Tag Archives: Hope

Earth vs. Eden…

Rereading the book of Genesis right now, and I felt the need to post an important detail, since the mess we find ourselves in on this spinning globe springs directly from the happenings “in the beginning.”

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Notice that we were given dominion over those things outside of Eden as well as what is in the garden; the whole earth.  Why is that an important distinction?  Because what man did in the garden had massive implications to the whole world and not just that “little bit” of Eden.  When man fell, it affected everything, not just those things within the garden.  We gave up our dominion to Satan, and it took the Last Adam to take it back.

Without Christ the whole world would be lost to us, literally.  It is because of His sacrifice and His position as the Last Adam that the whole world will be remade…He made it, He’ll redeem it.  We messed it up, we messed ourselves up, and only He can fix the mess we made…and if He can fix the whole world, He can fix any of the messes we’ve made in our own lives.  For believers, there is always reason to hope; and our hope is in Him.

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Filed under Christianity, Musings, Origins, Theology

Wishful Thinking…

There is an actual fallacy in formal logic usually labeled something like “wishful thinking.”  This is when someone either accepts a claim, or urges acceptance of a claim based solely on the fact that it would be great if it were true.  Now, most times this is a lot more subtle in nature than stating the phrase outright (“wouldn’t it be great if…”), and is used by some of the best public speakers.  There is a subtle manipulation of emotion involved and it is more of an appeal to that emotion than to any type of actual logic or reality.

Now, why is this a topic for the Christian Scribbler?  I actually see this in a lot of apologetics for non-scripturally backed “Christian” religion.  What I mean by this is that a true Christian that studies the scriptures, and believes them, are a lot less likely to fall pray to this particular fallacy.  As an example there are some people who profess Christ that believe that God is like a cosmic Genie who is bound to answer every request…wouldn’t that be nice?  Wouldn’t that be the way God would operate in an ideal world?

At best, this approach is a misapplication of scripture, at worst it is idolatry; forming God into an image instead of learning of God Himself, how He really is, NOT how we would “like” Him to be or “wish” Him to be.  I see this amongst most non-believers as well.  They paint pictures of God as they wish to see Him, and then reject those pictures; you see “wishful thinking” can work the other way as well….”Wouldn’t it be great if this wasn’t true!?”  So it can apply to the rejection of claims too (again, it is a lot more subtle than this, but you get the point).  This can go hand-in-hand with the straw man fallacy.

One of the other areas I see this in is the idea of Christ alone as the approach to God.  Meaning there is this undercurrent of  “wouldn’t it be great if Christ wasn’t the only way to God, and all religions actually wind up taking people to God?”  The sad thing is, is that I see this amongst people that claim to be Christian.  The fallacy is that wishing it does not make it true.  Truth is all about reality.  With God, the fallacy of wishful thinking is even more dangerous; it elevates what we think would be best over God’s plan that is absolutely the best, since it springs from a perfect mind that has perfect power, including perfect love.  We should trust what God reveals over our own opinion about what would be “best,” for the evidence abounds that He can indeed be trusted in every circumstance to work it out to His perfect plan in His perfect timing, which winds up being best for humanity.

The reminder is this; don’t let sentimentality or wishful thinking blur truth, and just because we want something to be true doesn’t mean it is.  What we find in objective Truth is actually more wonderful, more “freeing” than anything we could ever come up with on our own.  One last thing, this fallacy is not the same thing as hope.  Hope is not a logical fallacy, hope accepts the truth, accepts reality,  and it also trusts, and expects good.  Hope makes us stronger, whereas the logical fallacy of wishful thinking actually weakens us, and our positions, because it is not based in truth.

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Filed under Christianity, Logic

Don’t forget in the dark…

Doc Scott used to teach on this idea quite regularly, and it is a fundamental idea that is so important to grasp and to hold on to.  “Don’t forget in the dark what you learned in the light.”  It seems to be a simple phrase, and it is, but it is also very profound.

At some point in most people’s lives, usually early on, we are, on occasion, afraid of the dark.  What’s usually the remedy?  At first, it is to add light.  We can be setting in bed as children with the light on, perhaps reading a story before going to sleep and our rooms are completely safe to us.  We have our bed and our curtains, our toys are just where we left them.  We feel safe and comfortable with everything there and clearly visible.

Now, when the light is shut out and it’s time to go to sleep, we shift our perception of the room.  Nothing actually changes.  Nothing.  It is all still exactly the same; our bed is there, our toys, our curtains, etc…  but, we panic because we don’t remember what it was like with the light on, all we are experiencing is that darkness and the shadows that are now in the room.

Applying this to theology is easy.  We learn all of these great lessons and reassurances in our walk of faith.  We know how wonderful God is, we learn about grace, faith, peace, forgiveness…  While things are going good for us, we are indeed content and even happy with this knowledge; we feel safe and secure.  When the “light” gets switched off, we often forget these lessons.  When things start going down hill we start to feel uneasy.  When things hit rock bottom and we are setting in the proverbial dark, that’s when we need to remember those things we learned in the light.

God is wonderful, grace exists, faith is the answer, we are loved and not alone, etc…  Nothing about these fundamental facts have changed because of our rough times. Nothing.  Yes, it’s hard, it’s a struggle.  Life is a series of bright patches, and patches of darkness.  One of the tricks to getting through the dark patches is to hold on to those things that you know to be a fact “in the light.”

As we grow older, we begin to understand that just because our nightlight is shut off, doesn’t mean that our rocking horse suddenly becomes this horrible shadowy creature…it’s still just our friendly little rocking horse.  God does lead us through life from faith to faith, and He is maturing us as we go.  If it is utterly true that He’ll never leave us nor forsake us, and we know this in good times, it is also as utterly true when we are going through horrible times as well.

What I really like about the phrase, “don’t forget in the dark what you learned in the light,” is that is it so easy to recall that you can usually bring it to mind when faced with awful situations, when you find yourself in that dark tunnel.  Now, again, it’s not an easy slogan to live by, it’s very hard, and I forget some of the stuff I learned in the light when I go through a tunnel, especially when it is a long one.  That’s one of the reasons I’m blogging about it today, and also to help remind everyone else out there going through one of these tunnels right now.

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Filed under Musings, Theology

Where two or three gather…

This is, and always has been one of my favorite verses: Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. It is one of those “simple” verses that to me, contains great truth, and comfort.

We all know that He is with us even when we are alone.  But, this verse pertains to any and all meetings that we call together in His name.  We have His direct assurance that He is with us as a group of people.  One of the most important things to note is that this verse has no limit as far as place or time.

It doesn’t matter if we are gathered in a church building, at a park, in a prison, on a boat, on top of mountain; doesn’t change the fact.  Doesn’t matter if it is Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.  He is with us when we gather in His name.  We have His promise, and we believers know that God keeps His promises no matter what.

Why else do I find this a great comfort?  Because when you read about even the angels in the Old Testament; they ran into trouble coming to the aid of the Old Testament faithful, take for example;  Daniel 10:12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

When the Lord became human, living for us, dying for us, raising for us…He took back certain…domains that Adam has lost.  The prince of the power of the air has no dominion over Christ.  The adversary cannot harass Jesus, nor keep Him from us, as he could perhaps harass the holy angels.  Jesus is with us always, as I said, and we are assured of that when we come together as believers as well.

I got really sad once reading a Roman catholic mother explain (on a Roman board that doesn’t allow non-RC’s to post) how she teaches her child about the mass…”Do you hear that bell?  When that bell rings Jesus is really and truly comes to be with us here.”  Okay…what have you just taught your child?  That Jesus is sometimes not with us, and that He did not really mean it when He said the when two or three are gathered in His name that He is already there.  Really and Truly. Doesn’t need a set of misused words such as what are said at the mass, doesn’t need a bell, doesn’t need to be in a cathedral, doesn’t need to be with a crowd.

So, never forget, He is with us, and if you want even more assurance find another believer gather together in His name, and know.  We are most assuredly not alone.

Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

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Filed under Theology