The God-Shaped Hole!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Thinking Christian

Tonight, Christian apologist Josh McDowell stopped in Albuquerque to give a presentation. His words matched and confirmed what God has shown me over the past ten years.

Ten years ago, God told me He loves me; He loves me so much that He died for my sins. I grew up in church, so I had always accepted it as truth, but I had never felt it, until that night.

Six years ago, He told me that He wanted me to think. He rewarded my thinking with concepts that made the world simpler to understand, and easier to deal with.

Last summer, during a study of Hebrews, He gave me a phrase: The knowledge of the character of God is the anchor of the soul.

Josh McDowell's talk focused on the character of God, the love of God, and the necessity of rational thinking in the Church and the home.

It was a masterful presentation from a rhetorical viewpoint, as well as theologically sound; he cut out the unnecessary and earnestly talked to us with the authority that comes from certain knowledge, and from caring for the audience.

I'm sure that everyone who attended came away with something new; I came away with a fuller understanding of God's love. Josh gave clear reasoning behind the commandment to remain with only one sexual partner for life, which in a Christian context also includes an endorsement of marriage. He asked why more pastors and parents avoid defining important concepts like Love and Truth.

However, I feel he could add strength to this presentation in the future by adding one point: the definition of sin. After the opening volley of questions, he could have asked, "How many of you have ever heard your pastor define sin in terms other than disobedience?"

As I've stated on this blog before (at least I think I have!), my personal definition of sin started as, "that which causes harm to oneself or others." That definition has expanded to include all choices which disregard the importance of other people in God's eyes, which potentially could cause harm, no matter how small. In its simplest form, this definition of sin would be useful for parents and Sunday School teachers, yet I have never heard it taught in any church. God had to use logic to teach me by inference at age 21! I wish I could have heard this definition at a younger age.

Other thoughts:

The HPV vaccine, Gardasil, was developed here at University of New Mexico Hospital. It is effective against the most common strains, and prevents a significant number of cancers. At a public lecture given by the head of research, she said she now regrets it to some degree. You see, she knows human character. She knows it will be used by people who are not virgins (it won't help sexually active women), and by women who think it reduces the need for pap smears, thereby increasing cancers. She also knows that anything relating to womens' health issues will be rejected by some groups because it seems disgusting or shameful, even when it saves lives. The correct way to use it, she said, is to include it in the standard childhood vaccinations. probably around age eight, and yet she knows it will never happen, because it implies sexual activity at such an early age, and people don't want to believe it happens. By the way, I agree with her.

I have yet to hear a single, cogent, satisfactory definition of spirit from any other Christian. They either mean a pseudophysical, insubstantial, immaterial realm (and the beings that live there), or things that feel holy or pure or better than. Oftentimes, these definitions are mixed; they use spirit to mean both during the course of the same conversation. I have decided not to use the words spirit or spiritual unless I clearly define what I mean. However, I will say I have come to see spirit as something somewhere between mind, heart, and soul.

As always, comments are welcome.


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