The Amputation of God’s Right Hand

Didion Photo by Irving Penn, Vogue SMALLER

In roughly six week’s time, the literary world will be marking the first anniversary of Joan Didion’s passing. She was 87. Didion was iconic in many ways without any conscious attempt to be so, seemingly.

There are a good number of areas in Didion’s writings that I would like to explore if I had the time. She was scathed by pain and suffering in the most abysmal way through the deaths of two people closest to her heart. Consequently, she knew grief firsthand.

But I especially remember her for a statement she made. Continue reading

it abides alone

Lonely Old Woman

Frederick Buechner, the American novelist, poet, essayist, preacher and theologian died last month at the age of 96.

One of the most beautiful books I’ve read from his hand is Telling Secrets. In it Beuchner writes a dismal chapter about his own mother.

Here, rather unabashedly, are his words: Continue reading

Jessica Lange Quote - FINAL

We’re all hardwired for glory. We’re glory junkies. We’re all looking for that which is endlessly soul-stirring. We’re enthralled by splendour, majesty and transcendence. Could it be that our unfulfilled longing is a latent cosmic nostalgia for the garden, where we were clothed in glory. To the writer of Ecclesiastes, “God has set eternity in the human heart”. Lewis believes “It’s the music you were born remembering” It’s your homing beacon. Paul puts it simply: “We were “prepared beforehand for glory.”

A Call to Sanctified Worldliness

crusty-bread

A graduation address for The Bible College of New Zealand, Manawatu Branch on November 16, 1995

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My own passion for the subject I am addressing tonight has been shaped by the educational philosophy of the Stony Brook School in New York. For my own thinking in this area, I am gratefully indebted to the writings of men like Frank Gaebelein (The Christian, The Arts, And Truth; The Pattern of God’s Truth); Arthur Holmes (All Truth Is God’s Truth; The Idea of a Christian College; Contours of a World View). For this talk I am particularly indebted to the thinking of D. Bruce Lockerbie (The Timeless Moment: Creativity and the Christian Faith; The Cosmic Center; Thinking and Acting Like A Christian).

These men have helped me understand how we may integrate our faith to learning and what a seamless philosophy that comprehends the unity of all truth under God may look like.

I want to begin by picking up a cue from Justin Martyr, the 2nd century apologist. Justin Martyr was born around AD 100 at a place called Nablus, where Jesus met the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. Continue reading

Galatians 2:20 – The Winning Ticket!

Gal 2-20

Galatians 2:20 reads: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

The KJV reads: ” I am crucified with Christ: NEVERTHELESS I LIVE“

I remember as a young man reading what Campbell Morgan wrote about this short phrase above:

He writes: “The individuality remains, but the mainspring, the ruling disposition, is radically altered. The same human body remains, but the old Satanic right to myself is destroyed.”

We see the gospel in this verse. Continue reading

Does Evil Smudge God’s Goodness? 2. Theodicy

GOODNESS -2

In the first part of these two essays, we exposed the fallacy behind the sceptic’s assertion that the existence of evil is rationally incompatible with the existence of God. As Plantinga has argued so cogently, it is not logically incoherent to affirm both that God exists and evil exists. It has now been largely conceded that what is called the “logical problem of evil” has been effectively diffused.

Theists can go on to affirm that God is good, that God is all-powerful, and that evil exists, all in the same breath, and this theistic position is epistemologically defensible. Continue reading

Does Evil Smudge God’s Goodness? 1. Defence

GOODNESS - 1

The issue here at hand is not why did God create evil. God neither created evil as an entity, nor did He create anything evil. It wasn’t like He envisioned evil, then concocted and spawned it.

It would be a contradiction in terms to assert that evil has its origin in God. By His very essence God is good and evil cannot issue from Him. He has neither the ability nor the will to breed evil.

Continue reading