Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Problem of Pain: 6

Out of all of the readings, I think that this was my favorite, the one that I could most closely relate to. I liked talking about God as a parachute in our lives. He is ever and always present, but we only like to pull him about when we are about to crash. I have to admit that I am a victim of this too. When things are going perfect in my life I push God away, but the second that things start going wrong I call on God and ask why He could do this to me. God wants us to talk to him when things are good and when things are bad. It is so hard for us to turn our thoughts to God when things are good. We become so quick to point out what's wrong and not to stop and thank God for what's right. 

C.S Lewis used the analogy of a violin. The best brand of violin that you can buy is one that is made from wood that is grown in the most harsh conditions. But because that wood has stood up to so much the sound it lets off is beautiful. The most beautiful sounds come from the wood that grows in the most painful conditions. We need to be that piece of wood. God puts us through had things in our life so that we can be beautiful, so that we can give off His light and be the most beautiful sounding creatures. 

We have a personal relationships with God as our father. It is so easy for us to tune Him out and focus on other worldly things. God must be able to feel pain and suffering because otherwise he doesn't know what we mean when we cry out to him. When we say, "God help me, this hurts." God is able to relate to our pain because at one point or another He felt it too. 

Man or Rabbit

This reading is talking about whether or not someone can lead a good life without following Christ. Its important to know what it means to lead a "good" life. If you were to consider a good life to be one that allows you to be a friend, have a job, have a family, and abide by the laws, then yes, one can lead that kind of life without being a christian. However, I feel like if you have so many blessings in your life you have to believe. If you are considering a "good" life to be one that requires someone to live with morals and has a good soul then it is almost impossible. Having God in your life and believing in Him makes a huge difference in the way you live your life. God gives you a sense of purpose, you have the right intentions for doing things.

This past summer, when I was working with a special needs day camp, one of the boys drown during free swim. It was at this point that I really started to think about God present in our lives. I don't know how someone can go day to day and not believe. You see someone's life be taken from them and you have to wonder to yourself why this happened. Without God in your life you would be left in question about what happens next, but being a christian gives us knowledge that God has a plan for us and that when we die, it is only for a little while. So all in all I think that it is possible to live your live and not believe but it is a bland life. Following christ gives you a sense of purpose and encouragement. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Abolition of Man: Chapter 3

I thought that this chapter was easier to understand than the others. I found it to be a little scary to think that what we call, "Man's power over Nature turns out to be a power exercised by some men over the other men with Nature as its instrument." Its very weird to think that the man's power is controlled by something/someone else. We have gotten to the point in time when we think that what we think is really ourselves thinking is not. 

In this reading Lewis talked about some of the key points that is leading to the downfall of man in the universe. Men are falling away from the standard of justice, the Tao, to a new type of man, a man that has claimed everything and almost conquered himself. Man has found ways to defy gravity, generate specific life, and conquer death, this is leading man to conquer over nature. Lewis explains this as man deceiving himself. With these scientific advances over nature becomes a "power exercised by some men over other men with nature as their instrument." This is leading to man's domination of some men over other men.  These attitudes result in a loss of values and a loss of ideals of Tao.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I really liked this piece of writing, I found that it put into perspective the difference between "falling in love/being in love" and "having a sexual relationship." I liked what Lewis' take on love and the romantic love. I that that it was a good point made at the begining when Lewis said that, "men are more prone to feeling a mere sexual appetite for a woman and then gone at later stage to 'fall in love' with her." I agree with this a lot. I have found over the past few years that men are always viewed to be visually stimulated, it is easy to understand that Lewis would describe men as first being attracted to women in a sexual way. It is a while after that they will actually take time to fall in love with the person as a whole, for who she is, and what she stands for.

I liked when Lewis talked about the sand castle being washed away. When he compared the ocean flooding toe castles to "Eros" and entering our lives one by one and overtaking the sexual lives of humans. I really like when he talks and uses metaphors because it makes things easier to understand. Especially when he talked about keeping an empty cigarette carton. I was just able to relate to the fact that no guy that is just looking for sex is going to stay and wait around to fall in love. 

Monday, January 19, 2009

Plantinga Chapter 3

I remember when I was in catechism class learning about the Fall. We learned about why and when it happened, and the final out come, which were a broken live for us today. I think that learning about the Fall is something that we need to be constantly reminded of because today it is so easy to believe that everything is good on earth. We have become de-sensitized to evil in the world around us. It so important that we stop and look around us. We need to accept that we are living in a broken, sinful, and fallen world. God made it that way.

I also liked what Plantinga had to say about trust. I have such a hard time trusting people. I always want answers right away and an explanation for everything. This chapter reminded me that we need to trust God. God will provide, he WILL protect us from all evil and harm that is in this fallen world. It is hard for me to take this in however. I find myself asking, If God loves us so much why did he let this happen? Why did he allow sin to become a part of us? Even though God made all this happen he STILL loves us and cares for us.  He wants us to trust Him and believe that He will care for us. Plantinga sums this up when he says, "God hates sin not because it violates law, but also because it violates trust." If we just trust God, we can have to comfort and peace that He will take care of us. 

Plantinga Chapter 5

Plantinga brought up a point that I have always struggled with, calling for God's kingdom. Plantinga says that, "When our earthly kingdoms have had a good year, we don't necessarily long for the kingdom of God to break in. We like our own set up just fine... God's kingdom has always sounded like good news for people whose lives are bad news." I can relate to this quote in many ways. When my life is going well and everything is just as I wished it would be and couldn't ever imagine anything better, I tune out the call for God's kingdom. The second that my life takes a toll, I am calling on God asking, "why me" "why now". This reading made me stop and realize that I need to be continually calling on God's kingdom.

There was a section in this reading that talked about kingdoms within kingdoms. Sometimes when we get busy and wrapped up in our lives we place our earthly kingdoms above God's kingdom. When we are here at college, we have a kingdom here... far away from home and what we are used to. From there we move onto becoming head of households, and professionals which expands our kingdom even further. When this happens and our kingdom gets so large its easy to have that be our only sacred place. Plantinga says, "thats why its so devistating to be raped, or bulldozed out of your house. People in these circumstances lose a big part of their kingdom. They feel as if they've been deposed." We need to see that living in God's world depends not only on taking responsibility for our own kingdoms we have built and learn to preserve it and honor God's kingdom too. 

Learning In-War-Time

I really liked this writing from Lewis. I was able to relate more to what he was talking about than the other readings. My favorite part of this reading was, "Thus we may have a duty to rescue a drowning man, and perhaps, if we live on a dangerous coast, to learn life-saving so as to be ready for any drowning man when he turns up.... The rescue of drowning men is, then the aduty worth dying for, but not worth living for." This summer I worked with a special needs day camp. One day when I was lifeguarding for the class a boy drown. From here on out my life changed. I really liked that Lewis said that saving someone is worth dying for, but not living for. It is not our duty to live just so that we can save a drowning many, but if it is our duty to be called to something like that then it is worth dying for.  We were not created just to save someone, or just to fight for our country.

Another part of this reading that really stuck out to me was doing things for the glory of God. Col. 3:23 has always been one of my favorite verses to refer to, it says, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." God put us on this earth and whatever kind of work we are doing, we should remember that we are working for Him, and not for the glory of ourselves. Sarah brought up in class that right now we are in college, and it is our job to be in college and learn and work. We need to throw our entire being into our studies and experiences at school to glorify God. When the times comes that we become nurses, businessmen, teachers etc. we need to use the skills God has given to us and glorify Him for the ability to do all things. If we do not take this time and learn and educate ourselves then we are setting ourselves up for failure, and we are not ready to defend ourselves. It is important to be a well rounded person and educate ourselves on other peoples religions or beliefs. Everything that we do and learn must be done for the GLORY of God.