Apothegms and Observations XXVII

  1. Art that bestows beauty to regular life is great art indeed.
  2. Empathy without hope is a worshiped idol, just as powerless as a carved stone. Empathy in context is immensely powerful.
  3. Emerging from depression can create survivor’s guilt.
  4. The rare man with no resentment in his heart is to be imitated.
  5. To read several online articles that debate global climate change is not to become educated on climate change.
  6. Life does not wait for you to be ready for it.
  7. If you only listen to your heart, you will never finish anything. If you only to listen to your brain, you will never start anything.
  8. Jesus does not leave us with an endlessly guilty conscience, yet he does not leave us content in our sins.
  9. TD Jakes said it well, “Some men are not articulate enough to say it, some are not thoughtful enough to speak it, and most are too private to admit it, but it is real hard to be a man.”
  10. It is not wise to rush to conclusions. A fast thinker is not a deep thinker. Why? Cognitive bias.
  11. We’ve all got pressures: school, work, friendships, children, a spouse, self-control. Do not add to these pressures unnecessarily, but instead seek to give strength to others who must learn to live with these pressures.
  12. It is sin to insist on your own importance in the life of another. This is an exceedingly hard saying.
  13. Who has more understanding, the renown public speaker with two divorces or the anonymous blue collar worker with happy children?
  14. The more I consider it, the more I believe that the Internet encourages an unhealthy psychology.
  15. What is success? Why do we distract ourselves with things we know are not the answer?
  16. When a person endures endless ad hominem attacks, he is unlikely to be in a listening mood.
  17. When a person receives no empathy, he is unlikely to be in a listening mood.
  18. There is not only tragedy, but evil. There will not only be final restoration, but final victory.
  19. To respect a man is to say to him, “I would be comfortable being led by you.”
  20. It is difficult to know what the world was like before we were born.
  21. An unasked word of sincere encouragement goes a long way.
  22. I once heard that insecurities come in three types: A feeling of helplessness, a feeling of hopelessness, and a feeling of worthlessness.
  23. If each other is all we’ve got, then we haven’t got real Hope.
  24. It is tricky to read the Bible as literature when we live in a time when the predominant methods of literary interpretation find their origin in postmodernism. However, it is essential that we read the Bible as literature.
  25. The Christian walk is not about perfection. It is about maturity.
  26. Sex is about gifting your body to another for their pleasure, while lust is about taking the body of another for your pleasure. Sex is about glorying in intimacy with a person you love, while fantasies are about glorying in an imagined and controlled person who worships you. Sex is communicating, “I am committed to being with you, supporting you, challenging you, and caring for you, until death do us part,” while pornography and masturbation are communicating, “You, person on the screen, exist for my use, and I will discard you once I have orgasmed.”
  27. For the modern Christian, there are perhaps three difficult questions. 1. “God, why don’t you stop all the sin and suffering? Buddhism seems better for that.” 2. “God, why don’t you make your existence tangible to me? Science seems better for that.” 3. “God, why didn’t you make a scripture that isn’t haunted by fundamental questions of authority and meaning? Islam seems better for that.”
  28. With a nod to Leo Strauss, if ethics is entirely determined by each individual, then it is not objectively unethical to oppose a person’s ethics; it is objectively irrational. Utter freedom of self-expression becomes the only rational option. An accusation of intolerance is not an accusation of immorality, but of stupidity.
  29. “To have a functioning society, we must have a concept of justice. But if so many disagree so fundamentally on the nature of justice, then is it unknowable? So, we must individually create our own concepts of justice.” What is our functioning society, then? All political action must be only an attempt to impose your view on others, which, when it becomes self-conscious, means an attempt to dominate others. The Benevolent Authority becomes a hilarious absurdity, and cynicism can be named realism without self-deceit.
  30. Disagreement with a group’s assumption that is difficult to place is often misidentified as a lack of awareness, and disregarded.
  31. Epistemological despair often leads to metaphysical nihilism, but this is not a necessary step. It is only a spiritually likely one.
  32. It is important to consider whether Adam and Eve were historical or literary figures, because this may greatly impact how we are to read the Scriptures. However, it is more important to remember that He made creation to be very good, that humanity has Fallen, and because of this, I used to be dead in my sins, but I have now been made alive in Christ, so that I may live out the soli deo gloria by loving God and loving others, which includes sharing in Christ’s suffering, practicing humility, giving to the poor, caring for the widows and the orphans, worshiping in spirit and truth, excelling in the tasks that I have been given, practicing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, learning to be content in all stations of life, bringing others to a knowledge to Himself, not neglecting to meet with other Christians, establishing myself in a spirit of unity and peace, cultivating a heart that delights in wisdom, trusting in God’s timing and actions and what He allows, and enjoying the good gifts he gives me, yet I still fail to do this, but he has not only saved me, he has adopted me, so though all my best works are like filthy rags, I can still boldly approach the throne of grace, to find forgiveness and love, which heals my pained conscience, and reminds me that not only am I working strenuously towards sanctification, but he is working in me as well, …

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