Sloth in the digital age

You can’t be irredeemably slothful if you knuckle down to read this excellent piece. For one, it shows you have not totally acceded to the sorrow for spiritual good and so lost all desire for excellence.

The Seven Deadly Sins in a Digital Age: 4. Sloth
ARTICLE BY W. BRADFORD LITTLEJOHN NOVEMBER 2014

Here are the first two paragraphs:

When we come to the subject of Sloth in a Digital Age, the diagnosis might seem obvious, if a tad moralistic. We are all familiar with the couch potato glued to the TV screen, or the teenager who neglects his homework for video games, or her homework for Instagram. In the modern world, we are taught to work only for the sake of attaining leisure, and digital media have become our favorite source of leisure. The vice of sloth, then, we deem, is the sin of laziness, of failing to be as productive as God calls us to be.

For all its apparent familiarity, though, perhaps none of the traditional vices is so unfamiliar to us as Sloth. Indeed, our English word is quite insufficient; the actual Latin name for the vice is acedia, a word for which there is really no good translation. Aquinas’s formal definition of the vice–“sorrow for spiritual good”–will probably only confuse us still further. But let us try to unpack it. “Sloth,” says Aquinas, “is an oppressive sorrow, which . . . so weighs upon man’s mind, that he wants to do nothing” (ST IIaIIae Q. 35 a. 1 resp.). More specifically, it is “sorrow in the Divine good about which charity rejoices” (ST IIaIIae Q. 35 a. 2 resp.). “Sorrow” here means less an active sadness and more an apathetic lack of love and joy, above all, a lack of joy in God, a disposition that is deadly indeed.
– See more at: http://www.reformation21.org/articles/the-seven-deadly-sins-in-a-digital-age-4-sloth.php#sthash.Bm4XcT32.dpuf

Entertainment: Exercise in futility

Entertainment

Late 15c., “to keep up, maintain, to keep (someone) in a certain frame of mind,” from Middle French entretenir, from Old French entretenir “hold together, stick together, support” (12c.), from entre- “among” (from Latin inter; see inter-) + tenir “to hold.”

Most entertainment is a futile attempt to hold life together between interminable bouts of misery.

Psalm 84

1  How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! 2  My soul yearns, even faints,for the courts of the Lord;my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.3  Even the sparrow has found a home,and the swallow a nest for herself,where she may have her young—a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God.4  Blessed are those who dwell in your house;they are ever praising you.

5  Blessed are those whose strength is in you,whose hearts are set on pilgrimage…
8  Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty;listen to me, God of Jacob.9  Look on our shield, O God; look with favor on your anointed one. 10  Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere;I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.11  For the Lord God is a sun and shield;the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he with hold from those whose walk is blameless. 12  Lord Almighty,blessed is the one who trusts in you.

There is no male nor female: So why should “Replacement” theologians be against same-sex marriage?

By “replacement theology” I mean the view that the Church has replaced Israel.

I shall now prove using the powerful tools of biblical exegesis and syllogistic reasoning that the replacement camp should not be opposed to same-sex marriage.. An offshoot of this clincher is that it’s ok for replacement theologians/pastors/preachers to be camp.

The “Replacement” people use the following verse as one of their proofs that the Church has replaced Israel:

Galatians 3:28-29
28 There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there can be no male and female; for ye all are one man in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye are Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, heirs according to promise.

Major premise

Both the Gentile Christian (say, Bob) and the Jewish Christian (say, Shneier) are in Christ Jesus.

Minor premise

Those in Christ Jesus – besides being neither Jew nor Greek – are, indeed are compelled to be, neither male nor female.

Conclusion

Bob can marry Shneier.

“Replacement” pastor presiding over a marriage ceremony.

I now pronounce you man and husband..

The “Replacement” theologian will hopefully say that the Galatians verse above is not literal: unity between Jews and Greeks, males and females does not mean that literal Jews and literal Greeks morph into a figurative morass, or that all Christians become unisex. And they would be right, but neither does the Bible say that literal Israel gets swallowed up by the literal Church. The unity of the Body of Christ does not mean uniformity.

The Apostle Paul/Shaul says to Bob and Schneier (Cutter):

Neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as shall walk by this rule, peace be upon them [that is, Gentile Christians like you, Bob, which generally includes replacementists], and mercy, and upon the Israel of God [Jewish Christians like you, Scneier]. (Galatians 6:15-16).

The downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in light of Stephen Hawking’s “natural selection assumes natural rejection.”

 

 

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking

 

For most of the world, the downing of MH17 was a very sad day. For many it is an occasion for much reflection on human selfishness and agression, and, hopefully, including our own. But surely not for materialists – logically speaking.

At one of his lectures at the University of Cambridge, where he is the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, a Chair once held by Isaac Newton, Stephen Hawking, who suffers from acute motor neuron disease, said the folowing regarding the long-term survival of humanity:

My only fear is this. The terror that stalks my mind is that we have arrived on the scene because of evolution. Because of naturalistic selection, and natural selection assumes natural rejection, which means we have arrived here because of our aggression – chemicals exploding in our reptilian brain. And my hope is that somehow we can keep from eating each other up for another 100 years. At that point science would have devised a scheme to take all of us into different planets of the universe and no one atrocity would destroy all of us at the same time.”

On the “after-life” he said. “The belief that heaven and an afterlife awaits us is a “fairy story for people afraid of death.” There is, for Hawking, nothing beyond the last flicker of the brain waves. What counts he said is making good use of our lives by “seeking the greatest value of our action.”

On the one hand, Hawking says “natural selection assumes natural rejection, and natural selection assumes we have arrived here by our aggression,” and on the other hand, he says “we should seek the greatest value of our action.” Now, if we arrived on this planet by aggression – “we” implies every individual human birth – then it would be logical that we not only arrived here by aggression but survive by aggression: the survival of the fittest; in value terms the survival of the shittest.

Hawking also said “Science predicts that many different kinds of universes will be spontaneously created out of nothing. It is a matter of chance which we are in.”

(Stephen Hawking: ‘There is no heaven; it’s a fairy story.’ The Guardian, 15 May 2011).

To summarise Hawking: By chance, nothing created the human species out of nothing, where the distinctive attribute of the genetic blueprint is aggression. All is aggression – “nature red in tooth and claw” (Tennyson). In such a materialistic world, human free will is an illusion. Indeed, terms like “will” and “freedom” refer to nothing in reality. In Hawking’s materialistic view of “natural selection assumes natural rejection,” to seek the greatest value in our action means that each person or group has evolved to reject any values that clash with their own – and to do so aggressively. If Hawking puts his money where his mouth is, which I have no reason to question, then in his world – and so it must be in the world of every practical atheist – not only do the terms “free” and “will” refer to nothing in reality, the same applies to “good” and “evil.” I could go on and on: “love,” “guilt,” “forgiveness,” “judgement.”

Many of those who think or say that the downing of Flight MH17 was an evil act are materialists. In the language of Hawking, evolution has rejected – and no surprise, aggressively so – MH17 by blowing it up and cutting short the lives of all aboard and automatically causing untold suffering to thousands of friends and relatives. Morals, and morale, for that matter, cannot exist in a a world solely of matter.

The moral of my story is: when someone opens their gob about the morality of MH17, or anything else, ask them if they are materialists. If they are, tell them to shut up; unless you’re a confounded one yourself.

 

Human-imposed measures of piety: No booze (hic), and celibacy

 

The comma in my title makes all the difference. Without the comma, it could mean “No booze and (No) celibacy.”

“In our own day,  says Kevin Reed, we meet with many humanly-imposed measures of piety. For example, some fundamentalists condemn all use of alcoholic beverages, and they use this doctrine as a measure of spirituality. For centuries, the Roman Catholic church has enjoined celibacy upon the clergy as a requirement for service. At root, the issue is still the same: ‘Do men have the right to institute supplemental measures of piety, beyond those given in scripture?'” (Kevin Reed – “Biblical worship”).

Anyone for a top up – Hic, et nunc

 

 

Larry King on Russia Today : Bill Maher throws his marbles away – in a hurry

Larry King, in his Politicking interview with Bill Mayer, introduces him with these words: “He’s opiniated, outspoken and ready to take a stand on today’s  red-hot issues… Get ready.” Towards the end of the interview, King asked him whether he believed in life after death? Maher replied maybe, but this other thing that God had a son, that’s nonsense.  For Mayer, the program Cosmos has got it right. Just imagine, he said, (not exactly in these words) the whole universe exploded into being 13.5 billion years ago from a being no bigger than a  marble. When I think of it, continues Mayer, I want to say “Gimme the Jesus thing. But I know that the Big Bang is right.” But see the interview for yourself.   Picture 40

 Larry King: “Get ready”

Bill Maher

Bill Maher

Go figure, but what are you going to use to do so? Your marbles?  Mad people lose theirs; sane people throw theirs away – in  a hurry (Hebrew: maher). 

Maher-shalal-hash-baz – מַהֵר שָׁלָל חָשׁ בַּז‎ “He has made haste to plunder” (Isaiah 8:3).

The Jesus thing is not silly, it’s shocking, for two reasons: 1. The Son takes on flesh to be cursed and slaughtered 2. in the place of sinners.

Related: Something from nothing: a beautiful idea.

 

My purpose-driven life

You can do something voluntarily or freely. What is the difference between these two kinds of will? Voluntary means you do what you want. What you want – your inclination, your heart’s desire – is to fulfil your purpose. Freedom, in contrast, is neutral; it can decide to follow/want self or follow/want God. But to want God (of the Bible) is not what the natural man can or wants to do, because he is, without realising it, a prisoner of his desires, and loves being this way.When Christ frees you from the bondage of your will by regenerating you, granting you the desire and ability to repent, to believe in him, to do his commandments, and brings you to your final rest, then you will have fulfilled your purpose, because all the former is God’s purpose. That is why Rick Warren’s “The purpose driven life” is not the right title. His book says it’s about God not you, but then the book proceeds to be all about you. So a better title would be “My purpose-driven life.”Are you looking for your purpose in life? Read you Bible, and avoid purpose-driven authors and preachers like the plague.

Yes, be driven, but who is doing the driving? Ephesians 2:8-10 For it is by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.