Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Friday, April 27, 2018
*Trigger Warning: Different ideas certain to offend*
**I'd just like to add a note here because I've seen a lot of condemnation of people with different opinions (especially John Piper). Please note that I did not argue that certain things are true or that others are false; I did not paint certain groups as enemies; if you intend to decry and defame me (or simply 'argue against me') then please make an argument, not a statement.
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
So, in an attempt to exemplify what an actual argument is, I offer this--no frills or filler, no ironic jabs (despite how much I wanted to). For clarification, every argument contains a 1. Premise, 2. Logical inference, 3. Conclusion. Every argument contains certain assumptions as well--EVERY argument. Example: even when I use a word, I assume that word signifies the same (or roughly similar) thing to you. It does not advance the discussion or count as more points for your side if you pretend that you aren't assuming things. It just helps you to justify yourself and not convince others. Now something should be noted as regards the specific arguments below. In the first section, I offer the conclusion that is proclaimed by the group of believers; I do not offer the conclusion that their argument actually affords. See the footnote at the end for more information.
Thursday, December 8, 2016
Friday, September 16, 2016
Adam lost his righteous son to sin-inspired death and received a new son, Seth, through God’s mercy.
Abram lost his son of promise to sacrifice in obedience to God… and received him back.
Isaac lost his son Jacob to sinful threats of retribution and estrangement… and received him back through faith in God’s promise.
Jacob/Israel lost his son Simeon to the caprice of Joseph.
Jacob/Israel lost his son Benjamin in desperate hope for life.
And he received them all back because of merciful forgiveness and faith through famine.
David lost his son Absalom to rebellion and death because of his refusal to pass judgment against oppressors or grant full mercy to avengers, and the arrogance of Absalom.
Mary lost her son Jesus to the Jews, Rome, suffering, the cross, and the tomb because of the sin of the people and the glory of God.
Lost his Son to an earthly dwelling because of his great love for us.
Lost his Son to the wrath of the Triune God because he is both just and the justifier of those who believe.
Lost his Son to the depths of human despair because he would become our sympathizer.
Because the glory of God is most clearly revealed in the person and passion of Jesus.
Because he is making all things new, reconciling to himself all things.
Because he accomplished the work he set out to do.
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Forefield fighting is the usual method by which we ordinarily fight evil. All of us have a lot of evil about us. Sometimes it rises up in awful power. I think of physical suffering or the greed for money. It takes possession of the length and breadth of our lives and breaks forth either unbridled, or in mere bad conduct, in our though, speech and behavior. We protect ourselves against evil. We battle against it. Perhaps we succeed in controlling it or suppressing it until the dam breaks and it emerges anew! And so the battle wages without success, back and forth. For, is it not true that the evil in us will not permit itself to be overthrown, annihilated or decisively defeated? It always rises up again, it always returns. For evil would long ago have been defeated and destroyed, it would have been easy to be through with it, if, yes, if, it did not always have a strong place to flee to in that fortress, if it did not receive its power of opposition from that "I" of man behind that wall so deep within us. That is why it never is completely driven from the field. What would money be, or sensuality, alcohol, or the sword of might, if man would no longer ally himself with them, if he would no longer ally himself with them, if he would not secretly consent to them? For it is only out of this alliance with man, only out of this demoniacal yes of man that these powers do suck their life-blood and their life-sap. If this inner retreat should collapse, then evil would be powerless. Therefore "Man is something that must be overcome," if evil is to be overcome....
It has often struck us how little weight Jesus put upon the differences in men, whether they were moral or immoral, pious or worldly. Undoubtedly He saw these differences better than we, but He looked beyond these differences better than we, but He looked beyond them as though He saw the enemy with whom He had basically to deal, the enemy who stood behind these other little enemies with which we often engage. He saw the good and the virtuous in good people and He did not lightly regard it. But at the same time He saw that behind all these goodly virtues there arose this absolutely unbroken line of defense which continually hinders the good from gaining a complete victory. And He, indeed, saw the darkness and the unrighteousness of the ungodly and worldly and He certainly did not call them good. But at the same time He saw, behind all their evils and ungodliness, the last stronghold which made it indeed possible for their evil and ungodliness to continue to maintain itself. And above all, He saw that this last inner stronghold is most unbroken in the pious and believing people whose piety serves to establish more firmly the defiant, crafty "I" of man. Continually Jesus realized that this inner position must be stormed. Jesus realized that this inner position must be stormed. God must be captain of this strong bulwark of man. Everything else is futile. And so Jesus never took any part in the attempts to make the world better, or in the attempts to make good triumph over evil, or to bring about the destruction of evil which is often undertaken without touching this last ultimate premise, without overcoming men, without making God first of all absolute and only king....
The man who has allowed himself to be overcome is one who makes no demands, has no surety, no rampart upon which he can depend, no wall behind which he can defend himself; he is driven out of every human position, without any human support, into an exposed spot in the midst of the profound circumstances and enigmas of life; he is hounded about, disturbed, stormed, shaken, humbled, the opposite of an assured man who has an answer for every question. Indeed, this is the man who has allowed himself to be overcome....
Sometime an hour of terrible upheaval and ruin will come to us. This no one can escapte. Against it no betrayal can avail. The only question is whether we shall, like Judas, defend ourselves against it to the utmost, only to have to encounter it finally with despair. Or, perhaps, the Cross has given us a presumption that this terrible, this impossible way, this way into very death which all of us must travel, is perhaps a way, yes, the way, which leads beyond death; a presumption that precisely there where everything about us comes to an end, there, on the other side, all things really begin; a presumption that if we but endure to the end, even out of the end, the judgment, the ruin, there might break forth the victory, the redemption. The question is whether we see some of the imperceptible light of the resurrection in which the Cross (as Rembrandt has painted it) stands. Oh, that we might see it, so that in the midst of our fears we would not fear, that we might dare to say "Yes,"--even against ourselves, to God. For that is the reason why Jesus endured death.Amen.
Excerpts taken from Karl Barth's sermon "Jesus and Judas" as found in Come Holy Spirit, p.123-136 (ed. Eduard Thurneysen).
Monday, July 18, 2016
The primary value of this book lies in its brevity & its attempt to reorient the whole mind rightly upon Christ.
No topic is exhausted, and there are several instances where I've thought, "That argument doesn't follow," or "that's an unsubstantiated claim," or "why did you use that passage when others teach the subject clearer?" but it isn't the purpose of this book to offer every viewpoint and a defense of the author's perspective. The purpose of this book *is* to help the believer "take every thought captive for Christ," to "whether eating or drinking or anything, doing all for the glory of the Lord," to "present your life as a sacrifice which is your reasonable response of worship," to "consider all things joy." But perhaps I should stop quoting and just write bluntly:
Do you suffer from the tedious and mundane? Has life sapped the joy from the things you do?
This book is for you.
Kalas writes with a view to the subjects we too often neglect, and he writes in a way that causes you to rethink why you've dreaded your morning commute, sped through your shower, regretted your sleep on the weekends. Kalas invites you to pause,
and learn to enjoy God in everything.
*I received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
**This review has been crosslisted on Amazon, Goodreads, NetGalley, and my blog.