So Nimm Denn Meine Hande...

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Chicken Pot Pie x radius / 2C + JFK =

Well, people have often said "I'd like to spend a day in your mind and see what goes on there." Now that I have a blog, I can let people in a bit. It's Tuesday morning, at 2:14 am and I couldn't sleep beacuse I had a problem running through my head. I was trying to ponder the meaning of the word "thing". What is "thing"? The word "thing" is such a crazy word. It's next to impossible for me to think of a definition of the word "thing" without using "thing" to describe "thing". Go ahead and try. See? You can't do it! What the crap?!

What is a "thing"? Is a Flubbernutter a thing? Yeah. It must be physical...but then again, can 'thought' be called a "thing"? Yeah, and 'thought' is not physical? So a "thing" is not just physical, or exclusively physical. Must be that a "thing" is a noun though.

But wait. Is running a "thing"? Yeah, and 'running' is a verb.

And is 'silently' a "thing"? Well, saying that something is moving silently describes a thing about that which is moving (notice how the word "thing" appears in that statement twice). So it's now like an adjective?

Is 'infinity' a "thing"? Uh, yeah. But 'infinity' is like an abstract concept (though still a noun).

A "thing" can be, like, a state of affairs too. People often say "How are things going"? My brain is starting to spin...

I'm trying to think of anything that is not a "thing" (there it pops up again...'anything'! This word is sneaky!), but I can't. So a "thing" is a noun, or a verb, or an adjective...and a "thing" is either coporeal (physical) or incoporeal (non-physical). A "thing" may be static (unchanging, like the laws of logic) or dynamic (changing and developing, like affection for a person). "Thing" is like this completely bizarre word that is both exclusive and all-inclusive at the same time. How can all things (DANGIT!) be a "thing"?

Hmmm. Now to factor in Van Till. What if God is "thing". Not 'a thing', but simply "thing". And if God is "thing", then all "things" find reference in "thing", namely God. So if God is the noun,verb, adjective, coporeal, incoporeal, static, dynamic, etc. all wrapped up in "thing", then all these random and seemingly disjointed concepts that I associate with "thing" somehow find ultimate referent in the nature and character of God, who is "thing", in reference to which all other "things" are known. So, could it be that the only way my mind can somehow grasp the concept of "thing", which I can somewhat fathom and yet somehow not understand in the slightest, is because I somewhat know God? And, in the knowing of God as "thing" (though that knowledge must somehow be ingrained and not necessarily consciously articulated...uh, like in "general revelation"?), can I then process certain aspects of "thing" (i.e. God) independently, calling them "things" (like "chair", "joy", "time", "run", "foolishly"), without being able to comprehensively fathom "thing" simply because I cannot comprehensively fathom God as "thing" and yet still, in some inscrutable way, knowing God as "thing"? Hmm. Well, for those of you who were ever wondering what I ponder late at night, you've got your peek. I figured that I'd better write this down before I fell asleep and then forgot about the "thing" I was thinking about before I went to sleep that kept me up for like 2 hours.

Man. God's mind must be so unbelievably huge that God, being "thing", has perfect knowledge of himself as "thing" and thereby all referents to "thing" (which would be all "things"). Grasping the mind of God is like trying to wrestle and pin a stream of oatmeal blasting from a firehose. If you can even process that statement into a sensical image, you win a free weiner dog and myself and the other Kennedys salute you. Good Night,

The Armchair Theologian

Saturday, November 20, 2004

The resilient prevalence of sin in the heart of a Christian...

Often, when I am sharing the gospel with people, I get the same batch of questions and responses when we start talking about sin. There are two points that always seem to cause the greatest difficulty with people.

The first difficult point is that people are always disturbed and somewhat aggitated/angered when I give a practical illustration of how 'good works' are not meritorious...i.e. doing 'good deeds' doesn't store up some sort of 'brownie points' that, if found in enough abundance, force the hand of God to admit a person into heaven. I usually illustrate this with the "Mother Theresa and Hitler stand equally before God as sinners deserving of hell" (though I always explain that their sins were not equal in scope or intensity). People really don't like the idea that a 'saint' like Mother Theresa would ever be put in a parallelism with Adolf Hitler.

The second difficult point is when you catch them in the James 2:10/Matthew 5:28/Luke 18:18-19/Romans 3:9-20 snare (i.e. everyone has broken God's moral law, including you and Mother Theresa). Everyone always thinks that they're a good person (see Luke 18:18-19 and Romans 3:9-20), even though almost everyone I've ever talked to will admit that they've broken at least one commandment (James 2:10 and Matthew 5:28...just on the grounds of Matthew 5:28 the entire world, short of a few tibetan eunuchs, stands condemned). Of course, when you questions them on this, they always judge themselves by the most extreme standards. If I had a dime for the "I've like never stolen a learjet" or "I've never told like a serious lie" lines (a serious lie is apparently is something along the lines of covering up for a serial killer or deceiving the pope), I'd buy controlling interest in Microsoft just to tick off Paul Allen.

Ironically, I got a look into my own regenerate heart yesterday and was pretty disturbed. I won't get into specifics, but I was sexually tempted by a person and it caught me so off guard that I was stunned when I caught myself entertaining the idea, even if for a split second. I caught myself after a moment and ran like Joseph, but MAN! My heart is wicked. wicked. WICKED. It's astounding how sin sometimes sneaks up on you like a Supra while you're jogging on the 401. One moment you're listening to your i-pod and *BAM!!*'re dead. No warning. No time to react. By the time the light from the high beams is processed on your retinas all you see is blackness. Sin is crouching at my desires to slay me (Gen 4:6). I gotta get back in a war mindset. Gotta get back in the fight mode. I've been slacking way too much in this. Just sayin...Hey! Freaking kill that sin dangit! Praying for bloodlust,

The Armchair Theologian

Friday, November 19, 2004

The hilarity of the wisdom of dating experts...

Well, after I logged out of Hotmail today, I saw a link regarding 'the craziest dating advice ever' or something like that. Being curious about any article with 'craziest ever' in the title, I checked it out. After a few moments I got a great sermon illustration on the foolishness of men's wisdom. Two supposed 'dating experts' were giving advice on how to land 'the one'. Things like "eat an onion ring before hitting the bar because Murphy's law says that if you got onion breath, everyone will want to kiss you" or "women should stand with their feet slightly turned in because it makes them more approachable". Apparently I'm supposed to wear blue because blue shows that I'm comfortable with committment and good table manners mean I'll be sexually rewarding. Apparently the carnal mind is still unable to submit to God's law (Romans 8:7) . Is it just me or are the 19-29 crowd obsessed with relationships? (Or should I say "obsessed with sex", and most relationships are only a mean to that end?)

At last check, the medium age for marriage is somewhere around 26 now. We're getting older before we're getting hitched, getting careers first and getting 'settled' before typing the knot. We then end up attempting relationships in a pagan way, and amazingly their way doesn't work. Heck...look at the divorce rate. Over half of Canada and the U.S. can't figure out how to make a relationship work. More than that, how many people date 5+ women or 5+ men in their 'dating careers'? Why can't so many people get it right the first or second time? Well, what does the Armchair Theologian think? The only useful opinion is that of God on this subject; ask "what does the Bible say"? Here's some scripture that jumps to mind:

1. Ephesians 4:17-24: "So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."

How do we constantly jam-pack out mind with the futile thoughts of the Gentiles (i.e. non-Christians)? How about watching the "sexual escapades of group of single 20-something friends" shows on T.V.? Maxim magazine? Cosmo? Romance novels? Pornography? (and those are just media ideas...)

How do we 'put off our old self'? It seems clear in passages like Colossians 3:5-9 and Romans 6:6-14 that this is simply declaring war on the sinful practices in our lives. Do whatever it takes to kill that sin before it kills you (check Romans 8:12-14). What's more, in Ephesians 4:25-5:16, Paul lists a whole load of sins that believers must 'put off'.

What about being 'made new in the attitude of our minds'? In Ephesians 5:18 Paul commands the believers to 'be filled with the spirit'. Colossians 3:16 parallels being 'filled with the spirit' with 'letting the word of Christ dwell in you richly'. Also, Romans 12 (the passage that everyone quotes on this), comes right after Paul's lengthy teaching on unconditional election. After pounding through the Old Testament and hammering home some of the most difficult teaching in the Bible, Paul says "Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 'Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?'" (Romans 11:33-34) Then, after saying that, Paul says "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2). You renew your mind with the scriptures.

Then, what is 'put on your new self' refering to? Well, it should be fairly clear that putting on the new self is walking in righteousness. Stop sinning and start obeying the Lord. Ephesians 5:22-6:9 talk about righteous things that the people in Ephesus should be doing instead of sinful activities. Then, in the famous 'armor of God' passage (6:10-18), Paul gives specific advice on how to do this. The armor of God is essentially moral virtue and the scriptures. Live uprightly and educate yourself with the Bible on what living uprightly is all about.

So how does this apply to dating? Well, I'll slam through that on another post. This has turned into giving some basic foundations. In a nutshell though, I'd say that one should search through the scriptures to find what God says about sexuality, male and female roles in relationships and the home, and what God says about moral virtue. This post has taken more time that I thought, but this is what I'm thinking today! LOL! Okay. Till next time,

The Armchair Theologian

Saturday, November 06, 2004

The immanence of my stupidity and profundity...

Well, life being what it is, things always change. For example, this post. I just tried to preview it and the lost all my text...which taught me a lesson: I now have a blog (and always copy text). That's correct. I have a blog. I'm not sure what a blog is (sounds like a Korean electric car), but I have one. What does this mean? It means that the craziest guy that the first half of you have ever known and the most biblically conservative guy that the second half of you have ever known and the worst mathematician that the third half of you have ever known is now online. I don't know what to expect, but this will be an adventure into my mind with my mind to see which mind my mind minds. I hope some are entertained, some are confused, some are edified and some are enraged. (can you see which word doesn't belong?) None the less, this is just an intro post. I ancitipate some good, some bad, some deep and some dipstick things will be posted on here. I'll know when you do though. I'm going to eat pasta now. May God's grace be manifest to you all.