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Today in my Jewish Philosophy class, I had one of those random, out of place “revelations”, or light bulb moments in the middle of a discussion that practically had nothing to do with what I was thinking about. I love those times; I love that the Lord still blesses me with insights and thoughts when in the middle of a secular, very liberal university. Anyway, we were discussing Plato’s Sophist dialogue. The dialogue is meant to first define a Sophist and what it is (vs is not), then to discuss questions of “being” and “non-being”, and then finally discuss more of what a Sophist is in terms of “being” and “non-being”. Basically Plato is practicing the art of philosophy (acknowledging and accepting only things that exist that they can have power/rulership over) by rejecting the practice of Sophists in terms of their validity of philosophical stances and methodology of delivery (dialogue vs speech etc). That was a really poor way of explaining the context of the discussion, but it’s not really important for my point (I don’t think).

Basically in the midst of this discussion, we were talking about an example that if you had children, and one of them was getting too close to the street, with passing cars, coming and going; As a parent, would you tell the child, “Don’t get close to the street!” Or would you say, “Hey, come over closer to me,” (without acknowledging what not to do). Which one would be more successful or beneficial? Instead of linking this example strictly to the issue of “being” and “non-being” in regards to the Sophist, my mind went to Genesis 3 and the garden, which God commanded,

But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, you shall not eat, nor shall you touch it, lest you die” (vs 3) (2:17).

To put this very simple and straight forward, Adam and Eve were given two options; To not eat of the fruit and obey or to eat of the fruit and disobey. In class I thought, “wow, humankind has had two options from the very beginning, and it is the goodness and mercy of God that we had/have two options. (Side-note : even before sin required it, there was mercy. Ahh!) First we discover urgency. To explain I will jump back to the example with the child being close to the road and the oncoming traffic. As a parent, if you tell your child, Don’t get close to the road”, as opposed to the other option, the child is going to weigh that command as being crucial, or urgent, rather than not acknowledging the negative, the “Don’t.”

This urgency and also the available two options we have invites us into a capacity for greater love – When we have a choice and a decision to choose a path, our obedience and devotion becomes valued to us. The ability to choose places value on it.

As I thought about it, I was having a hard time getting my mind around that concept : “We have a greater capacity to love when we choose it.” Why? Well, as I was thinking and asking the Lord, I realized that when we choose, there is a cost. There is something that we are giving up, or turning away from when we choose. You’re choice becomes valued because there was a cost, a sacrificing, a laying down of the other.

While God does not tempt, He informed us, acknowledged that there are two options: obedience and disobedience, and with that comes an invitation of as much fullness (capacity) of love as you choose.

Okay, I realize that all of that was a lot of “scatteredness” , but it is so fresh in my mind and I just spewed it out. Sorry ๐Ÿ™‚ Let me know what you think and if you have anything to add or discard.

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Jesus is God who came to Earth and made Himself weak. It doesn’t make sense for a King to hold himself this way. Yet this is our example of perfection – strength in weakness.

My Blog

No, I have not forgotten to write – It’s almost spring finals time so I feel really scattered right now. Hopefully I will be back and writing this weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

Natural Selection

Ok so I don’t know very much about Darwin’s Theory of natural selection (and I’m not going to even get into evolution), but I want to write about some of the thoughts that are milling around in my mind. And yes Adam (Hanly), this subject was inspired by a humanities course that I’m currently in.

After listening to a lecture given by a famous professor, Stephen Gould, some thoughts and ideas came to mind concerning creation. During lecture subjects, such as the one I’m currently referring to (the ones which aim to undermine the existence of God) I usually find myself either: a) frustrated by the harm this is causing to the rest of the people in my class who are searching for some fact of tangible substance to explain the meaning of their existence here on earth, b) feel the burden of the Lord for the issue that is being wrongfully sent out as “truth” to His creation and inheritance and somehow, in my weak state, attempt to intercede on their behalf, or c) to be honest, I try not to think about the subject matters error and in a sense, ignore it and keep moving on in thought (basically go about my day, business as usual) — I really try not to do this one.

Well, to my surprise, during this subject/lecture today (natural selection), I felt something quite different. Yes, though the other previous options above did present themselves slightly, I found myself thinking about God being the Creator of all things in such an intricate, fascinating manner like I have never thought of before. Of course we all agree with the statement that God, being the Creator of all things is fascinating and beyond understanding – But I received a little bit of revelation in my heart that reminded me that God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow And also He is the same across the spectrum of all things: The way He creates, the way He governs, the way He has compassion, and the way He manages His creation. Let me see if I can convey this more clear. I’m just going to jump in to what the lecture was about and some specific points that stuck out to me, and some basic concepts that were mentioned.

There were two arguments that were discussed: Design and Natural Selection. Gould stated that the main argument for Design was that “God’s existence, benevolence, omniscience, and intelligence are apparent in creation by (1) organisms design and (2) the harmony of the ecosystems” (I do disagree with the fact that this statement implies to putting restrictions on God’s nature and attributes). Gould argues that natural selection undermines this argument from Design by first, agreeing that organisms are well-designed, but that does not prove God to be the ultimate Creator. Natural selection argues that organisms are all “out for themselves” and that does not support the goodness of God in creating organisms (they view that the process of natural selection is “cruel” and not expressing benevolence). And this poses many misconceptions about the true nature of God, and how the universe was formed.

I’m going to use the following statement from Gould in which he tried to prove that natural selection undermines (used for lack of a better word) the concept of God being Creator, and use it to show/convey a thought or idea that moved my heart to see a facet of the perfect God and His leadership:

“Organisms are struggling for individual success”ย 

Basically what I’m trying to say is that this statement made me think about the pride of Adam and Eve in the garden; Theyย  essentially agreed in their hearts to disobey God and agree with Satan, and the main issue in their hearts was pride. God gave the “keys to the earth” to man, and by man agreeing with Satan, man gave the keys to the earth to Satan. By Adam and Eve wanting to be equal with God, they were seeking for “individual success” , which through that event in history, you physically see the effects in all creation. Because of this act the earth was put under curse. This may sound like a stretch but the idea that even every organism that was created is fighting for the individual success for themselves is continually expressing the pride of the earth. That’s intense.ย 

Does any of that make sense?

Make up a Class!

okay, question for you all… if you HAD (if you were forced) to take a class at a University which class would you take? You can make up a title of class.. or subject. for example, I would take a class called “REL 540 : The Historical Life of Jesus”I’m random, and I like it.. so what do ya got??? ๐Ÿ™‚

“Intellectualism”

I’ve been looking through my old journal the past couple days, and I stumbled across something that one of my friends told me a while back: (I think I was frustrated with the religious depts at college campuses at the time)

“Intellectualism rations God off with these terms like ‘all-powerful’, ‘omnipotent’, ‘omniscient’, ‘omnipresent’, ‘all-good’…but then still thinks of Him as like us, or maybe just a little stronger-but always contradicting Himself. More than that they don’t even believe that He actually exists. He’s just an idea out there that we really can’t get our little minds around, so we write Him off. They also think because He’s ‘all-powerful’ and ‘all-good’, He must be a dictator- keeping His little caged in evil-free world with robots who will worship Him. But the true definition of worship is a heart filled with wonder and affection voluntarily offered, not forced. No human could have come up with such a compelling drama as this we are a part of. Human beings turning from God in the beginning in perfect relationship and perfect condition, and then God in His infinite wisdom, winning back the affections of the human race without ever violating their free-will. The ability to choose who and how you worship places the value on that worship. God is a massive lover and He is after other lovers.. those who will peer through the darkened cloudy skies of this fallen time and space and still offer up their weak hearts of love. This is what captures Him forever. This is the longing of His heart- This is the dignity of Love… then Christ becomes more than just a religious bridge builder between God and man.. we then see Him as the most passionate lover who ever walked the Earth.. even fighting unto the death for the love of those who killed Him, His enemies… Who does that?? Sheer beauty.

“Whom Having not seen, you love…” 1 Peter 1:8

I can already tell that this blog is going to be filled with scattered thoughts and fragmented sentences – my brain is wore out from writing papers on psychological theorists and humanistic viewpoints… I guess what I meant to say is that I’m sick of being a college student! So with that in mind, I’ve decided that the majority of my posts are going to be lists of random thoughts, often running into each other making it hard to follow.. haha

You will come to find out very quickly that I am a huge fan of those little one sentence phrases that just pierce your heart, and then you find yourself thinking about it for days! So here is a list of some of my favorite 1-liners that I’ve been chewing on recently:
– Prayer is humility (you’re declaring that there is someone bigger than you).

– Before sin required it, there was mercy.

– Wisdom is crying out.

– Holy love being a violence because its disruptive to our lives.

A.W. Tozer:

– “God dwells in eternity but time dwells in God. He has already lived all our tomorrows as He has lived all our yesterdays”

– “We shall not seek to understand in order that we may believe, but to believe in order that we may understand”

– “He gives but He does not give away. All that He gives remains His own and returns to Him again”

– “The greatness of God rouses fear within us, but His goodness encourages us not to be afraid of Him. To fear and not be afraid – that is the paradox of faith”

– “Eternity is not another kind of time frame; it is not merely endless time or a quantitative thing, but profoundly and foremost a qualitative thing. The qualitative thing is available now- It is eternity now” (Art Katz)

Bill Johnson:

– “It is in the DNA of every believer to pursue that which is called impossible. You have been assigned by nature to invade the realm of the impossible; it’s who you are”

– “Jesus is the exact representation of the very nature of the Father. His actions were mirroring the heart of the Father”

– “Seek for that Baptism of power that transforms everything”

– “If you’re going to live a life of caution, all of your friends will call you wise. All of your friends will call you wise, you just won’t move many mountains”

– “Truth comes in layers; its multidimensional – it doesn’t fit on doctrinal statements”

– “The nature of the Kingdom knows increase – God is always bringing us from glory to glory; its a forward motion”

-” ‘Inheritance’ is getting something for free that someone else paid for”

– “The renewed mind is able to put on display the will of God. What is the will of God? – ‘on earth as it is in heaven’ And you know your mind is renewed when the impossible looks logical”

– “We bind here whats bound there, and we loose here whats loosed there – how can we loose here if we do not gain understanding of His world that has no earthly parallel

– “Faith is living from a superior reality; it’s living from heaven towards earth”

– “I don’t want the inexperienced to tell me how far I can go”