Here are links related to Presuppositional Apologetics gathered from June 1st-7th, 2016.
Missed the last round up? Check out the re-blogged post from a friend OR that of Another REBLOG HERE
In our world today we hear many people say and believe the mantra of “Follow your heart.” You hear this even from Christians. An example of the world telling us to follow our hearts comes from the former founder of Apple, Steve Jobs; there are two famous quotes from him about “follow your heart” that appear as memes from time to time on social media:
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Both originated from a commencement speech he gave at Standford in 2005. “Follow your heart,” Steve Jobs says, since you know “you are going to die.” “Follow your heart,” Steve Job says, since “Everything else is secondary.” Many people believe the same thing as Jobs does. But how does this popular mantra stand up to the Bible’s teaching about the heart?
This is part of our short series on Superheroes, Comics and Worldview. The following are comics that I found intriguing in that they have a political overtone and message. Specifically they warn the readers of the danger of Statism.
Alan Moore. V for Vendetta. New York, NY: DC Comics, October 12th, 2005. 296 pp.
I read this nearly a year ago back in January and it still left a strong impression on my mind. I can only compare to this to George Orwell’s 1984. It is a 1984 with a superhero, if V could be called that. Originally written in the 1980s it is a story about a future England in 1997 and 1998 in which the government has become tyrannical and authoritarian with a sole dictator on top who is obsessed with his computer dictating to him things by chance. As powerful and smart as those within government think they are, one lone vigilante suddenly challenges all that. What’s incredible is that our hero goes about doing what he does while singing, rhyming and throwing out witty slogans. This shows the incredible genius of the writer Alan Moore and he even manage to alliterate each section of the book with the letter V. Incredible. As our hero carry his subversive campaign to undermine the evil government and cause the people to rise up we are also drawn into the story in learning more of the mystery of the origin of V and his motivation to fight the regime. Although the story does have a bit of the left leaning taste there is still a powerful lesson about the dangers of Statism.
As I said earlier this book does have the same feel as 1984. This reminds us just how dark a tyrannical government can be and how the mass could simply let the government do the evils they do. While our hero is a lone revolutionary as a Christian we must not believe in vigilante justice or call for the rebellious overthrow of the government. This of course is different from the duties of the lower magistrate to disobey wrongful orders from their superiors. Christians must be very careful not to subscribe to the pagan ideology that chaos (revolution) will reproduce order.
NOTE: I did not watch the movie nor do I plan on reading it.
I want to share a quick thought from a painting that has fascinated me the last few months.
It is called Christ Carrying the Cross and it is a painting by the Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch who was active from 1480 – 1516 (note: some people think this painting is by an imitator). This work is on display today in the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent, Belgium.
What is it about the painting that fascinates me?
My heart goes out to the loved ones of the four Marines who were killed yesterday during the Chattanooga Shooting. I imagine Liberals and Democrats would want to take advantage of this unfortunate incident to cry for more gun control such as restriction on more weapons that could be purchased and also more areas that are legally gun free zone.
While I do think most gun-control activists are sincere I think many are mistaken at a fundamental level of understanding human nature. One wonders if they understand the extent of man’s depravity. I think “Gun Free Zone” that is not enforced with people who are armed is quite a naive concept; in fact it is dangerous and irresponsible on the part of lawmakers and bureaucrats who come up with such a thing. The biggest problem I think is that it neglect to account for the reality of human depravity, that those who are wicked and sinful and want to carry out sinful terrorist acts are not going to stop when you merely have a sticker that says “No guns.”
Sadly yesterday’s shooting is a case in point:
Original picture SOURCE
Having a picture and a sign that says no guns is just as persuasive to a depraved gunman as an “Obama ’08” bumper sticker is for a Republican in 2015. It’s “irrelevant” to a simple criminal let alone a committed Muslim extremist. Actually it is relevant for such gunman: it allows them to face lesser resistance to their wicked schemes.
We don’t touch on politics as much on our blog as much as we use back in the first few years here but I’ll venture on this topic just a little bit.
I deliberately titled the post the Syrian War instead of the Syrian Civil War. It’s not a Civil War. It might have started as one but it’s now quite international in character. Just today the news mentioned Iran is sending 15,000 troops made up of Iranians, Iraqis and Afghanis to support Assad. ISIS has many foreign fighters. Foreign Fighters are also among the Coalition of Anti-Assad Forces that has recently been successful against Assad. And we haven’t even describe other State players behind this proxy war.
This is the breakdown according to Wikipedia:
See: Rojava conflict
As with any war we see the manifestation of man’s depravity at a large scale. Here’s my thoughts concerning human sinfulness and this present conflict.
1.) If the Christian doctrine of Total Depravity is true we should not be surprised to see sinfulness displayed on all sides of the conflict whether as a goal or in the means of carrying out the goal, or both.
2.) This means that those in the West should be cautious in how absolute we would be in supporting any particular side.
3.) Total Depravity makes the situation quite complex with many competing motives and agenda of the various factions. Some might be evil ideologically. Others are blatant in their motive for covetousness.
4.) If we learn anything with removing Saddam and Qaddafi, we shouldn’t be involved with any aid to remove Assad in Syria. A more evil and more violent power will fill the vacuum with Assad’s removal.
5.) In light of point number 4 that does not imply Assad’s rule is without sin and evil oppression. The protest against Assad four years ago must have had some legitimate grievances by the people, or certain sectors of the population in Syria.
6.) Unfortunately we see in Syria the all too common pattern in which an optimistic civil uprising goes sour. In 2011 there was an air of optimism that the protest in Syria will join along with the rest of the “Arab Spring” in the Middle East. But things are not that easy. Anarchy breeds its own tyranny because the people are also sinful.
6.) In such a chaos, this often give the opportunity for more oppressive forces to rise up. Think of what followed after French Revolution. There is the irony that in removing the French King a French Emperor arise from the ashes of the French Reign of Terror. Or the Russian Revolution. People should be cautious in thinking that chaos could bring about the state’s regeneration. That thought is very pagan in its roots.
7.) Total Depravity does not mean Utter Depravity. While Christian believe there all our faculty is effected by sin (mind, emotion and body), that does not mean we are all equally as bad as we can be in everything that we do in every single instance. If utter depravity is false then I think the corollary of this is that there is such a thing as the lesser of two evils.
8.) If there is such thing as the lesser of two evils, then the greater evil must be dealt with first. The greater evil I believe is ISIS.
9.) Because of man’s sinful condition, it seems quite wise of God to make a distinction between the agents of God who are ministers of wrath (the government) and the ministers of Grace (the church). The responsibilities are divided so that the Church does not have the power of the Sword and the distraction it has from the Gospel. I think we can definitely pray for the respective governments to follow justice and even for the state to effectively and accurately administer it. But the church’s role is to share the Gospel. That involves pointing out sins of course. But that’s not the end: We point to our Savior who redeemed sinners. If history has shown us many lessons that is applicable concerning the Syrian conflict, we must not miss the most important lesson that the Gospel can turn empires upside down even as the church is being persecuted and the church not participating in violence for its cause. At the end of the day, it’s not FSA versus Assad, SAA versus Al Nusra, or ISIS versus Kurds. It’s the World versus Jesus Christ. Even two thousand years ago it was not merely about the Roman Empire versus the Germanic Goths. The Gospel instead made its impact among the Roman Empire and the Germanic tribes. Let’s not lose focus.