II Corinthians 10:5

"Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."

December 23, 2009

Potpourri


Well, I decided to try something a little different. Instead of writing one big story, I thought it might be fun to write several smaller ones...We'll see how it goes.

Climate Change Cizik
Reverend Richard Cizik, founder of the organization "New Evangelicals" has recently been a featured video blogger during the Copenhagen "climate change" summit. Apparently the Reverend is attempting to become the Al Gore of so called "evangelicals." His goal is to "spread awareness of climate change among evangelicals and to promote a form of environmentalism known as 'creation care.'" Ironically, his hermeneutics seem to be somewhat out in left field. He recently proclaimed "God told us to be stewards of the earth. It was among his first commandments." As if that commandment should be given more gravity than later commandments?! Using this line of reasoning, the commands of Ephesians 4:29,5:15-16, or 1st Timothy 6:11, etc. would be far less important than a mandate to be a steward of nature. Apparently according to Rev. Cizik, the greater emphasis on Biblical mandates is determined by the location of the mandate itself. But wait, that's not all - Cizik is also quoted as saying “How can you say you love your neighbor if you don’t care that their homes are threatened by increased droughts or rising sea levels?” Hmmm...maybe this guy should look into Genesis 8:22 or Jeremiah 33:25.

Tiger Woods
Let's be honest...the media coverage of the messy situation Tiger Woods has involved himself in is overkill. Our culture's want for every detail of every situation in the Wood's story brings a comparable level of nausea to that which Wood's did himself. As Christians, we shouldn't be so surprised that this is the case. After all, it's just the unregenerate individual doing what the unregenerate flesh wants to do/hear. For us though, because our old man has been crucified with Christ, we are called to "...have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret." Ephesians 5:11-12. As Christians witness the Wood's saga, we should pretty much think "there but for the grace of God go I." On a different note, it is interesting how fast our society can forget their own cries for moral relativism, and instead waggle their fingers in condemnation when another individual is found breaking God's moral law. (if the relativists are right, what's wrong with being unfaithful?- Their negative reaction to infidelity is proof of absolute, objective, knowable truth)

Christmas Advent Passage
While reading the book "A Classical Nativity Devotional" for an advent earlier this month, we came across the following passage adapted from a sermon by John Wycliffe: "...he who should make satisfaction for the sin of our first father must be both God and man. For as mankind trespassed, so must mankind make satisfaction.And therefore it could not be that an angel should make satisfaction for man, for neither has he the right, nor was his the nature that sinned here. But since all men are one person, that person makes satisfaction for man, if any member of this person makes satisfaction for all of this person. And in this way we see that if God made another man who was after the nature of Adam, he would be obligated to God as much as he might be for himself, and so he might not make satisfaction for both himself and for Adam's sins. And since satisfaction had to be made also for Adam's sin, as it is said, such a person that must make the satisfaction must be both God and man; for the worthiness of this person's deeds must be equal to the unworthiness of the sin." This passage resulted in a conversation about whether or not Jesus had the sin nature of man. Some of us thought that Jesus was incapable of sinning, and therefore didn't have a sin nature, while some (including myself) were inclined to think that Jesus did have man's sin nature (and so the capability to sin) but never did sin because of His God nature. The reasoning here is that Jesus "was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:15) Also that Jesus was tempted by the devil. It would seem that Christ's "tempting" here on earth wouldn't have much meaning if He was incapable of sinning...indeed, it would seem like He couldn't "sympathize with our weaknesses" (Heb. 4:15) if He could not sin. It would seem to be almost be a mockery to say we have an example who conquered all temptations common to man yet without sin, if He could do no other. Now before you start priming the heretic fires, realize that this is just a theory and in no way am I claiming I am absolutely right. Maybe a good (maybe a bad) example would be how alleles determine physical characteristics. Say you have blue eyes. You may have the alleles for brown eyes, but since they are recessive, the dominant blue eye alleles never allow them to show...Might that be somewhat relateable to the human/sinful nature and also the God nature of Christ? He had the Sinful nature of man and thus the capability to sin, but His God nature never allowed Him too? Help me out...Maybe I'm way out in left field...What are your thoughts?

Have a blessed CHRISTmas!
DW
"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined." Isaiah 9:2

1 comment:

David Quimby said...

Dan,

Good post - thanks for your provocative thoughts.

Other words for 'potpourri': melange, collage, medley, menagerie.

Part 1: I agree with citation / relevance of Gen 8:22 and Jer 33:25. God's promises are reliable. Yet, we must be careful not to abuse his promises (like allowing sin to increase just because we're saved) by taking 'stewardship' lightly. We're to be dominant over the earth (not worship it / be submissive to it) - and stewardship is a big job. We can't act irresponsibly with the planet and trust that God will save it in spite of us - God's promises are dynamic promises, not static promises (like "whatever Allah wills"). We also can't steward the planet without God's wisdom and insight - a major difference between secular approaches and inspired approaches. As in all things, God's main purpose is to draw us closer to him. He doesn't expect us to steward the planet in isolation - he yearns for us to become co-creators with him by tending his glorious creation.

Part 3: You've hit on one of the great mysteries / wonders of Christianity - the fully God / fully man dichotomy - like the trinity and the atonement. I don't think that it's heretical to 'suggest' that Christ was 'capable' of sin - because he was fully man [Heb 4:15] and man is capable of (in fact, incapable of avoiding) sin [Ro 3:23]. Your analogy of dominant / recessive genes for resolving the tension between Christ's human nature and his godly nature is interesting - seems reasonable to conclude that the godly 'gene' would be dominant.

David