Monday, April 30, 2012

30 Reflections at 30

My 30th birthday was a few weeks ago, and, although I am a bit late with this, I thought I would offer 30 reflections:

  1. Jesus is King.
  2. Marry up. I did.
  3. I love being a father. Love.
  4. I would rather watch major sporting events from my chair than the stadium/arena/etc.
  5. I am far too sinful.
  6. God is far too gracious to me.
  7. The New Testament ought to be read from a 1st century cultural background, not a 21st century American background.
  8. Life is short.
  9. Death is certain.
  10. Music is medicine for the soul.
  11. I need to be less selfish.
  12. I need to spend less time on Facebook, and more time face-to-face.
  13. God is sovereign over the smallest cancer cells and the largest supernovas.
  14. Education is important.
  15. I look better with a beard.
  16. As much as I have wanted to be (and tried to be) a musician for the first 30 years of my life, I now realize that I am not a musician, and I am ok with that.
  17. There is no absolute way to prove Christian theism; however, there is also no absolute way to disprove Christian theism. It is about cumulative plausibility.
  18. I hope to spend the remainder of my years teaching, writing, and discipling.
  19. I am finally comfortable in my own skin.
  20. Family is important.
  21. God is good.
  22. Money is the root of evil.
  23. Ask questions.
  24. Do not be afraid to doubt.
  25. Be humble.
  26. Do not be afraid to admit that you are wrong.
  27. The more I learn, the more I realize I do not know.
  28. The flavor vanilla is under-appreciated.
  29. Thinking rightly matters.
  30. Jesus is King.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Questions

This semester my Intro to Philosophy classes were required to write a thesis defense paper interacting with the arguments for the existence or non-existence of God, so my question to you is:

Can you ultimately prove either the existence or non-existence of God?

Monday, April 16, 2012

At the Intersection of Faith and Suffering

For the most part, my life has been served to me on a silver platter. I am a white, upper-middle class, educated male living in the United States of America. I have a beautiful wife, a heart-melting two-year old daughter, steady employment, and all kinds of career opportunities and aspirations. In a certain sense, it doesn’t get any better than this.

During these times, I find it easy to reflect upon and discuss the wonderful truths of God’s goodness and sovereignty while nicely tucked away in a suburban Starbucks.

But then the silver platter teeters…

The seemingly charmed life stumbles…

In short, 2012 has not been kind to my family. Between nagging health issues, continued failures at pregnancy, and, most recently, the deaths of two close family members, it seems that suffering has invited itself over for a long visit.

How should my family respond to this?

How should I respond to this?

When the “rubber meets the road,” does my “coffee shop theology” actually affect my response, or is it merely an abstract theological concept to be left next to my cafĂ© Mocha?

To be sure, suffering is a concept that, specifically as Americans, we distance ourselves from. And, although it would seem appropriate to not seek suffering, it also seems that by distancing ourselves from suffering we are, in fact, distancing ourselves from a major theme within scripture.

So, how can my family be helped during times of suffering?

How can I be helped?

One of the most helpful biblical concepts to reflect on during times of suffering is that Jesus is King. If I believe that Jesus is King, the corollary is that he is supreme and sovereign over everything (Job 42:2; Ps 115:3; Eph 1:11; James 4:15), including my suffering. When Satan presented himself before God, he was only able to inflict suffering upon Job to the extent permitted by God (Job 1:12; 2:6). Therefore, if we affirm that God, in Christ, is supreme and sovereign over everything, including our suffering, then we must trust him, even during the dark times of the soul.

Moreover, we have the greatest example of suffering, namely Jesus Christ. Paul declares to the Philippians that Jesus was obedient to God, even unto death on a cross (Phil 2:8). Through this death, Jesus endured both physical and spiritual suffering. In considering just the actual crucifixion, we are able to merely glimpse the physical suffering endured by Jesus.

Indeed more so, Jesus endured spiritual suffering. God poured out his wrath on Jesus in order that we might have reconciliation with God. In these moments of spiritual suffering, Jesus must have embraced a terrible anguish as he endured the terrible wrath of God (Is 53:10; Rom 5:9; 2 Cor 5:21).

Therefore, if Jesus, the only one worthy and deserving enough to not suffer was willing to be obedient in his response to God, even unto physical death and spiritual separation, who am I to not also respond in humble obedience? May God grant unto my family the grace, mercy, peace, and understanding to follow in the footsteps of Christ.

May God also grant unto you these things when suffering visits.

God, grant us hope.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Questions

Do Adam and Eve have to be historical figures?

What are the theological implications if they are, in fact, not historical?