April 2, 2012
I have written elsewhere of my long, difficult spiritual journey. I was a disobedient, rebellious person even after I started becoming convinced of the Truth. I have wandered down many dark paths, seeking for answers but often refusing them when they were right before my eyes. But now I thank my Lord and Savior that he is long-suffering and merciful and kept goading me until I admitted defeat and surrendered to Him.
During this long journey, I looked for wisdom in many places. I have read the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads, Buddhist sutras and the Book of Mormon, the teachings of the Baha’i and pagan/occult works. It wasn’t until after my mother died in 1976 that someone led me to the Bible- and I could tell immediately that this book was different. I had found the explanation for why I- and the whole world- was such a mess. More importantly, I had discovered the One who had the solution. It would be many years before I would really have the desire to live by the precepts taught in the Bible, but thereafter that Book and its Author would never let go of me.
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April 2, 2012
The popular atheist PZ Myers has had a running series on his acclaimed blog, Pharyngula, titled “Why I’m an Atheist.” I see this shared on Twitter all the time and it’s very sad to read these atheist testimonies. All too many of these posts are stories of people who claim to have been Christian and have left the faith. I wanted to start a counter-series here on your story. The series will be, “Why I’m a Christian.” All you would need to do is send me an email at maxeoa[at]gmail[dot]com and tell me why you became a Christian and why you continue being a Christian. Your story can be however long you want it to be. Unless you note otherwise (if you want last name, last initial, anonymity, etc.), I’ll only use your first name. I hope to spread your stories to demonstrate the glory and work of God in your lives. Another benefit in doing this is so we can encourage other Christians to persevere in the faith and hopefully some of your stories will resonate with the hearts others–Christian and non-Christian. Please share this with anyone you think may be interested. I’ll post them as they come in.
March 5, 2012
Man is alienated from himself, from other persons, and from God, and as a result man has been burdened with absurdity. Absurdity ought to be understood in a dichotomous manner. Absurdity is experienced subjectively, such that the individual experiences it in an autonomous manner. The objective absurdity is the metanarratives of life. This would include a lack of ultimate meaning, incentive, value, and purpose.
Overcoming this alienation and the notion of absurdity, primarily objective absurdity, can only be done so by a divine telos. It does seem that man lives his life as if he does have an ultimate meaning, incentive, value, and purpose. However, if God does not exist, then the absurdity is not only subjective but it really is objectively absurd. The existence of a divine telos enables man to live a consistent life of meaning, incentive, value, and purpose. There is a reconciliation of man to himself, others, and God by overcoming this absurdity.
Man exists in a state of alienation. He is alienated from himself, from others, and from God. Alienation from the self creates a subjective absurdity (this will be explicated later). Because of his own nature man cannot stand in agreeable terms with himself. His epistemic warrant is not always at ease. He doubts. He questions and is lacks sufficiency in his capacity to function in an ideal manner.
His alienation from others is subjective and experienced by the individual as well. It too is a result of man’s nature and state of being. It is at this level of alienation where man often attempts to create his own teleology. He will construct an artificial and arbitrary teleology based on other alienated persons. Man’s alienation from God is irreconcilable by man’s initiative. Man cannot act outside of his closed system; thus, he requires an outside agency to overcome this alienation.
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February 21, 2012
When it comes to philosophy there are three things I ponder deeply about every day. I’m not exaggerating when I say these things. I think about God every hour I’m awake. He plagues my thought and attention. I often think about my relation to him, how he is who he is, his providence, his action in the world, etc. It is so foreign to me when Christians say that they don’t think about God from day-to-day. The second idea that occupies my thought is death. I don’t think I’m morbid about this; I think I’m just being honest with myself. I wonder what it’s like to die, that moment in between life and death. Is it painful? Is it joyful and painless? What is it like to see the Lord for the first time? The third thought I think about isn’t as often as the formers but is nonetheless occurent. It’s the question: “What would it take for me to be an atheist?”
I certainly believe Christianity is falsifiable, that is, to be proven false. I think there is biblical warrant for this. Consider 1 Corinthians 15.17 when Paul says that if Christ had not risen from the dead then our faith is in vain. To show Christianity is false one must demonstrate that the resurrection of Jesus did not happen. I was speaking with my professor over lunch a month or so back and we struck up a conversation on what it would take for us to be atheists. Proving the resurrection false doesn’t disprove God, it just disproves Christianity.
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February 21, 2012
The two divisions of absurdity, subjective and objective, by all evidence, binding. If God does not exist then man lives in Bertrand Russell’s world of scaffolding despair. Man is merely the product of pointless cause and effects with no prevision of the ends being achieved. All the labors of the age, devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vase death of the solar system. Man’s achievements are destined to be buried in the debris of the universe. Only within the scaffolding of these [teleological] truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.
If there is no God to provide meaning, value, and purpose, the only consistent option for humanity is suicide. Any becoming of life-affirming or life-denying acts are illusory. Absolutely nothing can be a positive or negative act for the individual since there is nothing to determine a differentiation. One is forced to face Nietzsche’s abyss and face the reality that no rope can scale the depth of nothingness. One is only left with despair, guilt, and angst. If guilt, and angst are not subjectively preferred then the only option is to eliminate such emotions and thoughts. If there is no God, the only remedy for absurdity is to participate in Nietzsche’s abyss of nothingness: suicide.
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