Reading the comments in a Challies.com post on Unconditional Election (in a TULIP series), I ran across this interesting bit:
Dr. Mohler answered a question on election/human responsabilityl/God’s sovereignty to this doctrine in his debate with Dr. Patterson at the last SBC convention:
“there are two impossible persons: those who want to be saved and are not saved and those who do not want to be saved and are saved”. Not an exact quote but I guess it is close… [italic emphasis mine]
Is that a little reductionist, or is that the deal?
And by monkeys, I mean those small humans that call me Mommy.
I sometimes wonder why I am so *driven* to learn so much about my faith. Do I *really* need to struggle through the Kalam argument? Can I give a confirmed relativist (oooh, is there such a thing by definition?) a run for his money? I know I will never understand all the theology, or even a large part of it. So why struggle so hard? Some days I feel like I’m torturing myself on purpose. Oh gee, here’s a tough question I never would have even thought of by myself…let me look into that and get all riled up all over again.
But I can’t tell you how many times I have just learned something and I turn around and one of my kids will ask me the very same question.
My little boy asks: If God makes everything happen in the world, aren’t we just like puppets? If God made the world, who made God?
My girl asks: How do I love God if I can’t see him? I love the stories from the bible, but they don’t seem like those things really happened.
I talk to them seriously. I tell them what I know. They wouldn’t accept pat answers anymore than I didn’t. Thank you to all of you who are helping me, and in turn, helping my monkeys. :) The struggle goes on…
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. [Romans 5:3-5 NIV]
Help me connect the dots…
I see how suffering produces perseverance
I see how perseverance produces character
I see how hope does not disappoint us because of God love poured into our hearts
But how does character lead to hope? I’ve been puzzling this for a bit now. The best thing I can come up with is that because you trust in the Lord enough in your sufferings to persevere and see that you can lean on him while you’re developing this character in your difficult times, that he really is trustworthy enough to hope in?
Oh learned sages…what say you?
Sometimes a little humor can put it in perspective:
The church I grew up in was a variant of the Church of Christ, Independent, I think. I can’t find specifics on their website, so I’m not sure.
But one of the things I grew up believing was what I think they call Believer’s Baptism, or credobaptism. This essentially means there is some “grace period” until a child reaches the age of accountability (between 8 & 12). At that time, the child is mature enough to determine whether he or she accepts Jesus, and this is the point where he or she fully becomes a Christian.
The church I go to now is Calvinist, and if I understand correctly, believes people are born sinners, and are extended grace by God in an irresistable way. It appears the little ones are not saved and there is no “grace period”. Some solve this dilemma by baptising infants. Some solve it by looking for signs of “regeneration” in their children, as proof that God has chosen them. Some evangelize heavily to their children. Some, I have read, have the minister dedicate their children to God when they are born, and consider them as part of the covenant. Not sure if they want them to reaffirm anything later. There are probably more options…I don’t know.
It’s very confusing and disheartening to me. I grew up one way, understood at least that part and was baptised as a believer. I assumed my children would be taken care of until they were the age of reason. Am I wrong? Even if I were wrong, what would I do now? They’re 6 & 9. A little late for infant baptism. Although they are both in or near the age of reason, they are both new to the church (as I have been away for most of their life), and they don’t know enough about Christianity to make an informed decision.
I wish there was a neat wrap-up of this blog post, but no clarity as yet :/
I’ve been wondering what I could do with this blog since I really don’t know enough about Christianity, theology or apologetics to teach anybody anything. I’m in total immersion mode, and learning a tremendous amount, but it’s going to be a long road. I’m thinking about getting some formal education, but I’m not sure how to best go about that. I have a four year degree and 20 years of work experience, but it’s all technical computer stuff. I haven’t done anything even remotely humanities related since my few required courses in college.
But one thing I do remember from English writing classes is to write what you know. And I do know the questions that I had to get answered before I came to the point where I am now. So I’m going to try to combine a couple of things here. First, I’m going to talk about the issues I had before I could recommit myself to Christ. I’m going to ask the question, and give the answer that made sense to me, but what’s more, is that I will try to make the answers more complete and based in theologies, reason, and evidence.
In many ways, I think my aptitude for my current career as a technical architect will prove valuable in apologetics. Most of what I do and what I am talented at is taking the theoretical and applying it in a practical way that people can use and understand. And what I’ve learned over time is that the best way to learn the practical application of the theoretical is to actually try and DO IT.
Since I know most of my readers know way more than I do, I invite you all to correct and guide me as I make these chicken scratchings. :)
It’s a little late in the evening to start one off, but I’m planning on starting with the issue of why I can’t open a newspaper without crying for all the horrifying things that are being done to innocent children. Yeah, that’s right. I like to give myself easy assignments. ;-)
No. I don't have it in me. I don't have it in me to start this absolutely enormous and overwhelming journey. As I investigate answers to my own questions and the ones posed to me by friends and skeptics, I find … more questions. The kind that are even harder to answer…the kind with no answer. I feel discouraged and tired. Inadequate. Confused. Who am I to do this? Now? At 40?
No. I don't have it in me.
And yet, He does. It's hard to phrase right, but I have felt stirred to apologetics since I encountered the word for the first time. He leads me to books and sites and questions and answers and people. I know there are sites that talk about what a true calling is, and I will go study them in time (my list of things to study only grows at an exponential rate), but I don't think I need an explanation to know I am called.
I cannot do it. He has to do it if it is His will. I'm grateful for all of it, even this spinning in my head.
I'm going to go to sleep now. I will remember to thank Him tonight for the gift of sleep.