Apothegms and Observations XXXII

  1. The man of understanding is patient with another who does not understand.
  2. Often, confusion comes before understanding.
  3. It is no good to point out all the ways we find our worth in empty places if we do not show the way in which we can find our worth in Jesus.
  4. The bookworm with a disgust for athletics is the same as the jock with a disgust for literature. Neither are willing to leave their own culture, and neither are able to look past the fans to the deeper beauty of what they are celebrating.
  5. Romance is adventure, and dangerous. To be afraid of risk is to be unable to embrace romance.
  6. A life without sacrifice is a life without love.
  7. It seems to me that much of maturing is letting go of fear.
  8. To avoid what is dangerous is to avoid God, for the LORD is a warrior.
  9. All the celebrated Great Ones of modern philosophy are trying to find an answer to this question: “Since the sentimental, romantic, imaginative, religious view of the world has been smashed to pieces, how are we to embrace authenticity, but avoid nihilism?”
  10. The appeal to church tradition is powerful because our doctrine was not created by us via the scientific method, but given to us via divine revelation.
  11. The cultural environment of our world is not the corrupted Catholic environment of the Reformation, but the pagan environment of the early church.
  12. Do I worship Him with my whole life? Do I believe in His words with my whole mind? Do I delight in Him with my whole heart? These questions are never finished.
  13. Addiction is slavery.
  14. Slavery to God is freedom.
  15. I always recommend expanding your taste in festivals.
  16. It seems to me that the more Christian your soul becomes, the more you will love all aspects of Culture. Art, ceremony, athletics, cuisine, poetry, romance.
  17. Culture was provided by God to be a joyous human activity. To hate any aspect of Culture is usually to react to the idolatry of others. But this reaction is a rejection of a happy gift from God, and very dangerous.
  18. If I express my enjoyment of something for no moralistic reason, without a thought of you, but only because I enjoy it, then you will be curious. If I enjoy something because it is very spiritual to enjoy it, or because everyone else does and I want to fit in, or because I want to proselytize you by taking control of your soul and making it enjoy the thing I enjoy, then you will tend to dislike that thing.
  19. It is impossible to force someone else to enjoy something.
  20. A correct view of authenticity does not despise imagination. A respect for what is real should not negate a love of what is imagined. This Is Us does not destroy The 13 Clocks.
  21. When you delight in the work of Christ, then you realize that oak trees and stars are delightful as well.
  22. Wisdom joys in imagined faerie tales, and understands desolation.
  23. Living authentically is living truthfully. It is living with ideas and purposes for actions and being that are in accordance with reality; reality of yourself and reality of the universe’s story. The existentialists value living with authenticity, the Stoics valuing living with authenticity, the Easterns value living with authenticity, and the religious value living with authenticity. The whole question is about what is real. Does imagination, story, legend, mythology depart from what is real? Or does it remember what is real? Does suffering show us what is real, or does it distract us from a deeper reality? When the materialist lives authentically, he is endlessly downcast, just trying to get by. When the Christian lives authentically, he has a whole range of emotions, from grief to laughter to shame to triumph to contentedness to doubt to joy.
  24. Perhaps the most important function of history is the remembrance of God’s good works.
  25. The topic of modesty is truly a difficult one. How are men to worship God for the beauty of the feminine body, with its skin and its wonderful sexuality, and yet not sin? How are women to enjoy the adornment of their bodies with fashion, while considering the invasive and unjust fact of the lust of men? And what of men’s bodies?
  26. Only the wise can understand how to celebrate God’s gift of alcohol. Only the exceedingly wise can understand how to celebrate God’s gift of sexuality.
  27. True hospitality will tend towards diversity. If there is no diversity, then it is doubtful that there is hospitality. But of course, it is more complicated than this.
  28. What is diversity?
  29. Our beliefs are largely shaped by what sources of information we trust. Thus, most of our beliefs come from ad hominem fallacies. Even so, this is often not a problem, as trust is not arbitrary.
  30. There are moments when I am upset that God has never spoken directly to me, that he feels silent. But then, I remember that his glorious words are sitting on my desk, waiting to be heard and pondered.
  31. We are to be always reforming, yet we are to be convicted of what we say. He who does not continue to reform will not listen to detailed argument, and is a fundamentalist theologian. He who is not convicted of what he says will not take action because of his beliefs, and is a liberal theologian.
  32. Theology is a means to the end of worship, not the other way around.
  33. If you do not understand why false teachers have been killed in all but the recent past, then you are blessed, and have never experienced the rage and bereavement and despair that accompanies the death of a loved one’s faith.

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