Dé Céadaoin, Márta 30, 2005

That's just random

I'll normally write on things that bugg me or topics that I just feel that I need to comment on. It's a passion of mine and it found it's outlet here. But I do have other passions, as I've probably eluded to with previous entries. Randomness is somthing I seem to reval in. Take today for instance, two of the most random things i've seen in a while. First there was a couple walking on campus this afternoon. Nothing out of the normal right? That's what I thought untill I saw the two ducklings following them. This wasn't the curious, off in the distance kind of following either. The two were right under foot of the girl. Really cute, but rather random for a college campus. The second was even more random. Picture this: two guys, tandem bike, and a ukulele. First they road around outside, the second one playing and singing as the passed. The next time I saw them someone had opened the door to the student center and they decided to ride through. Like I said random. I would never have guessed that I would have seen that today. Anyway, I just thought I'd like to share that bit of randomness for today.

What do I say?

As I sit here igoring the intellectual banter going back and forth, I've been wishing that I was outside. I can almost see it through the blue-grayish, semi-transperent, this first glorious day of spring. We sit here supposedly discussing the question of whether or not to use apologetics to further Christianity. I say supposedly because we have yet to broach that question, we've discussed what it is to both a greater and lesser degree, we've talked about it's history citing both C.S. Lewis (who I'll write later about) and Francise Shaeffer, and how Christianity must come back into the for ground now. But we've yet to say out rightly whether or not apologetics are necessary to our faith. To a point, by not speaking of why apologetics should not be used we are inadvertently supporting the idea with out outrightly stating it.

Personally I don't think that this is a bad thing. I support apologetics and believe that they have a prominent place in intellectual circles, and in working out the flaws of both Christainity and opposing religions through out the world. There is a point at which we must stand up and say, "You are wrong." While this is necessary it must be done with a great deal of understanding and tacte, with sensitivity to both the good in the religion being rebuffed and the to the culture in which it resides. I think this is where many well meaning christians fall short. We go out with our signs, believing we will "win the world for Christ," but instead of turning people to the idea of christianity we beat them with the idea that they are wrong, worthless scum, that we really shouldn't be taking our time to talk to. People in a world of hoplessness need no help believing that they are powerless, hopless, and worth nothing. We take Calvin's idea of total depravity to far, and try to convince people that they are worth nothing. We forget whose image we are in, we forget that when God created us he looked down and He smiled and said that it was good, a term only ever used to decribe God in the Bible.

So now what? Are apologetics good? Are they bad? Are we as the church simply afraid of reason as a basis for and arument for God? I don't see why we should be. God, the creator of human thought, the creator of reason, is both bound by it, understood with it and completly beyond it. God himself is not necessarily a reaonable being. I have trouble using reason solely to describe and understand God. There is always an aspect of faith, truth be that faith is the more important of the two. That is not to say that we should have a blind faith that is unfounded and unsupported. To the contrary, our faith should be supported by our reason. It's not one or the other it is a combination of both. As we are told by Paul in 1 Corinthians, the three greatest attributes of Christianity are faith, hope, and love. But again as Paul says, the greatest of these is love. We must LIVE our faith out in love for those around us.

Dé Luain, Márta 28, 2005

Car trouble

I'm praying that tomorrow my car will have a new timeing belt and that I'll be able to be on the road by 12. I hope. I mean it would be nice to get back to school on time and not at like four in the morning, but as long as I get back it'll be fine. So that's what's pressing in my life, apart from my up coming graduation, my pending joblessness which because of this weekend will hopfully be short, my trip to Wyoming and Yellowstone with some of the boys, my mission trip to New Zealand, and a host of other things that battle for the few seconds of free time that my mind has to give up. There's a lot of fun to be had in the next month and I'm am dead set on having as much of it that I can, legally or otherwise, with my friends as is inhumanly possible. But first I have to make it back to campus.

Dé hAoine, Márta 25, 2005

Home again, home again, jigidy jig

Have you ever felt like your living out of your suit case? In the past month I've put on at least two thousand miles to my resume. Florida and back again and all the driving that that entailed on the trip. And now I find myself at home again. PA in anycase. Not so much home anymore, but it will do for the moment. To be honest I kind of like it, I just wish I wasn't so busy when I'm at school, but that will soon end. In a month I'll be a college grad, which is both a sorce of excitment and fear, but I'm not talking about that right now. It's nice to be at home again, it feels right this time. I happy to be here, even though it was an adventure to get here. My car kind of died. It did that in town so it wasn't that big of a deal, and hopfully it won't be to big of a problem, I dont' think it will be. This is really all I have to say. Tomorrow I'll probably write about somthing with more substance to it. I just finished a book by Lewis and really need to put some thoughts down in writing. Well untill then.

Dé hAoine, Márta 18, 2005

So now What?

Well...I'm back. After a week hiatus from the drudgery that all to often comes from my studies here at IWU, I'm back at the computer, slowly blinding myself by starring unwaveringly into the bright depths that is my screen. My problem tonight is what to write on. there is just so much to write on, geriatric tour 05' in Florida, being back on campus, my sunburn itches, turning into Mr. Fix-it for cars, St. Paddy's day, Morty's 21st birthday, Christians and alcohol, etc. The list litteral just keeps on going. I could write pages alone on what happened over tour. I'm currently writting a semi-brief over-view of my favorite points that I'll post at a later date. It's been an interesting couple of days being back. It's probably fairly obvious that I'm done with being at school, and being away from it for a week doing somthing I absolutly love to do didn't help my demeanor. It was amazing how good I felt, not because I was in Florida, to be honest I really don't like floriday that much (nice to visit, but I don't want to live there), but just because I was off campus. I felt like I was unattached to those things that seem to bring stress just becuase I'm around. I felt normal for the first time since summer. I had time to myself, I was able to sit on the beach and just relax, think, and pray. I needed some time to pray about what is going to happen in the next couple of months after I graduate. I really don't think that I should be going to Fuller, not yet anyway. Maybe I just need some time off but I don't think the time is right for me to go there. I still would love to go to graduate school, but I'm starting to wonder if now is the right time for me to do so. I got back in contact with a church in Connecticut about an internship that I thought would be a really good musical opportunity and I might get the chance to do it with a friend from school who gratuated last year. Then there is the new opportunity with a missions organization that works in Europe. I will need to do a lot more contact work with them before I could really get involved with them, but it could be an opportunity to do exactly what I want to do. It really would be great to get involved with them and it was after prayer for clarification that I found them rather randomly on the net. I may still aply for Grad school, but I right now I'm rather done with school. I want to work, I want to get out there and get my hands dirty. Maybe I'll do what I've been threatening to do and simply just disapear, find cabin or tent in the woods and not come back for a few months, travel to Europe and move around from hostel to hostel playing guitar and singing, working odd jobs here and there for a while. I'm looking for a more fulfilling life and I'm not finding it here. I don't know, I know that I need to graduate so that's my focus for right now. After that, I'm headed to New Zealand, and then PA for the summer. I'll work on it, and hopfully I'll make a decent decision before the summer is out. So that's what's been currently on my mind. There's a lot more, on this subject and on many others. I'll have to keep up with this so I get them all out.

Déardaoin, Márta 03, 2005

Not too Shabby

So by the look of my past several blogs I sound pretty depressed. I’m really not. True I’ve been stressed lately and have the inevitability of my looming graduation, a source of both great joy and great frustration, staring me in the face and daring me even think I know what I’m going to do next. I really do live a great life. I have amazing friends, literally all over the world, from whom I receive the greater part my joy and blessings. I am constantly faced with amazing opportunities to travel, meet new people, be spontaneous (one of my more favorite activities), and just basically have fun. This Saturday morning I’ll be boarding a plane with 68 of my closest and greatest friends. Yes, sir it’s time for another Choral tour Florida 05’ baby, sun, warmth, fun, and a schedule nowhere near the ferocity of Tundra Tour 04’. We have a mere 15 concerts during the next week which leaves plenty of time for lounging beachside and getting nice and toasty before heading back for the last two months of school. I can almost feel it. I’m gearing up to go to New Zealand in May after I walk in April. I’ll be there for about two and a half weeks working primarily with Chinese nationals who are there for graduate studies. After that, I’m looking at a summer full of unexpected happenings and relaxing with the family on last time before I head out on my own. But until then I’m remain here, Aaron the college student. It’s not a bad life, just confusing at times. I am happily single, of course open to the possibility of changing that but I don’t expect it will happen any time soon and I like it that way. I have time for me, and doing what I want to do. I can spend what little money I have on myself and the things I like. As it looks right now I’m going to be moving around a lot in the next 5 to 10 years and I don’t have any desire to drag someone into the life I am prepared (yeah right) to live. I just don’t think it’s fair to ask someone to not have a home and move around constantly. Just doesn’t seem right to me. Anyway, things really are good. God is good, even when I’m not.
I’ve recently started reading C.S. Lewis’s “The Screwtape Letters,” in hopes that I’ll actually get the chance to finish it. It’s not likely but I still hold to my hope. I was reading a chapter, and if you don’t know “The Screwtape Letters” are a fictional set of letters supposedly written by Screwtape, a demon higher up, to Wormwood, apparently his nephew and a relatively new tempter just starting out. In the letter I read today Screwtape said something that really intrigued me. I’ll quote it so that I get it right and you can understand where I’m going:
“When I see the temporal suffering of humans who finally escape us, I feel as if I had been allowed to taste the first course of a rich banquet and then denied the rest. It is worse than not to have tasted it at all. The Enemy (God), true to His barbarous methods of warfare. Allows us to see the short misery of His favorites only to tantalize and torment us – to mock the incessant hunger which, during this present phase of the great conflict, His blockade is admittedly imposing. “
Now of course this raises questions of the Problem of Evil, does God really cause some of it? And in reading this I almost made the mistake of thinking that God may cause us to go through things just so that Satan will go through this torment. While I don’t think that is possible, and I will admit I don’t have a very good answer to the problem of evil, it is interesting to think that our temporary misery would cause so much in the way of torment to Satan. You would think that for a being that hates us almost as much as he hates God, and would seek to cause us harm, would find so much torment in our suffering on earth because he knows that for us it is temporary and to the ones that overcome will be given great rewards, but for him the suffering is just beginning. I think it interesting that something we dislike so much, could cause the enemy even for pain. “Take joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds” James.