Monthly Archives: September 2012

Is God Sovereign over Everything?

Ask this question in a group and you will soon find out who has the gift of self-control and who does not. Sure to fire up emotions on all sides, we still have to try our best to think clearly and critically about it. My purpose is not to create a full-scale scholarly research paper here, but just to ask and answer the questions as simply as I am able.

I think this will get us to the heart quickly:

Q) Who is God and how do we know about Him?

A) He is who He says He is, and He reveals Himself in the pages of the Bible, alone (as far as written words go). The cosmos also tells us about His nature, power, and wisdom among other things.

Q) Is it possible for God to have created this cosmos, and yet not be sovereign over all things?

A) No. (I failed post-modernism 101).

Q) Has God relinquished His sovereign control over some things for a greater reason?

A) Ephesians 1:11 “We have also received an inheritance in Him, predestined according to the purpose of the One who works out everything in agreement with the decision of His will (HCSB).” So we see that God has retained His sovereign control over all things.

Q) Does this make us human beings robots without real choice? Is evil a reality outside of God?

A) We have real choices to make within the sovereign decrees of God, and evil is truly chosen by human beings – although God has foreseen and chosen to use the evil of free creatures as a part of His plan to bring all glory to Himself. He can do that.

Q) Can we absolutely comprehend the resolution between these seemingly exclusive elements?

A) Only if you are God.

Q) Can we be at peace with a God who allows suffering and evil to bring Himself glory?

A) Do we have a choice? Also, yes, because He is all-good, all-holy, and thankfully, perfect love. He is trustworthy and powerful to rule over evil, override it for His glory and our good, and punish it in accord with His justice.

Q) Isn’t this a bit like what infamous anti-theist Christopher Hitchens alluded to when he compared God’s rule in our world to living in a cosmic North Korea?

A) If you start with humans at the center of your worldview, maybe. If you start with the proper center of all things, namely God, and allow His self-revelation to inform your worldview, then absolutely not. He created us to share in His joy and eternality – our rebellion in sin is cause for just condemnation and punishment.

Q) Is there such a thing as hope?

A) I’m glad you asked. There is not only hope, but assurance of peace with God. All real hope is based on His own gracious initiative to send His divine Son to earth as a man; He lived the perfect life we could not live and paid the sin debt humanity could never pay. The Son of God, Jesus, who created the cosmos and rules it eternally, not only died as a man, but then rose from the dead days later, proving that He had paid the full sin debt of all people who would ever repent of their sin, trust in Him as their only hope, and follow Him as their treasure. There is hope because there is the forgiveness of sin available to any person – to all people everywhere.

Q) Isn’t that just your religion Justin?

A) In the same way that gravity is my law.

Thanks for reading,

-Justin

Categories: The Message of the Bible | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Some Glimpses of Beauty from Spain

This is the type of thing which originally inspired Interpreting the Cosmos. There is such a fascinating variety of glory to be seen and enjoyed!

Look at the stunning array of birds from Spain in this video: diverse, colorful, intelligent, and just plain cool. They reflect the Source of their life, and He is awesome. Enjoy… (Just over 4 minute video and well worth the time).

Thanks for watching,

-Justin

Categories: Meaning Woven into Nature | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Since you Know God Exists…

You also live with a knowledge of His moral, holy nature. Since you know He is holy, and you are by nature the opposite, you have two choices: you can throw yourself on His mercy and ask His forgiveness for your sins, or you can suppress the reality of His existence, pretend He is just the imagination of religious people, and then fashion a fantasy of meaning outside of the foundation upon which you cannot help but stand. You know God exists. You owe Him your life and allegiance.

Pssst… (over here) It’s actually pure joy to come to Him on His terms.

“He’s not a safe God, but He is good.” C.S. Lewis, once atheist turned realist/Christian

Thanks for reading,

-Justin

Categories: The Message of the Bible | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Answered in One Breath: Why Can’t we All Get Along?

Rodney King famously asked the question, and everyone in the world is trying to answer it. The reality is that we are born at war with our Creator, and that war spills over into our relationships. The solution? Love. The Person? Jesus – but many of you don’t believe that. As you were.

Thanks for reading,

-Justin

Categories: One Breath, Understanding the Culture | Leave a comment

Music for the Soul’s Delight

Presbyterianism for the 21st Century

“Music is the handmaiden of theology,” said Martin Luther, and theology is the key to the cosmos (says me). We ought to deeply enjoy good music with our whole mind and heart-we ought to seek out and promote the music of men and women who have a true gift. As some of you know, I haven’t been shy about my enjoyment of secular, even dark music like the Doors, but when it comes to fresh, talented, and richly theological music, there is no comparison.

Through Hymn is like a Thanksgiving dinner for the mind and heart-like a lyrically luscious foray into a seminary classroom. Even if you are not a fan of hip hop, you will find yourself maximally edified in hearing this album. Seriously. There’s even an accapella harmony piece which will make you want to stand to your feet and worship:

Please listen to these free tracks from this talented brother, and support him with a purchase if able. Soli Deo Gloria!

Thanks for reading,

-Justin

Categories: Artistic Creations, The Arts, The Message of the Bible | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Casamento, O Principal Ministério – Paul Washer

Amor, Santificación, Bendición

El matrimonio es un don de Dios, ¡aunque a veces no se siente de esa manera! Hermano Paul Washer aquí da una exhortación que ha sido una gran bendición para mí, y espero que sea una gran bendición para mis hermanos y hermanas que hablan español.

Paul Washer vivó en Perú por 12 años como un misionero. Él es mi favorito predicador en el mundo hoy. Que Dios les bendiga.

¡Gracias por su visita!

-Justin

Categories: The Message of the Bible | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Another Dead “Messiah” Sun Myung Moon Dies at 92

Sun Myung Moon

Sun Myung Moon, leader of the Unification Church and self-proclaimed Messiah of humanity, has died at 92. In Matthew 24:4-5, Jesus warned “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many (NASB).” For those who don’t know, “Christ” was not Jesus’ last name; it is a title meaning “the anointed one,” or in Hebrew, “Messiah.”

Mr. Moon became wildly successful in his creation of a religion, amassing of tremendous wealth, and making of friends among the world’s most powerful people. For this wicked, lying, false interpreter of the cosmos, Jesus has this to say:

“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 35 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? 37 For what will a man give in exchange for his soul (Mark 8:34b-37 NASB)?”

You can be sure Mr. Moon would like another chance at answering that question… By the way, what are you willing to give in exchange for your own soul?

Thanks for reading,

-Justin

Categories: Comparative Religions, Understanding the Culture | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

How Should we then Live? part 10: Final Choices

When this was filmed and released, it was 1977. As you watch this most important episode, think about how accurate Dr. Schaeffer was in his predictions about the future. Perhaps you may also find something he says to have been inaccurate–watch for that too, but all in all, I recommend you listen very carefully, receive the interpretation of the world which he gives, and allow your mind and heart to be shaped by the same Spirit who moved in Dr. Schaeffer. I believe if any of you have the Holy Spirit, you will not be able to blithely dismiss this dire warning, or for that matter, dismiss the hope which is held out towards the end of the episode.

I would call your attention to a very interesting detail in this video: out of the 10 episodes, it is the only one in which Dr. Schaeffer cracks a smile. Watch for it, and notice what it is that brings this smile to his face. We ought to be grateful for God’s grace given to this brother, and for his work in worldview, philosophy, and ethics. I have benefited greatly in studying his work– and this blog is in part a product of men like Dr. Schaeffer’s passion in this world.

 

Grace and peace in Jesus Christ!

Thanks for watching,

-Justin

Previous episodes posted:

Roman Age 1

Middle Ages 2

Renaissance 3

Reformation 4

Revolutionary5, Scientific 6, Age of Non-Reason 7, Fragmentation 8, Age of Personal Peace and Affluence 9

 

Categories: Understanding the Culture | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.