Wednesday, January 28, 2009


It is in our nature to want to feel accepted and connected with the things of this world.  God created us with the desire to build community and fellowship with one another.  However, selecting friends can be a risky endeavor.  I remember how important it was to me in middle school to be popular... I wanted to do whatever it took, which included changing my appearance and personality.  I learned later on how foolishly I was behaving, and how unimportant popularity was in the grand scheme of things.  

Lewis argues that this drive will exist in me to some extent forever.  The feeling of being "left out" is horrible, and so this causes people to commit to things that they aren't really interested in or don't bring glory to God's name.  They sign onto these activities solely because they want to avoid the feeling of curiosity and jealousy.  

It's important to have friends, and even to belong to groups as long as they support the gifts that God has given you and they compliment your interests.  It makes no sense to sign onto something you don't agree with, yet we do it so often.  We want to discover these "insides" but are warned that we will not receive anything true and good if we pursue them.


Pain is no fun.  But that's not the purpose of Lewis' commentary.  He introduces pain in a new way, and talks about how pain can be useful.  Pain can produce humility, by helping us come to the realization that we cannot be fully independent and rely on ourselves for everything.  Pain can be a major wake-up call to show that you aren't depending on God, and can bring you closer to Him.  Oftentimes people have an opposite reaction.  It's natural to blame God for the pain that is in our lives rather than trying to understand that God's plan is much bigger than we can fathom.  This quickness to anger is what causes much of the separation between God and man, because we are simple-minded enough to think that we could do a better job than He can.  

The simple truth of the matter is that we live in a fallen world.  Because we have sinned, we need to be reminded that we don't live in a perfect world and that we cannot function without being in a relationship with Christ.  In reality, we should be thankful for the reminder that pain can be in our lives and the blessing that it is to know that our God cares enough to keep us on the right track.


In this chapter, Plantinga explains the missing piece to the puzzle... the greatest news we could ever imagine.  Although we have all sinned and fallen short of God's glory, we have been redeemed by our Savior Jesus Christ.  The only important part is that we need to fully accept it for everything that it's worth.  We, in accepting Christ's sacrifice, must acknowledge that this act can do more that we could ever imagine, and believe in things we cannot understand.  This redemption is a second chance for us.  God is saying, "I know you messed up, and are going to keep on doing it, but I still love you."  Have you ever experienced a love that full?  Maybe from your parents.  I know mine love me in spite of some careless decisions I've made in the past.  But God's love is infinitely more full and real than that, and the sacrifice of His one and only Son is proof of this.  Therefore, we should accept it.  It would be ridiculous to pass up that kind of love.


This chapter of God in Dock centers on one question: Can those who aren't Christians lead "good" lives?  My personal response to this would be to ask the question, "What qualifies as good?"  Some would argue that a good life is one where you do what is considered "good" by the world's standards. You can your best to avoid sin and to be as kind and considerate to other people as you can, but does that really qualify as a good life? You can fill your life with material objects, and put them or other people in the place where God belongs, but it wouldn't ultimately satisfy.  

At least I'm sure it wouldn't be a good life for me.  Knowing Christ and the blessing He is in my life, I know that I would never be able to function without Him, let alone consider my life to be good.  Maybe ignorance is bliss, but I don't think it is.  Many who don't know the Lord personally complain of an emptiness that cannot be filled by the things of this world.  They search, yet find no answer.  

This is where our responsibility lies as Christians.  We have found what ultimately satisfies, and now we need to do our best to share it with the world.  A non-Christian can believe they are living a good life without knowing how much better it could potentially be.  What an amazing and scary thing.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


What a confusing read!  While reading this one I admittedly slipped in and out of understanding and I'm sure that I did not grasp the entire concept of the piece.  For my blog, I'm going to analyze the main summary points.  Lewis speaks about miseducation, and talks about how impressionable we are at a young age.  It is so vital to teach what's important and correct from the beginning so that we can hold these opinions longer.  This is vital in Christian education because the sooner a believer gains their faith, the more time they have to build their faith if they choose to do so.  

However, it's not only important to be sure that what is being taught is Christian, but also important to avoid teaching non-Christian beliefs from uncultivated souls.  Those who don't know God personally are not able to present things in the same way that a devout Christian can.  

Basically, what I took is that current education cannot be focused on non-Christian beliefs or "cultural" beliefs of this world.  Wouldn't this thought undermine all non-Christian education?I'm not sure if this was Lewis' intention.  If it is, I would have to disagree with Lewis' thoughts on the matter.  I went to a public school where God was most certainly not acknowledged or praised, but I can say with assurance that I learned a great deal about God and my relationship with Him in attending public school.  Even though He was not mentioned, He was still present in the interactions I would have with other students and the difficult decisions I was forced to face.  As Christians, it is important to build up a community to prepare the coming kingdom, but we shouldn't rule out all secular thought; much of it can lead indirectly to Christ.


In this chapter of "The Four Loves," Lewis illustrates the difference between what he calls Eros and Venus.  Eros is the "state which we call 'being in love,'" or "the kind of love which lovers are 'in.'"  Venus, on the other hand, is sexual love--the part of the soul that solely desires a physical connection.  While reading this, I thought about Eros as it exists in today's society, and how underplayed it is.  We live in a Venus-driven world.  Everything is about sex, but there is barely any emphasis placed on true, deep love.  People in this day are more interested in the "idea" of love rather than true love itself.  They often jump from pond to pond, but never fully dive into a commitment.  I think one of the main causes of divorce is the fact that more importance is placed on the Venus aspect than true Eros.  Because of this, couples launch into a commitment prematurely simply because of sex.  Then, when the initial excitement is over, they become bored because they never experienced Eros.

If a man is experiencing Eros, he isn't paying attention to the fact that she is a woman, but is more interested in her personality than her body.  It's very romantic to think that this kind of love still exists, especially when our society is so controlled by Venus rather than Eros.  

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


"In fact, to some extent we are all rulers just because God has created us in his own image to have 'responsible domain.' What follows is that we have a little kingdom."  What an intriguing thought.  Of course I understand the responsibility that comes with being a Christian, and the importance of carrying out His work on this earth.  However, I've never thought of myself or any other human being as a ruler of God's kingdom.  I think that often our role as Christians is taken too lightly... we know that God is all-powerful and therefore don't think that we have any real control over our earth.  However, as moral beings, we do have a power that comes from God that we need to decide how to use.  This is the basis for Plantinga's chapter.  Our calling is to work for the salvation of souls, to be more like Christ every day, and to do everything we can to glorify God in our lives.  We are working toward this "kingdom come" where one day everything will be perfect on earth as it is in heaven.  As members of the kingdom of God, we need to do all we can to see this goal accomplished on earth, and we need to be constantly considering this throughout our daily lives, especially when it comes to making the important decisions.  We must ask ourselves not what career will yield the highest paycheck, but what vocation will utilize our specific talents and will ultimately bring glory to His name.