As the conversations continue, Camus begins to read the Bible, sometimes he confesses not to have done before. In fact he does not even own one; so Mumma gets one for him, and Camus starts with Genesis. This raises the issue whether the Bible is to be taken literally, especially the story of Adam and Eve. When Mumma interprets it as a parable of the origin of the conscience, in short, a tale putting the origin of evil in the attempt of human beings to make themselves gods, Camus find the story to ring true.
While Mumma’s answers are broadly speaking neo-orthodox, not quite those of an evangelical would likely give, the theology is traditional at heart, and it is in line with Camus’ own understanding of human nature.
Often times we find God in our distinctive ways, some intellectually, some emotionally, some through insights of wisdom, some through hard lessons of life and some even find God in ‘silly’ ways. Conversely, maybe it is more accurate to say that God reaches out to us wherever we are and touches us where it matters most. He will then take us further on from there.
** This is a Retro post taken from my Facebook (4 April 2020) which will be closed in due time.
I posted in Facebook some of Tim Challies’ observations in his review of Scott David Allen’ s book, Why Social Justice is Not Biblical Justice (Credo House Pub., 2020).
Social Justice Redefined:
Scott David Allen notes the contemporary redefinition of “justice”: “Deconstructing traditional systems and structures deemed to be oppressive, and redistributing power and resources from oppressors to their victims in the pursuit of equality of outcome.” It is obsessed with power, privilege, oppression, and victimization; it uses pragmatic tactics to cow dissenters into submission; it fixates on identity markers such as class, race, gender, and sexual orientation; it is openly hostile to Judeo-Christian religion; it is militant against the natural family and traditional sexuality; and it focuses on the redistribution of wealth and power by means of a powerful state apparatus…
Scott Allen Contrasts this New Definition with Biblical Justice:
Conformity to God’s moral standard as revealed in the Ten Commandments and the Royal Law: “love your neighbor as yourself.” [Its two components are:] Communitive Justice: living in right relationship with God and others; giving people their due as image-bearers of God. Distributive Justice: impartially rendering judgment, righting wrongs, and meting out punishment for lawbreaking. Reserved for God and God-ordained authorities including parents in the home, elders in the church, teachers in the school, and civil authorities in the state. Continue reading “Biblical Justice and Black Lives Matter. Review and Comments”
Virtue signaling in solidarity with “social justice warriors” is becoming popular among Christian social activists. “Wokeness” is sweeping across mainline denominations and some conservative seminaries. Even the Southern Baptist Convention (historically the bulwark of theological conservatism) is experiencing division as some of its influential leaders eagerly join the bandwagon.
We are puzzled when highly intelligent and idealistic people are caught up in the ideological madness of crowds currently sweeping across the USA. We are troubled by incidents when some social activists who started their mission with righteous ideals end up becoming self-righteous and judgmental towards people who don’t share their avant-garde views. Continue reading “How I Left the Social Justice Cult”
Introduction: Shortcomings prophetic movements in history
Richard Lovelace acknowledges that while it is difficult to frame strong biblical arguments for limiting prophetic utterance to the apostolic period, nevertheless it cannot be denied that various revival groups which exercised the gift of prophecy such as the Montanists (2nd century), the Zwikau prophets (16th century) and the Great Awakening (18th century) often ended up “treating the Scripture as an addendum which was more or less unnecessary once a Christian obtained direct access to the mind of God through the Spirit…People who begin by being open to extrabiblical revelation will give Satan an opportunity to wean them gradually from Scripture and establish himself as the ultimate authority.” These ‘prophets’ became incorrigible and fell into error. Failed prophecy brought despair, leaders abandoned carefully planning. Indiscreet zeal led followers to act without prudence or discretion and to do unseemly things that discredit both revival and Christianity.
Prophecy in this post does not refer to predictions of future events. It is (1) the speaking forth of what the Holy Spirit has spontaneously brought to the mind, (2) with the purpose of edifying, encouraging and comforting God’s people (1 Cor.14:3). It is noted that there is no succession of apostolic and prophetic office since the closing of the biblical canon (Eph. 2:20). While Christians should be open to occasions when the Spirit gives a prophetic word to guide the church, nevertheless, there should be no institutionalization of prophetic office today. Believers, especially leaders who exercise authority are profoundly aware of human fallibility. As such, the sharing of any prophetic word must be subject to the supervision of local church leaders (elders in the New Testament) and all prophetic claims must be tested by Scripture.
Some Christians experience perplexity as they watched video recordings of Paula White, the faith adviser of President Trump prophesying over the pulpit. Their perplexity turns into consternation when they come across the following video in the social media. The accompanying message from a Muslim appears to be taunting Christians.
Hello everyone. My name is Ahmad and i have watch the video, my question is ” Is what Senior Pastor Paula White spoke is it from the bible?” If it is, show me where in your scripture? For example, she claimed that everywhere she stands the ground is holy, sounds like what God said to Moses. Is she equal to God? From my little knowledge but I know that when God is present the ground is holy and anyone not sanctified will be struck dead standing on the ground. How come President Trump who stood beside her is not struck dead? She said that if you are not voting for Trump you are going against God. It reminds me of PAS saying to Muslims that “if you do not vote for them, you will go to hell”. Did she received instruction from God to say this? on issue of offering, she said that there is a bank or treasury in heaven and if I give more I will get more in return. Is this true.? I am really interested in this as I have invested in the stock market and I lost quite a large sum. There are many more questions? But let’s deal with these questions first before you share with me about Jesus because she uses the name of Jesus.Continue reading “Prosperity Prophets and Presidential Politics”
The controversy over sexuality in the West may seem far away and one wonders why we should bother with this Western obsession? But the reality is that many of our younger generation (including Christian youths) have bought into the same sexual revolution because of the dominance of the West ideas in the global media.
Trueman’s analysis builds on the writings of Philip Rieff (The Triumph of the Therapeutic), Alasdair MacIntyre (After Virtue) and Charles Taylor (The Secular Age), but he has the virtue of zeroing onto the roots of the sexual revolution – expressive individualism in an age of authenticity. To this we may add (1) the loss of divine transcendence which grounds objective morality. Morality becomes a matter of personal taste and manipulative power games, (2) the death of the soul which historically served as the basis for human significance and identity. Human nature becomes devoid of intrinsic essence or meaning. Selfhood is focused on the inner life of emotions of the individual. According to Freud, our sexual desires are ultimately decisive for who we are.
With the triumph of the therapeutic and erotic, personal aesthetics replaces ethics, and the therapeutic ‘self’ becomes a social construct which may be deconstructed and reconstructed at will, especially in the area of sexual identity. Based on Nietzsche’s genealogical approach to morality and Marx’s dialectical materialism, activists for transgenderism and sexual freedom reject Judeo-Christian morality (bourgeois family morality) as the source of sexual oppression and portray themselves as heroic liberators and champions of human rights. Continue reading “The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self and the Sexual Revolution”
We are overwhelmed daily by information overload from the Internet. Brett McCracken explains,
The speed of information today is simply too fast. Too fast for sufficient vetting, fact-checking, prudence (should I really retweet this?) and commonsense critical thinking. This creates a variety of new problems that erode our collective trust in information: fake news, viral misinformation, conspiracy theories, and too-hasty reporting from otherwise reputable news sources.
The irony of the information age is that the more access we have to an unfathomable amount of information and accumulated knowledge, the less wise we seem to become. One problem with information glut is that it taxes our brains, forcing them into constant triage mode and sapping them of energy (and time) for the deeper, evaluative thinking necessary for wisdom. [ 2020 Proves We Don’t Need More Information. (We Need Something Else.)]
YB Nik Zawawi’s retraction does not amount to an apology. He is merely offering to substitute an emotive word (terpesong) with a more descriptive word (ubah suai). He explains that he was referring to the ‘original kitab injil’ which was revealed to Jesus without any changes” (kitab injil asal yang diturunkan kepada Allah nabi Isa tanpa sebagai perubahan). He is reiterating the Muslim claim that Jesus was given an ‘original kitab injil’ which is different from the four present gospels and that this supposed ‘original kitab injil’ has been lost.
Assuming for the sake of argument that Nik Zawawi’s claim is true, the consequence is that Muslims, including Nik Zawawi are in principle unable to produce a copy of this missing ‘original kitab injil’. Since Nik Zawawi has no access to a copy of this so-called ‘original kitab injil’, one wonders how Nik Zawawi is able to declare that it prohibits the consumption of alcohol. His inability to produce a chapter and verse from the ‘original kitab injil’ to support his declaration shows that it is fabricated without any historical foundation. Continue reading “A Christian Response to YB Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh”
For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another (Job 19:25-27).
We secretly relish in schadenfreude when misfortune strikes a wicked man, but we can only be bewildered by the disproportionate suffering that afflicts a righteous and blameless man, like Job. To be sure, we are given a glimpse of divine mystery when the prologue of the book of Job explains that Job’s sufferings are due to a wager between God and Satan. Satan sneers at God and insinuates that his kingdom is based on expediency since Job’s loyalty to God is gained through the blessings of God. God allows Satan to hurt Job, confident that the outcome will conclusively prove Satan wrong. Continue reading “The Suffering of Job: From Tragedy to Triumph”