Apothegms and Observations XXX

  1. Kierkegaard had many good things to say, but he did not often enjoy God.
  2. Theology is a progressive science.
  3. I will vehemently defend the fragile love of scientific progress that Western culture has recently produced, and I will vehemently declare that scientific progress alone does nothing for human joy or values.
  4. Systematic theology depends on the data of biblical theology. The data of biblical theology is produced with an assumed systematic theology. Hence the term “hermeneutical spiral“.
  5. Peace is a virtue and a gift.
  6. Unity is an end in itself, because it is beautiful to God.
  7. Reconciliation is an end in itself, because it is beautiful to God.
  8. With a nod to Ed Welch, all psychology research has a bias of being done within a modern, Western, technological society that shapes our psyche.
  9. A lack of understanding often produces shame. This ought not to be so. The ones who do understand, take care not to be the origin of this shame.
  10. I want no part in a religion that gives honor only to the work of the priest, and not to the work of the car mechanic.
  11. Epistemology is where the difficulty of philosophy lies.
  12. Feeling shame and feeling guilt are not the same.
  13. If your love of God does not encourage you to love the people around you, and instead causes you to be dissatisfied with them, then you do not know the God you love.
  14. Modern Islam seems to me to be profoundly different than the Islamic sacred text. The Quran is highly poetic, while Islam is highly rigid and legal. It creates mechanical minds, which is why Islam’s only contribution to the world has been in mathematics.
  15. The Quran is surely beautifully written, and Muhammad surely had a sense of God’s holiness. But just as surely, the Quran is not a good thing. It does not condemn domestic violence and says that Allah created evil in order to test us. What kind of society would this produce? I would much rather listen to the Analects.
  16. “What kind of soul would this worldview produce?” This is a good test, though it has pitfalls, not the least of which being that it is wholly individualistic. “What kind of society would this worldview produce?” This is a better test, especially when one eye is on the art of the society.
  17. Where there is no movement, there is no life. Only a dead thing is utterly settled.
  18. What is the most sure method of foisting doubt upon an idea, and the most hilariously empty? By invoking the omnipotent “problematic.” I will give you a hint: all deeds and all words and all thoughts can be called problematic.
  19. It is not wise to be dogmatic about every issue. It is foolish to be dogmatic about no issues.
  20. When a Muslim is asked what the purpose of life is, he answers that it is to know and worship God. When a Muslim is asked what the rationale is behind submitting to God’s will and following the law, he answers that those who believe and obey will be rewarded in Heaven according to their deeds. Islam cannot decide whether the purpose of life is God or pleasure.
  21. The $6 rotisserie chicken is truly a wonder of our time.
  22. I chuckle when the progressive thinker denounces other people who set up a binary of Us and Them, and treat others as Others. What has he just done, except set up a binary of Us and Them, and treated the other as the Other? Sartre meant it as a natural and inescapable result of interacting subjectivities.
  23. Three fourths of the difficulty is figuring out the right purpose, not how to accomplish that purpose.
  24. A life without play is a misery.
  25. The healthy person can laugh at the things he would die for.
  26. “I think materialism is true.” In that case, what exactly do you mean by the words “I” and “think”? Are they not reducible to illusion?
  27. Never grumble.
  28. When a Muslim is asked what the rationale is behind submitting to God’s will and following the law, he answers that those who believe and obey will be rewarded in Heaven according to their deeds. We may conclude that he believes that satisfaction and fulfillment are found in pleasure. Yet, when a Muslim is asked if we should pursue pleasure on earth, he answers that pleasure is a distraction from doing God’s will. The fulfillment of life is pleasure, but on earth, we deny ourselves pleasure. That is, we deny ourselves fulfillment. Thus, the Muslim cannot feel fulfilled while he is on earth. By comparison, Piper reminds us that Christianity is a divinely oriented hedonism.
  29. Sprinkled all over Creation are hints of the Truth, which find their completion in Scripture. This is how it can be that only Scripture is the Truth, and yet truth can be found in many places.
  30. In the realm of orthodoxy, there is some nuance. In the realm of orthopraxy, there is much nuance.

4 thoughts on “Apothegms and Observations XXX

  1. The contrast between #20 and #21 actually made me laugh out loud on the second floor of the library. #25 will occupy my mind for a while, I think. #7 is convicting. #10 is relatable. Your thoughts are very valuable, and I’m really glad you choose to share them on here. Thank you for being you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. #9 – I would argue though that willful ignorance, making no effort to understand, should bring some degree of shame. Simple doubt is different, as doubt is crucial in altering the status quo for the better.
    #21 – Totally agree
    #27 – Two words that are so hard to follow

    As always, thanks for sharing your thoughts with the world

    Like

    1. Good point about number nine; I completely agree. I should have referenced more of Jude, instead of the one verse I am specifically talking about. The majority of Jude is about false teachers, and about how bad they are. Against them, Jude calls us to persevere in the faith. After telling us to persevere, he tells us to “Have mercy on those who doubt.” They are doubting because of the prevalence of false teachers. This is a huge reason why false teaching is so bad — it affects many others. But instead of shaming and getting frustrated with those who are confused and do not fully understand, we are meant to have mercy on them. That is what I meant.

      Liked by 1 person

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