Archive for the ‘revelation’ Category

Rob Bell and humility where God has spoken

March 31, 2011
Will everybody be saved, or will some perish apart from God forever because of

their choices? Those are questions, or more accurately, those are tensions we are

free to leave fully intact. We don’t need to resolve them or answer them because

we can’t, and so we simply respect them, creating space for the freedom that love

requires.

Rob Bell, Love Wins, (115)

Here’s the problem: Scripture answers the question and the only humble thing to do is to believe what the omniscient God has revealed. Not to believe the omniscient God’s revelation (to say, we ‘can’t’ answer these questions) is astonishing hubris on the part of a finite and fallen creature.

 

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Christ – the Final Word in the Sentence

August 16, 2010

The Old Testament has been compared by Dr. Emil Brunner to the first part of a sentence and the New Testament to its second and concluding part. This comparison is all the more forceful if we think of a complex sentence in Dr. Brunner’s native German tongue, where the sense of the whole cannot be comprehended until the last word is spoken. So God, to the fathers through the prophets, spoke the first part of His salvation-bringing sentence; but the last word, completely revealing and redeeming, was spoken in His Son.

FF Bruce, The Book and the Parchments

Never before has the world been so desperately asking for answers to crucial questions, and never before has the world been so frantically committed to the idea that no answers are possible

December 28, 2009

When a reporter for Time Magazine asked novelist Ayn Rand, “What’s wrong with the modern world?” she replied, “Never before has the world been so desperately asking for answers to crucial questions, and never before has the world been so frantically committed to the idea that no answers are possible.

Truth…could not be stated in propositional terms, but was whispered in the heart by the Spirit of Christ, source of that inward light dwelling in every man

December 3, 2009

(George Fox, founder of the Quakers, had unorthodox views)

Truth…could not be stated in propositional terms, but was whispered in the heart by the Spirit of Christ, source of that inward light dwelling in every man. Fox denied that the Scriptures were the final and revealed truth of God – his own message was a direct revelation from God.

Faith Cook, Fearless Pilgrim: The Life and Times of John Bunyan, Evangelical Press 2008, p.126

He sounds like an emergent.

I can’t justify it, but it was a deep and sincere prayer – a prayer for strength to subdue my instincts

October 13, 2009

Despite being a critic of religion,  Bertrand Russell’s biographer, Ray Monk, writes that he once prayed on his knees to God in the San Zeno Maggiore, Verona. He was struggling to control his sexual passions. Russell wrote:

I can’t justify it, but it was a deep and sincere prayer – a prayer for strength to subdue my instincts.

Clearly his rationalism wasn’t of much help at that time.

The centre of me is always and eternally a terrible pain – a curious wild pain – a searching for something beyond what the world contains

October 13, 2009

The centre of me is always and eternally a terrible pain – a curious wild pain – a searching for something beyond what the world contains, something transfigured and infinite – the beatific vision – God…I can’t explain it or make it seem anything but foolishness.

Bertrand Russell, in Bertrand Russell, Ray Monk, vol.1, p.317

There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is

October 13, 2009

Writing to Ottoline from prison, in 1918, (his punishment for his anti-war activity) Russell explained that one of his most important motivations in his work and life was “the quest for something elusive, and yet omnipresent, and at once subtle and infinite: one seeks it in music, and the sea, and sunsets…But if one lets oneself imagine one has found it, some cruel irony is sure to come and show one that it is not really found. The outcome is that one is a ghost, floating through the world without any real contact…There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is.

Bertrand Russell, in Bertrand Russell: The Spirit of Solitude, vol.1, Ray Monk, p.530

Or rather, he didn’t want a God who might tell him to leave a married woman alone (Ottoline) and be sexually faithful.

Turbulent, restless, inwardly raging – I shall always be – hungry for your God and blaspheming him. I could pour forth a flood of worship – the longing for religion is at times almost unbearably strong

October 7, 2009

I long to have the inward poise that you have,'( Bertrand Russell said to Lady Ottoline Morrell, his lover and a believer in God) but that is not for me. I shall never have it while I am alive. Turbulent, restless, inwardly raging – I shall always be – hungry for your God and blaspheming him. I could pour forth a flood of worship – the longing for religion is at times almost unbearably strong.

Bertrand Russell, in Ray Monk,Bertrand Russell: Spirit of Solitude, p.243

around half the adult population of Britain have had or have from time to time, religious experiences or awareness

October 7, 2009

…around half the adult population of Britain have had or have from time to time, religious experiences or awareness.

Usually people report themselves to be surprised by an unexpected awareness of God or some other sacred presence such as an angel or a saint…nearly half of them never attend a place of worship…People who experience this awareness are usually better educated and in a better psychological state than people who say they have no such experience. There is thus a striking paradox..since the popular stereotype of people reporting such experiences is that they are most probably stupid or slightly mentally unbalanced.

National Survey 1976, Gallup Poll, 1985, 1986

And I have felt a presence that disturbs me with the joy of elevated thoughts, a sense sublime

October 7, 2009

And I have felt 

A presence that disturbs me with the joy

 Of elevated thoughts, a sense sublime 

 Of something far more deeply interfused,

Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,

And the round ocean, and the living air, 

 And the blue sky, and in the mind of man —

 A motion and a spirit that impels

All thinking things, all objects of all thought, 

 And rolls through all things.

Wordsworth, Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey,
On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye During a Tour, 13 July 1798″
(Lyrical Ballads, 1798)