Sunday, January 26, 2014

Discovering God: Questions

This is part of continuing series of theological questions.  We will give some description, but the purpose of these posts are not to answer questions but to ask them.  You may answer some if you like in the comments section, but I will keep myself in the questioning mode for now.

Many of us desire to find God, and some spend their whole lives just doing this.  But why?  Is God so the center of the meaning of our lives that we should be seeking Him?  Is God the Source we should be seeking, or is there another Subject that is more true, more to the core of our being?  Some have said that we should not be seeking God, but ourselves, humanity, reality, love, economic stability, truth, power....  If we find God will we find all these as well?  If we find these will we find God?

Is God even an object to be discovered?  We can discover most things within our own universe, eventually, but if God is outside of our universe, then can we truly discover God?  Can we only describe God through what God is not, because we cannot see or measure what God is?  Is it possible to describe or communicate God at all, if God is beyond our imagination?

What would be the tools to discover God?  If God is beyond human comprehension, then perhaps God is the only one to describe what or who God is.  But what is this revelation in which God describes God?  Is it creation, made by God, but ravaged by time?  Is it physics, the building blocks of creation?  Is it the human mind, the most sublime creation?  Is it a text in which God laid out the most important thoughts about God?  Is it a person, who communicated God most sublimely through both words and action?

Who are we to make such choices?  Can we grab onto one of these tools and call it the ultimate revelation?  Or should we live our lives and hope that God is some rock that we will stumble upon and everything will make sense? Is such a search ultimately futile or fruitful?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Joy in Difficulty - A Scriptural Guide

Luke 6:20-23
Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. “Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets.

Romans 5:1-5
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

I Peter 4:12-14
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

James 1:2-4, 9, 12
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything… Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position… Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

Acts 5:40-41
After calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them. So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.

I Thessalonians 5:18
In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

God's Sovereignty: Questions

We will be starting a series of theological questions today.  We will give some description, but the purpose of these posts are not to answer questions but to ask them.  You may answer some if you like in the comments section, but I will keep myself in the questioning mode for now.

All the monotheistic religions hold that God is Sovereign-- that is, He rules the universe.  But there has been much disagreement as to how much and to what extent God rules.

Does God rule every aspect of the universe?  Or are there portions of the universe He never had control over?  Are there portions that He relinquished control over?  Is God the god of this world or did He give it over to Satan?  Or did he give it over to humanity?  If God is not really in charge of the earth, then why complain to God if things go bad or if there is evil?  Shouldn't we take it up with the current management?

Is God specifically ruling every single atom of the universe, or just the general flow of things?  Is every aspect of what has happened and what will happen under God's control?  Is the movement of every atom directed by Him?  Did he set the universe up and let it go, still understanding exactly what would happen, every day, for the rest of eternity?  If that is so, then is God responsible for every evil that took place, because He set it up that way?  If God is responsible for evil, doesn't that ultimately make Him evil?  Or at least part evil?

It says in the Bible that God sustains life.  Is it speaking about in the general sense, in the way that God provides food and other sustenance for those who need it?  Or does it mean that without God no life would exist, that God is somehow holding all of creation so that it doesn't fall apart, and that without God holding things together, nothing could continue to exist?