Personal Stuff

Two Apes in a Meadow (Christian – Atheist Exchange)

My interlocutor’s name on Twitter is @saykojack – a friendly atheist who enjoys a vigorous exchange of ideas – but I get tired of trying to discuss weighty matters in miniature form, so I am inviting him to talk more broadly here in the comment section with me. If anyone else wants to join in, please wait for our conversation to come to an end before you jump in. It’s really hard talking through the internet to even one person who is intelligent and serious about his or her message, let alone two or more.

So…

apes

Here’s a recap from Twitter (and I may accidentally omit something) –

1) Jack (as I’m calling him) asked me to defend/explain the purity of the New Testament text. We went back and forth with questions and answers of the nature of the New Testament. He asserts corruption of the original NT writings through the process of hand-copying transmission (the Bart Ehrman thesis), and I countered with the argument of multiple copies made and disbursed throughout extensive regions of the Roman world (thus securing the independent copying of all NT documents in isolated regions, therefore allowing the later comparison of these isolated text traditions for the purposes of ascertaining the original writings, always and still present within the whole family of 6,000 Greek, handwritten copies.)

Our disagreement is on whether or not some central control came upon the canon of the NT such that other, legitimate parts of the Christian tradition were discarded. I suggest reading Philip Comfort, Daniel Wallace, Richard Bauckham, and James White for further considerations here.

2) Jack asked me what I think of Thomas Jefferson’s edited NT, wherein the Founding Father and third president of these United States actually cut the miracles out of the pages of his Bible, to make it more amenable to his own presuppositions of anti-supernaturalism.

My answer Re: Jefferson directed our conversation to the question of our underlying, foundational assumptions, here:

I fully affirm the brilliance & blessing of the many humans who are not Christians. It’s just they are living upon a world constructed by the Son of God, for the Son of God, and which will be consummated in a restored earth to reflect the beauty of the Son of God. Folk like T Jefferson simply miss the reason for the world and their [own] brilliance – [which is] sad to me.

3) This led to Jack strumming the strings of his favorite guitar (I’m guessing) – evolutionary, atheistic psychology. But before I hit that, I want to note a really funny slip by my friend:

He asks me “So if all your senses are not enough to understand the world what do you use? All that is left is imagination. Do you have some “other” sense?”

He then continued “I sense the answer will be Super-natural but again with what do you sense that?”

So my question, to continue our discussion, is “what do you mean “I sense,” Jack? Which of the five physical senses did you mean to indicate here?

I hope to see you in the comment section…

 

Categories: Comparative Religions, Meaning Woven into Nature, Personal Stuff, Understanding the Culture | Tags: , , , | 13 Comments

The Night America Sat Up in the Morgue Freezer: Thank you Rand Paul

The national body was  being slid into the morgue freezer: the President, following in the steps of his predecessor, had been declaring the Constitution null and void: this Administration may need to, and is allowed to target Americans on American soil for execution; no arrest, no trial by a jury of peers, no judge – just your President making a secret decision that you might be dangerous. Screw the Bill of Rights, the globe is our war-zone.

The President might need to decide to kill you by a flying robot with a missile.

1984 on steroids. The American people yawned, looking for another television fix.

And then there was Rand Paul.Rand Paul  The national body sat bolt upright just before being slid into the morgue freezer. Eyes wide open. Big breath of air. A gasp.

No, Mr. President. You may not break the law with impunity. We will not sit idly by and watch you shred the last of our Constitution. We will be heard.

Nearly 13 hours of filibustering on the Senate floor, and I remembered. I remembered what America was supposed to be. I remembered that although we’ve been a very dark nation in many ways (Native Americans and Africans, etc), our founding ideals were always higher. We may never have lived up to them, but many of our ancestors have tried.

The spirit of America has fought and struggled to break through the bounds of human limitation and mediocrity. We have been, many times, a shining beacon of hope for many poor and oppressed people. Imperfect, but still the best country in the world.

And an imperfect man stood last night on the Senate floor and reminded me of these things. He reminded me that not every person in Washington D.C. is a sold-out con artist. He reminded me that although our country has been lost to her enemies, that we will not go quietly into the night (pardon the cliched tone, I’m not ashamed of it right now).

Thank you, Rand Paul. I supported your Senate campaign, and have worried from time to time that your soul was being stolen in D.C. You made me proud to be an American. A Constitutionalist. Thank you, Senators who stood with Rand. I hope you have the courage to stand with him in the days to come, because many of us will stand with you on the right side of history, in the face of overwhelming evil.

I’m grateful to be an American. God has been very patient and kind to our nation.

I’ll leave us with some quotes from the historic filibuster of Rand Paul March 6, 2013.

Taking a stand: “I have allowed the president to pick his political appointees…But I will not sit quietly and let him shred the Constitution.”

On Obama: “He was elected by a majority, but the majority doesn’t get to decide who we execute.”

On Obama’s civil liberties flip-flop: “I think its also safe to say that Barack Obama of 2007 would be right down here with me arguing against this drone-strike program if he were in the Senate.”

On the Senate: “If there were an ounce of courage in this body I would be joined by other senators… saying they will not tolerate this.”

On the Constitution and the law: “I’m not saying that anyone is Hitler, don’t misunderstand me. But what I am saying that is…when a democracy gets it wrong, you want the law to be in place.”

On making a point: “This will be a blip in his nomination process. But I hope people will see it as an argument for how important our rights are.”

On White House “kill list”: “The people on the list might be me.”

At around 8:09 p.m. ET, Paul asked Americans,

“Are you so afraid that you are willing to trade your freedom for security?”

Thanks for reading,

-Justin

P.S. Hey Christians, please pray for our President, and our leaders in Washington.

Quotes taken from theblaze.com

Categories: Humankind in Distress, Personal Stuff, Understanding the Culture | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Plaid Fedoras and Liberty for All – Come Visit my New Blog

Interpreting the Cosmos is a place for all kinds of posts ranging from Poems about Mars all the way to commentary on false Messiahs. I just kind of let loose here, offering my Christian worldview interpretation of all things in our world and above. It’s been a great project, very fun, and I hope to continue it for many years.

I am a writer by trade, which means sometimes I wear plaid fedoras and eat quinoa while tweeting about it, sometimes I take long walks and think about how every blade of grass was put there for our enjoyment… and so I’m a joyful person.

And that joy springs from Christian theology. In fact, you could say that Christian theology equals human liberty. All the ills of the human race are traceable to a lack of Christian theology, and any good on earth can only be explained through Christian theology (the pouring out of the grace of the God who reveals Himself in the Bible). I had to start a blog where I could exult publicly in Christian theology; where I could promote the honoring and loving of God, where then I could promote human liberty.

I’m asking you to come and visit my second home, the Citizen of New Jerusalem. If you enjoy the content, please subscribe (on the right side of the blog), and make comments to add to the rejoicing we have in Christ Jesus.

newjer_01-1

I’m not a good marketer, and I’m not savvy with the way of the interwebs, so I’m not commanding a big audience through these blogs – but for those of you who read and encourage me to keep writing, thank you. I hope I have been able to bless you in some way.

Here are some sample posts from Citizen of New Jerusalem:

A piece I wrote to help Christians see how silly living in guilt really is.

My Tuesday posts from Athanasius are a gold mine of ancient Christian wisdom.

My Friday posts focus on fulfilled prophesy in the Bible.

Here’s a prayer we can all pray together.

If Interpreting the Cosmos is “everything outside the Bible interpreted by it,” then Citizen of New Jerusalem is “everything inside the Bible interpreted for the cause of human liberty.”

Come and visit me at the Citizen of New Jerusalem, and bless the Lord, He is good!

Thanks for reading,

-Justin

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

Interpreting Seminary Work Lately

Hello friends! Recently I’ve had the longest break since it began from writing on this blog. I began seminary courses recently, and the work load is deliciously heavy. I am living out a dream the Lord has put in my heart, and it has been a whirlwind so far.
I’m just posting this in order to communicate that I have not stopped interpreting the cosmos – I just haven’t figured out the right rhythm for everything just yet. I plan on slowly returning to this beloved project of mine over the course of time. Meanwhile, I just want to thank everyone who has supported this work – people from almost 50 countries have visited this year, which is a blessing beyond my expectation.
I do hope and pray that something on this site will lead to the revelation of the gospel of Christ Jesus to someone who previously walked in darkness. Pray for me if you think of it 🙂
Thanks for reading,

-Justin

Categories: Personal Stuff | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.