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Category Archives: General

Was it Worth it?

Two and a half years, massive piles of books and papers, and over $50,000 worth of classes later (thanks to financial aid that’s not what was actually paid), a question arises which demands an answer: Was all of that worth it? Am I any better a Christian than I was when I started at Multnomah University? Has it enabled me to be a better bearer of the image of Christ than before?

Thinking back, each semester had it’s own lessons to teach me that were beyond the curriculum of the classes I happened to be taking. It seemed I was always being taught something by God. But what about the content of the classes themselves?

There are perhaps three main benefits, I think, to going through Bible college:

  1. A Greater Ability to Defend the Faith
    I would have to say that probably the greatest thing I discovered at MU, from the very beginning, is that our faith is indeed reasonable! More Christians than not probably have the lurking suspicion in the back of their minds at one point or another that perhaps their faith has no grounds, that perhaps Christianity is just one among many of the world’s religions. I certainly thought these things in the past. It’s not as if I never question anything anymore, but what has been firmly established in my mind beyond a shadow of a doubt is that if there is anything on this earth which we are able to know is true, it’s that Jesus is God, that he has payed for our sins, and that he now commands our allegiance to him. What I discovered is that if Christianity were not true, if God was not real and active in our lives, any ability to understand anything in the fabric of our universe would disappear altogether. As C.S Lewis put it:”I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”This is what I discovered at Multnomah. Now I not only have greater assurance, but am more able to defend the faith with nonbelievers.
  2. An Appreciation of Other Theological Viewpoints
    I have already shared some of my thoughts about these things in this post. What I have learned is that there are no two Christians who agree on everything. In all my classes, I never had an instructor with whom I agreed on everything. I have learned to try to treat all views not as valid, but as worthy of being heard and considered whether they are valid on the grounds of a reasonable reading of Scripture. I therefore had to revise some of my beliefs.
  3. A Realization That I Only Scratched the Surface
    While doing in-depth papers on only one or two verses, I realized that there’s so much more to know in God’s word. It’s not as if there are hidden things which only the skilled or the wise can find out, secret messages waiting to be found. Rather, there’s simply so much to know about God himself, and our life-long journey to getting to know him only begins in Scripture. It has put in me a hunger to know God fully.

A Crucial Truth
These three benefits are great, and one thing I will never say is that I wasted my time at Bible college. But one key thing I must remember: it doesn’t matter that I’ve gone to Bible college and learned a lot if any fire that was kindled in me goes out.

God is concerned not with how much I pursued him in the past, but with how much I am pursuing him right now. May I never get to the point where the things I’ve learned are only things of the past and insignificant to my life right now.

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Posted by on December 15, 2011 in General, Philosophy, Theology

 

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At Least It’s Still Faith…

Image courtesy of FreeBibleIllustrations.com

Well, I’ve done it. That’s yet another semester down, two more to go. I’ve got all of this new knowledge at my finger tips; I’ve got reasons to be proud. And yet….

And yet…this knowledge does not help me with what I’m dealing with. What I’m dealing with is faith and prayer, and it’s not going as well as I’d like it to go.

I’m in a peculiar situation. My faith that God will respond to my prayers is both rising and falling. Not up, and then down, but both up and down at the same time. Why? I’ll give an example.

One thing I prayed for this semester was help with my studies. I took 18 credits and worked 10 hours a week. Most of my classmates thought I was crazy when I told them (even though I hardly have the most difficult schedule on campus).

But God definitely answered my prayer that I would be able to get through everything. I have no doubt that it was him working and not just chance. Time and time again things worked out perfectly that saved me from a total breakdown. Did I have to finish an assignment that I simply had no time to do? No problem! The instructor pushed the due date back. Did I have to complete an overload of reading that would make it impossible to even have a weekend? No big deal. Two of my classes could simply require me to do the same assignment “quite by chance”. This happened all throughout the semester and never stopped (the grand finale was when one of my classes finished two weeks early, and I was given the final take-home exam three weeks before it was due). Praise God!

This is just one example of what I call “little prayers” which God has answered and which I firmly believe he has answered. They are mostly unseen except by those who watch closely.

The problem is with the “big prayers”. It’s not necessarily something huge that I am asking for in these situations, but they are things which would be more obvious if they were granted to me. Because of this, I doubt that they will be answered in the way I request them to be answered. And so I am left in a weird position, leaning on and also trying to grab hold of God in prayer. I thank him for his blessings, and then turn around and ask why he never answers, all the while feeling guilty for treating him like a vending machine.

And so, here I will remain for the time being, joyfully praying for those small things which he answers again and again, and yet trying to figure out whether it is my doubting or his denial that is blocking me from receiving that which I request of him.

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2011 in General

 

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In Christ Alone

In light of Good Friday and Easter coming, I just had to share this version of “In Christ Alone”, by Philips, Craig and Dean. It’s actually a medley, which they managed very well. In my opinion it’s probably the best version I’ve found yet (thanks Liza!): Click here (YouTube)

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2011 in General

 

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The Road To Wisdom

Hello, and welcome to my new blog.

You’re probably wondering why I called it “Road to Wisdom”. Here are not three reasons why I’ve called it this:

-I’ve got wisdom figured out.
-You will most certainly find wisdom here.
-There is a point where you reach a fully wise state, and can end your journey to wisdom.

Hopefully number one is actually true and I’m just being humble. Or maybe I’m being proud and am trying to cover it up.

As you can see, I like humorous writing. However, I also think humour has its proper place. Because I intend to use this blog to post both theological thoughts and philosophical theories that I come up with, some of the things I will be writing about will be too sacred to joke about.

What is the point of this blog?
If you know me, you know that I love theories and discussions about theories, and coming up with theories. But when it comes to the Bible I have to take my theories and land them in truth, so that I can come down out of the ivory tower of philosophy and say something meaningful. Because of this, you will find posts about theological issues that I take very seriously and am searching deeply, in order to discover which lines up with what the Bible teaches. But then you will also find philosophical posts where I speculate on theories I have come up with. Often, these two categories blend (it is hard to be a theologian without using philosophy, and doing philosophy without grounding it in truth is like speculating about wind when you don’t know what air is). In all of these posts you are free to agree or disagree with me, and comments are always welcome. I will try to respond when possible.

I must make one thing clear, though: my goal is not to set straight what I perceive to be wrong theological or philosophical views today (though in some cases I won’t be able to resist this, I’m sure; in some cases, I may actually need to). Rather, I’m concerned with posting what I believe in my mind and heart to be the truth. You may find posts that disagree with my earlier posts, especially when they are theological. This is because I am constantly adjusting my theology to match what is actually the truth. You play a large part in this; I will always be glad when someone points out something that I have missed or provides a powerful insight.

Finally, I want to add that it is my goal that I try not to make my theology irrelevant for the believer, or simply something to hold to mentally. Theology must be applied. It is no good to claim that Jesus is God unless we also follow him because of it. The beginning of properly applying truth to life is the beginning of the walk down the road of wisdom.

That is actually what I mean by naming my blog “Road To Wisdom”. It is not because I’ve figured things out, but because I’m trying to figure things out (which is why it says “to”, and not “of”, wisdom). My goal is to share what I’ve learned and to be critiqued so that I can learn more too. Also, “path to wisdom” was already taken…

Thanks for reading. If you are intrigued, feel free to subscribe to this blog. I hope you find something I write to be either helpful in your spiritual walk or simply interesting to read.

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2011 in General