June 26th, 2012
We cannot imagine what is going to come next. [God] has set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from the beginning to end (Ecc. 3.11). No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him (1 Cor. 2.9). Stretch your mind and strain your eyes to build a sustaining hope.
HOPE is the theme to the new creation. The creation waits with eager (αποδεχομαι) longing (Rom. 8.19). αποδεχομαι [apodexomai] refers to an anxious, yet careful and patient waiting–a reservation of knowing something is coming but continuing in patience. Hope that creation will be set free from corruption to bring glory to the children of God (Rom. 8.20-21). We wait eagerly for the redemption of our bodies, we groan inwardly for the hope that we were saved by (Rom. 8.23-24). The new creation is unique–hope that is seen is not hope (Rom. 8.24-25).
So, where is heaven and hell? Heaven and hell are physical and not just spiritual. There is a resurrection of believers (1 Cor. 15) and a resurrection of unbelievers (Dan. 12.2; Rev. 20). Heaven and hell continue to exist after this creation. The Bible clarifies that heaven and hell continue after the moment God commands the cosmos to be “rolled up like a scroll” (Is. 34.4), to “disappear with a roar” (2 Pt. 3.10), and to “melt in the heat” (2 Pt. 3.12). This of it this way: suppose I have a paper with the image of Dante’s universe on it. It’s two dimensional (for the analogy to work I need to remove a dimension). If I crumble up the piece of paper the external dimensions where I am do not crumble up too. I can crumble the paper with those dimensions and still not be affected by it.
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April 17th, 2012
There are three primary categories for virtue the Christian/theist will affirm. The first are the transcendental virtues: truth, beauty, and goodness. The second set is the theological virtues: faith, hope, and love/charity. Then there are the four cardinal virtues: prudence, courage, patience, and justice. It’s my belief that every Christian must practice epistemic humility. What is that? Well, epistemic humility, in the sense I’ll be using it, refers to an application of the four cardinal virtues in the area of epistemology (knowledge). Each of these virtues have a respective vice. For instance, the virtue of moderation would appear as a vice in addiction.
The virtue of epistemic prudence is know when and how to appropriate your knowledge to others. Have you ever noticed that person in class or in church that seems to be the ‘know-it-all,’ whether they actually are or not? Of course, it’s worse when they’re simply ignorant of what they’re talking about, but not only is this person annoying but there may be several issues rooted in the flaunting of knowledge. There’s nothing wrong with sharing you’re knowledge but, like I said, it’s how and when you share it.
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April 4th, 2012
I was raised in a few different households. My mother was addicted to drugs and my father was running around on her. I was taken in by my father when my mom was deemed unfit to have custody of me. My stepmother was the woman my father had been seeing while he was married and saw me as a reminder of my mother, but played the part of caring mother to please my father.
I was beat, harassed, and ridiculed by my stepmother for the sole reason of not being her child. To her, I was a constant reminder of a burden that she had no intention to bear. I recall her taking me with her children to church on the “important days” of Easter and Christmas. She claimed she was a believer of God.
My grandmother, who had adopted my mother, got to see me every other weekend. I recall that she would take me to church whenever I was spending the weekend with her and worked hard to get me to see all that Christianity had to offer. She truly was a loving woman. When she was seven years old she was given 7 months to live and she lived to be 70, dying 7 days after being admitted to the hospital and 7 hours after I had last visited her. I did not see it then.
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December 20th, 2011
I wanted to write to you with my best intentions of preparing you for the life to come. I have so much to tell you and so much to prepare you for. Don’t worry; I’m not ruining any surprises. It’s like when you read the ingredients of your favorite dinner on the menu of your favorite restaurant. You know what’s coming but knowing just that never seems to ruin the experience, does it? You still experience the joy of the meal. It’s a bit like that my friend. This letter will only foretell you of things to come. My purpose in writing you is to make sure you understand what it means to experience life.
I’ll cut straight to the core issue–your life is going to be good and I have nothing but good news for you. Despite what you’re about to read it’s all beautiful. Your life is going to change. Okay, before I continue I know what you’re wondering and yes, you will get married. You’re going to meet this beautiful girl in college. She’s going to distract you from everything. You’ll have a romantic tunnel vision. Everything else is going to blur and you’re going to focus in on her. Her smile is going to capture you. Her eyes are going to melt you. You’ll learn to love. This is the love that can never be adequately expressed in words. Actions and experience is the only sufficient way of knowing this love… a love that helps you understand God.
This brings me to my next point. Sooner or later you’re going to become a Christian. The thing is, this doesn’t make your life any easier. You’ll go to a university and study philosophy and you’ll learn to love science. Pay attention in school. Please, if this finds you please study physics more before university. It will make things easier for me here! You’ll eventually aim to make a career in academia.
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