Christ’s ‘great commandment’ instructs Christians to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’ […and to] ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31 NIV). This summation, of course, recompiles a few Old Testament passages, notably, Leviticus 19:18 (“love your neighbor as yourself.”) A week or so ago I commented on another professor’s blog post that loving our neighbor *as* ourselves means that we must love ourselves equally as others. By way of example, a battered spouse should not remain with an abusive partner because, no matter the love for the partner, the battered spouse must love the self as much as the other. A loving parent does not place a beloved child in harm’s way so neither should a loving self place a beloved self in harm’s way. Today my eyes were opened to another implication of Mark 12:31.Continue Reading
I found myself reflecting on the 2002 Hillsong lryic: I will bless the Lord forever, and I will trust Him at all times. He has delivered me from all fear… I will not be moved, and I’ll say of the Lord… You are my shield, my strength, my portion, deliverer, my shelter, strong tower, my very present help in time of need…
While largely a paraphrase of the 34th Psalm, it really boils it down to a kernel.Continue Reading
An exceeding number of evangelical Christians have long crusaded against Evolution Theory solely because it discredits Abrahamic teaching. But is this really the most appropriate doctrinal or theological battleground? It occurs to me today—and I hope to explore the idea in a future post—that Evolution Theory is a greater doctrinal threat to the premise of salvation than it is to scriptural inerrancy. Evolution Theory does not simply say that God did not create the universe, but that sentient life has no need of redemption. If homo sapien evolved from acephalic bacteria to amoral primate to cognitive human, then there is no inherent evil nature. Moreover—and more importantly—if the Evolution brought homo sapien from the innocent animal to the self-aware human then Evolution will continue to improve humanity to perfection. In other words, Evolution Theory cannot be understood as history but also as future and if engaged from an entirely secular mindset, Evolution supplants Abrahamic religion by foreclosing the need for redemption. In time, says Evolution Theory, homo sapien will continue to evolve into increasingly perfect creatures. There is therefore no need to hasten humankind’s improvement any more than there is to judge humankind because any present wretchedness owes to Evolution’s slow hand rather than an innately damnable soul. Evolution Theory implies, “we are saving ourselves” which is the absolute antithesis to Abrahamic faith and the very height of hubris to think that we mortals could aspire to moral equality with God.
People like Ben Carson and Mike Pence shade intellectual Christians as much as they flame dogmatic Christians. As for me, yes, I can engage philosophical arguments without fear of sacrificing belief. Argument might alter my concept of God but argument will never change my belief in God.
Paul wrote to Timothy that “in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves [… h]aving a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; […e]ver learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Tim 3 KJV)Continue Reading
A number of people, quite understandably, have not taken fondly to my vocal fortress-of-fear / fortress-of-faith position. We shall now see whether that position is summarily disproven should I test positive. Of course, testing negative does not affirm my position, but a positive result would presumptively invalidate it. But when it is all said and done, I elected to self-isolate because, should I test positive, others should not suffer the consequences of my inadequate faith. To be absolutely clear, though, nothing I have stated, past or present, should be construed to suggest that those who contract corona are somehow lacking in faith. In this life, misfortunes do strike undeserving people. This does not mean that God intends for anyone to suffer or that God wishes to instruct us by way of suffering. While commendable for a suffering soul to be able to glean something positive from tragedy, God must be viewed as benevolent. God no more causes one to die of corona than God would cause one to die from an earthquake. There simply are natural forces at work that were long ago set in motion and which play themselves out. Earthquakes happen, hurricanes happen, mental illness happens, All of these can result in considerable tragedy and losses of life. Pure evil also happens (Pearl Harbor, 9/11, JFK).Continue Reading
The country has lost its mind trying to control the uncontrollable. Trying to stop pathogenic dispersion is like trying to prevent California wildfires. Humans want to think that our evolved intellect empowers us to bend nature to our wills. The reality is that all animals–homo or otherwise–must live with and within nature. Human suppression of natural fire turns the surrounding nature into a tinderbox. Fire is a critical part of nature’s ecosystem. Pathogens are too. I don’t hear all the macroevolutionists Continue Reading