Friday, April 30, 2010

Who is Responsible for Evil?

Last semester I took a religion course of theodicy, otherwise known as justifying a good, all-knowing, and completely loving God with the reality of evil in the world. A paradox that we didn't spend much time one but that I have always pondered is: Is there something essentially evil within humans that causes evil to take form? or Is the environment completely responsible for how "evil" a person ends up?

This is the question that two apologetics in the video attempt to answer:

I hope one day I can have a sweet story and a plethora of quotes stored up in my brain to re-sight whenever answering a question, making a
point, or convincing someone of something.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Self-Defense Lesson

It is a dangerous world. At every turn there is the unknown of impending harm.
In light of the reality of the dangerous world we live in I have collected some of the most sought after self-defense experts in the world. In just the few minutes of a single you tube video they will prepare you for whatever waits for you in a dark alley.



Here are some songs I have been jamming to lately. Some old, some new, but all jams. Enjoy!

Monday, April 26, 2010


First off, thank God for this semester to be winding down enough that I have time to read what I want to read and to write what I want to write. I only have one final on thursday and a paper due on friday. Both of which I am not worrying about for a couple of days.

Nevertheless, Something that has been bothering me lately is ironically, Happiness. Through many conversations with people and a general observation of the world, I have been distraught by the amount of people that mention happiness as a goal to strive for or as something that makes life meaningful/worth living. In many different forms of rhetoric I have heard what seems to be the idolization of happiness.

There is something deeply wrong with thinking that happiness is something to hope for, strive for, or think of as what will make life meaningful. As Christians, we believe in a god that is ALIVE, TANGIBLE, and PRESENT. And we reject the idea that god is an IDEA, that god is a SMOKESCREEN, or that god STANDS FAR OFF.

So then... What is the Goal? 'I think' the goal is to be. Just to BE with Jesus, rather than to be concerned with secondary goals, feelings, transformations, helping people, etc.. If God is not an idea but a very real and tangible person to be connected with, than what more can be asked of us rather than just to BE with Jesus.

Thats the best I can make of it. Life is full of reactions. And the hip "idolization" of happiness and even spirituality are reactions to a dreary institution that presented a watered down version of the Gospel. What I am trying to point out though, is that the reaction may have gone to far the other way to miss the essence of Christianity. Which is not to be happy but to just be with the Creator of the universe revealed in Jesus and whose presence is known and experienced in a tangible way daily through the Spirit. Thanks only to the grace of the cross.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

When Your Faith Tells You to Convert

The following is absolutely PROFOUND section from the book How (not) to Speak of God, by Peter Rollins. The questions this story and passage bring about keep haunting and convicting me.

The story within the movie goes something like this:

"The film itself explores the failure of the Catholic-Protestant Churches when confronted with the terror of the death camps during the second world war. The two main characters are s Protestant youth pastor and a Catholic priest, who both try to inform their religious leaders about the pending holocaust.
The priest is the character that most interested Peter Rollins. At one point, the priest wonders out loud to the Cardinal whether it would be possible for ever Christian in Germany to convert to judaism in order to stop the horror. His thinking is that the Nazis couldn't possibly condemned such a huge number of powerful and socially integrated people at that stage of the war. The idea is, of course, utterly rejected.
The priest believes so strongly in his thought that he himself turns from what he loves and becomes a Jew. By taking on the Jewish identity he suffers with the persecuted, voluntarily taking his place on the trains that run to Aushwitz.
For this priest, the singularity of the horror required an unprecedented action, one which cut at the heart of his tradition. It was his very tradition (or rather the interpretation of his tradition) that demanded he should give up that tradition. This is a studding exploration in the face of unprecedented horror, For most Christians, the question, "Would you die for your beliefs?" In other words, would you be prepared to give up your religious tradition in order to affirm that tradition? Can you give up the very thing you would die to protect, not because of something even more powerful, but rather because of another's suffering?
The most powerful way to affirm his Christianity is to lay it down- symbolized by the incongruous image in which he remains in his cassock while wearing the star of David. Here, the beliefs and practices which have served him daily are placed into question by the terror that faces him and the demands for a response. Amidst the fires of the Jewish persecution his Christian beliefs are subverted by the belief that Christ gave up all for the powerless. And so the priest gave up his Christianity precisely in order to retain his Christianity. It is the very narrative that he loves which requires this exodus narrative-losing his soul while perhaps, unintentionally, finding it. " -Peter Rollins