Tuesday, September 12, 2006

God's Passion For His Glory: (Treasuring Sola Deo Gloria)

Piper's Wonderful Book on the God centeredness of GodI end the posts on the five solas with the one that has in recent years been the most revolutionary, and precious to me, Sola Deo Gloria. To be brief we live in a consumeristic culture and this mindset really is an integral part of our thinking. We analyze products with the mindset of how they will make us feel and what benefit they will bestow upon us in contrast with the cost (Time, money etc). Our philosophical views as well as theological will contain elements of this cultural influence. In the area of theology it is clearly seen in the most popular books over the past decade in the Christian market:
"Your Best Life Now, 7 Steps to Living At Your Full Potential"
"40 Days to Purpose"
"Discovering Your Destiny"
"The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through To the Blessed Life" etc.

Do we see a trend here? There are products being sold to consumers in each of these titles, purpose, the best life possible, power unleashed, destiny. This is natural and to be expected in a consumeristic culture, and I would argue that the consumer culture is not the root of our man-centeredness but a fruit. Our man-centeredness is ultimately birthed from the fall in Eden where Adam our federal head chose autonomy rather than submission to God.

To cut to the chase we as 21st century evangelicals have adopted a thinking about God which elevates man and his will over God, man will be his own predestinator, man will be reached on his terms, and man will worship God as seems right in his own eyes (now I am not just talking about Arminianism for that is only a part of the picture, albeit a big part). We really think God's reason for existence is to serve and comfort us, He is a sort of Grandpa in the sky who gives us a boost (purpose, good life) and is there when we want and to be met how we want.

This is in stark contrast to the vision of God in the Bible, a God who is jealous for His name, and does all things for His own glory. It has been this truth that has shaped my vision of God as no other doctrine, I think this is the very center of all other doctrines. Sola Deo Gloria is like a gushing mountain spring from which flow numerous streams of truth (justification, redemption, election, the incarnation etc) all finding their fount and source in the truth that God does all things for the sake of His glory. In the following post I will lean heavily on Jonathan Edwards' Treatise: "The End For Which God Created the World, it has been Edwards' book that has pointed me to this truth that has shaped everything I do.

The first half of this will be philosophical, and here I will lean most heavily on Edwards, the second will be a scriptural testimony of this truth, this is how Edwards divides his book. In the second half will be scripture after scripture that supports this thesis so if you aren't into philosophical treatise just skip down to the second half.

I) The Chief End of God...(Philo)

Firstly, a distinction needs to be made between "ultimate" ends and "subordinate" ends. Edwards writes: "A subordinate end is what an agent aims at, not at all upon its own account, but wholly on the account of a further end of which it is considered as a means."(1)

The point here is that there are acts done by any agent really that are not the end in themselves but carried out to accomplish an end. An example would be going to work, going to work is not an end in itself (generally) but a means to an end such as providing for one's family. Thus the ultimate end is that which is sought for its own sake, what is valued of its own account and not in itself a means to another end. Based upon this Edwards maps out the following line of thought:

a.) "A subordinate end is never valued (as a chief end) above its own ultimate end."(2) Based upon the above definition of subordinate and ultimate ends it is absurd to say that the means is more valued than the end itself.
b) "When there is only one ultimate end it is chief above all other ends."(3) If there be any one ultimate end every other end is only a means to that ultimate end. This is so in the operations of God.
c) "The 'original' and ultimate end of all creation governs all of God's works"(4)

d) "In the 'highest sense' of God's ultimate end in creation, this end is also the end of all His works of providence."(5) What Edwards is saying here is that the end for which God created the world is the same end aimed at by God in all His works in interacting with mankind throughout history.
e) "There is only one ultimate end of creation if only one end is agreeable in itself"(6) If there is one sole reason by itself as to the motive of God in creation then that same motive (end) is what is aimed at in all of God's works.

This is a logical argument and I have left out some of the scrupulous steps for spaces sake but the point we arrive at is e) that if there is but one end which motivated God to create that same end is what is aimed at in all His works, and is most prized by God. Now Edwards moves to defining what original end for which God created the world is.

"Whatever that be which is in itself most valuable, and was so originally, prior to the creation of the world, and which is attainable by creation, if there be any thing which was superior in value to all others, that must be God's last end in the creation; and also worthy to be his highest end." (7)

"And, Therefore, if God has respect to things according to their nature and proportions, He must necessarily have the greatest respect to Himself."(8) What has been said in these last statements is that if God is values things appropriately the most valuable must be God Himself. This must be so for God to be upright, for God to be upright is for Him to value that which is most good (Himself).
Jonathan Edwards, the greatest theologian American soil has produced.
"Hence it will follow that the moral rectitude of the disposition, inclination, or affection of God CHIEFLY consists in regard to HIMSELF, infinitely above His regard to all other beings; in other words, His holiness consists in this."(9)

This statement is extremely profound, Edwards is arguing that God's holiness demands that God value that which is most valuable, namely HIMSELF, for God to do otherwise would be to compromise His holiness. God would be unrighteous in fact if he failed to delight fully in what is most beautiful, and worthy , namely Himself. So how do we as creatures fit into this picture? To quote Edwards:

"If the perfection itself be excellent, the knowledge of it is excellent and the esteem of it is excellent. And as it is fit that God should love and esteem His own excellence, it is also fit that He should value and esteem the love of his excellency. And if it becomes a being to highly value Himself, it is fit that He should love to have Himself valued and esteemed."(10)

This is amazing, if Edwards is right the popular bookstore view of God that is so often presented (having man chief in His affections) is way off the mark. Yet through philosophic reasoning we are begining to see the God-centeredness of God, howeverm ultimately scripture is where we must turn to see what is chief in God's affections.

II) The Chief End of God... (Scripture)

From the arguments above the conclusion is reached that God has His own glory chief in His affections, this is the end sought in all that He does. We now turn to the bible because ultimately this is where this truth shines most brightly, through creation, providence and redemption. I will just put up the passages and comment here and there the point should become fairly evident that God in His acting has His glory (Himself) chiefly in mind.

First and Last:
"Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: "I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god." (Isa 44:6)

"Listen to me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I called! I am he; I am the first, and I am the last." (Isa 48:12)

"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, " (Rev 1:8)

"And he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment." (Rev 21:6)

The point here is that God is the first and the last, He authored creation and He is the end to which creation moves. This is how the Lord's prayer ends as well.

The Duty of Man: Scripture settles this firmly
"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Cor 10:31)

"whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies--in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." (1 Per 4:11)

Here we see man is to seek the glory of God above all, and ascribe glory to God. Many more scriptures can be cited but I wish to focus on the issues of redemption.

Christ's Ultimate End In His Ministry:
It would probably be casually stated by most believers that the ultimate end of Christ's ministry on earth was the redemption of men. However, if Edwards is right and I understand the bible correctly, the salvation of sinners is not an ultimate end but rather a "subordinant". The ultimate aim in Christ's work was the glory of God. Thus, it is because God is passionate about His glory that sinners have hope, God will be glorified through saving and forgiving sinners. The fact that Christ sought God's glory first and foremost is evident through the following passages:

"The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory, but the One who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood." (John 7:18)

"Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven: "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again." (John 12:28) [this passage comes as Christ is praying about His coming death which would save many]

"Then Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you," (John 17:1)

"(This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.)" (John 21:19)

The End of The Work of Redemption is the Glory of God:
In addition to the passages already mentioned surrounding Christ seeking first the glory of God in His work there are many others surrounding issue of redemption in general describing the redemption of sinners as chiefly for the glory of God.

"He predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved." (Eph 1:5-6)

"[Our salvation is] to the praise of his glory." (Eph 1:12,14)

"knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God." (2 Cor 4:14-15)

Likewise in the Old Testament:
"Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name's sake!" (Psalm 79:9)

"For my name's sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another." (Isa 48:9-11)

A note must be said that when God is said to "act for His name's sake" it is synonymous with acting for the sake of His glory. The picture is becoming clear, the glory of God is the chief end sought in the redemption of man.

Other Passages Supporting This (The basis on which we can approach God):
"For the LORD will not forsake his people, for his great name's sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for Himself." (1 Sam 11:22)

"He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake." (Psalm 23:3)

"For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name's sake you lead me and guide me;" (Ps 31:3)

"For your name's sake, O LORD, pardon my guilt, for it is great." (Ps 25:11)

"Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name's sake!" (Ps 79:9)

"Though our iniquities testify against us, act, O LORD, for your name's sake; for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against you." (Jer 14:7)

"who caused his glorious arm to go at the right hand of Moses, who divided the waters before them to make for himself an everlasting name" (Isa 63:12)

"Yet he saved them for his name's sake, that he might make known his mighty power." (Psa 106:8)

"But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made myself known to them in bringing them out of the land of Egypt"(Ezek 20:9)

"But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out." (Ezek 20:14)

"But I withheld my hand and acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out."(Ezek 20:22)

Now by now I think it is clear that the glory of God is what God seeks in all that He does. The passages cited are in truth but the tip of the iceberg of what is in scripture about the God-centeredness of God. But oh the application of such a truth! Spurgeon said that we should when we pray approach God in prayer like lawyers pleading with Him for the sake of His name/glory to act on our behalf. Indeed this is the biblical precedent of how the men in scripture approached God. To realize the Godcenteredness of God has probably been (outside of coming to faith in Christ) the most revolutionary truth about God that has shaped my life. The power this truth has to deliver us from the spirit of the age which is so grossly man centered and makes God into a sort of life enhancing add-on is of inestimable worth.

Notes:
(Citations are all from "The End For Which God Created the World" are found in John Piper's "God's Passion for His Glory" [GPFG] in which the full text of Edwards' work can be found.)

(1) pg.125 GPFG
(2) pg. 128 GPFG
(3)pg. 130 GPFG
(4) pg.134 GPFG
(5) pg.134 GPFG
(6) pg.135 GPFG
(7) pg.140 GPFG
(8) pg.140 GPFG
(9) pg.141 GPFG
(10) pg.149 GPFG

9 comments:

Tim said...

Bob -- that is a wonderfully thorough analysis. I affirm this! I completely agree that the consumeristic ideas out there about God and the Christian faith are completely missing the point.

To make it even more personal, which I think is actually the point of the Biblical narrative, if we were created by God to be in relationship with Him, as Adam was, and our creation is "very good", then God's glory is most clearly represented by the repair and completion of our relationship with Him through Jesus. If we are truly created in God's image, then we were created to reflect His glory, which can only be done in this relationship. Therefore we are a part of God's glory, as heirs to His throne!

With that in mind, doesn't it make the struggles of earth seem so pointless and the treasures of earth worthless? But this is exactly why I think we have the prosperity gospels and the consumeristic message: Jesus doesn't seem to be enough for people to fulfill the missing piece (God's glory) in their lives. There has to be something more, they must think.

But if we go back to the Scriptures, like you just did, and see the narration of God's glory throughout all of the relationships detailed in the Bible, we can see that Jesus is indeed all we need to be restored in the glory of relationship with God.

But once in that relationship, I think we cannot discount the purpose of our creation which is to enjoy God and glorify Him forever. I've read most of the Purpose Driven Life book and while I disagreed with some things and personally didn't like the book that much, I think that the heart of Warren's thesis is the same as Piper's in Desiring God. IF the context of "our purpose" is based in glorifying God, through all that you just stated, then we should embrace the ministries that seek to show people they have that greater purpose. But the consumeristic contexts of the best life, your full potential, your destiny, all point back to a economy of love that doesn't jive with the gospel or the glory of God (a major thesis of Donald Miller in Searching for God Knows What): we love God so we get the best stuff, the best life, feel fulfilled -- or worse we only accept others into the church based on what they can offer to the church, as an extensive of what they can offer to God. God's glory is tainted by that.

Well done, my brother.

natamllc said...

Bobby

my friend, at least?

What depth you bring to the table!

I have much ducking seeing much jumps out at me when I read your most revolutionary and precious topic posted hereon this blog, Sola Deo Gloria!

Here is where I leave off.

You quoted our friend and Scholar:

But oh the application of such a truth! Spurgeon said that we should when we pray approach God in prayer like lawyers pleading with Him for the sake of His name/glory to act on our behalf. Indeed this is the biblical precedent of how the men in scripture approached God.

A mystery of the THREE and now US FOUR!

What can I do for God the Father He cannot do for Himself?

What can I do for God the Son He cannot do for Himself?

What can I do for God the Holy Ghost that He cannot for Himself?

They make it possible for me to do it, to do for Them what They individually cannot do For Their Own Self. The other two can do it the other two. Now I gladly do it to bring in a unique part to it!!

LOVE.

Now to Spurgeon's thoughts, consider these things, first to Genesis one:two

"1 ¶ GOD created the heavens and the earth in the very beginning. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the water."

Keep in mind that both of these things are FRUIT, the heavens and earth are the FRUIT OF GOD'S OWN WORDS; and DARKNESS is a fruit.

Hmmmmmm

DARKNESS IS A FRUIT.

Consider that in light of this verse:

"31 ¶ And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day."

FRUIT is the after affect of something done.

God spoke and what came forth? Everything that he had made.

Satan did something and what came forth after him, his kind? DARKNESS.

Darkness is an after affect, a fruit!

Spurgeon talks about being a lawyer arguing the case before Who. What would you say the after affect will be if he wins?

Well consider this:

Act 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.


and

Eph 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
Eph 3:11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

and

2Pe 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
2Pe 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
2Pe 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

and

Rev 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
Rev 7:10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
Rev 7:11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshiped God,
Rev 7:12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God forever and ever. Amen.
Rev 7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
Rev 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Rev 7:15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
Rev 7:16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
Rev 7:17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

Those books and authors you refer too:::>

Our philosophical views as well as theological will contain elements of this cultural influence. In the area of theology it is clearly seen in the most popular books over the past decade in the Christian market:
"Your Best Life Now, 7 Steps to Living At Your Full Potential"
"40 Days to Purpose"
"Discovering Your Destiny"
"The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through To the Blessed Life" etc.


have simply fallen into a ditch.

Why?

Because they are blind.

Guess who will follow them into that ditch?

Blind followers.

We have 70 years and if by strength 10 more to see.

As the elder showed John the Revelator, THESE ARE THEY WHO WILL SERVE HIM DAY AND NIGHT!

For how then will they serve THEM before THEIR Thrones day and night?

I would say that we are sojourners here on earth, just passing through. Any work we do on this side of that Work we do is temporary, slight, fleeting and the worry and burden and hardship and sorrow and suffering on this side is not to be mentioned or considering the GLORY THAT WAITS FOR US ON THE OTHER SIDE.

michael

Bob said...

Hey Tim,
You said:
" If we are truly created in God's image, then we were created to reflect His glory, which can only be done in this relationship. Therefore we are a part of God's glory, as heirs to His throne!"

Amen. This is truly amazing. This keeps the joy God has in man as Godcentered, because He rejoices over what reflections of Himself He sees in us, thus God is not an idolator needing us to add anything to Him. Rather, out of the overflaow of His own beautey He calls us to be part of the rejoicing in of His own glory for ever.

Bob said...

Micheal, thanks for the comment. It is the depth of the Subject that gives weight to what I may say I in my best presenting of the glory of God do but dimly give justice to how immense this truly is. Whenever we talk of the glory of God as fallen creatures we really do a bit of harm to how glorious these things really are.

Oh, also maybe you could explain the darkness stuff you were talking about I didn't really get that part of your comment.

natamllc said...

Bobby

a hard question, me thinks I was saying the revelation of it so clearly I would not get the hard question:::>

you ask:
""Oh, also maybe you could explain the darkness stuff you were talking about I didn't really get that part of your comment.""


Now to the nut. God gave us an imagination to bring Him Glory not waste time "thinking" about vainglory or things of no effect.

The Scriptures, those infamous no longer existing "original" manuscripts all agree on verses one and two of Genesis one in the translations of them.

There are three things being put into the mind when you hear it spoken or you read it for yourself.

I read it for myself before I quoted it publicly and others heard what I read to them:

"Gen 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."


I don't remember a time at a gathering of the assembled when a Preacher or Teacher or Reader of Scriptures ever got up and read Genesis one:two or spoke it out to the hearing ears.

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

Let me ask you, what do you think about when you hear that DARKNESS is a fruit?

Funny as it is, just before checking this blog I had in my hand a handful of cashew nuts. I don't think those cashew nuts could be PLANTED and a sprout would come out and then the tree and then the fruit, cashew nuts.

When you read Scriptures you learn from the Word that there are THREE STAGES to the Word of Righteousness;

the seed of Righteousness,
the tree of Righteousness
and then the FRUIT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.

In Genesis one:two we are told by the verse itself to believe that the EARTH WAS FORMLESS AND VOID, that darkness was over the surface of the deep and the Spirit of God moves over the surface of the waters.

The last verse of Genesis one:thirty one teaches us what GOD MADE. We are given a distinction about it as VERY GOOD pointing to HIS FRUIT, what He made.

We can reason then about this FRUIT OF DARKNESS as something someone other than God, made. What God made was very good. I accept that without a doubt. But my mind then reasons then this:::> WELL IF HE MADE LUCIFER and everything He made is VERY GOOD, why the DARKNESS THEN??? and so the debate goes on in my imagination and at times, like right now, on this blog.

The Mysteries of God, if God permit and we are persuaded by Him, shall come to us.

Now to a point then.

You know that God is Love.
You know that no darkness dwells in God who is Love.
You would conclude then that ALL GOD'S MOTIVES ARE LOVING MOTIVES?
Yes?

Here is something God cannot do, HE CANNOT LIE.

So let me ask you a question about TRUTH then.

If Satan came to you and said to you, BOBBY, YOU KNOW THAT GOD IS LOVE. Would you conclude that Satan is lying? Or rather would you conclude that what he asked was TRUTH but his motive would not be a true motive?

If Jesus came to you and said to you, BOBBY, YOU KNOW THAT GOD IS LOVE. Would you conclude that Jesus is lying?

Paul to persuade men to LOVE GOD wrote this:::>1Co 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

So let me come to another nut.

Gen 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.
Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Gen 1:28 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.

When you read these verses you see words like be fruitful, multiply, have dominion, and subdue it.

Hmmmmm. What is this? God creates a heavens and earth. He simply states a fact in creation, that DARKNESS exists. Then He creates human beings, male ones and female ones and places two, Adam and Eve in a "PARADISE" surrounded by what? DARKNESS.

He then gives these creatures created in THEIR IMAGE AND LIKENESS, like one man said, ORDERS LIKE A GENERAL GIVES TO SOLDIERS HE IS GOING TO SEND TO WAR AND AGAINST AN ENEMY.

Bobby, war is hell, it is violent, it is forceful and is not very pleasant.

Stop and think with your imagination now what you read when you read about CREATION, these current heavens and earth. It doesn't have a warm and fuzzy feeling in there anymore, just that inside this GARDEN PARADISE there is a TREE whose fruit they are forbidden to eat, the FRUIT OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL.

Hmmmmm, I thought God is Love? Why would a loving God create a creation and then plant a fully mature tree, the fruit of which separates the partaker of it from Him and they experience DEATH?

That doesn't sound so loving anymore this God who is Love.

And as we learn later on in Scripture, this was well known, foreordained and predestined ahead of the creation being spoken into existence.

The point then is this that DARKNESS IS THE AFFECT OF SOMETHING SATAN DID. This creation has a beginning and it has an ending.

The Apostle Peter when he was grappling with this wrote this to those in his circle:::>2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
2Pe 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
2Pe 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
2Pe 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

So here we are, all of us are going to die, taste the sting of death, suffer the effects of sin, the results of failing to keep the Law perfectly.

1Co 15:51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1Co 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1Co 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1Co 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
1Co 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
1Co 15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
1Co 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Co 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Start from DARKNESS is a fruit and work backwards then.

Start with God is Love and work backwards as far as you can go then.

One brother observed that we are creatures with the ability to think forward for the rest of eternity, not think backwards into eternity. Our imaginations just cannot think backwards into eternity, but forwards into eternity.

That keeps us moving in the right direction even when things like these happen to us also:::>2Co 11:18 Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also.
2Co 11:19 For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.
2Co 11:20 For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.
2Co 11:21 I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, I (speak foolishly,) I am bold also.
2Co 11:22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.
2Co 11:23 Are they ministers of Christ? I (speak as a fool) I am more; in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
2Co 11:24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
2Co 11:25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
2Co 11:26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
2Co 11:27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
2Co 11:28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
2Co 11:29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?
2Co 11:30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.
2Co 11:31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed forevermore, knoweth that I lie not.
2Co 11:32 In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:
2Co 11:33 And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.

Do you honestly believe Joel believes what he writes in his book,??? I hope not, but sadly he must be deceived to believe anything other than this will occur in our futures:::>2Ti 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2Ti 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
2Ti 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
2Ti 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
2Ti 3:6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
2Ti 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
2Ti 3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
2Ti 3:9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.


For now, we ought to do thus:::>2Ti 3:10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
2Ti 3:11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
2Ti 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
2Ti 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
2Ti 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
2Ti 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Onward Christian Soldier, win!

michael

Richard Dawkins said...

Bob, I would be interested to know your opinion on the furore surrounding the Pope, Razingers, statement in quoting a Byzantine emperor's denouncement of apparent militarist modus operandi within Islam. Ill-advised, or merely taboo?

Bob said...

(In response to Richard Dawkins post at his blog)
Hey Richard,
Interesting post, I really didn't know about half of the things you brought up surrounding this new pope. At anyrate though I need to say that I am not a Catholic and frankly don't care about popes and councils.

Now you say some strong things here and as we have talked before I don't think you philosophically have any basis for saying them. For intstance you state:

"whose religion (Christianity's theory of the Jewish guilt for the death of Jesus) is an ideological basis for one of the most brutal crimes against humanity, namely the Holocaust, whose religious ideology was a basis for the genocide (larger than the Holocaust) of the "infidel" and "barbaric" Indians, and forced conversion of those who survived, whose early predecessor started a holy war, the Crusaides, against non-christians (there were streams of blood on the streets of Jerusalem..."

You seem to have some notion that these things which "christians" did were wrong. How did you arrive at that conclusion given your worldview Mr.Dawkins? Where does morality come from and on what basis can you say "Action X is wrong."?

Now I as a Christian have a basis, for my moral verdicts, you might not like my basis but I have a rational basis for morality. I can look at what "christians" did in history and say their behaviour was wrong and have an objective unchanging basis for my statement. So I ask you Mr.Dawkins what is your basis for morality? Until you provide one you have no real warrant to say "action X is wrong" you might think that "X" is wrong (and I know that you know certin things are wrong because you are made in God's image) but on the basis of your worldview you can not rationally explain why "X" is wrong.

Also, I need to say again your linking of Nazi Germany and Christianity is simply unfounded. Nazi Germany was far from a theocratic Christian nation my friend. If you look at it again you will see that the support for Hitler's eugenics and Arian vision for a master race is really based on fresh theories of evolution. Also Nietzche was a very popular influence at the time. At this time the main Christian influence in Germany was theological liberals who embraced evolution denied biblical innerancy denied the miracles in the Bible and taught universalism.

Bob said...

Oh and after reading up on what the pope did say about Islam, I don't have any problem with what he said. It's kind of a sad state when Muslims can start whining about being "offended" and people have to bend over backwards or else they'll start getting violent. That only confirms what the pope said.

natamllc said...

Mr. Dawkins, Mr. Dawkins, Mr. Dawkins,

here's what the Great Prophet said:

Mat 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Was He mad at someone?

michael