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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Clear as Mud

I am getting overwhelmed with both the complexity and murkiness of the material I am reading in my theology and Bible classes. It very well could be, and perhaps most likely, that I am simply not at the same high mental caliber as these scholars. It feels at times that in "explaining" their finer points they leave much open-ended and are hesitant to offer definitive conclusions, as if trying to evade any who would analyze them. In thinking about all this and a conversation I had with a buddy about poets and trying to describe with our limited words the mythological (he says mythological but I say theological), I came to the following conclusion.

Though we, finite beings, attempt to understand that which is infinite, with our limited capacities, it is no less a worthy endeavor than if we were fully capable to understand that which is beyond knowing fully. Thus, we strive to know with ever-increasing certainty because ambiguity is not for theologians.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Double Love Principle

Matthew 22:34-40


Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."


Augustine: If it seems to anyone that he has understood the divine scripture or any part of them, in such a way by that understanding he does not build up that double love of God and neighbor, he has not yet understood.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

All Smiles


This truly is the cutest baby that I have gotten to hold today. She is Luke and Kate's youngest.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Phyllis Diller quotes

MARRIAGE

Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight.

WORK

Housework can't kill you, but why take a chance?

There's so little money in my bank account, my scenic checks show a ghetto.


What I don't like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day.

THAT'S FUNNY

Any time three New Yorkers get into a cab without an argument, a bank has just been robbed.

I asked the waiter, 'Is this milk fresh?' He said, 'Lady, three hours ago it was grass.'

PARENTING

Always be nice to your children because they are the ones who will choose your rest home.


I want my children to have all the things I couldn't afford. Then I want to move in with them.

Most children threaten at times to run away from home. This is the only thing that keeps some parents going.

We spend the first twelve months of our children's lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve telling them to sit down and shut up.

SPORTS

The real reason your pro tells you to keep your head down is so you can't see him laughing at you.

The reason women don't play football is because 11 of them would never wear the same outfit in public.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Christian 1 Liners

Don't let your worries get the better of you; remember, Moses started out as a basket case.

Some people are kind, polite, and sweet-spirited until you try to sit in their pews.

Many folks want to serve God, but only as advisers.

It is easier to preach ten sermons than it is to live one.

The good Lord didn't create anything without a purpose, but mosquitoes come close.

When you get to your wits end, you'll find God lives there.

People are funny; they want the front of the bus, the middle of the road, and the back of the church.

Opportunity may knock once, but temptation bangs on your front door forever.

Quit griping about your church; if it was perfect, you couldn't belong.

If the church wants a better preacher, it only needs to pray for the one it has.

God Himself does not propose to judge a man until he is dead; so why should you?

Some minds are like concrete thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.

Peace starts with a smile.

I don't know why some people change churches; what difference does it make which one you stay home from?

A lot of church members who are singing 'Standing on the Promises' are just sitting on the premises.

We were called to be witnesses, not lawyers or judges.

Be ye fishers of men. You catch them - He'll clean them.

Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.

Don't put a question mark where God put a period.

Don't wait for 6 strong men to take you to church.

Forbidden fruits create many jams.

God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

God grades on the cross, not the curve..

God loves everyone, but probably prefers ‘fruit of the spirit' over the 'religious nut!'

God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.

He who angers you, controls you!

If God is your Co-pilot - swap seats!

Prayer: Don't give God instructions - just report for duty!

The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.

The Will of God never takes you to where the Grace of God will not protect you.

We don't change the message, the message changes us.

You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage him.

The best mathematical equation I have ever seen:
1 cross + 3 nails = 4 given.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Harsh

Standing in line today to pay for a Pepsi, the customer in front of me started chiding the owner who was working the register. Shaking her finger at him she explained that all three of the customers before her had told him thank you but he not once told them you’re welcome. His wife hearing what the woman had said kindly spoke to the lady explaining that she was sorry and that they were having a rough day. To this the customer chided the owner’s wife telling her that despite their rough day they should still appreciate the business of their customers. Then she rushed out of the store.

I don’t know what you would have done or thought if you were me and had witnessed this incident. I took a moment to step toward the counter and smiled at the owner. I thanked him before I left and smiled at his wife. Walking out of the store I had the inclination to march up to the car of the harsh customer and tell her how wrong she was. Ha. Wisely I chose not to but instead sat and thought about what could have happened differently.

Tasha and I were at the beach last year and in the late afternoon entered a store that had a going out of business sale. We picked out two nice fleeces and headed for the long line which wound through the crowded store. When we got nearer to the counter we noticed that the guy working the register wasn’t making too much eye contact with any of the customers. His eyes didn’t shift much from the counter. When he was ringing up the fleeces I asked him how his day was going. He said it wasn’t that great and he looked forward to getting done with the day. He told me the total which seemed less than what I had figured so I asked him if he noticed we had two fleeces. He said that he had but was only going to charge us for one because we were the only people that had been nice to him all day. Wow, how sad.

I read a quote some time back which said that each person we meet is fighting a battle. We never know what a person has experienced before encountering us or will afterward. Are we going to act in such a way that dumps on their day? Or are we going to act in such a way that encourages them and brightens their day?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Penal-Substitutionary Atonement

My background has always explained the efficacy of Christ through the atonement. The way this has been communicated has been through penal-substitution (PS) which is an image that uses a judiciary setting. I have never had issues reconciling God’s holy wrath with His Son dying on the cross for the sins of the world. However, I find more and more that here at FPU this image is rejected and deplored. Some have even referred to it as "divine child abuse".

Troubled with the animosity I felt surrounding PS atonement; I took time to meet with professors and instructors. What was explained to me was that the atonement has many lenses through which to understand it. PS is simply one lens among many. Some people want to totally do away with it, and others want to not emphasis it so much & use it as one in a variety of ways to explain the atonement.

I am more open now to there being multiple ways of explaining the atonement. For example, there can be 6 witnesses to a car wreck who see the same things happening. However, when the officer takes all their accounts not one of their accounts will be identical to the other. This morning I remembered a woodblock art piece which is an “Ukiyo-e print illustration from Buddhist parable showing blind monks examining an elephant. Each man reaches a different conclusion based on which part of the elephant he has examined.” (LOC)


"Blind monks examining an elephant" by Itcho Hanabusa.


Even with this in mind, I am concerned about the loss of the PS lens. Because what if people have a particular slant towards or away from a lens, we cannot alter the facts which the Word of God presents to us. We cannot forsake one pericope for another because it fits more with our personal beliefs.

I am not listing these scriptures in support of PS to be used to deny other lenses, but to be used to express the PS lens in particular.

Isaiah 53
John 3:16-17
Romans 5:11-17
2 Corinthians 5:14-15, 21
Galatians 2:20, 3:13-14a
1 Peter 3:18
1 John 4:8-10

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Focus Tactic

Drawing during lectures helps to keep me focused. Here's a recent master piece I did this week. It even ended up pretty cool looking once it was done. I am thankful for highlighters of different colors!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wow Clouds