Dale offers the theme “as summer fades” for this week’s Cosmic Photo Challenge.
What we learn from experience depends on the kind of philosophy we bring to experience.C.S. Lewis, Miracles: A Preliminary Study, Page 11.
In Miracles C.S. Lewis wants to convince his readers that miracles, especially the grand miracle of the Incarnation where God became Man in Jesus, are possible and fitting. He does this by challenging views of nature, both theistic and atheistic, that reject the supernatural as a source for miracles.
Naturalism claims that supernatural reality does not exist implying that there could be no miracles. Lewis takes from Naturalism that nature is orderly, impersonal cause and effect processes. He then shows that our reasoning ability would not be the result of such processes. Whenever we reason we thereby demonstrate reality that Naturalism cannot explain without something else outside it.
Hence, given Naturalism’s presuppositions about nature, nature cannot be the whole show. Alvin Plantinga carried this idea further in his Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism.
Combine Naturalism with some field of consciousness (to avoid the supernatural) and one gets Pantheism, an ancient but ever-popular form of spirituality. Lewis writes (pages 99-100), “The popular ‘religion’ excludes miracles because it excludes the ‘living God’ of Christianity and believes instead in a kind of God who obviously would not do miracles, or indeed anything else.”
Although that characterization of Pantheism makes sense, it seems limited. These nature religions also have an ominous underbelly of demonic activity that Ephesians 6 warns us about. Miracles are wonders to our eyes. God is not the only source of them.
Furthermore, I see Platonism as a rationalization of these popular religions that Lewis objects to. However, and this is where my problems start, Lewis views Christianity as having “incorporated both” Platonism and Judaism (page 101). After reading his appendix on special providences I lost the ‘living God’ in all that philosophy.
There is much in Miracles of value especially when Lewis uses the presuppositions of Naturalism to argue for the supernatural, however, I suspect that Lewis accepted without adequate questioning many of the presuppositions of Naturalism such as impersonal natural laws and my own worldview inclines me to trust the Jewish scriptures over Plato.
Next Sunday I will look at miracles as presented by Greg Bahnsen.
The audio below is a reading of a shorter essay by Lewis on the topic of miracles.
Six people wearing their required masks for passenger safety boarded the train heading downtown while Sam watched. He remembered the days when the station was full of people, of which he would have been one, going to work. Today he was waiting for the stopped train to move on so he could cross the tracks and proceed on his walk through the park.
Without realizing it Sam was near the center of a pentagram formed by two points in the station, two on the train and one across the tracks.
The media reports, carefully written days before the coordinated explosions occurred, said that a terrorist group had assumed responsibility but luckily an unusually high number of regular commuters had taken that specific day off. Sam would have described the event as his ticket home if he had known although if he had known he would not have taken his walk there that morning.
Denise offers the prompt word “train” to be used in this week’s Six Sentence Stories.
He was a craft-less, cranky crook
who stole the money from some kid.
He ran and laughed at what he did
then found a darkened, dreary nook,
unwrapped the bills to have a look,
and counted dollars, one by one.
Just five? All singles? That’s no fun.
He wanted more. There were no more.
Complaining life was such a bore
the rats approached. This tale is done.
Ronovan Hester offers the rhyme work “crook” to be used in an A line of a décima having rhyme pattern ABBAACCDDC for this week’s challenge.
Dale provides no constraint for this week’s Cosmic Photo Challenge. It can be anything we like.
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:Deuteronomy 30:19, King James Bible 1769
Given the Deuteronomy quote above there are both blessings and curses (life and death). Furthermore, experience suggests that many of us find it easier to curse than to bless. Too often we speak harshly of others and even ourselves. Too often we slip into immorality while seeking either pleasure or power.
Given curses, how do we undo them? How can we go from curses to blessings?
Near the beginning of the video below Derek Prince said, “If you have any need or problem whatsoever in your life there is one place and only one place to which you must go to find God’s provision or God’s solution and that one place is the cross of Jesus.”
Satan wouldn’t want to remove a curse. Those nature deities like Gaia couldn’t. Honoring them with attention might go beyond being a waste of time and lead one through idolatry to even more curses.
We tried, but knew we could not say,
“Those others were the ones at fault.”
We went along, insipid salt,
and we ourselves would not obey.
Ours was the wide, not narrow, way
where newscasts pumped each cover lie.
We offered babies up to die
for curses Satan would approve.
That mark we got did help us move
about, buy junk. We scream and cry.
Ronovan Hester offers the rhyme word “move” to be used in the D line of a décima have rhyme pattern ABBAACCDDC for this week’s challenge. I’m thinking of Revelation.
James devised a tale where the deep state cabal released their bioweapons which triggered humanity’s genetic degradation which triggered starvation which triggered random violence from terrorist groups such as the Retaliators which triggered dead bodies piled upon dead bodies. That’s when something snapped inside of him making him explore other plots.
He came up with a new character, Tommy, a quite likeable bunny. He wrote that Tommy’s rabbit hole was near Farmer John’s vegetable patch. He brilliantly described Farmer John smiling at Tommy as they lunched together on carrots.
Being pleased with that new plot, James wrote his final words before the Retaliators arrived, “Their tears were wiped away and all the earth lived happily ever after.”
Denise offers the prompt word “explore” for this week’s Six Sentence Stories.
Dale offers the theme “out in the country” for this week’s Cosmic Photo Challenge.
Hell is God’s incinerator for perished people.David Pawson, Repent of Your Sins Towards God, (about 26:00)
Focusing on repentance, these are my thoughts after listening to David Pawson’s lectures on the normal Christian birth. I have added to some of what I’ve heard. In the process I may have got some of it wrong. So check out the videos for yourself if you want to hear Pawson’s views directly.
There are four stages to a Christian birth: (1) repentance, (2) belief, (3) baptism and (4) the laying on of hands. Many skip the first and the fourth looking only for eternal security (safety) rather than being saved (salvaged) from sins for holy service in the Kingdom.
It takes time to identify specific sins. However, like a Catholic penitent kneeling in a confessional we need to specifically identify what sins we want to be saved from. This growing awareness convinces us that we really are sinners and, after we’ve changed, we know what specific sins we have stopped doing.
Repentance is more than regret for what we’ve done to ourselves and more than remorse for what we’ve done to others. It is sorrow for what we’ve done to God. Having that kind of sorrow is proof we believe there is a Lord God we can offend. We prove our faithfulness (allegiance to the Lord) by following orders to sin no more.
Without repentance we aren’t of much use. We are broken pots, perished to such an extent that we really ought to be thrown out. Without repentance we can only fool ourselves with our good deeds.
If we ever do get around to repenting we find we will have to repent not only for all of the bad things we know we’ve done, but also for all of those good deeds we’ve done to our own glory. By then we will have realized that nothing short of being made holy for renewed service will do.