Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Renter

The Renter A young man moved into a house full of guys. The first thing he asked the others was “What are the rules of the house?”. They proceeded to give him a printed list of about thirty things covering duties, other visitors, rent due date, etc, etc. They told him it was not an exhaustive list but it was to reflect the principle “be considerate of others as you would wish them to be considerate to you”. He thought this sounded reasonable but found some things on the list to be very irritating – like no parakeets, and no eating pickles in the living room. He began questioning the reasonableness of some of these and other rules. He asked if the landlord had make the rules and they all answered “What landlord, there is no landlord”. He then wondered who the rent money goes to but he didn't ask. He was surprised to find out there was no landlord. Then he asked them if there was no landlord, who made the rules and they said “We did along with the previous folks who had lived there before”. He then asked how did they come to agree on the rules and they said they voted and the majority rules. He asked “ what if the minority decides to rebel against the majority” and they said they fight. He asked further “what if the minority wins the fight?” And they said that the rules change. He decided to move out, he had no desire to live in such a chaotic climate. No landlord? Ridiculous!

Spiritual Without Being Religious?

Spiritual w/o being Religious - Many people today describe themselves as being 'spiritual' without being 'religious'. We ask “do they have any idea of what they mean”? We think that they would be hard pressed to give a meaningful response to the question. We conjecture that what they mean is that they believe in right and wrong and also believe that they think themselves to be better than others in their effort to be good. Maybe they mean that they think they can be good without God. But why would a person want just to be good? Do they want to be able to think of themselves as being good or do they want others to think of themselves as being good or do they really want to be good? How good to they want to be – moderately good or really good? Or just better than others. We ask “why bother”? Trying to be good is a real nuisance. It means having to say 'no' to yourself, being honest when you would like to lie to cover your tracks. It means trying to avoid every selfish act. It will impinge on our life almost hourly to not do what we would like to do or to do thinks we don't want to do. Can they succeed in being good? Well to a degree, Yes. If they work hard they make themselves a bit better than others. But if they want to be their best self, they will need God in their lives to help get rid of their pride, envy, self importance, etc. etc. If there is a God we think He will help us make progress but only if we give ourselves over to Him. He can make us truly good, but we can never make it on our own. C.S. Lewis describes this kind of religion as “all the thrills of religion with none of the costs.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Reflections on the Bible - More stuff to come later

Reflections on the Bible We don't think that most evangelical Christians have any idea of the complexity of believing that the Bible is inspired, infallible and inerrant. We know the the Bible was written by humans, we don't know if, and to what degree, God was involved in writing the Bible. We think the Bible is a pretty much a human book containing some myth, legends, exaggerations, inexactitudes, errors, and LOTS of reliable reportage. We don't know the precise meaning of the word 'inspired' as used by Paul in the book of Timothy nor are we clear on what the word 'scripture' means. Whose scripture, Protestant, Catholic, or Orthodox – the three major branches of Christendom who don't agree on what books belong in the Bible. Paul was referring to the Septuagint (The Greek Bible that was translated from the Hebrew) when he wrote Timothy. The Septuagint has books in it that ours does not have. We have very few of the words of Christ in His language. We have His words in the Aramaic translated into Greek, then translated in English. i.e. Aramaic to Greek to English. We have none of the original writing of any of the Bible. What we have is copies of copies of copies, etc. For a VERY informative, interesting and somewhat humerus lecture on the complication of the writing and the transmission of the Bible, go to: “” Or go to youtube – “Bart Ehrman” and pic “Misquoting Jesus'. Dr. Ehrman was once an evangelical Christian, went to Moody Bible Instutute and Wheaton College and is now an agnostic. We think he should be a lot more skeptical about his skepticism but his material is very worth knowing about. He is a first class scholar on ancient tests and teaches in the department at Religions Studies at North Carolina University. Some thoughts on the idea of Inspiration: We think that all good acts are inspired by God, that all real beauty is inspired by God and that all truth is inspired by God. He is the author of all Truth, Goodness and Beauty and none of these things exist apart from Him being somehow uniquely and mysteriously present. Where truth, beauty and goodness are present, God's inspiration is at work. The Bible is inspired like anything else on earth is inspired – by being true, beautiful or good. There parts of the Bible that are difficult to include under the headings of Truth, Beauty or Good which we find nearly impossible to believe – like the command to slaughter all all the men, women and children in some cities in Canaan or the drowning of the Egyptian solders in the Red Sea, etc. etc. These things seems to violate God's own nature and God can not be a contradiction to Himself. How do we know what to believe? We believe all that we are capable of believing. But we are compelled to disbelieve what our good sense and reason will not let us believe. There is no use in trying to pretend to believe what we don't believe. We think that God honors our attempt to be honest and reasonable. He is the ultimate reasoner, He gave us to be reasonable creatures. He is the Logos – the Word. Jesus is the Word, the one that is truly Truth, Beauty, and Goodness. The above 'we' represents other like minded persons. Don

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Will your anchor hold in the storms of life, When the clouds unfold their wings of strife? When the strong tide lifts and the cables strain, Will your anchor drift or firm remain? "I never leave you or forsake you"