Assorted Thoughts

Beautifu landscape

Sometimes when referring to categories of thought, we refer to them as linguistic terms, as though the term itself represented the category itself. Language and meaning are often inextricably tied together, and that is why the battle of ideas cannot be divorced from the battle of language. Defending an idea may unashamedly involve defending the definition of a word. Some words are disposable, others are like important bridges to defend when preventing an army from conquering your land.

I am a dark man, and I need to be saved everyday. In Jesus is life, and the life is the light of men (John 1:4).

If there is no ultimate, personal Creator behind absolutely everything, then it is simply impossible that there be any true meaning in life. Meaning depends on intelligent personality. Without the wisdom of a personal God, life is despair, and darkness, and a dead-end, and a horrific pity, and death is a thing to be dreaded. Any other way of thinking is delusional. Only an infinite personal God can save us from the infinitely deep dark pit of meaninglessness.

“You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.” (Psalm 90:8) As a sinner, there is some comfort in being unknown. It is intimidating when someone knows and seems to be able to explain me. But even those people don’t know me. But there is one who knows my all secrets, even the ones I have hidden from myself, and someday we will meet face to face.

“If the Spirit of grace is absent, the law is present only to accuse and kill us.” – Augustine

“The law is to the flesh like a whip to an idle and balky ass, to arouse it to work.” – Calvin

Never promise a man that you will never talk about Christ and truth and ultimate reality with him ever again.

When non-Christians can’t meet their own, specific requirements for forgiveness from God, they often appeal to generalized notions of kindness and mercy to mentally disassociate themselves from the specific requirements they otherwise affirm.

Good things that dull my sensitivity to spiritual things. Lord, save me from them.

Christian grace and mercy is ultimately rooted in God’s turning the demands of justice on an undeserving party. It is not the absolute cancellation of justice, as opponents of penal substitution demand.

It seems like we can’t fully enjoy God without enjoying Him in the context of other human relationships. It seems we can’t fully enjoy other human beings without enjoying them in the context of enjoying other creation and God. That people need other people to enjoy God most fully speaks of human, not divine, deficiency and limitation. And yet it is the way we were made, so it is “good” in God’s eyes that we enjoy him most fully in the context of creation and Christian community. We can’t enjoy the community of God (the Three) fully without being in Christian community.

For a person to tell the truth, he must communicate with his listener in mind, reasonably optimizing his language so that it can be understood as clearly as possible.

For a person to tell the truth in the spirit of truth, he must have an interest in the truthfulness of what he is communicating. He must therefore seek to understand what he believes, and how it relates to other truths that may seem to contradict it. Irresponsible thinkers are almost always irresponsible communicators.

If a person is telling the truth, he or she probably should be able to reword what is being communicated two or three ways.

If something cannot be translated, it probably isn’t meaningful or truthful. If it only works in the English language, or in a certain type of slang, or catchphrase, or ditty, then it probably isn’t meaningful or true. This means that truth-tellers cannot be lazy, but must labor to write well, and to know their subject-matter, and know their audience.

It can be useful and, in the long run, edifying to attribute your work (instead of leaving it anonymous). It’s important for people to be able to draw from authors they trust, and avoid those they don’t. Authors gain trust when they consistently provide good material. Without attribution, you leave your readers with a smaller body of trustworthy sources to draw from. The identify of the mind(s) behind the text is important.

“Your best friend is the one who tells you the most truth.” – Paul Washer

Sometimes the best way to criticize a religion is merely explain and expose it. You don’t even have to do any appraising. It’s like popping a theological pimple. You don’t have to assess the puss. You just pop it and see it immediately for how gross it is. Crude, I know, but this is the case with the doctrines of secretive cults.

Conversely, sometimes the best way to promote the beauty and truth of Christ and his doctrines are to simply expose them and portray them. You need not always argue for them. They are self-authenticating and self-evidencing and make an inherent argument. This is the case with what is most truthful and beautiful. “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6)