, we are created in the image of Adam, not in the image of God.  I don’t see that in Scripture anywhere and no one has been able to point me to anything confirming that view.

I think that view makes it easier for people to be dismissive of their fellow humans.  Like Pharisees, they can just cross the road when they see an alcoholic dying, saying, in exactly five words, “He brought it on himself,” then forgetting about this person who needs Jesus.

I pray in this New Year we may realize that others have stories and dreams and souls and that we may reach out to them.  I pray we may care that they might perish without our Saviour.  

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True Story: This Pastor Got His People to Eat Grass

19 Jan

True Story: This Pastor Got His People to Eat Grass

How people who like to grab power over others can do so and still claim they are doing it in Christ’s name!

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