butter light


has God any delusions about atheists?

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Richard Dawkins wrote:

“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

from The God Delusion

Dawkins forgot to mention that the God of the OT is an anti-atheist.


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do it again Daddy, ok?

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G. K. Chesterton imagined that…

“A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged.

They always say,

Do it again

and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough

to exult in monotony.

It is possible that God says every morning, ‘Do it again’ to the sun; and every evening, ‘Do it again’ to the moon.

It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them.

It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy;

for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence;

it may be a theatrical encore.”


Why do you believe in God?

Why do I believe in God? Is it because I have been swayed by some incredible overpowering logic?

Hardly – That would be true if my soul were a mechanism. Is it because the throws of religion have finally birthed faith in me?

Hardly – No religion is so strong or tantric as to force a man to believe. If that were so, everyone would believe God once they walked out of the woods or off the street into a church lobby (narthex if you are traditional).

I believe in God because I want to. Let me guess – you think this sounds like “consumerism” or so very “on the couch”? ‘God is my therapist’ kind of thinking – sounds like I have come to God because He gives me what I want.

“Why did you come today?”

“Well, doctor, because I feel so out of sorts.”

So does this patient really like his therapist or does he like what the therapist does for him {or like what he hopes, he prays, his therapist might do for him? The therapist is getting paid enough that something good ought to be happening – uh?}

There are plenty misplaced desires in the wants of man. Still the core of true faith is indeed about wanting. But this kind of want, this faith-want, is not the wanting of God for the sake of ourselves. Otherwise we are in the business of making gods out of what we want.  One of these god-wants may be fortunate enough to be promoted to the position of “Chief Analgesic.”

Is that You God?

With that mindset one can never be sure. This way of thinking about God isn’t going away any time soon. Still faith is basically the wanting of God. Faith is wanting God. This may sound simplistic, not deeply theological, maybe even somewhat irreligious {the best ideas about who God really is often are irreligious. Ask Jesus}.

But it’s true. Faith is wanting God. Can you have faith in God if you don’t want it? Why in the world would you? Have you ever asked yourself why atheist Christopher Hitchens is a non-believer in God? He has written a lot in answer to that question. He could have been brief: “I don’t want to.”

Are the implacable within the fold of God? God forcing people? Actually God’s grace is irresistibly desirable – no force applied.

Rather we are the ones who aim to get what we want by forcing the other person’s hand. We are crafty too. But here is a surprise for many – God doesn’t want you if you don’t want Him.

“I thought God wanted everybody?”

No, He doesn’t {this is where reading Calvin helps and, of course, Romans 9 through 11}. What person (one who is not interested in using or abusing others) wants interaction with another person who doesn’t want it too? People who force it are awkward aren’t they? Some of them end up as dictators.

Why do people divorce? Forget the statistics and the ‘top 5 reasons.’ The stats are interesting, but keeping statistics hasn’t made things better for marriage in America. The real reason why people divorce? It doesn’t show up on those “top ten” lists; not number two, three or four…or eleven. The reason? – one or both parties in the union don’t want it. It’s that simple. No want in the chest.

What good it is to believe in God if you don’t want to? What good is it to believe in God if you want Him in order to get something else? What good is it to believe in God if you retain some notion, even in the back closet of your brain, that you are in with Him because He tricked you into being there? Does God get bonus by getting you to believe Him when you don’t want to?

As for those who don’t want to believe their heaven is their hell {or vice versa}. And they are quite ok with that – for now. God is too smart to bring people into the fold who don’t want to be there. Faith, from where I sit, is mostly about wanting God. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that this kind of want is like wanting another piece of pie. Hmm, no not like that.

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what is Edwards saying?

there’s a little contest over at Desiring God to see who can best explain what Jonathan Edwards is saying in his Miscellanies #125.

here is Edwards:

Miscellanies #125[a]:

‘Tis certain with me that the world exists anew every moment, that the existence of things every moment ceases and is every moment renewed. For instance, in the existence of bodies, for there to be resistance, or tendency to some place; ’tis not numerically the same resistance that exists the next moment, ’tis evident, because this existence may be in different places. But yet this existence is continued so far, that there is respect had to it in all the future existences; ’tis evident in all things continually. Now past existence can’t be continued so that respect should be had to it, otherwise than mentally. If the world this moment should be annihilated, so that nothing should really and actually exist any more; the existence of the world could not be continued so that, if another world after a time should be created, that world should exist after this or that manner from respect to the manner of the existence of this, or should be so only because this had been thus or thus. Indeed, we every moment see the same proof of a God as we should have seen, if we had seen [him] create the world at first. Revelation 4:11, “For thy pleasure they are and were created.”

here is what I wrote:

Waking Moments

“Edward’s description here of God’s pleasure is beautiful – if you dig the esoterics of philosophy – and I do.   He offers me a unique entry point into God’s pleasure while using speech perhaps from lectures on ontology or epistemology and so on.  Yet, where these disciplines overlap Edwards explains how God gifts man with “waking moments.”

Through this philosophical maze Edwards leads us to a splendid discovery where merge time, God, pleasure.  Every moment in time is unique, but not entirely for each is indebted to the one before it and to the first one.  Thus, every moment, except the second, is a grandchild of the first. 

The splendid discovery? – the first ‘waking moment’ in time need not be the last.  Newly minted Adam awoke to hear incantations of blessings on him; then Job awakes from disaster to laud his Maker; Paul on Damascus Road; two disciples on Emmaus Road; Tumor patient, Matt Chandler, awakes to “a heightened sense of everything.”  Time has procured many such moments; not enough. 

Edwards here is heady, but we can just as well say, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him” every waking moment.  To string a few of these together is to sip The Elixir.  To string a lifetime of such is to be merrily drunk with that elixir – “a God-entranced vision of” God’s vision of “all things” – then time ceases to be a line, instead a circle of revelry, a gambol.”

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should you be treated like children?

“Theology means “the science of God,” and I think any man who wants to think about God at all would like to have the clearest and most accurate ideas about Him which are available. You are not children: why should you be treated like children? Theology is practical. Everyone reads, everyone hears things discussed. Consequently, if you do not listen to Theology, that will not mean that you have no ideas about God. It will mean that you have a lot of wrong ones—bad, muddled, out-of-date ideas.”

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity