Archive for June, 2008

Only “believers” will be saved?

June 23, 2008

This is my latest discussion board post for my Systematic Theology 1 class.

The most thought provoking aspect of the topic of atonement for me was found at the very end of Chapter 13 in McGrath’s Intro.  McGrath writes, “In his Mere Christianity Lewis argues that those who commit themselves to the pursuit of goodness and truth will be saved even if they have no formal knowledge of Christ.” (Intro, 358)  Having read this idea previously (I believe it was in Brian McLaren’s Generous Or+hodoxy) and been intrigued by the implications of such a theology, it rekindled my thoughts on the topic.  McGrath goes on to quote Lewis who wrote, “There are people in other religions who are being led by God’s secret influence to concentrate on those parts of their religion which are in agreement with Christianity without knowing it.”  This line of thinking makes the question of who will be “saved” a lot more interesting.

Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father but by me.” (Jn 14.6)  And yet Romans speaks of God’s attributes being discernible from creation so that no one is without excuse (with the implication of “even if they have never heard the name of Jesus”; cf. Rom 1.20).  I can also remember times where pagan people are faulted not for failing to serve the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but for worshipping creation instead of the Creator (seemingly saying they should have know the difference even if they did not know who God was; cf. Rom 1.25).

Photo by: watchsmart

holiness and perfection

June 23, 2008

Something I have thought about a few times, though not in much depth, is what the difference is, if any, between holiness and perfection.  In these moments of reflection about this, I have wondered if we have become obsessed with perfectionism and have transferred those ideas to holiness in order to spiritualize our quest for perfectionism.  True God says, “He holy as I am holy,” but what does that mean exactly?  If it does mean to be perfect in all I say, do, and think, is that really atainable?  Sure we are new creations in Christ, but though redeemed, we are not yet fully separated from the consequences of the fall.  If that were the case, women believers would potentially have pleasant feeling child-birthing experiences as opposed to painful ones and so far as I know, that is not the case.  And thus I still battle with, and sometimes loose to, my flesh.  And sometimes I don’t even realize I have done something to offend God which is, in and of itself, a sin (i.e., not perfect).  So could holiness be better defined as living honestly in our relationship with God?  Or maybe having a heart after God’s own heart?  Or maybe walking humbly with God?

Photo by: Me! (c)

out of it

June 22, 2008

WorryI have felt mostly out of it today.  It took quite a bit of will power to get me up out of bed for church this morning.  I mostly went through the motions for Bible Study and service.  I came home and took a 3 hour nap.  Now I like long naps, but 3 hours is a bit excessive even for me.  I have been told that sinus issues cause fatigue so I think that is probably part of it.  I also wonder however, if my blood sugar is out of whack.  My father has Type 1 insulin dependent diabetes so I am wondering if my insulin maker is starting to be out of whack which is obviously a little worrysome. 

Well, off I go to do some reading for my systematics class…let’s talk about the doctrine of atonement.

Photo by: hannah sheffield

Babies

June 21, 2008

As an only child, when I was growing up I had a big fixation with babies. I was enraptured by their cuteness! Partially due to what I had been taught about a women’s place in the church (i.e., the pew, the piano, the playpen), this lasted all the way through my undergraduate years. While I didn’t go to college for my MRS. degree, I really wanted to (and thought I would) get married young and have children young. And since I am by no means old, by young I mean early twenties which is passed and opening. Sure Mr. Wonderful could fall out of the sky at any point and ask me to be Mrs. Wonderful, but it’s looking more and more like marriage and family is something that is not going to be in the near future. And honestly, though it makes me sad to think this, I wonder if that is “in the cards” for me at all. But that aside, for those of you who have waited to have children, what’s your perspective?  (i.e., are you glad you waited?  What are the benefits of waiting?

Photo by: Me! (c)

The small end of the funnel

June 19, 2008

I have a friend named Heather who has a really neat way of seeing the world.  She comes up with all these super awesome illustrations that make conversations with her very interesting and thought provoking (and sometimes downright funny!).  Tonight she came out with one that I wanted to document for posterity.  She said, “Learning about God is like walking into the small end of a funnel.  You learn one thing and it just keeps expanding and getting bigger.”  What a great (and accurate) picture!

Photo by: massdistraction