Posts Tagged ‘Worldviews’

IMG_1653-0.JPGImage courtesy of Nick Bilton through a CC Attribution 2.0 License. No alterations have been made to this image

“Biblical theology is absolutely indispensable for the church to craft an appropriate response to the current sexual crisis. The church must learn to read Scripture according to its context, embedded in its master-narrative, and progressively revealed along covenantal lines. We must learn to interpret each theological issue through Scripture’s metanarrative of creation, fall, redemption, and new creation. Specifically, evangelicals need a theology of the body that is anchored in the Bible’s own unfolding drama of redemption.”
-Albert Mohler, via http://www.albertmohler.com/2014/09/16/biblical-theology-and-the-sexuality-crisis/

Simple proof-texting is not going to work in this moral tectonic shift. We need a fully-Biblical worldview, a comprehensive understanding of the “whole counsel of God”, from Genesis to Revelation. We have to see the Scriptural norm for our bodies in the Genesis creation narrative, the Fall, Redemption, and Consummation.

We live in an age of celebrity, punkish, hipster pastors and me-centered, rock concert-styled worship. Ultimately, responsibility for our current moral dilemma lays at the feet of our pulpits.

We’re more interested in marketing trends, book sales, social media, and current pop-culture fads than in being rooted in the Scriptures, and understanding and preaching sound doctrine.

A disconnection from our Protestant roots, and Reformed Theology (Luther, Calvin, Knox, Tyndale, etc.) has left us without a clear, united, confessional voice to speak clearly to the most significant moral paradigm shift since the gnostic challenge to Christianity in the 2nd and 3rd century.

Only a complete understanding, and commitment to the absolute authority of Scriptures will allow a robust defense of Biblical morality.

God help us all.

Please read the whole of Dr. Mohler’s article. He’s much more eloquent and astute than I.

simul iustus et peccator,

Eric Adams

Advertisements

.

20140613-155826-57506647.jpgimage titled Eliza Looks Surprised at Something, by Bradley Gordon, through a CC License 2.0. This photo has not been altered.

“Blow is worried about the fact that “nearly a third of Americans continue to believe that the Bible ‘is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally, word for word.’” This shouldn’t be a surprise. I think most people approach a written text with the assumption that it should be taken literally, unless the text itself dictates otherwise—or there is some ulterior motive to read our own views into the text. Where there is this confusion over Biblical literalism, you will often find the fueling desire to change what Scripture says or undermine its authority, even to the point of subverting centuries-old historic understanding of Christian teaching. But the same folks who by default assume the Bible should not be taken literally generally expect their own words to be interpreted literally. Don’t be afraid to call them out on that. Then do more than just point out their inconsistency… preach. Literally.”

-Mike, from the God and Neighbor blog

via http://feedly.com/k/UzZT06

I’ve had political liberals as well as so-called “Christian liberals” act shocked that any one could believe in that archaic book called the Bible before. As if the modern or postmodern worldview has advanced man morally. They haven’t. It is Scripture that lifted man out of his mud-wallowing. Secularism is returning man to the pig stye. The more anti-intellectual and Biblically-illiterate our society becomes, the more it degrades morally.

If I write a letter to my wife, you’d better bet I want her to take me literally, whether I’m giving her instructions on how to reset a breaker, or if I’m writing her a love sonnet, or if I’m just letting her know when I’m coming home.

The author above is correct-somewhere in the buried motivations for not wanting to take the Bible literally, is a desire to evade or escape some portion of Scripture they don’t like.

Well, suck it up buttercup, ’cause the Bible gets all up in your bidness. It’ll either change you, or you’re going to have to try to change it. Good luck with the latter.

Thus endeth my rant-lol.

simul iustus et peccator,

Eric Adams

imageImage via KellyLawlessThrough a CC License

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

20140329-212821.jpg

http://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%22Immunization_-_Saves_Lives%22_-_NARA_-_514611.tif

According to various resources cited by J. Warner Wallace, any where from 60-80% of college freshmen who claim to be Christian will lose their faith by the time they’re seniors. These are sobering numbers. (1)

We could spend a lot of time exploring the reasons for this trend, but the following quote from a post by Jeff Laird illustrates an important point. When we as parents fail to engage the serious questions raised by our culture, and instead isolate our kids, rather than exposing them to those ideas in a safe environment, we’re not helping our young people develop a healthy immunity to conflicting worldviews. If they don’t see their parents wrestling with Christian answers to secular questions, they won’t be able to fend off the universal acid of atheism. We need to immunize our offspring to the caustic philosophies of our age.

“It’s critically important for our children to see that we, as believers, are not only aware of other views, but that we have considered and responded to them. It’s tragic to see so many children leave home, and their home church, only to have their first, probably catastrophic exposure to the myriad attacks against their Christian faith. No one would be surprised if a teen who had never been vaccinated contracted mumps soon after moving into a public dorm. Why should we, as Christians, be so surprised when a child, having never been exposed to conflicting ideas, assumes their parents and church never considered them?”

-Jeff Laird

via http://feedly.com/k/1m9fWtB

1. Wallace, J. Warner. “Are Young People Really Leaving Christianity?” Cold Case Christianity. J. Warner Wallace, 27 Sept. 2013. Web. 29 Mar. 2014.

simul iustus et peccator,

Eric Adams
.

Please catch up with my posts in this series here.

When I was much younger, I made the following comment to my wife, in jest, of course, because young men are invincible, and think they’re immortal.

“If something happens to me, and I’m on a ventilator, don’t you give up on me…it ain’t over ’til it’s over.”

It was a frivolous statement I should have never made. Recent events have made me realize how cruel a burden that statement was to place on a loved one. I am thankful my loved ones have not had to make that kind of decision. My hope is that as I work through this, I can come to a better plan than that.

What Is A Worldview?

We need to begin by backtracking a minute and make a clear definition of what exactly a worldview is.

“So what is a worldview? Essentially this: A worldview is a commitment, a fundamental orientation of the heart, that can be expressed as a story or in a set of presuppositions (assumptions which may be true, partially true, or entirely false) that we hold (consciously or subconsciously, consistently or inconsistently) about the basic constitution of reality, and that provides the foundation on which we live and move and have our being.”1

A worldview is basically your philosophy of life or your conception of the world. It is the accumulation of your presuppositions and beliefs, and how you look at reality. 

“In the simplest terms, a worldview may be defined as how one sees life and the world at large. In this manner it can be compared to a pair of glasses. How a person makes sense of the world depends upon that person’s “vision,” so to speak. The interpretive “lens” helps people make sense of life and comprehend the world around them. Sometimes the lens brings clarity, and other times it can distort reality.”2

A friend of mine gave me some really good tickets to the Alabama/UTC football game last year. My son and I were excited to go to Tuscaloosa and see the Crimson Tide in person. When I was leaving, I picked up what I thought were my glasses from the bathroom. I noticed that all the way to Tuscaloosa from here in North Georgia, I was having trouble seeing, and then I got a headache. My son was wondering what was wrong with me, when I couldn’t make out the names on the jerseys. Finally, I took of my glasses and looked…I had my daughters glasses on. When you’re half-blind, one set of frames that are similar look the same, but mine had bling-haha.

My point is that the philosophical “lens” you look through is either one you have considered, pondered over, and chosen for yourself (as I did my spectacles at Lenscrafters), or you’re wearing someone else’s “lenses”, or worse yet, you’re wearing worldview “glasses” that are made up of a hodgepodge of different “isms” that mix about as well as oil and water.

Seven Worldview Questions

Maybe you picked up a little “Christianism” in Sunday School. Then you added some good ol’ Pragmatism from American culture. Throw in some Romanticism, and mysticism, and you’ve got yourself one messed up set of worldview glasses. It’s no wonder you can’t make heads-or-tails out of basic worldview questions. James Sire lists seven basic questions all worldviews must answer. They are:

1  What is the nature of Ultimate Reality?- Is there a god? Is He Personal? Can I know Him?

2.  What is the nature of material reality?“Does matter exist? Is what we see an illusion? 

  • Is it created or uncreated?
  • Is it orderly or chaotic?
  • Is it subjective or objective?
  • Is it personal or impersonal?
  • Is it eternal or temporal?”3

3.  What is the nature of humanity?Is he merely a machine? Does he have immaterial parts? Is he a god? Is he a created being? 

4. What happens when you die? “Here are some of the answers that various worldviews give concerning life after death.

  • People cease to exist.
  • Individuals are transformed to a higher state.
  • People reincarnate into another life on earth.
  • People depart to a shadowy existence on “the other side.”
  • Individuals enter into the spiritual realm (heaven, hell, or other place) based on how life was lived on earth.
  • People enter directly into heaven.”4

5.  How do we know anything, or can we know anything at all? “These are some of the ways that various worldviews deal with the issue of knowledge.

  • Consciousness and rationality developed through a long process of evolution.
  • There is no “reason” that human beings are able to have knowledge. That is just the nature of our existence.
  • Knowledge is an illusion.
  • Humans are made in the image of God who, himself, has knowledge.”5

6.  What about ethics? Can anyone one really know right from wrong? Here are some of the ways that various worldviews deal with this issue.

  • Right and wrong are strictly products of human choice.
  • Right and wrong are determined by what feels good.
  • A sense of right and wrong was an evolutionary development as a survival mechanism for the species.
  • Right and wrong are learned by experience as we learn what pleases the gods.
  • We are made in the image of God whose character is good and who has revealed what is right.”6

7.  What is the meaning of human life and history?Some of the various worldviews deal with this by asserting:

  • There is no innate meaning to human history. Meaning is what humans make it to be.
  • Time is an illusion.
  • Meaning involves realizing the purpose of the gods.
  • Meaning results from discovering and fulfilling the purpose of God.”7

8. James Sire lists one more question that makes the point about a worldview being a matter of the heart, and not just an abstract exercise: “What personal, life-orienting core commitments are consistent with this worldview?”8

It’s very important that you understand your own worldview, and the worldviews of those around you, especially those who can affect your life significantly, such as your physicians, politicians, educators, etc.

As Christian we are told:

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;

You can’t make a defense to questions you haven’t worked through yourself. If you’ve ever tried to have a serious conversation with someone, and discovered you have no common point of reference, you have crashed into the worldview wall. Some of the most frustrating people I have ever tried to dialogue with are militant atheistic naturalists, and postmodern Christian Emergents. This is a clash of worldviews. If you don’t think that it’s important to understand different worldviews, consider this:

1611194_10202046474975690_69437121_oIn the past few weeks, my family has had to deal with the life and death situation of a loved one. In dealing with one particular doctor at a step-down facility that was supposed to wean my loved off of a ventilator, it became abundantly clear that there was a clash of worldviews. Our philosophy was that she should be cared for, medicated, and sustained with a ventilator, and heroic measures of resuscitation would not be employed. The doctor at the facility did not think it necessary to continue treating our family member as a human being needing compassion, but treated her like an animal needing to be put-down.

WORLDVIEWS MATTER!

Seven Worldviews That Developed After The Disintegration Of Christian Theism As the Dominant Worldview

James Sire, in his book The Universe next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog, lists the following worldviews that have developed as the Christian Theistic worldview has disintegrated in the last 3 centuries:

  1. Deism Advocating either an impersonal force or deity, or a personal god that created the cosmos, but who doesn’t interfere with the laws of nature. The miraculous is denied. Reason is basically deified.
  2. Naturalism- Anti-supernatural; all phenomena can be explained by natural  or scientific causes.
  3. Nihilism Traditional values are useless; existence is meaningless; no objective truth or morality. Proponents: Max Stirner, Friedrich Nietzsche, 
  4. Existentialism- focuses on the existence of the individual, and the responsibility of humans with freewill and self-determination. Proponents: Soren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jaspers, Jean-Paul Sartre
  5. Eastern Mysticism
  6. New Age
  7. Islam

When dealing with a culture that is increasingly hostile to Objective Moral Truth, and the Sanctity of Life, especially when dealing with medical issues related to end-of-life care, understanding which worldview you are coming into conflict with as a Christian becomes something more than just an academic endeavor. Your loved one’s life may depend on your recognition of worldviews, and the questions you should be asking. As an exercise, just watch the news. Notice presuppositions, and how they relate to the seven worldview questions. It won’t take you terribly long to learn how to discern someone’s worldview. Asking the right questions, and listening to the answers could keep you from misinterpreting a medical professional. Trust me, it’s important.

“Despite the persistent boast that America is the most religious country in the Western world, the Christian worldview and Christian ethics are under attack by the dominant secular culture. The tactics employed by secularists vary from belittling religious belief in general to ridiculing Christian believers themselves.”10

1. Sire, James. “What Is a Worldview?” Christianity.com. Salem Web Network, 05 Mar. 2010. Web. 19 Jan. 2014. <http://www.christianity.com/blogs/russell-moore/what-is-a-worldview-11627153.html&gt;.

2. Samples, Kenneth R. “Reasons To Believe : What in the World Is a Worldview?” Reasons To Believe : What in the World Is a Worldview? Reasons To Believe, 01 Jan. 2007. Web. 19 Jan. 2014. <http://www.reasons.org/articles/what-in-the-world-is-a-worldview&gt;.

3. Sire, James W. The Universe next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog. Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity, 1997. Print. Kindle edition.

4. Sire, ibid.

5. Sire, ibid.

6. Sire, ibid.

7. Sire, ibid.

8. Sire, ibid. Loc. 178

9. Sire, ibid.

10. Slick, Matt. “What Is a Christian World View and Why Do Christians Need One?” CARM. Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry, n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2014. <http://carm.org/what-christian-world-view-and-why-do-christians-need-one&gt;.

Note: Much help in my journey through the murky waters has been given by:

Blocher, Mark B. “Christian Worldview and Medical Ethics, Part 2.” Lifemattersww.org/. Center for Biblical Bioethics, 2004. Web. 19 Jan. 2014.

My next post in this series will continue my family’s personal struggle with  bioethics in my critically ill loved one’s continuing saga.

simul justus et peccator,

Eric Adams

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 

c493573c8fd27ee9c8bb9455789ac61be56c0de75e2b685bb1d6c8d3b2bd9147

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