Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Mutual Admiration Society

Even as a newcomer to the world of blogs and blogging I am becoming increasingly aware of the tendency for this venue to become something of a mutual admiration society for the marginalized, semi-marginalized and disenfranchised.  

Like Internet marketing, it has to some degree "leveled the playing field" and has provided anyone who yearns a  platform from which to be heard, admired and to otherwise bask in the limelight of their own self-aggrandizement and to engage in reciprocation of the same.  I regret the degree to which this awareness is autobiographical and applaud all who have avoided this pitfall.  The blogs I subscribe to are exemplary in their avoidance of this and I stand grateful, humbled and even sometimes think it's reason enough not to even have a blog myself.

Yet the snare of the mutual admiration society can be avoided and in fact become a great tool for reflection and an ontological change of perspective.

In so doing, we take our station as observers in the mighty narrative and can then maybe, finally turn away from self and begin to cast our adulation like relentless waves of memorial tribute to the One who rightfully inhabits that center - Jesus Christ and Him alone. In so doing we share perspective with the most enlightened creatures of all.

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”  And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.  Revelation 5:13-14

Yes we have a part to play in the eternal narrative, and so in one sense we're not mere spectators.   But our part is to love, to pour ourselves out as He showed us the way and to cease hankering for admiration from any other.

"even as i have loved you..." John 13:34

Friday, March 29, 2013

My God, My God! Why?


"Divine child abuse" - Christopher Hitchens

"My God, my God, why???"

In uttering this statement on the cross, the very Center of the universe howled in a moment of divine irony - God asking "why" to God.

In so doing He was reflecting the unresting, unyielding quest of philosophers and questioners from the beginning - why?

-Why suffering?
-Why warfare?
-Why death?
-Why existence?
-Why humanity?

In finding a philosophically satisfying answer, human thought has utterly failed.  The timeless, boundless "why" still permeates the corridors of our consciousness, and rides upon every fibre of our being.

But we can narrow some things down on this day, at this time, to this one "why" question, and realize at least part of the answer to Jesus' own heaven-piercing "why?"   

"For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted."  - Hebrews 2:18

In others words it was for us.  

Contrary to Christopher Hitchen's assertion of "Divine child abuse" In Him and in this moment is the defining point and origin of love, hope and forgiveness.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Christopher Hitchens Fails His Homework Once Again

Watching a Christopher Hitchens (deceased December 15, 2011) debate is like watching a master manipulator, or like a guy whose bets are on the side of collective ignorance.

As Scott Berkun observes:

...proficiency in argument can easily be used to overpower others, even when you are dead wrong. If you learn a few tricks of logic and debate, you can refute the obvious, and defend the ridiculous. If the people you’re arguing with aren’t as comfortable in the tactics of argument, or aren’t as arrogant  [or informed] as you are, they may even give in and agree with you.

And we might add that if your audience is not versed in the extant data relative to the argument, like the progressive nature of the Biblical narrative, you might appear to win the debate.   

At least the debate of popular opinion.    

But the irony strikes me as this: While the theist must (and is expected to) do their homework in many disciplines like philosophy, physics (quantum, meta and classic), history, biology, etc, the atheistic can usually get off the hook with only a casting glance at the narrative of Scripture.  If he but quotes a few verses or makes reference to just a few aspects of religious history or philosophy, he is regarded as astute and the presentation of his data pertinent and persuasive.

That's because he's got a huge advantage - the relative ignorance of Scripture with the masses, both Christian and non-Christian.  It's the day we live in.

One example is Hitchen's oft-repeated "man's been around 100,000-250,00 years-then-finally-God-acted" argument, with the obvious conclusion being that God just didn't give a damn about all the people who died and went to hell prior to the incarnation of Jesus.  How could you believe in such a God? Hitchens affirms.

It is very much akin to the familiar "what about those who have not heard?" argument so often employed to discredit the Bible, the nature of the Atonement and of Christ Himself.

While the believer must be pretty darn acquainted with everything from astronomy to quantum physics, why hasn't (or rather wasnt) Hitchens forced repeatedly to deal with verses like Romans 3:25; Hebrews 9:15; Hebrews 9:25, etc.?

These verses do say something, (the retroactive as well as present and future nature of the Atonement) and they need to be introduced into the debate even though they are admittedly in-house arguments, but then so are things like m-theory, multiverse, etc, and whatever the current argument is to sidestep the ramifications that nothing still comes out of nothing if left of itself.

C'mon believing community.  It is just, right and beautiful to be aware of depth of the content of the Logosphere, the universe in which Jesus reigns - our universe and the words of Christocentric revelation.  Then this material must be introduced into the debate. 

From this I personally will never back down.  

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Logos-Dimensional Versus Three-Dimensional

Living in a three dimensional universe, (or four-dimensional if you consider spacetime), something transfixing occurred at what the Bible calls, "the fullness of time."  Galatians 4:4.

Jesus stepped in and defined all things according to Himself.  

The "fullness of time" concept is then used by the Apostle Paul (Ephesians 1:10) to describe that point in time when all things in reality are to be concluded, again according to and in reference to Jesus, the eternal "I Am" of all things definable and indefinable.

Thus He Himself assumes the term "Alpha and Omega", (Revelation 1:8 cf. 22:13).  Prior to this point in redemptive history, that designation was reserved for God (Jehovah) alone, (Isaiah 41:4).  

In Jesus we have progress as well as the center point and hub of the human experience.  In Him is the beginning and end of all things and the nucleus of definition, an eternal reference point.  

That's why He called Himself "Cornerstone" (Luke 20:17) and was referred to as such by Peter (Acts 4:11) and  by Paul (Ephesians 2:20).    

In the ancient world, cornerstones were employed in constructing a building according to the designs of the architect.  From the cornerstone, everything else in the structure took its place and position.  

So Jesus stepped from eternity into human existence, and provided the three dimensional world a reference point for building and for understanding the cosmos - Himself.    He was in fact, both architect and builder.

Post-modern culture has its cornerstone - whatever the media defines as relevant and trendy.  Science has its cornerstone - human reason.   The Christian has his cornerstone - Jesus Christ.

But in "the fullness of time", the curtains of cosmic consciousness will be pulled back unveiling this eternal reality: there can only be one center, one hub, one defining point, 

At that sacred place is Jesus Christ.   He alone defines that and everything else.    

"...the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Friday, March 22, 2013

They're Coming to Take it Away Ha-Ha!

"the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property"

"In one word, you reproach us with intending to do away with your property. Precisely so; that is just what we intend."

The shocking quotations above from Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto reveal what progressives and the left have sought to keep quietly under wraps since the beginning.  In the cause of "fairness", their intention is to do away with distinct and cherished property rights for every individual.   

But this goal of theirs will involve "stealing."   In order to achieve the Marxist or leftist utopia, they must employ force in the removal of property from one in order to give it to another.

In this, they come directly against an ideal formulated not last week, last year or the last generation, not even with our founding fathers, but in the very foundation of the human experience itself, in fact in the ancient writings of Moses:  "thou shall not steal" - Exodus 20:15.    

The principle stands etched in stone as an abiding moral axiom which assumes at least these three ideas:

-Existence of private property
-Legitimacy of its pursuit (origin of the "Protestant work ethic")
-Consequequences if violated 

The struggle for this principle, the conflict between Marx and liberty has cost some 100 million valuable human lives in just the last century alone - ever since nations bagan to play with ideas generated in a single document written by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels.  

Can we please see these lives as something more than a statistic, and use the sorrow to fuel our fight? 


But how often do we consider "thou shall not steal"  as a foundation in our current fight for freedom?   We commonly just have have three levels of conscious formative consideration in the fight for freedom:

-Our current circumstances - we don't want to lose what we have.  While we are motivated to share, consider the poor, etc, we do NOT want government forcing our hand.
-Founding Fathers - this is our country.  The country we built, our Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence.  It's how our country is supposed to behave.
-God's clear directive: "Thou shall not steal", respect toward other's private ownership of things.

As the place of God erodes in our culture, the sanctity of private property rights does as well, and down we go.  Consequently our work ethic will continue to be replaced by the delusion of entitlement - a nation of unmotivated, hyper-dependent slaves dancing around cherished Marxian concepts.

If history affords us an opportunity to fix it, the true origin and author of private property and free markets must be honored in a new, resurgent way.

This time (as in the early Christian church), we must join a spirit of charity with private property rights, lest we once again smother by our greed, a well-founded, well loved and workable political framework - free market capitalism.  Marxism is simply not an option.

The state will never take the place of God, in our thinking at least.

"Thou shalt not steal" - and that means you, whoever you are.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Jesus - Historical Revisionist or Lord of the Narrative?

In Philippians, chapter 2, Paul weaves together a crucial piece of the eternal meta-narrative with threads of the divine and human.

"...though he was in the form of God...and being found in human form..." (Philippians 2:6-8).

Christ stepped into the narrative of man, and re-wrote it according to logos, for to Him it was but self-expression.

Since Him, everything has changed. He lived a significance of vast, eternal dimension. In fact in Him, all becomes "meta-dimensional" and explodes into mystery - at some inevitable point.

Amazingly (but understandably) He measured everything according to Himself. Everything was determined, measured from "the cornerstone", (Matthew 12:10, cf Ephesians 2:20).

He was the baseline of meaning.

All things have a logos-relative depth of meaning. Question is, do we perceive it?

If so, that's what constitutes our vision. If not, we're still just dealing with "stuff" - His stuff. And it can be dangerous to detach theory from reality, so there is need for caution. Because it is chained to and has one foot in transcendence, mere spiritual knowledge "puffs up."

Vision causes the heavens to explode. Not to mention our Bibles.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Stifling Tendency of Atheism and Dawkin's Math Problem

To atheists the concept of a god is a straightjacket; narrowing, restrictive, or like a room with an impossibly low ceiling. To finally throw off the shackles and dismiss the god concept is for them to come home, to finally breathe, to finally have a reason to exist.

Quick to deny God as a generic concept, they make the blunder of dismissing Jesus as a completely frivolous attachment. Yet in Jesus the universe of all god concepts explodes into a metaphysical expansiveness that eliminates the possibility of even thinking in terms of "walls", "stifling low things above and especially straightjackets. The "logos" concepts that come with Jesus add stunning breadth, dimension and definition to the god concept.

Not to mention other vital little aspects such as love and forgiveness (Divine and human). As relentlessly self-conscious beings, (unselfconsciously possessing moral awareness) this stuff would seem to come in pretty handy for an atheist.

So bring Him into the debate. He's already here after all. In fact He defines debate itself.

Instead, Mr atheist feels he must labor breathlessly on.


For me to be an atheist would just be way too narrow, too restrictive. It really is faith to conclude there is no god - anywhere. Yes, atheists are quick to affirm that they are just serious doubters, not permanent concluders. But their actions speak otherwise.

Drain the venom, cool down, sober up and let's talk. Sorry Christopher Hitchens, your cool, suave cleverness betrayed an impassioned little-boy urgency. Many atheists (eg, Gordon Stein, Alex Rosenberg) wear their burden upon their sleeve. You hid yours behind a glass, ice clinking, dismissive smirk.

Gosh I wish I could have had a discussion with you before you...

...died. Sorry.

I for one as a lover of freedom, must go beyond such narrow confines, always urgent to insist that atheists DO (somehow) have a foundation for morality, denials of fideism, definitions of true atheism, the urgency to ridicule, the deification (irony!) of reason, etc.

Whew! Hard work! And for one thing, I just don't have the energy!

Or maybe I'm just lazy. Jesus does offer rest after all - spiritual, if not in the end mental also, while remaining the most eternally significant, engaging and challenging of all lives ever lived.

But the atheistic is always squirming, busily setting up straw men that he can shoot down, or dragging poor 'ol modern American Christianity in as its debate partner. C'mon, you sneaky little boy! Just a cursory consideration admits that essential Christianity and modern American traditional Christianity are two very different things.

And by the way, we HAVE seen what an atheist state looks like. Dark, hollowed out, low ceilinged, democidal. Mr. Dawkins with all your smarts, you really can't count can you?

And you're not really serious are you? Please.

It takes a far bigger revisionist eraser than you have to wipe from history your Karl, Joseph, Fidel, Che, Chairman Mao, Pol, etc.

Yea, we've heard it before, "but we're different, we're nice atheists."

Don't even go there. You're smarter than that.

Own it and calm down. We reject your laborious fabrications, as well as your ideas of an atheist state.

We prefer life.