Paula's Blog

November 30, 2013

Image of God

On the weekend of my birthday, I received a revelation from God – what it meant to be created in the image of God. It was an answer to a recent question that has been surfacing in my mind with regards to the topics “Human self-development and the work place” and “humanity” and “evolution”.

As an arts student, I have preferred to be a humanist. (Roughly speaking, Humanism is a group of philosophies and ethical perspectives which emphasize the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers individual thought and evidence (rationalism, empiricism) over established doctrine or faith (fideism).) This has especially been so since I entered the workplace. But there is a type of humanisim that embraces christianity

Experiencing how people behave at work full time,it has led me to think of people as glorious self-made constructions, or as¬† organisms with a selfish agenda. Two opposites. that just goes by humanistic assumptions,which much of secular society goes by. However, I still had a question “who are we, really” and it was in my subconscious.

I have always read the verse “created in the image of God” and just understood it surface value. but now i understand better what it means. we are created to be LIKE GOD – that means having the kind of worth, glory and honour that goes along with it. we have God’s attributes – love, holiness, grace,mercy,justice, righteousness, creativity, diligence and so on.

Isn’t it wonderful to have been created in the image of God? Instead of being slaves at the workplace, we have the worth of God-like status. Instead of being cogs in a machine,we have the moral attributes of God designed in us. Instead of being money hungry evolutionary beings, we are crowned with glory.

well, just happyabout the answer to the question “Who am I”.

Advertisements

April 6, 2013

Blog Carnival update!

Filed under: How we relate to God,Philosophy — applecherrypipz @ 8:25 am
Tags: , , , ,

My entry “How the theory of evolution can harm one’s faith”, is in this month’s edition of Faith and Philosophy. Go check it out! ūüôā

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: ‚ÄúFaith 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, ‚Äúthe 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.

—*—
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 ‚Äúintellectual beauty‚ÄĚ 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 ‚Äúbeyond the senses‚ÄĚ.

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‚Äď1822)
I

THE AWFUL shadow of some unseen Power

¬†¬†Floats though unseen among us,‚ÄĒvisiting
  This various world with as inconstant wing
As summer winds that creep from flower to flower,‚ÄĒ
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,‚ÄĒ
¬†¬†¬†¬†Like clouds in starlight widely spread,‚ÄĒ
¬†¬†¬†¬†Like memory of music fled,‚ÄĒ ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†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,‚ÄĒwhere 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,‚ÄĒwhy 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‚ÄĒ
  Therefore the names of Demon, Ghost, and Heaven,
Remain the records of their vain endeavour,
Frail spells‚ÄĒwhose uttered charm might not avail to sever,
    From all we hear and all we see,        30
    Doubt, chance, and mutability.
Thy light alone‚ÄĒlike mist o‚Äôer 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‚Äô eyes‚ÄĒ
Thou‚ÄĒthat to human thought art nourishment,
    Like darkness to a dying flame!        45
    Depart not as thy shadow came,
¬†¬†¬†¬†Depart not‚ÄĒlest 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‚ÄĒI saw them not‚ÄĒ
    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,‚ÄĒ
    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‚ÄĒhave 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‚ÄĒ
They know that never joy illumed my brow
    Unlinked with hope that thou wouldst free
    This world from its dark slavery,        70
¬†¬†¬†¬†That thou‚ÄĒO awful LOVELINESS,
Wouldst give whate’er these words cannot express.
VII

The day becomes more solemn and serene

¬†¬†When noon is past‚ÄĒthere 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‚ÄĒto one who worships thee,
    And every form containing thee,
    Whom, SPIRIT fair, thy spells did bind
To fear himself, and love all human kind.

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: