Monday, November 21, 2005

How Far is Heaven?

Many of you may have heard Salvador sing the song, possibly even on a secular station. My guess is, most of you liked it. But this post has nothing to do with the song nor the length of time 'till heaven is my (our, fellow Christians) home, but rather what we will see when we get there.

Meditate a moment on the infiniteness of God. What would it mean to be infinite? Interestingly, the concept of infinite is impossible to grasp, because of the boundaries of finiteness. I'm only beginning to see that "infinite" is not possible to even picture, because of our finite mind. The basis for finiteness is essentially infinite constrained. And it's constrained absolutely. There are no boundaries outside of finiteness; after finiteness is only infinite. Only. The boundaries to infinite are not constrained; indeed, they don't exist.

In Heaven, will we be infinite? Will finiteness end at death? Or is time the only constraint that will be invalidated. Regardless, what we will experience will be beyond finite language's ability to communicate. This is not so hard to believe. Philippians 4:7 says

"And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding..."
If it passes all understanding, without a doubt it passes the boundaries of human communication. Even with our amazing capacity to convey emotions, etc. we are not able to intimate the essence of the peace of God! This insight will help you understand John's (the Revelator) lack of ability to write, in finite language, even the most incomplete of descriptions! Think of a city, or an entity of some sorts, that surpasses the boundaries of what constrains our wildest imaginations! Infinite! A mansion, a city, all without the constraints of finiteness; all which are absolutely outside of our minds to imagine! That's my home! and yours, if you choose.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Well, there's nothing like a good ol' hangout time with a few of your internet pals. This past weekend, on Saturday, the first "MennoDiscuss party took place at Pizza Parlor, with Hans Mast, his father Marvin, and his brother Benji (Sorry Marvin and Benji, but Hans is the most famous of the three of you, so I needed to use him as the reference point). The whole Marvin Mast family was in the area for a wedding, so we had a great time on Saturday nite. I missed curfew by over 45 min, for the first time that I'm aware of. Hans attended our Sunday morning service at Gospel Haven, and ended up inspiring his whole family to come.

For the record, we talked about anything and everything. Hans insisted on taking a picture of me, wearing a tie that I had worn for a special youth social, and is planning on posting it in the "To Tie or Not To Tie" thread on MennoDiscuss. I might end up regretting the day I made the purchase. It did look sorta cool, though. I felt, for the first few minutes, that I had two tounges, one in my mouth and one sprout directly of my adam's apple.

I'm really only posting this for sake of making it look like my brain is functioning, and I'm really fumbling with what to post next. If this is how bad it is for me now, on the internet, I don't want to get a job at a newspaper and have to write every day. I'll be back before too long, and when I am, I think I can promise something meaty.

Thanks for your patience!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

John 1

I'm in the process of reviewing (if you can call it that) John 1, and scriptures related to it in order to derive a fuller meaning out of it. As a Gospel, it is the only one that isn't synoptic, and it's thrust is in an entirely different direction. As a friend of mine put it to another friend: "I read John 5 times, and I knew God." The other friend replied with "Now read the other Gospels 5 times, and you'll know Jesus."

I'm not entirely sure what to make of

"And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: 'The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation."
in Revalations 3:14, but think about it once: Obviously, the "Amen, the faithful and true witness" is Jesus. But the beginning of the creation of God? That strikes an unfamiliar chord in my mind. Jesus was created? But wasn't he always part of the Trinity? Doesn't that mean that he would always have existed? So why does Revalations say that He was created by God?

This little post was really only meant to serve as a mental stimulator. Now, I'm very curious about one thing. Why has no one EVER signed my guest book? If you are reading these words, you must be at least somewhat interested in what I have to say, and therefore, I would be more than somewhat interested in knowing who you are. You don't need to say much, but leave me a note. Humor me!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Love... Dependent on evil?

This post is in response to a plea for comments on the latest post by Pat Miller, of "Stand Up. Be A Pillar." First of all, I think Pat did a good job at conveying his message. He's a great writer. Second, what I have to say will be deemed by some as "splitting hairs", but to me, the essence of it is fairly important. (Also, lets keep something VERY clear. Pat is one of the best friends I've ever had, and has by far the coolest job title: International Travel Agent [Yes, Hans, for your papa]) Another questions I'd like to throw out there is this: Did God create anything after creation? Was ANYTHING, person, place, thing, or idea, created after God created the universe for the very first time? If we can so "No" definitively, then it will help us in solving this issue. Alas, I'm not prepared to do so.

If you really care about helping us resolve this, please read his blog first. If not, just read mine and tell everyone about how Pat and I disagree...

Pat, for sake of understanding eachother, without talking past each other (I have an awful tendency), let me ask you this: Did God create Evil? If yes, how do we tell people about a loving God... who created Evil? Please read my blog on this subject to be enlightened as to my opinion

"Evil is why we are free moral agents, right?"
If you have read my entry on God creating Evil, then you may see my point of view already, and that is this: No, not exactly. Evil isn't why we're free moral agents. Evil is the product of us being free moral agents. You see, if we were not free, we would never have separated from God, and thus we would not have evil. For that is what evil is, the lack of Go[o]d. So, evil is our fault, not God's. It sounds preposterous, but I don't believe it to be.

"Our love for God would not be as strong if we had to love him."
Exactly right. Dead on. But go deeper, and think about this: God created us this way, and he created us this way so that we would commune and fellowship with him. Had he created us any other way, our communion would not have been enough to be worth the "trouble," as he already communes fully and purely with... Himself! That is why we have the trinity! We don't really have a clue as to what would exist, rather, how it would exist if it were any other way. As true as the phrase is in off-the-cuff logic, it's really an invalid point, as God created us with such a purpose, and without the purpose of us loving him, we would be ultimately invalid and absurd.

The Bible does say husbands, love your wives. So to not love them is evil. Against the Bible. So, again, we can safely say, that yes love is dependent on evil."
No. Love is dependent on the way we were made "free moral agents." Evil, as I have said before is the product of such. And, in this case, love is not made dependent on evil, rather it is superior to it in sense, really, the Love being "Good" and Evil being the vacuum of it. Make sense?

What it boils down to is that "evil" is not even really a solid concept. It is a vacuum, created by no one, no thing, and doesn't even really exist! "Evil", as such, does not exist! I'll paraphrase what I have said in an earlier post: Darkness is the absence of light, black is the absence of color, death is the absence life; similarly Evil is the absence of Good. This forces evil to only exist as a concept, particularly so because all of the other examples are non-spiritual, physical properties, making them visible to us humans. The question "Did God create Evil" is therefore really an invalid question, because evil is uncreateable.