Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Pray (Letters To My Family)

What kind of legacy do I want to leave my family? What character and vision and story do I want to instill in them? That is the inspiration behind this series of letters--an attempt to set down and share in words the values I hope to lead them in by example.

Alongside reading the Gospels (and the rest of Scripture) I would encourage my family to pray. These two activities go hand in hand. Each one on its own can feel a bit like a one sided conversation; together is sometimes as close as we can get to dialoging with God (though it may often seem a bit disjointed).

I will admit, this one is a bit harder for me to write. I'm not the best at praying, nor do I really understand how it works. Some days it feels like I've gotten into a rut, repeating the same words day after day almost mindlessly. Other days, I don't know what to pray or I just forget. I often wonder what prayer means for the God who knows everything. I suppose there are two or three things that I hold onto to anchor my belief in prayer.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Virtue in the Pursuit of Truth

A question that I've been pondering over the last several years is how do we create an environent in which ideas proliferate, the best ideas rise to the top, and the worst ideas fade away. It has to be a free marketplace of thought lest good ideas be suppressed (and bad ideas forced). That's a foundation--but it's not enough. We've seen that even in the free exchange, some really bad ideas can get quite a following. In this age, misinformation can often run rampant. So, what do we do?

Alisdair McIntyre suggested the concept of virtue as being those qualities that are necessary for success in a practice. I think we can apply this to the realm of dialogue and debate. External controls will always be inadequate and potentially dangerous. What we need is to instill the internal controls of virture in ourselves in order to become the type of people who have productive conversations leading to truth. This raises the question, what are those virtues? Here I provide a few of my suggestions:

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

A New Name!

Seven years ago when I started this blog, I sought input from friends on the name. Among some of the ideas I put forward were "Noggin Toaster," "Hopeful Heretic," and "Yearning for Home." At the end of the day, "Hopeful Heretic" proved to be the most popular--though not without a significant dissenter. A friend cautioned against labeling myself a heretic, referencing G. K. Chesterton's thoughts on the word. I considered the objection, but decided to go forward with the name. It proved fairly catchy and for a long time I was happy with it.

Fast forward to today. My faith has evolved since then. I've been rediscovering orthodoxy, learning the Christian roots of my faith. I've opened the Book of Common Prayer, tasted the Lord's Supper, walked the seasons of Lent and Advent. I've been introduced to Christian scholarship both ancient and modern and traced the fascinating history of our religion. I still have so much to learn, but this I know: I no longer wish to label myself a heretic. I am a Christian through and through.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Read The Gospels (Letters To My Family)

What kind of legacy do I want to leave my family? What character and vision and story do I want to instill in them? That is the inspiration behind this series of letters--an attempt to set down and share in words the values I hope to lead them in by example.

When I consider the question of what advice I would leave with my family, the first thing that comes to mind is: Read the Gospels. Read the whole Bible, too. But, especially the Gospels. Read about the life and teachings of our Messiah, who is our life. Immerse yourself in the story of the Gospel. Soak up His wisdom and see in Christ the face of God. Walk in His footsteps as He leads you as a good Shepherd. Come to know Him who gave His life for you.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Book Review: Finding The Right Hills To Die On (Gavin Ortlund)

Finding The Right Hills To Die On
(by Gavin Ortlund)

"Is that a salvational issue?", "Can't we all just get along?" These are questions I'm all to familiar with and used to use myself in the cause of unity. Because, on the other hand, I had seen people dividing over the silliest things. But over the last few years I've finding this framework somewhat inadequate. That's where Gavin Ortlund's "Finding the Right Hills to Die on" comes in.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

The Ethics of Parenting (Nine Paradigms)

Photo by Daniel Cheung on Unsplash
Our Sabbath fellowship has been studying ethics using Steve Wilkens' Beyond Bumper Sticker Ethics. The book goes through nine different theories on what makes something right or wrong and how we can know the difference. Anyway, I put together the following descriptions to make some of this theory more relatable. I give you the ethical theories of parenting. Enjoy!

Cultural Relativism
Look to your neighbors and fellow Mommy bloggers for advice. Follow the culturally accepted standards

Ethical egoism
You're raising up your future caregivers. Also consider points for present enjoyment and cuteness, help with chores, and how they contribute to your status / reputation.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Ezekiel's Temple Part 2: Telescopic Prophecy

The Ezekiel Temple poses a challenge to all interpreters. In the last post, I examined the supposedly simple pre-millennial view and pointed out some complications. Here I'd like to propose a potential solution for post-millennial and amillennial interpreters.

The problem for the post-millenialist and amillennialist (and the pre-millennialist who accepts the above arguments) is that the language of the Ezekiel Temple appears very specific in nature and is therefore difficult to conceive of as anything but literal. This makes an allegorical interpretation seem unlikely.

A few other solutions have been proposed. One is to interpret the passage as referring to the second Temple. However, if that is the case, one would have to account for the differences. Herod's Temple didn't measure up to the dimensions of the Ezekiel Temple.

Another proposed solution would be to see this as a potential Temple that could have been built had Israel repented. Again, history seems to work counter to this interpretation. A remnant of Israel did repent, did return to the land, and did rebuild a Temple. Why wasn't it the Ezekiel Temple?