Via Relevant - As you’ll read, there have been a handful of times that Stephen Colbert has broken character to defend and articulate historical orthodoxy (e.g. “The Time He Argued for Christ’s Divinity”) … read more here:
Have you ever wrestled with the notion that God wants -and even requires- praise? Perhaps God is a cosmic narcissist. But what if He knows something that we don’t?
If God exists as the greatest and most wonderful being who surpasses adequate description, He would necessarily be the most wonderful source of all that is good, right, and true; His praise would have to be the highest peak of our existential mountain. Piper has famously said, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him”; if this is true, there is actually nothing better for humans to do.
This hearty C.S. Lewis quote offers an intuitive explanation about the way God intends our joy to intersect with the nature of people and praise itself: Read on »
Kant noted that our lack of evidence for God may say more about us than about Him. Our five senses are good at detecting smells and sounds in the natural world, but they are unable to access anything we can’t touch, taste, or see. Why should we expect that our natural senses would find indisputable evidence for a supernatural Spirit?
- Dr. Michael Wittmer, Despite Doubt, 25.
The deepest epistemological assumptions we hold are often taken for granted. When these underpinnings are problematised, what results can be like a Rorschach test; the criteria we for what constitutes a valid mode of knowledge tells us not just what a person actually believes about the nature of things, but also what a person wants to believe as well.
I just read a splendid Time Magazine article, What The Music You Love Says About You And How It Can Improve Your Life… here’s the main points:
- Music Can Help You Relax
- Angry Music Improves Your Performance
- Music Reduces Pain
- Music Can Give You A Better Workout
- Music Can Help You Find Love
- Music Can Save A Life
- Music Can Improve Your Work — Sometimes
- Use Music To Make You Smarter
- Music Can Make You A Better Person
In the long run the answer to all those who object to the doctrine of hell is itself a question: “What are you asking God to do?” To wipe out their past sins and, at all costs, to give them a fresh start, smoothing every difficulty and offering every miraculous help? But He has done so, on Calvary. To forgive them? They will not be forgiven. To leave them alone? Alas, I am afraid that is what He does.
- C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
Christianity asserts that we are going to go on forever and that must either be true or false. Now there are a great many things that wouldn’t be worth bothering about if I was only going to live eighty years or so, but I had better bother about if I am going to go on living forever. Perhaps my bad temper or my jealousy are getting worse so gradually that the increase in my lifetime will not be very noticeable but it might be absolute hell in a million years. In fact, if Christianity is true, hell is precisely the correct technical term for it. Hell begins with a grumbling mood, always complaining, always blaming others, but you are still distinct from it. You may even criticize it in yourself and wish you could stop it. But there may come a day when you can no longer. Then there will be no you left to criticize the mood or to even enjoy it, but just the grumble itself going on and on forever like a machine. It is not a question of God ‘sending us’ to hell. In each of us there is something growing, which will BE Hell unless it is nipped in the bud.
- C.S. Lewis
Two hours of rigorous and thoughtful questions by Martin Bashir & others directed toward Dr. Tim Keller:
I know it takes time to develop a life of prayer: set-aside, disciplined, deliberate time. It isn’t accomplished on the run, nor by offering prayers form a pulpit or at a hospital bed. I know I can’t be busy and pray at the same time. I can be active and pray; I can work and pray; but I cannot be busy and pray. I cannot be inwardly rushed, distracted, or dispersed. In order to pray I have to be paying more attention to God than to what people are saying to me; to God than to my clamoring ego. Usually, for that to happen there must be a deliberate withdrawal from the noise of the day, a disciplined detachment from the insatiable self.
- Eugene Peterson, The Contemplative Pastor
Where the religious leaders of his day focused on legalism, nationalism, and isolation from the outside world, he preached a message of love, humility, and restoration. Where the textual scholars hid away from the people and exercised a harsh religious code, he preached openness, love, and the need for a salvation that relied not on works but on the grace of God. Where others cast stones, he forgave. Where others passed by the poor, outcast, immoral, and destitute, he fed them, lingered with them, went into their homes, healed them, and spoke with them about their struggles and ideals. Where others saw fisherman, prostitutes, and tax collectors, he saw a group of disciples capable of changing the world.
- Carter & Coleman, How To Argue Like Jesus