Tuesday, April 18, 2017

When the Holiness of God Seems Unappealing

“Holiness is a most beautiful and lovely thing. We drink in strange notions of holiness from our childhood, as if it were a melancholy, morose, sour and unpleasant thing; but there is nothing in it but what is sweet and ravishingly lovely. ‘Tis the highest beauty and amiableness, vastly above all other beauties." - Jonathan Edwards

"What is holiness then? The words used for holiness mean "set apart." But there our troubles begin, because naturally I think I'm lovely. So if God is "set apart" from me, I assume the problem is with him. His holiness looks like a prissy rejection of my happy, healthy loveliness.

Dare I burst my own bubble? I must. For the reality is that I am the cold, selfish, vicious one, full of darkness and dirtiness. And God is holy- "set apart" from me- precisely in that he is not like that.He is not set apart from us in priggishness, but by the fact that there are no such ugly traits in him as there are in us." - Michael Reeves from "Delighting in the Trinity"

Monday, April 17, 2017

What if Jesus Had Never Been Born by D. James Kennedy (Part 3)

Women - As I've already mentioned, female babies were either abandoned or killed at much greater rates. They were considered by Aristotle to be "somewhere between a free man and a slave." Rome, Greece, China, and India all were similar in this respect. Prior to Christian influence in India, widows were either voluntarily or involuntarily burned on their husband's funeral pyres. Much of Africa had this same practice for the wives of chieftains.

The Gospel has penetrated all of these places and infanticide of girls(not abortion) has been nearly wiped off the face of the earth. The life of Christ shows Him continually lifting up women from their social status. The first to see Jesus risen from the dead were women! Their testimony was not counted as valuable in the courts at that time, but the wisdom of God had women vindicated by this story throughout the centuries. I could also mention the scripture stating that there is "no man or woman, but we are all one in Christ." That was a radical statement of the equal value as Christians. Of course, men and women have different roles but that is not the purpose of this post to explain.

 In the Middle East, we fight a battle for the elevation of women from what Islam teaches, which is that a woman's testimony is worth half of a man's. The Quran teaches that a man can beat his wife if she is disobedient. In the West, women know they are equal to men, and I praise God for that. That finds its origins in the Bible where roles are different, but value is the same. Today in America, women go too far when they say that their equality gives them the right over the life or death of babies. God help us all to continue elevating women in society as being equal to men based on the teachings of the Bible.