Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Is God Safe? That question was answered by C.S. Lewis years ago. No, God is not safe, but He is good. God must be more than a bigger version of ourselves. After all He not only has the power to create, He also contains within His mind the information needed to form the universe. Consider the various aspects of how the universe works; the complexities of even the simplest systems and you get an idea of how awesome God must be. Nothing about that kind of power and knowledge can be viewed as safe for us lesser beings.

There remains the question of His goodness. I believe we can find that in His granting us the freedom to act independently of Him. Living in a society attempting to elevate tolerance to the pinnacle of virtue, I find it strange that people condemn God for being just that. Rather than seeing His love in the gift of free-will, many use it as a reason to reject God, or deny His goodness and power. Could it be that what we are really after is freedom from consequences and that is what many actually want from God? May that be the reason tolerance is rejected when it is God who is the tolerant one?

The universe we live in allows us to predict results from discreet actions. That is an evidence of absolutes. Absolutes make for a safer means to freely navigate through our temporal existence. God made it that way as a sign of His love for us. Granting free will in a universe devoid of absolutes would be cruel. That fits better with a world built by chance rather than one designed by a benevolent God.

Friday, February 20, 2004

Embracing the position that absolutes do exist is not enough if one is seeking to build a rational based world view. That is the first step, but then the task of identification must be dealt with. What absolutes truly are? I suspect the reason behind the shift to existentialistic world views was driven more by discomfort with what might be true than anything else. What if God exists? Can I know what God would be like? What is suggested by the observable universe? These questions can lead to some pretty scary conclusions.

Steven Hawkings (A Brief History of Time) posits that prior to the initial expansion of the universe, nothing we know of physics applies. When there is no four dimensional space there is no such thing as time and no physical laws to shape what happens. He consciously steps away from the possibility that here is where God figures in and seeks another answer. No criticism of Mr. Hawkings is intended, that is how he wants to handle the questions. I believe he realizes that something did not spring from nothing and honestly hopes to find an answer in within a materialistic framework.

No one can rule out the possibility of God and remain objective. Therefore this point remains, if God does play the key role in pre-time; what kind of capabities must He have? He not only conceives the idea of creation, but He is able to perceive the details in the timeless existence outside of a material universe. He is then able to execute His idea with a precision that staggers the imagination. Is it safe to get close to such a one as this?

Monday, February 16, 2004

The modern non-rational way of looking at the world was born out of the realization that without the anchor of absolutes, reason alone could not give meaning to life. Rather than abandoning relativism, philosophers held to their presuppositions, but continued to seek meaning. Thus we were led to existentialism and the variations that later came from it. The real issue is the foundational presuppositions. What is truth?

The perceived absence of absolutes honestly leaves us without hope of finding meaning even in the undefined experience of the moment. However, reality gives us hope of absolutes and the meaning which can be found in them. The universe does not give evidence of chance being the driving force behind it. Even the proponents of the natural world view admit to the appearance of intelligent design. Their rejection of a designer is rooted in their preferred presuppositions and not truth.

But, how safe is it to believe that one’s opinions can alter reality? The modern lives and dies with his opinions. Western culture has elevated opinion to a position equal with truth. Polls are now as much the news as the events behind them. Reason takes a back seat to preference. What a wacky way to live. Would it not make more sense to establish a link to the anchor of absolutes? At the least we should take an honest look at truth. An objective investigation would seek without a predetermined outcome in mind. Establish the correct presuppositions first and let the train run.

Friday, February 13, 2004

I started this blog with a discussion point about the tendency to view old things as inferior to new things and how it impacts our actions. There is, for many, a strong attraction to be out in front, cutting edge; to be in our own minds - different. Truthfully, almost no one ever is. Original thought is extremely rare and rarely embraced. We are for the most part, behind the times running to catch up with the event horizon of change.

It is interesting to me is that the dominant world view today (materialist naturalism) is embraced out of preference rather than reason. Dissent is not acceptable because, ironically, it would mean you are different and that is dangerous when dealing with ideology based belief structures. (So much for original thought) Lacking a rational base the only defense remaining is vitriol (hateful speech) and volume. This is nothing more than ideological bigotry. Tolerance is demanded because debate cannot be survived.

Dennis Prager, reflecting on his days in grad school, pondered; "Why did so many learned and intelligent professors believe so many foolish things?" (Dec. 2, 2003 column, Townhall.com) I agree with his conclusion, there is a growing opposition to belief in God. Mr. Prager rightfully points out Psalm 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Despite the protests of the naturalist, belief in God gives grounds for the exchange of ideas. It is because reality was intelligently designed that we have hope of understanding it.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

A Lutheran pastor, the Rev. Steven Robertson resigned as pastor of his church after pledging his allegiance to Vulcanus Rex, god of fire. He did this as part of St. Paul’s Winter Carnival last year. Now he claims the fellow members of his Krewe are more Christ like than his former parishioners.
(Report taken from Taste Page of the Opinion Journal)

Makes you wonder what he believes Jesus Christ is like. It is doubtful he holds a Biblical view of who Jesus is, otherwise he would find it difficult to swear allegiance to a pagan deity even in jest. Again, the individual’s world view comes into play.

The real issue here is the identity of Jesus Christ. If He was a mere man the good Rev. Robertson is free to make such a move without fear of consequence. If, on the other hand, Jesus is who He claims, God incarnate, then Robertson just stepped out on some very thin ice. (pun intented)

Friday, February 06, 2004

“If you must make a choice between heresy and schism, always choose heresy.” Quote taken from Episcopal Bishop Peter James Lee‘s comments at the annual meeting of his diocese as reported by Chuck Colson.

Bishop Lee was defending his position on the appointment of a practicing homosexual as a Bishop in the Episcopal Church. The philosophical underpinning for his decision in that matter is, to me, the more troubling issue. Truth is knowingly cast aside in the attempt to stay in time with the pendulum of cultural mores. Quite likely, Bishop Lee does not consider his position as really heretical, but is merely using religious language. People often do that as our society today is largely built on secular assumptions; one of which is that religion is not rational and therefore should flex with the times.

I offer this as evidence of how powerful world views are. If we fail to lay the foundation of a proper world view then truth becomes a moving target. Bishop Lee seems to think ideology should be the guide. I don’t happen to believe his world view lines up with reality.

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