Archive for the ‘world view’ Category

same old lies

April 17, 2010

As I drove home this evening I was listening to an interview with Ray Kurzweil.  It was on NPR (might have been BBC – I didn’t notice the hour).  It could have been a re-broadcast as well, since a lot of Kurzweil’s talking points haven’t changed much over the years (e.g.; here and here).

His main points were that we will soon (2030) create our own next phase of evolution by manipulating our genetics and combining human biology with computer intelligence.  Technology would then make eternal life possible.

I was struck by the similarity between his comments and the first words the Bible records of Satan, (in the form of a serpent):

“Did God really say…?” [you can’t trust God]

“You will not surely die!” [there is no penalty for rebellion]

“…you will be like God, knowing good and evil” [God is holding out on you]

I know Ray is supposed to be a futurist and all, but his message sounds old to me.

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the accusative case

April 7, 2010

I was listening to a youtube by Zo Rachel of Macho Sauce Productions and realized something new.   Revelation 12:10 calls Satan “the accuser of the brethren”, and he certainly is that.  But the first accusation we know of wasn’t against man but against God.

In Genesis 3:1-5 the serpent first implies that Eve can’t trust God, and then that God is holding out on her.  His insinuation is that God somehow has a selfish purpose for keeping her from something that is her right and destiny.

As my friend Mike Johnson says, “God doesn’t owe you nuthin!”, but how many times have we sided with Satan and treated God as if he is keeping us from something good and desirable?  These days  he rarely rains down fire from heaven or has the earth open up to swallow people alive, but it’s a wonder to me how he restrains himself.  How would you feel if you’d rescued someone from certain destruction, then set them up with a nice living, only to have them hurl accusations at you?

I’ve observed mothers bound by a spirit of rejection as they attempt to pass that spirit on to the next generation.  They do it by storing up accusations against the children’s father and rehearsing those accusations regularly in the children’s ears.  Satan set the pattern for that in his first interaction with humanity, and his accusations since then haven’t weakened – or changed.

science says

January 8, 2010
photo courtesy wikimedia commons

photo courtesy wikimedia commons

When the word science comes up, I automatically treat what I’m reading, watching, or listening to as an opinion piece – like something from the editorial page of a newspaper.

Why?

If it’s in the news or in a blog, science is consistently invoked to support the author’s world view and belief system.  People quote science in exactly the way a Christian would quote a bible verse or a Muslim the quran.

If instead I’m reading a peer-reviewed journal then the author is living on grant money and has a vested interest in supporting the world-view and belief system of his funding entity.

modern alchemy

January 5, 2010

Alchemy existed for hundreds of years attempting to turn lead to gold and men to immortals.   Why did the alchemists believe they could do this?   Simply put; they vastly underestimated the nature and complexity of the universe.

I am in no sense anti-science in the sense of the scientific method of discovery.  But when I hear folks like Ray Kurzweil going on about artificial intelligence and the singularity, I think he has more chance with the lead-to-gold proposition.

motivation

November 26, 2009

Our Enemy manipulates through fear, guilt, shame, and desire-for-the-forbidden.  He uses these hooks to direct others’ decisions by remote-control.  He strives to maintain deniability.  His methods and true goal are at odds with his stated objectives.  Other people are pawns used in obtaining his own purpose.

God’s purposes are clear and clearly stated.  He is so much about communication that he nicknamed his son “The Word”.   Truth is paramount.  Relationships aren’t the means to an objective, they are the objective.  He motivates others to do the right thing regardless of the personal cost.

No matter what we say, we are in the camp of the one whose methods we use.

What’s his last name?

September 26, 2009

“What’s his last name?”, my Indian friend asked.

In India you can tell a lot from a person’s family name.  The provinces are named after the people-groups who live there.  So Andhra Pradesh is “the province of the Andhra people”.  So a family name will say where you live – or at least where your family is from.  It will suggest what language you speak.  It will say what caste you are – largely denoting a persons place in society and the economy.

His family name is “Titus”.

“Titus?  That’s not an Indian name.”

“He’s Christian.”

“Oh.  Christian names mess everything up.”

And I understood what she meant.  Indian society is ancient.  It has thousands of years of tradition dictating who a person will be, based on the family in which they’re born.  It is orderly and structured and predictable.

Christianity throws a wrench in the works.  A Christian is re-born into a new family.  Their identity in the family of God supersedes their natural family and caste. Suddenly their place in society is undefined – or perhaps, redefined.  This is certainly part of the reason for recent violent Hindu attacks against Christians.  The entitlement of the upper castes is threatened.  The freedom of the gospel is possibly more significant in India than anywhere else in the world.  Unlike Muslim countries ruled by religious councils, India is officially a democratic nation with freedom of religion.  But it seems the relatively recent democratic concepts are a thin veneer on the age-old traditions of the society.

And yes, in fact.  Christianity does mess all that up.

asa problem

February 11, 2009

the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that he may strongly support those whose heart is completely his – 2 Chronicles 16:9

this was one of the first “wow – cool!” verses i found when i began serving God and started reading the Bible.  but the context is important.  not, “God is gonna bless you real good because your heart was completely his”   but “God was really looking forward to blessing you, but you wouldn’t let him

king Asa had followed God earlier in his life, but a situation came up and he said “i can handle this“.  he was threatened by an enemy and went to rent-an-army rather than calling on God.  when the prophet came to warn him, Asa had him jailed rather than listening and repenting.

so, reminder to self: trust God.  all the way.  every situation.  i’m not big enough, smart enough, good looking enough [understatement], i don’t know enough of the “right people” to get through this thing on my own.  my only hope is a total, child-like dependence on God who created this whole thing.

trigger points

November 29, 2008

a voice is calling, “clear the way for the lord in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our god. “let every valley be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; and let the rough ground become a plain, and the rugged terrain a broad valley; then the glory of the lord will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together; for the mouth of the lord has spoken.” – isaiah 40:3-5

i know i don’t know everything this means, but i’m confident it means something.

when jesus came before, it was the preaching of john the baptist that prepared the way: “repent for the kingdom of god is at hand”. then jesus said (matthew 24:14): “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

the hour and date are in the father’s hands, but somehow we have a part to play in bringing that day.

reprint

July 1, 2008

Isaiah’s Job is a reprint of a 1936 Atlantic Monthly article about the Remnant.  A good read if you can get through it.

messed up

June 27, 2008

this interview turned my stomach.  it’s Linda Smith of Shared Hope International, talking about child sex exploitation in america.  she says a lot that’s good, and i encourage you to spend a minute to watch the interview, but the point that struck me was how we’ve come to culturally accept this epidemic.

in most cultures at most times in history, part of a family’s responsibility has been to protect their daughters.  they’ve clearly distinguished between a girl and a young woman who might be preparing for marriage.  our modern culture though, has completely blurred the line, and our fatherless society leaves young girls all too vulnerable.   and since we’ve all but given up on marriage, sex has become merely a thing that happens along the way.

we christians have become complicit by our silence