Paula's Blog

September 29, 2013

Jesus is God and Lord over all creation!

Filed under: How we relate to God,Identity — applecherrypipz @ 8:55 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.” – Col 1:15-21

Jesus is God and Lord over all creation!

jesus-holding-earth1

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March 30, 2013

How the theory of evolution can harm one’s faith

In this entry, I would just like to touch briefly on how the theory of evolution could be subtly harmful to one’s faith.

God’s creation helps inspire faith in God. For this, there needs to be an underlying philosophical framework of creationism instead of evolution.

On the subject of faith James McConkey wrote: “Faith is dependence upon God. And this God-dependence only begins when self-dependence ends.”. J.B. Stoney agrees by saying ” I believe the Lord allows many things to happen on purpose to make us feel our need of Him.”. (http://bible.org/seriespage/faith)

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”. Rom 1:20 (NIV)

God’s creation magnifies God by showcasing his transcendent qualities, thus throwing light on our dependence on God, an important aspect of our faith.

Skii-Switzerland-Mountain-HD

For example, seeing this picture of a mountain through the philosophical framework of creationism, I am reminded of God’s “invisible qualities” of majesty, power and greatness of a transcendent nature. One needs to know that we are created, that this world is God’s creation to see these transcendent qualities. By being starkly aware of how small we are in the grand scheme of his creation, we realise our dependence on God the Creator.

Antithetically, seeing it through the framework of evolution, we do not see its utterly transcendent qualities, but simply as a random incident of chemistry and motion. It points to the simple instinct of survival and a persistent theme throughout evolution, “the survival of the fittest”. This takes us away from God-dependence to self-dependence. This is possibly one of the destructive and harmful influences of the theory of evolution can have on faith, which can subtly creep into the church and society.

We need to have an underlying philosophy of God as creator and one who created this world, to redeem this aspect of our faith.

Note: I am not utterly condemning the theory of evolution, it could be true in some aspects, would just like to point out a harmful influence it can subtly have.

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This post is also in the blog carnival, Faith and Philosophy.

March 19, 2013

“Intellectual beauty”

Is there something within us that craves for a much higher intellectual plane, something that can be called intellectual beauty? What is beautiful about our intellect? Is it something sublime and transcendent, nearly deified by Shelley?

This lyric hymn, written in 1816, is Shelley’s earliest focused attempt to incorporate the Romantic ideal of communion with nature into his own aesthetic philosophy.

Does the phrase “intellectual beauty” refer to the working of the mind or intellect, or the intellectual idea of beauty? Suppose intellect and beauty were demonstrated to have a close relationship in this poem.

The meaning of intellectual in the poem, according to The Oxford anthology of English Literature 1973, refers to the 18th century meaning “beyond the senses”.

It seems in a way deified by Shelley, as it shows him working to incorporate Wordsworthian ideas of nature, in some ways the most important theme of early Romanticism,into his own poetic project and connecting his idea of beauty to his idea of human religion, thus making that theme explicitly his own.

Is it primarily our intellect that differentiates human beings from animals? Perhaps this poem has implications for ideas of evolution and creation that seek to explain what humanity is in scientific terms. How can we apply the ideas in this poem to our own attitudes towards academia, education and related areas?

I suppose what I gain from this poem is learning how to admire the relationship between intellect, beauty and religion, just as one admires natural beauty. It’s just another aspect of God’s creation! I have also learnt how to appreciate Romantic ideals of beauty as defined by Shelley, something connected to religion that has transcendent qualities. Isn’t it great to have ideals from time to time!

Hymn to Intellectual Beauty
By Percy Bysshe Shelley  (1792–1822)
I

THE AWFUL shadow of some unseen Power

  Floats though unseen among us,—visiting
  This various world with as inconstant wing
As summer winds that creep from flower to flower,—
Like moonbeams that behind some piny mountain shower,         5
    It visits with inconstant glance
    Each human heart and countenance;
Like hues and harmonies of evening,—
    Like clouds in starlight widely spread,—
    Like memory of music fled,—        10
    Like aught that for its grace may be
Dear, and yet dearer for its mystery.
II

Spirit of BEAUTY, that dost consecrate

  With thine own hues all thou dost shine upon
  Of human thought or form,—where art thou gone?        15
Why dost thou pass away and leave our state,
This dim vast vale of tears, vacant and desolate?
    Ask why the sunlight not for ever
    Weaves rainbows o’er yon mountain-river,
Why aught should fail and fade that once is shown,        20
    Why fear and dream and death and birth
    Cast on the daylight of this earth
    Such gloom,—why man has such a scope
For love and hate, despondency and hope?
III

No voice from some sublimer world hath ever

       25
  To sage or poet these responses given—
  Therefore the names of Demon, Ghost, and Heaven,
Remain the records of their vain endeavour,
Frail spells—whose uttered charm might not avail to sever,
    From all we hear and all we see,        30
    Doubt, chance, and mutability.
Thy light alone—like mist o’er mountains driven,
    Or music by the night-wind sent
    Through strings of some still instrument,
    Or moonlight on a midnight stream,        35
Gives grace and truth to life’s unquiet dream.
IV

Love, Hope, and Self-esteem, like clouds depart

  And come, for some uncertain moments lent.
  Man were immortal, and omnipotent,
Didst thou, unknown and awful as thou art,        40
Keep with thy glorious train firm state within his heart.
    Thou messenger of sympathies,
    That wax and wane in lovers’ eyes—
Thou—that to human thought art nourishment,
    Like darkness to a dying flame!        45
    Depart not as thy shadow came,
    Depart not—lest the grave should be,
Like life and fear, a dark reality.
V

While yet a boy I sought for ghosts, and sped

  Through many a listening chamber, cave and ruin,        50
  And starlight wood, with fearful steps pursuing
Hopes of high talk with the departed dead.
I called on poisonous names with which our youth is fed;
    I was not heard—I saw them not—
    When musing deeply on the lot        55
Of life, at that sweet time when winds are wooing
    All vital things that wake to bring
    News of birds and blossoming,—
    Sudden, thy shadow fell on me;
I shrieked, and clasped my hands in ecstasy!        60
VI

I vowed that I would dedicate my powers

  To thee and thine—have I not kept the vow?
  With beating heart and streaming eyes, even now
I call the phantoms of a thousand hours
Each from his voiceless grave: they have in visioned bowers        65
    Of studious zeal or love’s delight
    Outwatched with me the envious night—
They know that never joy illumed my brow
    Unlinked with hope that thou wouldst free
    This world from its dark slavery,        70
    That thou—O awful LOVELINESS,
Wouldst give whate’er these words cannot express.
VII

The day becomes more solemn and serene

  When noon is past—there is a harmony
  In autumn, and a lustre in its sky,        75
Which through the summer is not heard or seen,
As if it could not be, as if it had not been!
    Thus let thy power, which like the truth
    Of nature on my passive youth
Descended, to my onward life supply        80
    Its calm—to one who worships thee,
    And every form containing thee,
    Whom, SPIRIT fair, thy spells did bind
To fear himself, and love all human kind.

November 30, 2011

Love the Lord your God with all your Heart and with all your Soul and with all your Mind and with all your Strength

Filed under: Bible verses,How we relate to God,Philosophy — applecherrypipz @ 1:23 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Recently I felt challenged to love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, MIND and strength. In particular, I felt challenged to love the Lord with my MIND. what does it mean to love the Lord with my MIND?

 I think it means not conforming to the pattern of this world, but renewing my mind according to the word of God.

Choosing to let God’s word be the authority over what I study, my career. Letting God mould my beliefs, shape my thoughts.

I think this is also closely tied in to the idea of Creation. As His creation, knowing that everything is Created by Him and for Him, I know that

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,

And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Prov : 9 – 10

 

“The heavens declare the glory of God;

The skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Day after day they pour forth speech,

Night after night they display knowledge.

There is no speech or language

Where their voice is not heard.” Ps 19 : 1 – 3

 

Some food for thought! Some keywords on loving God with our minds are : wisdom,  understanding, speech, knowledge, language

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