Tuesday, October 19, 2010

First Cause

I have been reading a lot lately about predestination vs. free will, and it has taken me back to my semi-philosophical college days. Yes for a while I actually thought about majoring in philosophy but ultimately decided that philosophers think too much and act too little, so I didn’t. That being said I still LOVE philosophy in small doses. One of my favorite subjects is that of God, namely the existence of God. A noted philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas wrote several arguments in Summa Theologica for the existence of God and in this blog post I want to discuss one of them.


Thomas Aquinas asserted that everything we can observe in science and in nature has a cause. Ie: Thunderstorms are caused by water evaporating from the earth and gathering into clouds, then re-condensing and falling into earth. Or the ball hit the wall because I threw said ball at said wall. So every thing in life has a cause right? Aquinas argued that you could trace these causes back to the beginning of time until there was a first cause, and the first cause was God. God moved which caused the creation of the world, which then led to many other causes, a chain reaction if you will.

The major argument against this argument is “What caused God?”. To this the answer is simply “God existed forever”. To which the immediate rebuttal is “If nothing ‘caused’ God, then why does there need to be a cause for anything else?” or “If God has been around forever why can’t anything else have been around forever?”

My college philosophy professor would assert that this (above) argument makes the “First cause” argument void and to a certain extent I would agree with him (only on the idea that the argument is logical in that it can be observed in nature, however I believe that God did create the universe and everything in it). I would say that per the laws of science matter can neither be destroyed nor created, it is simply changed and that would point to matter being around for eternity…


For life, life had to have a cause there is no other possible explanation for it. It is the one question that has plagued evolution scientists since Darwin. The complexities of a single cell organism has been compared to that of a Boeing 747, and for matter to “mystically” all come together at the right time in the right place, in the right order of chemicals is very very improbable if not impossible. It is something that as not been replicated in a lab, it is indeed a profound mystery for which scientist don’t really have an answer.

One outspoken atheist Charles Dawkins, put forward the idea that life was seeded on earth by aliens. The obvious question becomes “what caused the aliens?” in which case you simply come back to square one of the original argument.

So I don’t think Thomas’s argument was as weak as initially assumed I just think that if the argument is focused, namely on life, it becomes much more potent and harder to refute.

I’m no theologian or great philosopher, but I do like to ponder these questions, because I think it is good for Christians to challenge their faith as to make it stronger.

Friday, October 8, 2010

My Beautiful Wife, Emotions, and Spaghetti

I have been married for a little over two months now, so at this point I would like to consider myself and expert… ok maybe I wouldn’t go that far, but I have learned many things about my wife in these past two months of marriage, and I would like to share at least one of them with you.

Warning: I will be talking a bit about sex in the paragraphs to come, so brace yourselves or turn away.

Making the Emotional Connection:

It turns out that during the course of a day a woman becomes disconnected from her husband, and it is important that a connection be re-established upon meeting up after a day of work. I, being a semblance of a man, didn’t realize this. In my man brain my thoughts are “We texted and emailed each other at work, there has been no break in our connectedness”. I was wrong, and one thing I learned is that texting and emailing are no substitute for face to face conversation.

Making the emotional connection is fairly simple. All I have to do is ask her about her day, and listen, and from time to time ask follow up questions. I found this is very important, and helps my wife feel the love I have for her. But that isn’t the only reason it is important for me to ask about her day.

There is a book titled “Men are Waffles, Women are Spaghetti” or something of that nature. The book goes on to state that men like waffles, can compartmentalize better than women. Meaning that parts of men’s lives are less likely to affect other parts of their lives. Women on the other hand are like spaghetti, every part of their lives affects every other part of their lives, it is all jumbled together like spaghetti. This is the other reason it is imperative that I ask about my wife’s day. If she had something happen at work, or something happened with her family etc. it is important that I know what happened, and how it affected her for several reasons...

1) The most important reason, is that I can be there for her, so that I can comfort her through whatever trial she is faced with. So that I can lovingly lead her, and know how she is emotionally and how I can help her/serve her best.

2) Sex, I like most men have a hair trigger, we can have great sex anytime any where. My lovely wife, like most women, needs to feel emotionally engaged, and needs to feel safe, secure, and loved when making whoopee. Things that go wrong at work with her family with me etc. always affects her sexual experience. I want her to be happy, and want her to want to give herself to me freely completely, feeling safe and secure and that all is right with the world.

3) Learning about my Wife. I love my wife dearly and want to be her best student, learning about her day and how things affect her helps me get to know her better, and that is something I love.

I love that my wife is a complex puzzle that I have yet to totally figure out or understand but I am looking forward to taking a lifetime to do it. (although my goal is to do it in half the time so that I will have the other half free to enjoy her completely).

Much Love,

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Government God and Orphans

I was conflicted on weather or not I should post this, because I felt so convicted in even writing it. I am on the side of lower taxes, but often fail on helping the poor with what I have been given.

This past Sunday our pastor, Brandon, was speaking on the book of James, specifically the verses which talk about taking care of widows and orphans. He told a story of a mother who wanted him to explain to her son why the rich should not give all their money to the poor. He said that the kid was right, that that’s what should happen. This got me thinking about how this would relate to my own views of low taxes and limited government programs for anybody (the poor included). Are my views wrong? Am I twisting the Bible to say something it doesn’t?

In short no, I don’t think that the rich giving all of their money to the poor contradicts my views on lower taxes, and limited government. For one, James does NOT say “Give all of your money/possessions to the government and let them take care of the poor.” We are commanded, I like to think of a finger pointing at me “YOU! take care of the widows”, “YOU! take care of the orphans.”, the responsibility doesn’t rely on a third party it is your personal responsibility to do these things.

When I think about the fact that the Government is slowly but surely kicking God and Jesus out of our founding documents and schools it makes me wonder why government programs would be any different? So if we decide we want more government programs to help raise our children and take care of the needy aren’t we neglecting our responsibility as Christians to bring the gospel and aid to those who need it? I say absolutely YES. I think that voting for higher taxes to pay for government programs it takes money out of your pocket that YOU have been commanded to give to the poor, to pay for services to the poor that YOU should be providing*.

But what about the Christ followers who work for the government and assist in helping the poor and needy? My heart breaks for them, because I know their hearts have to be breaking everyday as they are unable to openly share the one thing the people truly need, and that is the Gospel. Their hands are tied with red tape and they are at risk of losing their job if they boldly proclaim the gospel. I’m not saying they don’t and that they aren’t able to minister in other ways, I just think the ideal would be being able to openly share the gospel.

I know that no matter what some people will have more than others, and we are obligated to give what more if any we have. I just think in an ideal world we would have greater potential for good if the government got out of the way.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down fro mthe Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows"

Much Love,

*Some folks do this corporately at a church level, they think they can simply give money to a church and say they are good. I think we have been called to more than that.

Friday, October 1, 2010

James 1:19

“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

Slow to become angry? What does that look like? I mean some of the times that I get angry it just happens. I don’t spend time meditating and thinking “Yes, this qualifies as something I can be angry about because xyz criteria have been met.” It just happens, someone flicks my face, the waitress gets my order wrong, someone submits a credit application incorrectly… AGAIN. When triggered by these and many other things my immediate involuntary reaction is anger.

So how does one become “slow to become angry”? I honestly had no idea so I posed the question to my awesome Bible study. Not surprisingly my good friend Travis came up with an answer that blew my mind and made this whole thing so clear. The answer: Holiness and Humility. All of the reasons I listed above made be angry for one reason… ME. Because I am a sinner and can be/am very prideful , when someone flicks MY face it disrespects ME. When the waitress gets MY order wrong I have to wait to get MY food, or I have to suffer through what was brought to ME. When someone submits a credit application incorrectly I have to fix it, and it take MY time away from doing things I want to do.

Don’t get me wrong I believe there is such a thing as righteous anger, but 95% of the time the reasons I become angry is because my little world becomes less than perfect. If I was completely humble and Holy, like Christ is Holy, I would be able to see that those things don’t really matter. The only thing that truly matters is that God be glorified.

To God be the glory forever, Amen.

Much Love,