Category Archives: rational thought

Wrestle

This past Sunday at Ephesus we looked at David’s hurt and frustration when Uzzah died after trying to steady the Ark on its journey to Jerusalem. Seemingly God struck down Uzzah for not a really good reason, at least from our perspective. But that’s right where things get sketchy, when we start trying to answer everything from our perspective. At its core, that’s supreme arrogance. In this world of tolerance and correctness, we determine those things based on our own perspective. Who are we really? Even from a secular, humanistic perspective we’re not much. Just random chance evolution, destined to become worm food. Who are we to say what’s just and what isn’t? The same is true of our understanding of God. Who are we to decide what is just and what isn’t? It’s a tough concept, and one that Christians too often gloss over or pretend isn’t really a struggle. “We’re Christians and everything therefore, is peachy!” But we know in our hearts that’s not true. That’s why it was good to wrestle with those questions this past Sunday. We have to wrestle, constantly. Our faith demands, our purpose to our city demands. God who wants our authentic love deserves it. He deserves a people who wrestle and think and strive to better know Him. Honestly, it was a tough one for me, I had to wrestle with just putting together a coherent message that allowed us to journey closer to understand God’s justice. But I’m glad I did, I’m glad the Holy Spirit prompted me to go there. If you want you can check out the podcast here(will be up by the end of the week of 12/1). Keep wrestling!

PS: I mentioned a couple of great books on the subject, here they are

The Reason for God, by Tim Keller

Mere Christianity, by CS Lewis (an oldie, but a goodie!)

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Rational Thought

Today I was reading John chapter 6. Currently, I’m digging through the book of John one chapter at a time just discovering the nuances of John’s descriptions of the life of Jesus. John really digs into the divinity of Jesus, and in this reveals challenging stories and words from Jesus. It’s quite interesting to see many walk AWAY from Jesus, even those that are called “disciples” by John. There is no shortage of miracles, and explanations of those miracles being used not as ends to themselves, but as indicators of Jesus’ divinity, which is really important to the end of the story….Even in the midst of watching these miracles performed Jesus’ words turned people away. Beginning in v. 51 Jesus begins to talk about how we must eat of his flesh and drink of his blood. For folks like me who grew up within the Christian tradition, I think we can have a tendency to gloss over these passages, but if we take them at face value, they’re crazy! Eat flesh & drink blood! That’s crazy at best, something much more sinister at worst. At least if taken out of context, and devoid of the rest of the story. The story that ends at the cross and resurrection. In v. 66, John says many of his disciples walked away. Not just the rabble looking for a free handout of bread and fish, his disciples. Granted, these weren’t the 12, but the fact that they’re called disciples means these were, up to that point, true followers that walked away. Where I think the breakdown happened was their attempt to wholly line up rational thinking with what Jesus was saying. Understandably, rational thought helps us survive everyday. When I make the rational decision to wait at a red light so I don’t get mowed down by a dump truck no one argues. But when following a person like Jesus, rationality breaks down. Immediately before this event in John 6, Jesus walked out on the Sea of Galilee and hopped in the boat with these same disciples, and then, they immediately arrived on the other side at their destination. Rational? Right before that, Jesus fed 5000 people with a couple of pieces of bread and some fish that had been hauled up the mountain in some boys satchel, that I have a feeling did not include one of those nice ice packs to keep everything fresh….Rational thought is out the window at that point, what the disciple did have was the reality that was truly staring them right in the face. A man telling them that unless they ate his flesh and drank his blood they would always hunger. Many walked away, but Peter in all of his great humanly wisdom says this, ” Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” Those are the most rational words I know…