Sunday, May 04, 2008
23Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. 24So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.
Faith? It is one of the most common and unifying themes in the New Testament. Our Salvation is said repeatedly to depend directly on it. But what is it? Why is it important? Why does it work?
17"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
I’ve heard comments, both recently and in past years, that God had to somehow “experiment” on Israel, or use the Old Covenant as some kind of “learning experience” before He could arrive at the solution to our Salvation in Jesus. I continue to insist that the whole story of the Law, the Prophets, the Histories, the Gospels, and the Letters of the Apostles represent one miraculously coherent Plan to bring us safely home to our Father’s house.
Through God’s Plan, we were given the leadership of Moses, the strength of Samson, the Godliness of David, the wisdom of Solomon, and the steadfastness and faith of Elijah and John, so that a few would see what was missing in their examples, and yearn for it, and finally recognize it in Jesus when He appeared.
Those of us who have come along later can also see what is missing in our lives and in the things our world gives us in place of justice, and wisdom, and strength, and for examples of how to lead our lives, and discard them all in favor of the whole Truth of Jesus Christ.
---Integrity? and/or a failure to communicate?
I tried---really tried----to have an argument with some proponents of science a few weeks ago. They were complaining that since they couldn’t take religious thought seriously, they should be allowed to take public oaths on their “personal integrity”. I got the same ad hominem reaction I always get when trying to argue with proponents of Catholicism, Islam, and various other belief systems I’ve been confronted with over the years. I’m too old and tired to deal with it anymore.
The comparison isn’t entirely fair, of course. Science is actually good for something, in the right context. It produces a consistent, candid, systematic outlook for evaluating the physical world around us, if used in conjunction with a little personal humility. Unfortunately, the illusion of power it tends to promote in less stable personalities leads to its use as a sort of “religion replacement therapy”.
The catechism of this scientific pseudo-religion allows its users to ask “how”? “when”? “where”? but never, ever “why”? Even when Einstein allowed himself to speculate about the subject of God, he went “all Spinozan”, and decided that God was indifferent and needn’t intrude on his thought experiments.
This terribly un-scientific outlook cripples its users by forcing them to rely on their own extremely finite integrity and understanding in confronting an infinite reality. I wish I still had the energy to argue with people who aren’t listening anyway. Utter futility is good training for personal humility.
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