Tuesday, September 20, 2005

In The Beginning...

That's right, creation fell apart. Sent into a spiraling disharmony, no longer perfect but slowly degenerating, like my lower back. I fell down the stairs yesterday... why? Because nature is trying to hurt me. Ever been stung by a wasp, bitten by a snake, stepped in something wet with your socks on? That's nature, reminding you that it's not in harmony with itself like it used to be. Look at the demolished city that was once our Cajun paradise...New Orleans is one of many tragic acts of nature, and will not be the last.

An article on MSNBC last night was titled, "'We think we're totally safe and we're not:' Like Aceh, Haiti, Sri Lanka, America learns power of a restless planet". I advise you to look at this article www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9207996/ It's a good reminder that we are in a world that is crying out for restoration. Another example that helps me prove this point is that as I tried to find a name for my blog, I tried almost EVERY word in the thesaurus relating to "disquiet, discord, mayhem, chaos, and restlessness" and ALL of them are taken by bloggers. Everyone's having their own pity party about their lives. It's all part of their own nature, crying out for restoration. Before the fall of man, we didn't have to die, but now we're all approaching death. We're degenerating, decaying, subject to the bondage of aging and decomposing, just like nature. Just look at the picture... a sudden raging storm sends a picnic crowd here at my school into a panic.


Blogger Bradley said...

In the beginning...Jonathon created a blog, and it was "very good" (especially this one). I particularly am fond of this one because of the subject matter. All too often Christians—having experienced a great work of grace and tasted of the new creation which is to come—begin to see the world with such new eyes that they speak only of the glory of Creation. They begin to use the glory of creation as an empirical evidence for the love of the creator; and of course "God is love," but creation is a poor exhibit for proof of the doctrine of the love of God. All the world is under an unavoidable curse of sin, suffering, and death. How do you tell a kid who has been abused, neglected, raped, beaten, whose brother is locked up and whose best friend is dead because he caught stray bullets in the midst of gang retaliation, etc., "God [the sovereign and omnipotent One] loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life"? These things beg for explanation. This is just another reason why I find biblical Christianity to be philosophically responsible--the scriptures do not overlook the weight of the curse that everyone experiences to one degree or another in this life. This seems to be a blind spot in today's postmodern mentality of unwarranted optimism. Suffering and death are either a just punishment for a humanity born in rebellion against that which is infinitely worthy of allegiance, or there is no God (at least no God who is all-powerful and all-loving). It reminds me of what C.S. Lewis said in his apologetical book Mere Christianity: "We have two bits of evidence about the Somebody. One is the universe He has made. If we used that as our only clue, then I think we should have to conclude that He was a great artist (for the universe is a very beautiful place), but also that He is quite merciless and no friend to man (for the universe is a very dangerous and terrifying place). The other bit of evidence is that Moral Law which He has put into our minds." - Lewis, Mere Christianity, New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers Inc. 1980, 29. In the end, creation is a good proof for the glory of the creator, but not His love. That piece of the puzzle must be found at the cross, where that other doctrine of which creation is an exhibit is also to be met--the doctrine of sin. Instead of sticking a planet-size dynamite stick into the earth, Christ was sent to bear the curse on our behalf—that's why I can say as a Christian that the world speaks of the great glory of our Creator, and equally of the great rebellion of humanity.

Sat Sep 24, 02:32:00 AM  
Blogger Scooter said...

How can you live thinking life is a curse?

As Lemony Snicket (wise sage of words) says in A Series of Unfortunate Events... There is a lot of bad in the world, but there is a lot more good - you just have to look harder.

Wed Sep 28, 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger Bradley said...

I suppose it's easy to see more good when your young, but when you get older and your flesh starts to rot, or you get cancer and suffer through deadly therapy, or your best friend dies, or your wife, or one of your children is molested and/or kidnapped, or you find out your liver is failing and you have a few years to live, or you become paralized from the waste down from a car accedent that wan't your fault, or the American economy crashes (or any combonation of two or more of these things) and your "trusty" anchor for joy is cutt off from your boat--that's when my comments will make more sense. I agree that there are traces of the hand of God in this world we live in; there are very beautiful things to behold and experience which I am now failing to mention. But those good things cannot blind me to all the suffering in the world. Maybe the curse hasn't begun to introduce itself to you just yet...but just wait. In fact, I think I'll add a new blog to my site about suffering.

Wed Sep 28, 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Scooter said...

Anyone who knows me knows that I've had my share of sadness and hardship - I've had many family memebers and friends pass away, my dad had cancer, he lost his job twice, my family declared bankruptcy, just to name a few.

But the good always outshines the bad. I truly believe that.

It sounds like the bad things have blinded you to all the good in the world.

Wed Oct 26, 02:20:00 PM  
Anonymous koopstacochran said...

Yes. The good always outshines the bad.

Yes, we should not allow the sin, suffering, and death to blind us from the good. But the whole point of emphasizing these things (at least for me) is to point people to THE good (the only good); the one who bore the curse on our behalf; the only one thus able to deliver us from the curse; the supreme being; the all satisfying and glorious God in the person of Jesus Christ.

My intention in speaking of the curse (though I don't make it obvious) is to highlight the doctrine of sin (which I understand to have caused all the suffering in the world--according to the scriptures) in order that in doing so it might point people to the Savior of sinners, the cross, the Christ.

Yes. The good must be seen. But the only real "good" which does not, in the end, let us down, is Christ. Clinging to any other temporary "good" in this world is an empty hope in comparison.

Let us see the good: Chirst. Let us take our refuge from suffering in Him: The Savior. Let us find our pleasure where it is most intense and most enduring: the Living Water which quenches our thirst.

Ahhhhh...I commend Him to you sir--and to all who perceive the curse for what it is, and care about their everlasting joy and pleasure.

Wed Oct 26, 10:10:00 PM  
Anonymous koopsta said...

The more I rest in the pleasure of knowing God through Christ (the good), the more starkly it contrasts with the passing sinful pleasures of this world (the bad).

To those who are spoiled with the Glory of Christ, the glories of creation won't do--they point beyond creation to the glorious creator.

Perhaps, Mr. Scoot, I am letting "the bad" overshadow the "the good." Ironically, it seems to me that instead of the bad having blinded me the good, the good (God) causes the bad to look even worse. I spend lots of energy trying to point people to "the good" (even if I have to talk a lot about "the bad" to show the need for recognizing the need for "the good"). I would say the pleasures of sin is "the bad" is that which blinds people to "the good."

God is the good, sin is the bad, and we (humanity in general) are the ugly.

Mr. Scoot, I hope you will see "the good" in what I have said instead of pointing out what you may perceive as "the bad."

Wed Oct 26, 11:12:00 PM  

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