Very, very highly recommended post. Click link below.
“Since the heart of God’s revelation of himself is the figure of Jesus Christ, and since the heart of the Christian story of salvation is the career of Jesus Christ, Christian apologetics—like everything else in the Christian religion, from worship to mission, from prayer to almsgiving—rightly focuses on Jesus Christ.”
“We will not have this man rule over us!“, demanded the multitudes who lusted for Jesus’ death, (Luke 19:14). But to merely engage in collective wishful thinking will not change what in fact is true. No matter how relentless the clamor.
Ironically Jesus was supreme even in the moments of their most incredulous demands. The conclusion is obvious to any who are even half thoughtful that like a clamoring, spoiled child, they just couldn’t see what was good for themselves.
So our anarchical culture wishing for supposed autonomy, relentlessly rejects the beneficent reign of the One who abides unmoved and unmovable on the throne of glory.
You would think they would be grateful. After all, the center is not occupied by a brutal dictator, but by the one who woos them still, even while they wish Him away.
It’s NOT going to happen. Not any time in this eternity.
“…and you killed the Author of life” – Acts 3:15
“He whom the Son sets free…”
Freedom, license, legalism vs. antinomianism, etc: all terms, concepts we used to kick around like a ball as young, idealistic theology students. Now the concepts have become life and death.
Time to put off the theoristic jostlings and get down to business. I think that’s what our Lord intended in the first place. It was after all, the very air He breathed and dust He endured as He traversed the Galilean soil through Samaria and on to Judea.
Then He loosed His own freedom and bound Himself to the unyielding, splintery agony of the cross. All to set us free indeed.
So it is that the longing for freedom runs deep and rich in the essence of every man regardless of creed, color or persuasion. So we disdain even the cold bare images of a cruel totalitarianism, and thirst for that which was once the vital breath of the American soul.
Even as a newcomer to the world of blogs and blogging I am becoming increasingly aware of the tendency for this venue to become something of a mutual admiration society for the marginalized, semi-marginalized and disenfranchised.
Like Internet marketing, it has to some degree “leveled the playing field” and has provided anyone who yearns a platform from which to be heard, admired and to otherwise bask in the limelight of their own self-aggrandizement and to engage in reciprocation of the same. I regret the degree to which this awareness is autobiographical and applaud all who have avoided this pitfall. The blogs I subscribe to are exemplary in their avoidance of this and I stand grateful, humbled and even sometimes think it’s reason enough not to even have a blog myself.
Yet the snare of the mutual admiration society can be avoided and in fact become a great tool for reflection and an ontological change of perspective.
In so doing, we take our station as observers in the mighty narrative and can then maybe, finally turn away from self and begin to cast our adulation like relentless waves of memorial tribute to the One who rightfully inhabits that center – Jesus Christ and Him alone. In so doing we share perspective with the most enlightened of all inhabitants of the universe.
And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped. Revelation 5:13-14
Yes we have a part to play in the eternal narrative, and so in one sense we’re not mere spectators. But our part is to love, to pour ourselves out as He showed us the way and to cease hankering for admiration from any other.
“even as i have loved you…” John 13:34
Watching a Christopher Hitchens (deceased December 15, 2011) debate is like watching a master manipulator, or like a guy whose bets are on the side of collective ignorance.
As Scott Berkun observes:
…proficiency in argument can easily be used to overpower others, even when you are dead wrong. If you learn a few tricks of logic and debate, you can refute the obvious, and defend the ridiculous. If the people you’re arguing with aren’t as comfortable in the tactics of argument, or aren’t as arrogant [or informed] as you are, they may even give in and agree with you.
And we might add that if your audience is not versed in the extant data relative to the argument, like the progressive nature of the Biblical narrative, you might appear to win the debate.
At least the debate of popular opinion.
But the irony strikes me as this: While the theist must (and is expected to) do their homework in many disciplines like philosophy, physics (quantum, meta and classic), history, biology, etc, the atheistic can usually get off the hook with only a casting glance at the narrative of Scripture. If he but quotes a few verses or makes reference to just a few aspects of religious history or philosophy, he is regarded as astute and the presentation of his data pertinent and persuasive.
That’s because he’s got a huge advantage – the relative ignorance of Scripture with the masses, both Christian and non-Christian. It’s the day we live in.
One example is Hitchen’s oft-repeated “man’s been around 100,000-250,00 years-then-finally-God-acted” argument, with the obvious conclusion being that God just didn’t give a damn about all the people who died and went to hell prior to the incarnation of Jesus. How could you believe in such a God? Hitchens affirms.
It is very much akin to the familiar “what about those who have not heard?” argument so often employed to discredit the Bible, the nature of the Atonement and of Christ Himself.
While the believer must be pretty darn acquainted with everything from astronomy to quantum physics, why hasn’t (or rather wasnt) Hitchens forced repeatedly to deal with verses like Romans 3:25; Hebrews 9:15; Hebrews 9:25, etc.?
These verses do say something, (the retroactive as well as present and future nature of the Atonement) and they need to be introduced into the debate even though they are admittedly in-house arguments, but then so are things like m-theory, multiverse, etc, and whatever the current argument is to sidestep the ramifications that nothing still comes out of nothing if left of itself.
C’mon believing community. It is just, right and beautiful to be aware of depth of the content of the Logosphere, the universe in which Jesus reigns – our universe and the words of Christocentric revelation. Then this material must be introduced into the debate.
From this I personally will never back down.
Living in a three dimensional universe, (or four-dimensional if you consider spacetime), something transfixing occurred at what the Bible calls, “the fullness of time.” Galatians 4:4.
Jesus stepped in and defined all things according to Himself.
The “fullness of time” concept is then used by the Apostle Paul (Ephesians 1:10) to describe that point in time when all things in reality are to be concluded, again according to and in reference to Jesus, the eternal “I Am” of all things definable and indefinable.
Thus He Himself assumes the term “Alpha and Omega“, (Revelation 1:8 cf. 22:13). Prior to this point in redemptive history, that designation was reserved for God (Jehovah) alone, (Isaiah 41:4).
In Jesus we have progress as well as the center point and hub of the human experience. In Him is the beginning and end of all things and the nucleus of definition, an eternal reference point.
But in “the fullness of time“, the curtains of cosmic consciousness will be pulled back unveiling this eternal reality: there can only be one center, one hub, one defining point.
At that sacred place is Jesus Christ. He alone defines that and everything else.