Tuesday, March 29, 2011

new blog

check out my new blog! www.twox2.blogspot.com

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Just before bed

Sometimes I get to caught up in my own intellect that I forget to stop and be thankful. I start trying to think of proofs for God, and theological conundrums that I often miss the God that exists absolutely and surely. I start only seeing systematic theology and miss the God behind it. I take all of the THEO out of my OLOGY.

It's late. I'm tired.

Thanks for the great day God.
Thanks for being consistent, even when I'm not.
Thanks for sustaining me.
Help me to have a heart for those in need.
Change me from the inside out.
Help me to live your word.

Psalm 3:5
I lay down to sleep; I wake up again, because the LORD sustains me.

Thanks again.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Food for thought: Anselms Ontological Argument

In my history of Philosophy class this year we studied St. Anselm who has the craziest argument for the proof of God. Before I explain it to you I must preface it by saying that it doesn't specifically prove the Judeo-Christian God Yahweh, although the more you dig into the argument the more it does look like Yahweh. Also, in Anselm's version he refers to God as "The being that than which non greater can be conceived" for times sake and because I'm lazy we will be referring to him as the "Greatest Conceivable Being" or GCB. The argument consists of nine premises which I will lay out, anything said in brackets is my attempt to explain some of the more difficult premises. Here we go.

1) Things can exist in 2 ways: in the mind, and in reality (this actually turns into 4 possible ways to exist: In the mind and in reality, in the mind and not in reality, not in the mind and in reality, not in the mind and not in reality [this last one sounds weird, but think of it like this, a bowing 747 jet did not exist in the mind or in reality 1000 years ago, but it is still a thing which exists] this bracket is not actually important for the initial argument, I just think it's interesting.)

2)The GCB (Greatest Conceivable Being) can possibly exist in reality (in that it is not a completely absurd concept like a square circle.)

3) The GCB exists in the mind (we can think of it)

4) Anything that exists in the mind and possibly in reality might be greater than it is (in that, Superman, as he exists in my mind is pretty awesome. But how much greater would he be if he were real!)

5) The GCB only exists in the mind (this is the atheists summation)

6) The GCB was possibly greater than it is (this is based on premise 2 and premise 4)

7) The Greatest Conceivable Being is a being that than which a greater being is conceivable (a GCB that exists only in the mind, is by definition not the greatest CONCEIVABLE being, because to exist in reality is a conceivably greater quality than to exist in the mind only.)

8) It is false that the GCB exists only in the mind

9) thus, the GCB exists in both the mind AND in reality.

So there you have it. I've run it over several times, trying to find the fault in the argument, because although I believe in God, this just seems to easy or ridiculous, in that if we can think of the GCB he must exist. As of yet however, all of my attempts have been thwarted by logic. Most people will attack the argument based on premise 2, saying the GCB could not possibly exist in reality, however their argument usually falls through as most people don't like to deny the possibility of God, even if they don't believe in God.

So what do you think? Is this argument sound or is it simply the drabble of some old Catholic Saint? give reasons for your acceptance or objections.

I love Philosophy.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The real Jesus

It's coming up to Christmas time, so I felt it appropriate to talk about this. Often times I get so bogged down in systematic theology, or school, or the stress of everyday life that I forget that Jesus was real. I forget that, although he was God, he actually came down, lived among us, felt all the feelings we feel, went through much of the same crap we do. In his book "The Irresistible Revolution" Shane Claiborne says, "It becomes hard to know who Jesus really is, much less to imagine that Jesus ever laughed, cried, or had a poop that smelled" (Claiborne 37). Sometimes I get so caught up in meaninglessness that I forget God really came. I base my faith on emptiness instead of fullness of God. Christians (especially Baptists [I'm a Baptist]) get sidetracked by correct order of service or denominational policy and polity, that they (we) forget that if Jesus didn't come, die, and rise again, if he isn't real, then this all means nothing!

1 Corinthians 15:1-2 (NIV)
Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

Paul lays it out. If things didn't happen they way we think, then this is all in vain. But I am taking it a step farther. If we don't acknowledge that these things happened, if Christ is not REAL, then this is all in vain.

About a year ago I fell away from God in the exact way I'm talking about. I got too caught up in meaninglessness and emptiness that I missed the fullness of God. My crisis of faith revolved around the fact that I could find no one, not even myself for whom God was real. I could find no one who took the red words and lived them out. I could find no one who in essence, seemed changed by what they learned through God. Now part of it was that I couldn't see the realness of Christ in others because I didn't know how to look. Eventually my wife and I started doing a daily Bible study, and I began to be confronted with the very realness I was lacking. I had to make important decisions, namely, was I going to be changed by this, or was I going to continue on in empty vanity.

Was Jesus born on December 25th, Year 0? No. But through a cataclysm of historical ironies we celebrate his coming on that day... or at least we should. I pray for you this Christmas that you discover the meaning of this holiday, that Christ is real. This really happened, if it didn't then this is all just pointless and we should avoid the headache. In this discovery I pray that you will find the fullness of God, and never be separated from it. That it might change you, for the better, and for the better, and for the better.

Ephesians 3:9 (NIV)
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Philippians 1:6
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Go, and be blessed and be changed by the realness and fullness of Christ. Oh, and Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Damnation of the Fence Sitter

Revelation 3:16 (NIV)
So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth

Okay, okay. I know. Because I am neither hot nor cold God will spit me out of his mouth, right? But honestly, when it comes to evolutionism and creationism, I just don't see why I should care. I am completely on the fence. I don't think it is completely out of the realm of possibility that God could have caused a big bang or caused evolution. On the other hand, I don't think it's completely ridiculous to think that God, in his infinite ability could create the world in seven days. Part of me thinks it's naive to limit God either way. So how was the Earth created? How was man created? I don't know. I wasn't there. I can't see why it matters either. The defining feature of my faith is not how man was created, it's how man was saved. I don't know whether the Earth is 6,000 years old or 6 billion years old. What I do know is that 2,000 years ago God the father was embodied in the flesh, lived among us, and suffered and died for our sins in accordance with the words of the prophets. He was then raised from the dead, giving us new hope for our own future resurrection, at which point he ascended into heaven, leaving his spirit among us to guide us. That is what drives my faith. Once I have grasped that fact, anything else becomes almost futile. Perhaps then our energies could be better spent talking to people about Christ and spreading that gospel rather than squabbling pettily about evolutionism and creationism. Maybe I'm too idealistic. Maybe I'm not idealistic enough. I just feel like somewhere along the way, in the name of “preserving our values”, we seem to have lost them. Then again, what do I know? I'm just a damned fence sitter.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


It's hard for me to rest. I can't do it. I get all antsy. The first vacation that Sarah and I ever took was consumed by thoughts and dreams of work. dreams for crap sake! But I got over it, I told the working world that I need a sabbath, and they complied with little resistance.

Exodus 20:8
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

What's that? School work counts as work? But God, you don't understand, this is due on Wednesday, and I have to work Monday, so today is really the most convenient time for me to read this...

It's just built in. Years of living in North America has ingrained this workworkwork feeling into my brain. This country of lost sabbath has tricked me into feeling guilty if I'm not busy.

Why can't I just trust you God? You've never let me down before, and yet I'm so hesitant. I should trust that you've made time in the week for me to read, that you've made my mind in such a way that I'll be able to read fast and comprehend everything I've read.

Genesis 2:2
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.

We have created a world of instant gratification. A world where there is always more work, and it needs to be done now.

God created the world in 6 days and on the 7th day he rested.

We have created a world where it is always day number 6 and never day number 7.

Day after day it is just 6,6,6...

And it is written on my forehead as I think about all the work I have to do instead of reflecting on the words of the Most High.

And it is written on my hands as I work on the holiest day of the week.

So here is my trust my hope and my prayer; that you have made me a competent person Lord, that you have made me industrious enough to read all I need to, and do all I need to in 6 out of 7 days. Here is a whole day for you, a day sacrificed to you, torn away from the altar of overtime. Preserved and dedicated for me and you.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

How the trinity doesn't work

Now I realized after I came up with the title for this blog that it sounds a little misleading. I am not intending in this article to shoot down the concept of a holy trinity, I am not trying to disprove or discredit it. It is a concept I believe in, all be it hard to wrap my head around. I will get into exactly what the title means in a little bit, but first I need to tell you about my philosophy class at Tyndale.

Philosophy is great, it's probably my favorite subject ever, and what's even better is I'm good at it. I'm the guy in the corner of the coffee shop reading Nietzsche for fun. Anyway, I was in philosophy class and we were talking about truth, namely objective truth verses relative truth which lead to a brief diatribe about self defeating sentences. (like if some one was to say "all truth is relative" their statement would be self defeating due to the fact that it was presented as a truth, which is relative.) In any case the subject of the trinity came up, and my prof addressed some common analogies for the trinity that although are widely taught, are in essence heretical.

The first analogy likened the trinity to water. Water can appear in a liquid state (water), a hardened state (ice) or a gaseous state (evaporation), three different states that are all different, but at a base level the same
heresy! ha ha.
The problem with this argument is that in each state the water had to change.

Hebrews 6:17
Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.

God is unchanging! If the water then changes it can not be like the trinity!

In the second example the trinity was likened to an egg. The egg has a shell, a yoke and a white, three parts one egg.
To crack the egg metaphor (if you will excuse the pun) you need to isolate all parts of the egg. If one was to crack an egg and dispose of the yoke and the white, but hang on to the shell, would they still have an egg? If someone were to crack an egg into a siv, and separate the yoke from the white, and throw away the shell so that all they had left was the yoke, would they still have an egg?

John 10:29-30
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one."

Jesus was both fully human and fully God! A shell by itself is not an egg, but a Jesus by himself is still God.

After the prof said all this one woman in the class just about lost it. The prof had shattered the poor woman's faith.

"If you take away our egg metaphor," she said "How will we explain the trinity to new Christians or children? What metaphor can you give us that stands up to theology?"

"I don't know" said the prof. "I don't have one."

"Then how can you stand there and tell us not to use the egg metaphor?" she seemed quite distraught.

"Well. I don't have a good metaphor for the trinity... but I don't think we should tell people things that are not correct! Do you?"

that's when I started to think about how I would describe the trinity. And I realized I couldn't. The easiest way of describing it is just how it's laid out in the Bible. There is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. They are all God, the same God. There is no polytheism here, just three dimensions of God that are always. That last part might not make sense to you, but trust me, it's the best way of saying it, they are always.

Now if you need to know the inner functions and how exactly the trinity works I can't tell you that. What I can tell you is how exactly the trinity doesn't work.
#1: It doesn't work like an egg, because when isolated the 3 components of the egg no longer make an egg, but God is always God, no matter which form he is working in. He is 3 in one.
#2: It doesn't work like water, because when water turns to ice it goes through a physical change, and God is unchanging, also like the egg, when water changes to ice it is not also water, but Jesus is also God.

So there you have it. How the trinity doesn't work. exactly.