Wednesday, 12/22/21 – Pressing on… On Intellect and Incarnation

On Intellect and Incarnation

Jerry and I were “deep thinkers.” After comic books, G.I. Joes, James Bond and Star Trek, he and I entered our philosophers and star-gazers phase. For hours most evenings we would sit on the large and accommodating clothestand in our backyard, lean back, stare at the stars and postulate our “deep thinker” thoughts. It was a stimulating time. Jerry was to me what I imagine William Kirkpatrick must have been to C.S. Lewis. Of him Lewis writes,

“If ever a man came near to being a purely logical entity, that man was Kirk. Born a little later, he would have been a Logical Positivist. The idea that human beings should exercise their vocal organs for any purpose except that of communicating or discovering truth was to him preposterous. The most casual remark was taken as a summons to disputation…. Some boys would not have liked it; to me it was red beef and strong beer.” – C.S. Lewis, Surprised By Joy, (1955).

Jerry sharpened my intellect, made me think of all angles and formulate a defense… in fact, though never himself a Christian, Jerry helped teach me the art of apologetics.

We were good buddies. Our backyards abutted each other making frequent visits easy through the old dilapidated gate. I’d often sit out on that clothestand waiting and watching for him.

But our exchanges were wholly intellectual. Emotion seldom entered into them. Jerry was Mr. Spock, and I just a crewman in red.* Everyone loved Mr. Spock, but I think few would enjoy being him. Humans were not designed to be computers, we were designed to love and love at its best is love for God.

Without Him we would never know love. In Him love was manifest in human form. “God is Love” and “Life has Meaning.” These were the two points presented to us last Sunday. Without love all intellectual activity is worthless. Life is meaningless. As said Augustine, “Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.” – Augustine, Confessions. God Incarnate is Love Incarnate, and it is by Him that we know love at all.

Thank the Lord for Love, His Love, this Christmas!

Press on…

* Star Trek TOS fans will recognize my point. The guy in red was always the landing party expendable, never a regular, and most certainly the one to get zapped, disintegrated, crystalized or left behind.

To hear this past Sunday’s message, go to the Facebook page of Lincoln Baptist Church, or link to the livestream from the church website.

Friday, 12/3/21 – Understanding Nothing…

Understanding Nothing…

Restless, I was awake at 3:30 AM this morning; by 4:00 AM I had given up sleep and begun my morning exercises. On the CBC Radio One program “Ideas” the viewpoints of poet-philosopher Martin Heidegger were contrasted with those of empiricist Rudolf Carnap. Their 1929 debate probed the meaning of “nothing” and led to as yet unresolved tensions regarding the very nature of philosophy. The question: is philosophy closer to art, or science?

The discussion was amusing yet brought to mind several warnings of scripture: “Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking,” Paul cautioned the Colossians (Col. 2:8). “Avoid foolish controversies” he urged Titus. (Titus 3:9-10). To Timothy Paul emphasized “Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the pointless discussions and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge.” (1 Tim. 6:20). And James reminds us all, “Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.” (James 3:15).

Now I thank the Lord for the great apologists of the faith, the defenders of truth, those skilled intellectual debaters who can clearly refute such “opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge” (1 Tim. 6:20, NIV). Paul himself engaged with the philosophers of Athens (see Acts 17:16-32). But Truth comes only from God. Philosophy plays with the mind but, as the story of Job so clearly illustrates, the answers of infinity are not intellectual.

The wise believer will combat philosophy with the Truth of God, by “the word of their testimony” (Rev. 12:11). “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.” (1 Cor. 1:21). “We do not use words that come from human wisdom,” explains Paul. “Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths.” (1 Cor. 2:13). “For the wisdom of this age is foolishness with God” (1 Cor. 3:19).

A man with an argument is always at the mercy of the man with an experience. “Whether He is a sinner or not, I don’t know,” said the former blind man. “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” (John 9:23).

What is “Nothing”? “By faith we understand…” (Heb. 11:3).

I think now I will try to catch a nap!

Press on…

Got a question? Use the Contact page and send It to me. We’ll search the Word for God’s answer.