Paula's Blog

November 17, 2013

Freedom

Democracy gives us freedom from restrictions,to have freedom in action.
Investing gives us freedom from money, to have freedom in life.
Medical discoveries give us freedom from illnesses,to have freedom in our bodies.

Jesus Christ gives us freedom from sin, to have freedom to be like Him.

Which is the best kind of freedom?

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 18, 2013

What does it mean to be human? – Ravi Zacharias’s take

Filed under: How we relate to God,Identity,People,Philosophy — applecherrypipz @ 2:23 am
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As our moral sensibilities seem to drift further and further apart, we must ask ourselves, “What does it mean to be human?” For, as Ravi Zacharias, Christian thinker, writer, and speaker, reminds us, upon this definition all else hinges.

http://www.veritas.org/Talks

January 19, 2013

I’m back! A Philosophy of love

Filed under: Philosophy — applecherrypipz @ 9:19 am
Tags: , ,

Dear readers,

I’m back to posting in this blog. It’s time to start blogging again!

This entry is about a philosophy of love. What does it mean to develop a personal philosophy of love? Is it a way of life, of doing things, of relating to others? Do unto others as you would have others do unto yourself?

What constitutes a philosophy of love? For example, how one defines love. A noun? A verb? An emotion? A mental state? A choice? A limitation? (Refer to http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/love/ )

Or how about if one imagines seeing the world through a world view of love, instead of let us say a world view of communism or evolution. How would one then see the world?

These are some incisive thoughts for the beginning of the year 2013.

three-seasons-of-love-image

August 14, 2009

Love and Death

Filed under: Philosophy — applecherrypipz @ 11:05 pm
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I feel interested in annotating another part of the Bible..which I’ve always churned around in my head for ages on end.

“We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murder has eternal life in him. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessiojns and sees his brother in need but has not pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.”- 1 John 3: 16-20

I’ve always felt that dying for another captured the essence of love, somehow inexplicably. Let me try to explain it

1.You are willing to give up your rights for another.
In the bible, there is a part about submitting to people. Jesus also gave up his rights for others. In the terms of a philosopher, this is called the ‘superogatory moral act’, when you do over and beyond what is required of you. Mother Teresa is a good example – She sacrificed her rights to living a comfortable life to live in extremely poor working conditions, and even miserable conditions, to help the sick and the dying.

2. To give up one’s life for another seems to be giving up the most fundamental and therefore most important right of all.
Our life represents our consciousness. And really, we humans value consciousness above all else. Consciousness is defined as  the awareness of a relationship. Why do I say that? Because consciousness is otherwise defined as “I’’ and for human beings, the “I’’ has to be understood in relation to who God is. God (the God head) does not need to be defined in any terms. He is just the great I am, the source of the basic of the first principles; all things are defined in relation to (or by) Him =)

When I talk about life, I am talking about the sense of ‘’being alive’’ that people frequently talk about. What does it mean to ‘’be alive’’? It means living as though you are living out who you truly are and meant to be (and is mostly accompanied by the experience of joy, in the christian’s case) This is defined by our consciousness of who we truly are and meant to be, which is defined as our identity.

Why is it the most important right? Because, and i surmise this so, God is valued because He is God i.e. He is the great I am – the source, the reason. Similarly, we people are valued because we are His people made in His image, and we are accorded a lot of value for being who we are and who we are meant to be, as defined by God. In giving up our life, we give up our consciousness, we give up our identity, we give up claiming all the corresponding rights attached to this value inherent in ourselves. Therefore, we are basically giving up all we are entitled to. It does not mean that we are disacknowledging that we have any value in God, it plainly means that we are giving up what we want, which means that we are just being holy. Because holiness is defined precisely by this – the absence of sin. And Sin is partially defined as wanting what you are entitled to and not wanting to give it up.

Jesus sacrificing his life..humbling himself to the point of death on the cross. What does that signify? The fact that the bible emphasies this fact ‘the point of death’. Death meant separation from God for Jesus. Separation from God = losing your relationship = losing your consciousness=losing your life. Therefore, the ‘’point of death’’ symbolically represents the extent of the holiness of God. For to me, the acme of holiness is when one is willing to give up what you are entitled to as a perfect person – that is separation from sin (mankind in the case of Jesus) and being continuously linked with God i.e. life.

3.To give up this right is to demonstrate God’s Agape love
I have rambled on and on about this, not linking it with love. Love and holiness are inextricably intertwined. The more holy you are, the more love you can show. It is an asymmetrical relationship though, the amount of love we are able to show to others is positively correlated and dependent on the amount of holiness we have. But Love and Holiness are like 2 sides of the coin. =) Just like Aristotle said, Wisdom and Virtue are like 2 sides of the coin =). They are one and the same. Holiness though, i think, is the parent of love. They are one and the same thing, but one produces the other. Somewhat like how iodine vapour solidifies into iodine solid. Love is the tangible form of holiness. That’s why Love is always praised as the best thing to have – Love is the fruition, the fulfilment of holiness as well. How can I say this..holiness is never perfected when love is not demonstrated.

Therefore, when we have reached the acme of holiness, we are able to reach the acme of love. That’s why blood, wounds and love again are symbolically linked with each other all the time.

Death for others (the physical act)= Holiness (the spiritual state) = Love (the overflow)
Therefore, blood, wounds means the death for others. Thus it symbolises holiness and is linked with Love.

4. How the cross summarises this link between Love and Death

This whole concept , though I couldn’t articulate it then, really hooked me to Jesus when I was 14. I felt love was inextricably linked with goodness and with dying on the cross. The cross is also reportedly the most excruciating way to die. Way to go, God. Not only that, the shape of the cross symbolises life itself. To me, it symbolises the soul of man. That’s the way we are naturally constructed – because what essentially characterises it is its openness. A man standing in that position shows an openness of heart, soul, spirit and mind. A certain vulnerability, and a certain strength as well, is strongly projected. It displays a spirit that is unashamed and unguilty.(when you are naked u wish to hide yourself because you are ashamed . Shame and guilt is the first response to sin that adam and eve felt) It displays a spirit that is sinless, therefore unashamed and unguilty, therefore no need for hiding for fear of being exposed, therefore openness,therefore holy =)

So, in loving others you are actually dying for them on the cross =)

Thus I round off my whole essay with how interesting the Cross is for our examination.

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