Posts Tagged ‘Worldview thinking’

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I am guilty of being a little intellectually lazy. I tend to have my best ruminations after reading either a book, or a blog, listening to a sermon by my pastor, or maybe after listening to a podcast. It could be an argument I haven’t heard before, or a term I’m not familiar with, or a thought I vehemently disagree with. I’m always more stimulated by other minds than I am my own. Perhaps it’s because I’m always in my own mind, and I know how boring or thin it can be.

Whatever the cause, I take seriously the Great commandment:

Mark 12:28-30 ESV

28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”
29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

Loving The Lord with all our minds has been largely ignored by present and recent generations. It took the horrible consequences of belief in the aberrant Word of Faith Movement to spur my own entry into God-loving with my mind. We live in an anti-intellectual culture. You would think today’s humanity would be skeptically burnt out on false worldviews, especially the cynical Millenials; but, alas, skepticism seems to be a non-sequetor, except for the truth claims of Christianity. Then it’s Katie-bar-the-door.

I am by nature skeptical as of lately; although I haven’t always been. My foray into the “name-it-and-claim-it” club forced me to critically-examine my belief system.

Through God’s Grace, I turned to the Reformers for help. Their conflict with the Roman Catholic Magisterium and rediscovery of the 5 Solas [“Sola Scriptura” (Scripture Alone); “Sola Gratia” (Grace Alone); “Sola Fide” (Faith Alone); “Solus Christus” (Christ Alone); and “Soli Deo Gloria” (To God Alone Be Glory)] gave me a great foundation to be able to claw my way out of a false belief system. I am now chronically allergic to what I call “terminal goofiness” when it comes to theology.

What about you? Have you examined your own beliefs with a critical eye?

Don’t think for a minute that you can escape having your worldview challenged. It’s gonna happen. You can’t rigorously defend a minority Weltanschauung that you’ve garnered by familial osmosis, or pieced together in the mad laboratory of public opinion that you’ve grave-robbed from the cemetery of bad ideas.

God’s Word is the only foundation that will keep you from sinking sand. Biblical, historic Christianity is the only worldview that can adequately answer both the way things are in reality, and how their supposed to be.

simul justus et peccator,

Eric Adams

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I’ve been pondering over the Creation account in Genesis for years now.

I mean, let’s face it; in today’s scientific and naturalistic culture, it’s a confusing topic.

All Christians believe in Creation…I mean, once you accept Genesis 1:1, every other miracle after that is small potatoes.

It’s the method God uses in Creation that’s in dispute.

There are basically 3 or 4 ideas about the method of Creation that bear ruminating on:

1. Young Earth Creation- self-explanatory. 6 literal 24 hour days. For most of my life, this was my belief. This would be the belief of Ken Hamm and Answers in Genesis.

2. Old Earth-Gap Theory/-Reconstruction Theory- thanks to my owning a Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible, this became my next belief during my Word-of-Faith captivity period. The basic thought is that at some point God created the heavens and the earth. It could have been millions of years ago. There was a pre-Adamite race that fell with Lucifer, creating demons, and requiring God’s judgment of a universal flood. Then God renovated the earth a second time, restoring it in 6 literal 24 hour days. It seeks to harmonize young and old earth Creationism, but it’s Scriptural evidence is scant, and its speculation on pre-Adamites is dubious. Still, it does introduce the idea that there could have been vast ages between Ge 1:1 & GE 1:2. Many Pentecostals/Charismatics hold to this teaching, mainly due to Dake’s influence.

3. Old earth-Day/Age Creationism- This is the theory that the days of GE 1 & 2 are metaphorical, representing immense periods of time. Although this is a separate theory from Theistic Evolution, it tries to match the Book of Nature and the Book of Special Revelation (i.e. the Bible). Many current Intelligent Design scientists, and many thoroughly orthodox Evangelicals hold to this teaching. The group Reasons To Believe would be one of the more prominent groups promoting the Day/Age Theory.

4. Theistic Evolution- This is the belief that God initiated Creation, but instituted Macroevolution as the means to achieve the the arrival of humanity. It is basically a revamped Deistic and anti-supernatural explanation, catering to Darwinism and Neo-Darwinism. Groups such as Biologos promote this theory. This is the one of the four I have no tolerance for. It’s too reminiscent of Old-line Liberslism’s compromise with the Enlightenment. Most of these advocates end up denying the Imago Dei, the Incarnation of Christ, and the physical Resurrection of Christ, unless they violate their own worldview. IMHO, this lies outside of the historic Evangelical Faith.

All of this is a simplistic summary of each of these views. There are obvious nuances and explanations I can’t get into here, unless I’m ready to write a post that would rival War and Peace in length.

I believe we have to give one another room to disagree over the first three views. Many soundly orthodox Evangelicals hold to one of these three views. Obviously, all three can’t be true. The Law of Non contradiction precludes this. Yet, I don’t believe we’ll ever be able to answer all of the issues with any of the three views this side of Heaven.

Each view has to deal with some weighty subjects:

1. Uniformity of scientific laws since the beginning of time;
2. The introduction of death in the animal kingdom;
3. The fossil record;
4. The old appearance of the universe; and,
5. The apparent singular source of all life on earth, in the form of DNA.

One can’t discuss this theological difficulty with non- Christians without being reminded of the controversy involving Galileo in the 17th century.

If you want to make sense of the whole Roman Catholic Church and Galileo, you have to start with the Ptolemaic-Aristotlean worldview (the dominating earth-centric view of the solar system), juxtaposed against the Copernican-Galilean worldview (the upstart sun-centric solar system).

The Roman Catholic Church was staunchly pro-Ptolemy in its doctrine. It’s not really hard to understand. They were simply relying on the established scientific view of the day. The problem was in joining Christian doctrine with scientific theories and codifying them. There’s a lesson here for Christians to remember.

“Ironically, the traditional beliefs that Galileo opposed ultimately belonged to Aristotle, not to biblical exegesis. Pagan philosophy had become interwoven with traditional Catholic teachings during the time of Augustine. Therefore, the Church’s dogmatic retention of tradition was the major seat of controversy, not the Bible. It may also be noted that Pope Urban VIII was himself sympathetic to Galileo but was not willing to stand against the tide of controversy. In reality, the majority of persecution seemed to come from intellectual scientists whose monopoly of educational authority had been threatened. During Galileo’s time, education was primarily dominated by Jesuit and Dominican priests.

” [3]

Much of the controversy began when Roman Catholic Tradition had been criticized by the Reformers of the 16th century. The Roman Catholic hierarchy responded with the Council of Trent, which censored

“any books that challenged traditional interpretations of the scripture.”

[3]

Galileo quoted Augustine (who was partly responsible for an overly allegorical view of Scripture himself):

“If anyone shall set the authority of Holy Writ against clear and manifest reason, he who does this knows not what he has undertaken; for he opposes to the truth not the meaning of the Bible, which is beyond his comprehension, but rather his own interpretation; not what is in the Bible, but what he has found in himself and imagines to be there.”

[1]

It’s always dangerous to hold to tightly to scientific theories as applied to theology.

“Beware of holding steadfastly to a particular interpretation of Scripture and/or a scientific model, which may be in error. For instance, there are various scientific challenges to the Young-Earth Creationist position. We should hold many of our scientific views and their corresponding Biblical interpretations loosely. For we will never have all the right answers this side of heaven.”

[2]

This is as applicable to today’s Science/Faith controversy as it was in the 17th century.

The difference is that today, the roles are reversed. In the 17th century, it was ensconced Ptolemaic/Aristotelean philosophy embedded in Roman Catholic tradition that was the majority view, while Copernicus and Galileo challenged the stays quo.

In the 21st century, Science reigns as king, and it is Creationism and Intelligent Design that is challenging the weakening view of Darwinism and NeoDarwinism.

Remember Galileo’s warning:

“Take note, theologians, that in your desire to make matters of faith out of propositions relating to the fixity of sun and earth you run the risk of eventually having to condemn as heretics those who would declare the earth to stand still and the sun to change position–eventually, I say, at such a time as it might be physically or logically proved that the earth moves and the sun stands still.”

[4]

All of this adds credence to my statement that we need to be careful of dogmatizing a particular scientific interpretation of Genesis. We could wake up in Heaven to a V8 head slap from Jesus, calling us lunkheads for not seeing the complete answer to our Creation queries.

I remain a tentative young-earther. However, I am certainly open to the reality I could be completely wrong. Let’s give one another some slack here for disagreement…except for Theistic Evolution. I’m not going to compromise Scripture for Darwinism.

I end with one more quote:

“The lesson to be learned from Galileo, it appears, is not that the Church held too tightly to biblical truths; but rather that it did not hold tightly enough. It allowed Greek philosophy to influence its theology and held to tradition rather than to the teachings of the Bible. We must hold strongly to Biblical doctrine which has been achieved through sure methods of exegesis. We must never be satisfied with dogmas built upon philosophic traditions.”

[3]

1. Galilei, Galileo, and Stillman Drake. Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo: Including The Starry Messenger (1610), Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina (1615), and Excerpts from Letters on Sunspots (1613), The Assayer (1623). New York: Anchor, 1990. pg. 186, Print.

2. Henderson, Thomas H. “What Were Galileo’s Scientific and Biblical Conflicts with the Church?” Christiananswers.net. Christian Answers Network, 1996. Web. 1 Apr. 2014. .

3. Bebber, Mark V. “What Is the Lesson That Christians Should Learn from Galileo?” Christiananswers.net. Christian Answers Network, 1995. Web. 1 Apr. 2014. .

4. Galileo, 1632, in Janelle Rohr, editor, Science & Religion–Opposing Viewpoints (Greenhaven Press, 1988), p. 21.

simul iustus et peccator,

Eric Adams
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The Door, that no one is happy to be standing in front of.

The Door, that no one is happy to be standing in front of.

Know When To Fight

In my previous posts, I began a discussion, based on a personal dilemma being faced by my own family, dealing with end-of-life ethics. I intend to be more personal in this post. My hope is that as I work through this emotional and personal struggle, that we can come to some conclusions based on a Christian worldview, and perhaps prepare better for end-of-life scenarios, and prepare better to know when to fight for the life of a loved one. This journey is open-ended. I don’t know where my loved one’s journey will take her or us. We will learn as we go. Hopefully, someone may be helped through this.

My emotions are raw, and I’m feeling numb and exhausted. I am my brother-in-law’s wing-man, and even though he is the one feeling the full weight of this horrible situation, I am close enough to sense the powerlessness and confusion of it all. The endless hours; the feelings of hopelessness; the anger when the step-down facility thinks a DNR means “do not help the patient at all”; and having to be the grieving spouse, critical care nurse, respiratory therapist, clinical ethicist, nurse motivator, and hospital janitor, all at the same time. Lack of sleep, lack of peace, lack of human contact, lack of food, and lack of encouragement, takes its toll. You can’t concentrate when you try to work, and you can’t sleep when you have the opportunity, because your brain won’t stop working. In the step-down facility you’re there 24 hours a day. In the CCU, you’re making three trips a day.

My loved one has been ill more seriously and longer than any of us are probably aware. She’s struggled with weight-related issues, endometrial cancer, circulatory problems, and pulmonary issues. She was more than likely dealing with COPD, and some form of Pneumonia before she contracted the bug that broke the patient’s back.

Enter the flu. From listening to doctors and nurses, I know that most people who die from the flu, usually don’t actually die from the flu. The flu saps up all of the energy and immunity, leaving any pre-existing or opportunistic condition to run rampant, unimpeded. It’s the secondary illnesses that get you. That is what happened to my loved one. She contracted the flu, which sapped her already compromised immunity, which in turn allowed pneumonia and other infections to turn into a somatic forest fire..

The Emotional Roller Coaster of Critical Illness

I have gone back on Facebook and noted the posts from her husband as she began her unwanted journey.

Dec. 14, 2013- “At the Doc with _______. Temp of 103.1 this AM. Tylenol brought it down to 100.8. O2 was in the low 80’s (on 2lpm /nc now) and up to 88. Might mean a trip to the ER. No evidence of pneumonia though and negative for Flu.”

He got her in to see the doctor, who immediately sent her to Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga.

“So the DX is back on __________. Pneumonia and some other condition?? that has caused them to do CPK~MB’s 4 times now and put her on a Heparin drip. Prayers would be greatly appreciated.”

Dec. 16, form my wife’s wall: “I don’t ask for prayers on Facebook too much but would appreciate some for my sis in law ______. She is in Memorial right now with Influenza A, the nasty flu, pneumonia, and some other not so good things going on. I know ________ is worn out and would appreciate prayers as well.”

My B-inlaws wall: “Being transferred to the cardiac care unit. Waiting on a bed.”

Later the same day: “So it got worse. Being intubated r/t respiratory failure. Critical labs, high risk for more nastiness ahead. The dominoes keep falling. Going to be admitted to ICU. Kills me that she said “please just get me out of here” and “please don’t leave me” as they were pushing me out. Sometimes life sucks.”

And later: “Intubation successful. Next domino is renal function at 40%, but heart rate is down from 125 to 95 and she’s not having to fight to breathe. Now comes the next battle to cure the multi-bacterial infections. Blood cultures back tomorrow to get a better picture. IV Azithromax and Rocephin are useless as M&M’s at this point.”

Dec. 17, B-inlaws wall: “So first off, I am so grateful for everyone’s prayers._________ is still sedated and intubated. Docs had me agree today to a tracheotomy and vent when she is out of danger from infections. Say she is stable but critical. Having a little difficulty keeping heart rate down. Thought she was coming out of sedation, so the increased the Diprivan. Had been in the 140’s. Now in the one teens . Only let me see her 4 hrs a day. Won’t let me in when they arouse her to check her functioning hand grips, eye blinks, etc. ’cause they tell me she might have a bad time with it. Keep praying, and thank you all so much.”

From Dec. 18th:_______ is stable this morning. Very wet lung sounds. Labs are midline and infections still raging. They stopped the Diprivan so I could talk to her. She opened her eyes and was able to nod and shake her head for yes and no. She understood about what was happening. She wants to get better. She hurts all over, but pain can be a friend too. Having no feeling would be bad. The Doctors are about ready to do the trach and vent. She would be less sedated unless she had anxiety issues. I told her I was agreeing to the trach and vent and she nodded her head yes. God’s grace and faithfulness are beyond my comprehension. Her nurse this morning, Ariel, is going for his masters and specializes in ______’s type of multiple complications. He Is going to give her sedation vacations for the next times I’m in the room so we can spend time together. She was calm and handled it as well as could be expected. We are still deep in the woods with a long, long path to travel. Please continue your prayers, for her in general and then specifically that her lungs would clear and that her respiratory failure would resolve. Please know that I love you all and believe that your faithfulness in praying is what is getting us through this.”

Dec. 19: “So, the word of the day seems to be “uneventful”. From where we were, Uneventful is good. Tomorrow at 4 PM the trach goes in. The Doctor had to give me all the information and negative potentials because of informed consent. I know what they are, but it’s just like the Miranda law: if they don’t say it, it doesn’t count. What the people here in the waiting rooms need, myself included, is hope along with the facts. I’ve been talking to some folks who are alone, no other support here. One man in particular whose wife (67) was brought in Monday with a similar situation to ______’s. He kept saying “I don’t understand what they are telling me”. I did my best to simplify, not really caring so much if I was overstepping my bounds (we all know what a know-it-all reputation I have). Last night the man thanked me and said he understood what the doctor told him yesterday and understands what he can expect. SO, if God can use my bent toward being a know-it-all to give even one person peace, I feel He can forgive the occasional stuffiness. 
For my sweet ________,  I know she hears me, because her pulse changes. My sister__________saw evidence of that last night. So what us next? We wait and we keep praying. Thank you all so much again.”

Later on the 19: “They have reduced _________  propofol from 50 to 25 mcg/kg/min. She opened her eyes once and responded to my saying I was there. Her hands are gloved, but she is a strong woman. I told her to relax and tomorrow was going to be better. She swallowed twice and tried to visibly relax. This better go well. I don’t need more non-fun happening. Keep praying.And thank you all.”

Dec. 20: “Today is a big day. Tube out, trach in. The first visit of the day is always scary. Gonna be glad to have her off sedation when today is over. Not gonna think about anything but all the positives ahead. 6 minutes til I see her. Thanks for your continued prayers.”

Later on the 20th: “It’s after 6 and no word yet.________’s surgery could have started late. Trying to find something to do to keep from running up the walls. Have puzzle book, thanks to _____________, have you guys, my sister____________, and Eric Adams are keeping me company, and I have my faith. Maybe I should have learned to roller blade.”

And later:_________ is Out of surgery. Lungs collapse a bit, but airway establish. Dr Hunt says she looks much more comfortable. Don’t know if out of sedation at 8:30-9:30 visitation time. May have to wait until tomorrow. Thank you all so much and please keep praying for her continued healing.”

Dec. 21: “Citrobacter Amalonaticus is one if the little devils. It seems to be very nasty and decided when the flu hit it would join the party. Labs slowly returning to normal. Doc says she’s changing __________’s type of sedative so she be more awake. It’s a process and a long road. I appreciate you guys traveling it with us.”

After the tracheotomy, on the 21st: “Goodbye Propofol, hello Precedex. Lighter sedation. Was awake and acknowledged me. Very weak. Infection still raging insanely. Gonna have to figure out communication. She understands me, but I’m having to learn Greek. I did that once and it was tough. As __________ gets stronger things will become easier. For now I am happy for the few moments between the many minutes. Keep believing with me. God bless you all.”

Later on the same day: “Back with ________again. My mom and dad, _______ and _________, my sister ___________, and niece __________ are here with me. Labs still mostly good, but infections have caused temp to soar. 102.3 now but doc wants to see how high it will go without tmt; cutoff point of 102.5. Hello. Almost there. Bring on the Tylenol. Opened her eyes and acknowledged we are here. But so weak. I can’t even imagine. Please continue with us and lift my girl up in church tomorrow. Many thanks and God bless.”

Later, Dec. 21: “Okay. So call me bossy Betty. Told the nurse temp at 102.5 so we probably need to start the Tylenol. And elbow against the rail, on your next turn we can get that repositioned. And the BP readings were a little off but when you go back in you’ll see the cuff needs to be repositioned. Great. I’m becoming one of those family members. But I made sure to say thank you for all you are doing. Oh well. Love you guys.”

From my wall, on the 22nd: “______’s temp. Was down to 99.0 when I left. Her respiration was down to about 81 from 96 earlier in the week. They have reduced her sedation to .3 mg/hr. Her blood pressure was excellent. 

The best news of all is that she was responsive today, and even asked if they had done the tracheotomy. She also responded when the nurses told her about how many visitors she had. 

Another good sign- they had her ventilator set for 18 breaths per minute, but she was actually breathing 22 pet minute, which means she is attempting to breathe on her own, a very good sign. A good but exhausting day for both ______ and__________. — feeling confident.”

My B-inlaw on Dec. 22: “Going back to see___________ at 8:30. She has improved since last I posted. Vitals normalizing. Temp 98.8, albeit with cooling blanket and fans in place. Weaning off Precedex so will be on prn sedative tonight. She roused enough to ask the nurse if she was trached. Propofol and short-term memory aren’t buddies, so it’s gonna be a shock when she is awake enough to realize everything. Vent still 45% O2, but hoping with improvements we can slowly wean. Still way over 17 on WBC’s. Waiting on culture of picc line. Still deep in the woods, but we see one of those boy scout trail markers saying “It’s that way”. Much, much appreciation for your continued concern and prayer as we search for the clearing. You guys are great. God bless you and thank you for your belief and graciousness.”

Later the same day: “So now the good news. _________ was awake and alert. Had no idea what had happened or how long. Thought she had missed Christmas. When I told her about what all of you have done and the prayers thoughts, wishes and love you’ve sent, she beamed. You guys have made what started out as a scary day into something wonderful and I cannot express my gratitude. Gonna start Levophed to see if we can’t get the low Mean Arterial Pressure (in the 50’s) back to a safe level. God bless and good night.”

From my wife’s wall on the 25th: “Merry Christmas! Hope all my friends have a wonderful big happy Christmas! I am surrounded by my family, watching _________ work diligently to figure out my new phone, as I type this on my brand new Laptop, kids all exhausted from opening gifts and now chilling out! Fixing to head to _______ Hospital to see _______ and ________and spread some Christmas cheer!”

From my daughter’s wall on Christmas Day: “Spending time with __________  for Christmas! Hoping to brighten up her room a little with presents and notes and flowers:) “

My B-inlaw on the 30th: “As I sit at___________ Hospital with __________, I recall a time when _____ and _____________ served at our church in Ft Oglethorpe, Ga. One particular sermon spoke of pillars and caterpillars. The pillars helped support the church, the caterpillars just crawled in and out every week. The same is true in nursing. A burned out nurse is like the caterpillar, crawling in and out on routine, no passion, no urging of their call to help others heal. Pray that God will rejuvenate and rekindle the first love that nurses require to serve others; and pray that God will crop dust those in their care with the blood of Jesus to protect and heal until a fire of passion is rekindled in the hearts of those who, through overwork, understaffing, and stress have lost the love for their calling.”

You can follow the ups and downs of our current crisis. I am recording this on my blog so my family can have a single place to go to work back through this emotional roller coaster. Making sense of all of this is going to take a strong faith, an informed faith, and a reasonable faith. I will continue the more personal details a couple of posts from now.

Think First, Then Feel

For now, think about your family. Think about facing some very critical ethical issues. If you are a Christian, think about the grid you will use to prepare for a difficult moment, maybe a decision that will mean the end of someone’s life, and who will decide. How will you decide? How much will you depend on the medical community for that decision? How much will you depend on your Pastor, or fellow church members? How much will you depend on family and friends for advice? How much will you depend on a sound Biblical worldview rooted in Scripture, and the historic Christian faith? Does your worldview mater? Soes the worldview of the doctor, hospital, and government matter? We will probe these things together in future posts. I don’t have any easy answers. I don’t know that there are easy answers to these types of questions. We will approach them nonetheless. 

My next post will be more theological, but I wanted to record the ups and downs of my loved ones, so you know that these issues are not theoretical. I also want my family members to have a written record of our painful trek.

Thank you for your time.

simul iustus et peccator, 

 
Eric Adams 
Rossville, GA 
godsguy12@comcast.net 
christianreasons@gmail.com 

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1 Peter 3:15

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;

“Emergent church leader John Crowder said in this post, “I honestly believe that the age of apologetics is over, and the age of activation has come. Experience is more important than explanation.” If you read the quote in the full context, I think what you’ll find that Mr. Crowder doesn’t want to have to defend his beliefs, because outside of his personal experience, on which his abhorrent theology is based, I seriously doubt that he can—and if you, members of your congregation, or especially if your kids can’t either, then if they happen to remain in church at all, their theology might end up being as bad as Mr. Crowder’s—or worse if that’s even possible.

Apologetics has several useful and necessary applications including evangelism, defending against attacks on Christianity in the public square, discerning false doctrine, and edifying believers. Examples of each of these can be found in scripture. If we deny the need for apologetics then we are denying what scripture actually teaches and are simply inventing our own gospel—much like John Crowder’s pathetic parody of the gospel, which is becoming all too common these days–just as Paul said it would in his second letter to Timothy:

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 2 Timothy 4:3-4″

–Greg West, publisher of The Poached Egg Blog

via We Dont Need Apologetics, We Just Need to Experience Jesus.

 

A romanticized, sentimental view of Christianity may sound great, but we can’t love the Lord with all of our minds if we don’t understand our faith intellectually. If we don’t orient our minds with a Biblical worldview, by becoming acquainted with who He is, we are no better than the atheistic naturalist, who has no grounding for his morals. Drumming up romantic feelings for God is not the same as actually getting to know Him through His Word. Our minds are to be transformed, and renewed. That only happens when we confront our own false ideas of God, and replace them with true ideas of God. 

Having a good apologetics base can also help you through difficult life situations. My family is going through a deep shadow of death at this moment. It’s only my Christian worldview, solidly planted in Scripture, with a foundation in knowing what I believe, and why I believe it, that has allowed me to get through this with my sanity intact.

There is much false teaching and false religious beliefs all around us. We must be able to withstand this onslaught by being firmly grounded in a Christ-centered worldview.

A mystical approach to Christianity may sound attractive, but it is a fickle mistress that will leave you in despair, on a treadmill of moralism, trying to find Jesus in a deceitful heart.

We all want to experience Christ in our lives, but all experience can do is help us. It can do nothing to explain our faith to another. When all we have is experience, we fall silent, for how do you communicate an individual experience. It’s doctrinal and intellectual truth that allows us to communicate our faith with others, not experience.

 

simul iustus et peccator, 

 
Eric Adams 
Rossville, GA 
godsguy12@comcast.net 
christianreasons@gmail.com 

1518549_10201259769042938_27193347_oAs I write this my family is deeply embroiled in a life or death situation with a loved one. The flu, a UTI, then pneumonia, congestive heart failure, ventilation, tracheotomy, and a DNR: a terrible chain of events has spiraled the health of someone we love downward to the brink of death. After an initial rally, she was sent to a step-up facility to get her weaned off of the ventilator. Because her husband had signed a DNR, the doctor in charge of her case at said facility simply wanted to pull her off of the ventilator and let her die. Because of a terrible error by the nurse on duty, she came out of sedation. Ordinarily that would have been tragic, since the terrible shape of her lungs full of pneumonia would have put her in distress. 

What could have been a tragic scene became a very touching and horribly painful conversation between a very ill wife, and a loving husband. I witnessed this conversation unobtrusively, as I slipped into the room, and never made my presence known. I feel guilty for intruding on such a touching and private moment, but I thank God I was a witness to such a moving exchange.

I will not go into the details, but suffice it to say that the husband told the wife of her grave situation. He asked her if she wanted to continue to be kept alive, or whether she was ready to be let go. She indicated she wanted to continue to fight for her life. The husband said he would, but that he would not let her suffer, and would make a hard decision if he had to. She cried. She could not speak, because of the tracheotomy. All she could do was respond to questions. He asked her what she would do if she knew he was suffering. She cried again.

Until that moment, the husband was considering making that hard decision. The doctors and staff were encouraging the removal of the ventilator, to let her pass. They had even removed the diuretic she was on, a clear path to death by congestive heart failure. Evidently in this facility, a signed DNR means “let’s accelerate her demise”. Thanks to a mistake by a nurse in allowing her Diprivan to run out, bringing her out of sedation, the weight of a horrible decision was lessened, the chance to say the things he needed to say, and another opportunity to encourage a loved one to trust in Christ alone, came about.

That’s as much detail as I intend to go into, other than to say that the DNR was rescinded, and she was moved to another hospital, to actually attempt to save her life. This story does not end here. It is still a very grave life or death situation. In the end, her life, as is ours, is in the hands of God.

I intend to start a thread on end-of-life ethics. I find I am thinking a lot about this topic, considering what I have just witnessed. I also find I am quite at a loss to clearly discuss this matter, which means I need to do some serious cogitating. I lack the necessary information to process this. This will serve as my journal of discovery into a subject none of us want to broach, but all must at some point, assuming the Lord doesn’t return first.

May we all grow in Grace as we struggle with issues that can only make us better Christians.

Christian theology, however, offers a unique take on suffering. Christ’s death and resurrection illustrate that suffering can be redemptive, that suffering can have meaning, and that suffering is not necessarily the worst possible thing that befalls human beings. This does not mean that we embrace suffering as an unequivocal good, that we are supposed to seek out suffering, or that there is no place in Christian thought for compassionate relief of suffering. But it does mean that we must avoid the temptation to believe that any activity that alleviates suffering is ethical and good. As Meilaender describes, “We must…always be of two minds about [suffering]. We should try to care for those who suffer, but we should not imagine that suffering can be eliminated from human life or that it can have no point or purpose…Nor should we suppose that suffering must be eliminated by any means that is available to us, for a good end does not justify any and all means…to make elimination of suffering our highest priority would be to conclude mistakenly that it can have no point or purpose in our lives. We should not act as if we believe that the negative, destructive powers of the universe are finally victorious.” 1

1. Dollar, Ellen P. “Christian Ethics 101: What Makes Ethics “Christian”?” Ellen Painter Dollar. Patheos, 26 Sept. 2012. Web. 14 Jan. 2014.

simul iustus et peccator, 

 
Eric Adams 
Rossville, GA 
godsguy12@comcast.net 
christianreasons@gmail.com 

It’s important to have a thoroughly thought out and comprehensive Christian worldview.

“James Orr, in The Christian View of God and the World, maintains that there is a definite Christian view of things, which has a character, coherence, and unity of its own, and stands in sharp contrast with counter theories and speculations. A Christian worldview has the stamp of reason and reality and can stand the test of history and experience. A Christian view of the world cannot be infringed upon, accepted or rejected piecemeal, but stands or falls on its integrity. Such a holistic approach offers a stability of thought, a unity of comprehensive insight that bears not only on the religious sphere but also on the whole of thought. A Christian worldview is not built on two types of truth (religious and philosophical or scientific) but on a universal principle and all-embracing system that shapes religion, natural and social sciences, law, history, health care, the arts, the humanities, and all disciplines of study with application for all of life.

— David Dockery, President of Union University in Jackson, TN

via The Importance of a Christian Worldview – The Gospel Project.

simul iustus et peccator,  

Eric Adams 

Rossville, GA 

godsguy12@comcast.net 

christianreasons@gmail.com 

https://twitter.com/xianreasons 

http://christianreasons.com/

 

“Naturalism cannot truly even provide a foundation for science itself”

1385293_658330927531417_355358686_nAs explored in this series of essays, the worldview of the Naturalist fails to provide grounding for many important concepts, such as: the origin and existence of our universe, why there is fine-tuning of the cosmos and of biological systems, human consciousness, the ability to trust our reasoning ability, the existence of universal abstract entities such as the laws of logic, the consistency and reproducibility of Nature, or even why things like knowledge have any intrinsic value at all.  Because of this, Naturalism cannot truly even provide a foundation for science itself.  Ultimately the worldview of Naturalism is without objective meaning or hope.  Given this worldview, are there really even any moral \”oughts\” or requirements on us?  What would be the justification for them?  The worldview of the New Atheists provides at best a poor foundation to build upon.

An important point here is not that the Naturalistic worldview cannot give answers to many of the issues mentioned above.  The real issue is \”on what basis\”?  What are they grounded on?  Is there anything that is intrinsic or objective about them?  How are these beliefs justified?  That is the Achilles heel of this kind of worldview.”

via Reasonable Worldviews – Materialistic Naturalism vs. Christian Theism – by Apologist – Newsvine.

simul iustus et peccator,

Eric “the unevolved” Adams