Jun 8, 2016

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Pain

Pain

“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain “Suffering is not overcome by leaving pain. Suffering is overcome by bearing pain for the sake of others” (writings of the 14th Dalai Lama) Our spontaneous reaction to suffering and pain is revulsion. We are afraid of pain and when even the possibility of suffering pain arises, we rush to find ways to eliminate this possibility. We wonder, “Why does a good God allow pain?” More than one person has rejected God, because we humans look for logical reasons when things happen, but we often see no explanation. C.S. Lewis argues that God uses pain “to rouse a deaf world.” In the film Shadowlands Lewis’ wife, Joy, teaches him that by entering into human relationships we have the possibility of experiencing love; but love inevitably and ultimately is bound up with pain and the sadness of the beloved one’s...

Oct 5, 2015

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Replacing God

Replacing God

“You are your own God -and are surprised when you find that the wolf-pack is hunting you across the desolate ice-fields of Winter” (Dag Hammerskjold, Markings) “You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God” (Satan in Gen. 3:5) There is always that primal temptation to pride- that lies in wait to surprise and hurl us down- to replace God with our “self.” We think we have cauterized that sin. Yet when we are in this condition we are also in a most dangerous state. It is extremely hard to remain conscious of that weakness in human character, and our individual and collective propensity towards dis-obedience and revolt against God; and so, it is very easy for us to hiddenly replace God with self. Do you see the trap? We are called to perform good deeds, yet the more Christ-like we become the greater this temptation grows. If that is the case, then does it follow that the more we are disgusted by our failures to do...

Sep 15, 2015

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Trinity is Hidden in the Old Testame...

Trinity is Hidden in the Old Testament

“And [the] Godhead (Elohim in Heb.) said, let us create man in our image.” (Gen.1:26) my translation/notations I find it amazing how much hidden content is jam-packed into the translation of a simple sentence. Take the sentence above, which is translated by the Jewish people, and by most Christian scholars, as, “And God said, let us create man in our image.” Now, because the Jewish people are Unitarians (they believe in a God in one person), that translation is compatible with their thinking. But as Trinitarian Christians (since we believe in a God in three persons), we ought to consider whether the translation at the top of the page might be a better way to express what God is saying. Let me explain. Surprisingly, in Hebrew several of the names for God are plural nouns; not the singular form almost always used in translation. For instance, in the sentence above, God (Elohim) is actually a plural noun. The him at the word’s end proves this fact. Now read the rest of the...

Sep 14, 2015

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As We Forgive

As We Forgive

“And whenever you pray, do not be like hypocrites…and forgive us our debts, AS we have forgiven our debtors” (Matt. 6:5,12) capital letters added for emphasis this and next verse. “Forgive us our sins, FOR we also forgive everyone who sins against us” (Luke 11:4) I wonder if we know what we are saying when we say either of these two versions of the Lord’s Prayer? There have been times when I have chosen not to pray this prayer until things have changed in my heart: Why is this? Let’s consider what this part of the Lord’s Prayer is actually asking. When we are experiencing an unforgiving spirit and yet we pray thus, we are actually asking God to retain our sins against us and not forgive our sins. In Matthew’s version the word “as” is a comparative, and in this context it means “to the same extent as” or “only in proportion as.” The word “debts”(opheilema in Greek) is the best English word we have available for the concept of “failing to do our...