Comment on Academic Freedom Strikes Again! by wesley kime.
@george: Our dear friend George,
For quite a few years now I have followed your posts on this site. Yours in cowpoke lingo I have read with more than passing amusement, generating from me responses comparable in style, perhaps too much style, and hopefully in conviviality. It’s been fun, perhaps more fun than informative. Cowpoke lingo, the essence of which is simplicity and a curious frankness and a commensurate dearth of empathy, can go where learned polemics cannot, but cannot take us beyond the shoot-out, which leaves us both rather devoid of life. Something else – what? — is necessary to take us both where we so long to go.
So it is with special interest that I’ve read your most recent exchanges with Sean which have been considerably more revealing and informative of your personality and thinking than yours and mine in ersatz cow-talk, stuck in a rut a-chasin’ that same ole tumble weed on this-ear ontological badlands. And as you have seemed to include me in your conversations with Sean, may I presume to insert some thoughts expressed in the way I speak at home? And at uncharacteristic length. It’s a break from our cow-shtick, which I depart from with some regret and, I hope, only temporarily.
One sentence directed to both of us (July 21, 2017 at 3:36 pm) especially caught my attention: You see Christians as WANTING to believe God and in Him. Indeed we do. I would like to think we do, and pray to. Perhaps not always sufficiently ardently as we would, yes, want. Frankly, and proudly, our goal – mine certainly – is to wholeheartedly believe in Him. That desire, so far merely another unique human sentiment, is crucial, crucial, but must be only the beginning of the process. Thus invited – His essence is to put our free will first, and so we must very ardently WANT Him and invite Him – He sends a preternatural power, His own power, to take over for us. “Without me ye can do nothing,” Christ said. And with Him “all things are possible.” Now that’s totally opaque to the “natural man,” who see it only as “foolishness,” to use St. Paul’s KJV word. But simple to Christians, those who chose His path, which is not the majority of Christians, alas, better termed hypocrites, and recognized and rightly flaunted as such to grateful disbelievers.
Next you caught my attention by putting first on your list of Christian proclivities that “they interpret the presence of God through feelings, observations and scripture.” May I, with tongue in cheek and a bit of a pang in my heart, remind you that this whole site, Sean’s focus certainly, has been to promote evidence, not merely (while emphasizing) faith, belief, feelings, scripture? As is my wont a scripture comes to mind, perhaps ironically for just having promoted evidence, but it nicely encapsulates the way I see it: “I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also. 1 Corinthians 14:15 NASB.
It isn’t as though you have not recognized that evidence is important to all of us, in varying degrees, with Sean strongly. What I am hoping is that you personally recognize that to some of us evidence is high, not low, on the list. It is, in fact, crucial. It is the God-assigned moiety, supplementing and when necessary superseding our “feelings,” which we cherish but which do go flat, as God Himself has warned.
Thus my backlit clouds and Sean’s flagella. They are, I submit, evidence, not simply chair-born emanations of platonic logic, which availeth little. So articulate and loud is this evidence that we have no choice but to believe. That is the vector: evidence leading to faith.
So articulate and loud evidences are they that God’s own voice can be heard in them – discerned, if you prefer that He use other neural circuits than the one that specifically involves the tympanic membrane, the 8th nerve, and sundry central processors, a complex system which itself is, yes, evidence. That sound-perception circuit is just one among the many receptor circuits for receiving His messages that God his equipped our brains with. A God resourceful enough to create those brains in the first place would be expected to install a generous array of communion systems.
Accessible, alas, also to Satan and thus serial killers. Which brings us to the crux of it all, all our beliefs, and where the evidence leads: the Great Controversy and the existence not only of God but also of Satan in, for the present, total and deadly conflict, with us as collateral damage. Which set me to dancing with the idea of asking you a facetious-Socratic question, not in cowtalk, does your agnostic questioning of God’s existence also encompass Satan’s existence? I wouldn’t be surprised – this seems almost the universal mode, not just among agnostics but too many Christians – that whereas you do have an honest question about God’s existence, even a nagging suspicion that he does, you descend into belly laughs at the very idea of a Satan, Flip Wilson (“the devil made me do it”) notwithstanding. But with only God, and without Satan, the whole picture just disintegrates into fluttering pixels, food for doubt indeed.
Which easily and instantly explains another monumental roadblock to your “journey” – the apparent cruelty and, as some gleefully proclaim, actual evilness of God Himself, as so honestly, but not gleefully, disclosed in the Bible. But the same Bible’s main message is of a God who “so loved the world that He gave His own Son that whosever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” That God is loving comes through blazingly clear in the bible, in the life and atoning sacrifice of Jesus, comes through so overwhelmingly that the Satan-inspired misdeeds, we call them sins, are lost in glory. I love this one, love the way it’s put: “Behold, I have caused your iniquities to pass from you.” And this one, “Note then the kindness and the severity of God.” Romans 11:22 ESV. O that kindness, without which we are naught but ephemeral and pointless quarks; O that severity, without which the Great Controversy could never end. But it will.
But – to go back to the crux – all this works only in the context of a Great Controversy. If the Great Controversy cannot be perceived, what we see around us in the sky and under the microscope, and in Washington and hospitals and morgues, all that evidence, will remain but fodder for doubt, lots of it, unremitting, open to multiple interpretations.
Look, George, you’re a good man. Somehow, ole pard, I’ve developed a curious affection for you, yew ole rascal! Not as a target for shoot ‘em up evangelism but for a hug. Carry on! Hope to see you at the Grand Roundup!
wesley kime Also Commented
Academic Freedom Strikes Again!
@george: GEORGE: “Is it as black and white as that?” As CS Lewis put it? Yes. As S. Pitman has just put it and so thoroughly and convincingly, Yes, unequivocally. Dance!
Academic Freedom Strikes Again!
@george: Re. your knee-jerk swipe at C.S. Lewis’s challenge, there you go again, faithful pard, waltzing, or are you, ya varmit, shooting at our feet and gleefully commanding us to “dance!”
Well, sure, history does not and cannot deny that popes by their office have proclaimed themselves infallible despite personal deep corruption. But does it follow that the world’s “greatest teacher” could be the world’s greatest liar, as Satan, from the beginning, in heaven and in the garden, has insisted, and all too effectively for the majority of people and philosophers especially of the agnostic persuasion? And it was Christ Himself who, especially as recorded in the gospel of John, made His either-or proclamation of His divinity unavoidable, not CS Lewis, who merely was insightful enough to perceive what He was saying, and skillful enough to lay it out flat on the table and pound the table a little. Cannot you appreciate, maybe thrill to, his unadorned forthrightness? Certainly for this issue, Lewis doesn’t do the hokey pokey with you.
Academic Freedom Strikes Again!
@Sean Pitman: A choice quote, one that nails it, as only CS Lewis can. Which leads to this: those who nailed Him, crucified Him, insisted He was a blasphemer to boot. My, how far we’ve come from the animated Cricket.
Recent Comments by wesley kime
Dr. Walter Veith and the anti-vaccine arguments of Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche
Informative and stimulating, but proceeding into more confusion. A veteran of Moderna vaccinations, I trust, hope, they are effective, at least until otherwise. The whole business, being part of End Times, is in the hands of God, not humans expert and as degreed as they may be.
Brilliant and Beautiful, but Wrong
Brilliant, beautiful, and so right! Speaking of your presentation at LLU recently. Great to see you and your family (especially my namesake, Wes. God bless! WK
Evolution from Space?
Hats off yet again to Sean for pursuing this topic as a scientist should, no nonsense, and in it’s proper setting — as a revival of one of the ancient ideas recently upgraded as a desperate alternative to the increasingly compelling intelligent design data. I had occasion to review panspermia a few years ago and as is my wont I found it more amusing than scientific. If you would like what was intended to be a satirical response to panspermia and other related curiosities you could check out: http://www.iessaythere.com/black-hole-humor.html
Meantime, Sean’s article is of far more cogent worth.
The Sabbath and the Covenants (Old vs. New)
As he has done on this site many times, Sean in his line-by-line-item response to C. White (not EG or EB) has, to my mind, clearly enunciated the issue and resolution.
When all the hermeneutics, quoting, and arguing and inordinately judgmental riposte are over, it comes down, as I understand it, to two things: 1) Whether the 7th day Sabbath (whether enunciated in the famous 10 commandments or otherwise) is still valid, and 2) Does the grace obtained by the vicarious sacrifice by the shedding of Christ’s blood or other divine process too deep for us to understand in this life, cover every sin automatically and without ado, altogether passively on our part, or is it only on condition that we first totally and deeply accept it? Other details always hassled forever are distractions.
I accept that I must accept it, wholly, actively, even with agony, with my whole being.