_to write darkness

A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell. _c.s. lewis

Archive for April, 2009

Motivation.

Posted by abramjanson on April 30, 2009

Really can’t get motivated to do anything involving school or studying. 

 

Traveling mercies

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Those Who Cry the Loudest in the Church.

Posted by abramjanson on April 29, 2009

I was presented with a question in class:

What can a reflective Christian offer the Church and what problems or opposition might they face?

Here is the mental vomit that came out. See if you can find some truth. Bless.

Those Who Cry the Loudest in the Church

“Here is cause enough to risk speaking. If there is no God, we are in desperate straits indeed. That fact alone is no proof that He must be, but it does place responsibility on those who have found signs of His presence” (Taylor 10).  It has been said by countless ‘believers,’ that “creation calls for a Creator.”  Creation, the world in which we live with all its complexities and intricacies, proves God’s presence.  At least the reflective Christian believes so.  A reflective Christian is one who believes in Christ and His redemptive purposes and lives a life reflecting his beliefs, yet does not lose touch with the secular world of which he also is a member.  Reflective Christians are the life blood of the Christian faith.  They cause the Church to move forward from its stagnant position, to contemplate its mission in the world, and to question the effectiveness of its ministry.  The “Church” in this sense is not being referred to as a four-walled building where people gather on Sundays, but as the corporate body of believers. 

Reflective Christians strive towards a likeness of Christ in their daily lives.  They have been “crucified by Christ and they no longer live, but Christ lives in them” (Gal. 2:20 paraphrase).  It is a constant effort to be refined through the fire to strengthen and purify their relationship with God. 

Preserving and strengthening that relationship to God and living out its implications in an undiscerning and troubled world is the great challenge to the Christian.  For all its failings, the church as a whole is an ally in that cause.  The reflective Christian can draw great strength and insight from it if he sees clearly what it is and is not, forgiving the church its trespasses as he is forgiven his own. (Taylor 44)

            The reflective Christian has much to offer the church just as the church has much to offer the reflective Christian.  Many times, the church in general is too conservative and set in their ways, closed minded if you will, to new ideas, concepts, or theologies.  The reflective Christian can assist in redefining the churchs’ attitudes.  Taylor reflects on this issue in describing how many believers hate speaking in Christian discussions for fear that their opinions and convictions will be thrown out and not entertained.  Taylor offers an interesting and piercing question to ponder, “How much does the church lose of the gifts and enthusiasm of its members because it creates an atmosphere where honesty and risk are not welcomed?”(Taylor 36). 

This quite possibly is the most important entity the reflective Christian can offer the church.  It seems common practice that in the realm of the corporate body of believers that real questions are generally discouraged and are rarely up for authentic conversation.  Taylor describes the opposite as “phony questions.” A phony question would be one for which the answer is known by all and simply part of a pleasurable ritual.  These questions are consistently asked and answered quickly and quietly, without threatening anybody’s comfort zone.  “The leader voices the supposed objections of the nonbelievers… the audience has the thrill of the chase with none of the threat, and goes away satisfied” (Taylor 37).  This is where the reflective Christian can genuinely minister to the church and break it of its predispositions.  The church should not be afraid of change or conflict.  Change and conflict in and of itself can be scary and usher in questioning; however, it’s through asking the tough questions that real answers are found. Taylor supports this position with a sharp statement, “The reflective Christian not only wants to ask real questions, with a sense that something is at stake, he or she also wants to broaden the range of allowable evidence in this trial of what one can believe and live for” (Taylor 37).

            Reflective Christians have much to offer the church in their gifts and abilities and their inquiring free spirits.  However, the road will not be easy.  Most likely it will be marked with suffering and difficulties, most of which will likely come from within the church.  “I am writing, however, for a large minority who find life within the church more difficult.   Where some find comfort and acceptance, others also find criticism and rejection” (Taylor 29).  When two different sides, in this case the reflective Christian and the church, present two different worldviews to one another, disagreement is sure to come about.  Taylor argues that we as human beings fight off competing worldviews because we are insecure.  “By threatening our present understanding of reality they threaten our essential security” (Taylor 25).  Self-defense is a natural reaction.  When someone disagrees with our opinion, conviction, or theology our natural reaction is to find fault in our opposition.  It is human nature.  However, this natural reaction brings about nothing good or helpful to the mission of the body of Christ.  It becomes a series of personal attacks that disrupt the infrastructure of the believers and an eventual collapse begins.  Rarely is this fracture remedied quickly.  Healing most likely never happens and renders the church useless and ineffective.  In referring to the church Taylor writes, “No institution has accomplished so much for good in the world; none has fallen so short of it’s calling! The church is God-ordained, God-inspired, but accomplishes its work through human beings subject to every possible failing” (Taylor 29). 

            One of the biggest shortcomings of believers in the Christian faith is the common misconception that God actually needs them to carry out his good and perfect will for his Creation.  He is God.  He does as he pleases, yet believers are so ignorant to think that the success of God’s work on this earth solely depends on them and their obedience.  He does not need his followers but he chooses to empower them and utilize them in the grand scheme, the great dance.  Christ is on his throne in Heaven seated at the right hand of God and we are so unaware of the fact that we are insignificant.  “God needs no particular person, church, denomination, creed, or organization to accomplish His purpose.  He will make use of those, in all their diversity, who are ready to be used, but will leave to themselves those who labor for their own ends” (Taylor 30).  This very well may be the most significant thing a reflective Christian can offer the church, a constant reminder that this life is not about them.  Tom Kizziar quite possibly identifies the greatest struggle facing Christendom in the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan, “Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that really don’t matter” (Chan 93).

 

This is not meant to be a cynical bashing session… and I don’t think it comes across as that. Let me know your disagreements or frustrations. 

Traveling mercies.

 

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lovely.

Posted by abramjanson on April 29, 2009

Whats the news? This is a very light-hearted message. I’m currently just chilling in my room… working through some papers and such… making up some lesson plans for the morning… jamming to some good tunes. Band of late: Bon Iver. Get him. It’s well worth it. Might change your life. I’m just saying. Loving the weather. It’s been great. Actually… really loving life. Content where I’m at… as in the physical location… but uncomfortable of where I’m headed in all other aspects. Had a really good conversation the other night with a good friend. A lot of things were said that I needed to hear for sometime and it was much appreciated.

A few updates on life:
Eating Jelly-Bellys
Listening to Skinny Love by Bon Iver
Just lost to James in Fifa
Indifferent to the Man U victory today
Built a soma cube set yesterday in class with my fifth graders
Ordered a new roof rack for my car that came in today
Reading Crazy Love over again.

Traveling Mercies.

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Famous Roommate.

Posted by abramjanson on April 26, 2009

Greetings friends. 

 

Some of you know my roommate from freshman year. His name is Evan Costas.  He is a bit crazy.  After three semester’s at HU… He needed a change so he moved West to San Diego.  

Last week he accomplished one of his lifelong goals… He attended to “The Price Is Right” in LA… However… Not only did he go to the show… He was the first contestant on “Contestants Row”… Then He won the bid and won a motorcycle in the game… Then got a Dollar on “The Wheel”… and then he won his showcase in the “Showcase Showdown.”  

 

All in all… He won something like $40,000 worth of prizes.  It really is quite ridiculous.  And yes… it was absolutely hilarious to watch him on TV.  Mad you didn’t get to see the episode?  I thought so.

 View it here.    (You can fast forward to the wheel and showcases… it could be well worth your time.)

Evan Costas: The Man, The Myth, The Legend.   

Costas

Traveling mercies.

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