Tag Archives: Interpretations

Daring to speak in multicultural environment

Living in a multicultural environment, in a democratic capitalist world, you may wonder how much freedom of speech and freedom of religion people are willing to give to each other.

U.S Postage Stamp, 1957

U.S Postage Stamp, 1957 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In our world which says it is a free democratic world you would expect religious freedom to be a fundamental right. It might well be recognised by international human rights documents, and one which is integral to our human dignity, but that does not mean yet that people are so open minded they accept other’s people way of thinking and certainly not their sort of faith. In our surroundings the countries may enable its citizens to live in accordance with deeply held values and beliefs about what it means to be human, but by the different population groups we encounter often those who only are prepared to have their way of thinking, their faith, to be the one to be the main value and to which everybody has to adapt to. For sure that can not be called an open mind.

The exclusion of other Christians can be felt mostly by evangelicals, especially pentecostal new-born Christians. They shall in many cases fiercely react against non-trinitarian Christians, even would deny their right to call themselves Christians. Strangely enough by those evangelicals who call for unity under Christians and say we should come to religious freedom, we find many who oppose Muslims or people belonging to an other religion than their Christendom. Are those who are calling for religious freedom accepting the theists (those who accept a or the godhead exist) and atheists who belief that he doesn’t

(glossing over wrinkles in which god we may be talking about…). {Does not believing result in belief?}

Often we do find they close the doors for such other believing people, instead of trying to go into conversation talking about the differences in belief. Often they complain that their faith is threatened by all the immigrants and by the many converts to Islam. They also often complain that the other groups seemingly have little understanding of, or respect for, the rights of their religious communities to maintain the religious identity of their organisations, but often it are they themselves who oppose the religious laws like halal and kosher food or religious killing of animals without sedatives. In Belgium we can clearly see this with the opposition against the slaughter of sheep for the Jews and Muslims.

In Australia some may call to withdraw all government funds from organisations that ‘discriminate’, but often they do not see in own bosom, often bringing wrong and discriminating messages over other believers.

As Babamboga from Nairobi,Kenya, writes:

Christians at time are so side blinded they believe that the only way is Jesus Christ and anything else is going to hell including Muslims and the Buddhists and if go further on some a bit open minded Christians will say that Allah is the same God but does that mean anyone worshipping Buddha or Seth are already sinners but really is that their problem. It is like judging people who grew up knowing Santa Claus exists, is it really their problem that they believe such old folk tales are real? And oftenly in most of those movies it is faith that ensures these fairy tale super heroes are still alive. {Oh, My brother testify.}

This person is right to remind people what is written in the Bible were God is letting the world know that

there will be prophets who will spread his word

and that it doesn’t necessarily have to be pastors who give wrong renditions of the Bible based on their useless understanding of the word. Too many people still give too much preference to those theologian writings instead of clinging to the Bible Words, of which we are told that they are the Words of God.

In Belgium, the last thirty years, church attendance became minimal whilst the attendance at mosques grew intensively. We do agree that in our juridical system only the recognised religions agreeing with the council shall have their priests, pastors, rabbi‘s or imams paid by the government, but that did not withdraw many who believe in only One God to go out and preach and to attract those Christians who got muddled up by the many human doctrines.

By those monotheist believers we do find the non-trinitarian Christians who are outnumbered by the many different non-recognised or non-official or not Islam council associated Muslims, who often get together in packed garage mosques.

At the same time we do find several fanatic fundamentalist Christians who bring in hell for everything they can. They come up with saying that the Bible actually condemns some behaviour and wonder how the church will outright give justice to drunkards and prostitutes.

… yet in the bible itself, mind you in the new testament, weren’t prostitutes part of His plans, weren’t thieves there too…. {Oh, My brother testify.}

Those who call themselves Christian should come to see the difference between Christendom and Christianity and should distance themselves from human doctrines, looking for Biblical truth there where it is to find, in the Bible itself.

Some Christians are so into their religion and they fail to see when pastors apply simple mind games of the interpretation and soon a whole congregation enjoys in the feasting of snakes and you wonder has it really got to the point that if I do a couple of acted miracles and tell people the Lord wants us to eat sinners you will all follow. {Oh, My brother testify.}

In our surroundings where, this way, we do find many who fled from the Catholic and other Christian denominations to find a stronghold by Muslims, it is important that followers of Christ take up the Bible and perhaps also the Quran to show others where it went wrong in Christendom and what is really written in the Holy Books and how our society should come to the Abrahamic faith.

When there is an open mind and freedom of religion, each faith-group, monotheist, unitarian or trinitarian, or having a whole bunch of gods to worship, should have the same rights to be there and to speak out.

That outspokenness we not often enough do find by Christians. Many of them just keep their beliefs for their own and do not dare to speak about it with others.

The agnostic is saying that they don’t think there is a way to transform a belief about god’s existence into knowledge. But they could still hold a belief on the matter. You could be an agnostic atheist, or, for that matter, an agnostic theist. {Does not believing result in belief?}

For many the issue of a god has become so complicated by theologians and philosophers

that we think it is some totally different concept that we can treat differently. Maybe people just don’t want to take a stand, they’re too unsure or don’t want to offend. {Does not believing result in belief?}

The one who really believes in the One True God, need not to be afraid to express his opinion. He has good reason to let others know what he believes.

Many would say

Of course there is no chance of “proving” God by strict logical syllogisms (but can we prove anything outside of mathematics this way?) Every logician knows that there’s nothing in the conclusion that is not already latent in the premises. But neither is this inability any proof that such a being as God does not or cannot exist. You may as well say that since I cannot prove to you whether life exists on other planets by sheer argument it therefore cannot exist. An unprovable proposition is not any more false (or true) simply because it cannot be proven. {Pascal’s Possibility}

We have the Book of books to give us an idea of the nature of the Most High Divine Being. For some it seems manifestly impossible to prove an image of God,

formed by a haphazard, subconscious blending of our moral intuitions and deepest wishes, it is not simply a figment of our imagination {Pascal’s Possibility}

The real believer knows exactly it is not just some imagination and wants others to know it. It is like you found something incredible or you ‘invented’ something extraordinary. You cannot be quiet about it.

Some might think the fact that the ideal is too good to be really possible.
But

It is a trick of the mind to think that the goodness of a thing counts as positive proof against its existence. You may as well be lying on the beach and say the sun feels too good to exist. {Pascal’s Possibility}

Encountering so many people today who laugh at the saying that there would be a god Who created everything and Who is so good that He has a Plan that will bring eternal life and peace for many, there is reason enough to tell them that the question about such a God existing has nothing to do with if logic proves it

… logic either does, or does not, make such a God’s existence possible. {Pascal’s Possibility}

But we should listen to our inner being and look around ourselves. We also should not be afraid not to claim absolute demonstrable knowledge, but “reasonable belief”. And that “reasonable belief” should be founded deep in our heart and fed by a thorough knowledge of the Bible.

From somewhere we received the Good News and came into the faith. Now it’s up to us to share it wherever we are. We now should come to the conclusion that it is marvellous that we came into the faith to become children of God. Knowing and accepting the Divine Creator as our heavenly Father to Whom we own everything, we also do know that it is a privilege and a responsibility that God gives to us to go and speak others about His wonderworks.

When we came into the faith we wanted to become part of the Body of Christ, the church, and one of the highest things that you can do in the church, is to be an active member willing to share the truth. For sharing that truth we do not have to give a theological or biblical lecture and we do not have to have a theological education (though it might help, but could also distract, because most theological colleges are formed from one or the other denomination and focussing more on the worldly writings than on the Bible itself.)

What the community of faith demands of their members is an openness to others and words that can make the community grow. Though it is also not bad to have words which will remind those in community of how the world really is now. Therefore we too are looking for writers who are willing to share how the world is evolving. What happens around us may not let us be untouched. We have to notice it and should react accordingly how that God would like us to behave in such surroundings.

When looking at this reality of the world we are living in we can show the difference of this world with the different world in God’s Plan. Writing about it or preaching we can become preachers exposing the lies that are driving people’s lives,

ripping them to shreds, sapping them of strength and energy. {10 Years of Preaching, 10 Lessons: Lesson 1}

A ‘Lead Pastor’ from Bloom in Denver believes preaching is

standing up in a tradition that reaches back to Moses and Isaiah and finds its consummation and climax in Jesus of Nazareth and saying, “The reign of God is here. Change your mind, and believe yourself into this shocking good news.” {10 Years of Preaching, 10 Lessons: Lesson 1}

It is following up the task Jesus has give to his disciples, to go out into the world to tell about that Good News. We have to come to understand that we are messengers called to this –

to employing all of the resources our speech to construct alternative modes of understanding for the people of God so that they can leave every dehumanizing Egypt and Babylon they find themselves in. Week after week, we summon them saying, It is time to go home! {10 Years of Preaching, 10 Lessons: Lesson 1}

It is not by praying often out loud, while driving down the road, for all to see, listening to a lot of Christian music with sometimes cheesy, weird beats and no cuss words, letting yourself be seen at the church-building and certainly not by going to church and

worship a man named Jesus who you may believe has saved the world by dying and coming back to life. {Why Being A Christian Isn’t Cool}

that you will find the way back home and would bring others to home-base. But when you keep to the words as they are written in the Bible and to a honest form of worship, without all the cirque and circumstance, concentrating on the truth instead of letting yourself and others be diverted by entertainment, you shall be able to go together with other devoted people on the right path. And, yes, that way you perhaps have lesser people in your congregation and would not be able to build a mega church, but better to have a good quality church than a quantity church.

We, who label ourselves as “Christians” need to re-focus.  We need to speak the truth, even when it hurts.  We need to replace the luke warm water in our mouths with hot sauce baby, confidently sharing God’s peace, grace and power.   {Why Being A Christian Isn’t Cool}

We should not have fear, like the apostles, when Jesus was caught, where very much afraid to let others know they were with Jesus. After he died and raised from the dead they even did hide in houses. We should not hide ourselves in our house, but go out, like the apostles did after they received the Holy Spirit.

We as Christians should be baptised with water but also with Holy Spirit and be encouraged to speak. Opening our heart to God we can let God’s Spirit enlighten us and guide us on our way. Trusting Him using His Word as our backbone we shall be able to enter many sorts of gates of this world, which is in the hands of ‘Satan,’ the adversary of God who more than once shall try to question you about the existence of that One God.

When questioned about God, what we belief and be tested, let us never compromise the truth ourselves for anything or anyone. We always do have to be carefully how we treat the Word of God. It is sacrilegious. That Holy Word we should sincerely seriously investigate and reflect on ourselves and those around us. When we want to tell others about that word we sincerely honestly should show the facts of it, showing that it presents good but also bad in all people, even in men of God. Bring the gospel-message we should dare to show good and bad of all and that we dare to let others see the brutal forces or battles which took place in the past. We may not present it as if everything is moonshine but also never may be guilty of turning the sweet gospel into something sour by our own surliness.

If we do, we might cause the hearer to turn away from God wincing instead of turning to him rejoicing. {Lessons Learned from 25 Years of Preaching (3)}

We also should remember that we

Don’t Have to Be Vicious with Truth to Be Strong for Truth {Lessons Learned from 25 Years of Preaching (3)}

We may not let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths. Our ordinary speech should be  always with grace and as a sacrifice.

Col 4:6 RNKJV  Let your speech be always with favour, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Col 3:8 RNKJV  But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

Eph 4:24 RNKJV  And that ye put on the new man, which after Elohim is created in righteousness and true holiness.

It is a vain effort to try to exorcise the evil only. Character is not a negation. Having put on the new self by our baptism we should be proud to show to others that renewed body which is created in God’s likeness and let it reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy.

By saying

You have learned the Christ

the apostle Paul puts the members of the ecclesia their faith upon a high level; it is the faith of approved disciples in Christ’s school. For such men the “philosophy and vain deceit” of Colossae and the plausibilities of the new “scheme of error” will have no charm.

Also for us who want to go out in the world to bring the Word of God to as many as we can, we should be so pleased that we have found the treasures of wisdom and knowledge that are hidden in Christ, that we want to share that treasure with as many as we can, because we do want to have the love of Christ also in our heart and bring the fire unto those around us.

Therefore also in trying to reach others we do not want to use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what we say will do good to those who hear us.

Eph 4:29-32 RNKJV  Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister favour unto the hearers.  (30)  And grieve not the holy Spirit of YHWH, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.  (31)  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:  (32)  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as YHWH for the Messiah’s sake hath forgiven you.

 

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Preceding articles:

Your position about materialistic desires having conquered the world

Looking for a shepherd for the sheep and goats

When believing in God’s existence and His son, possessing a divine legislation

Not making yourselves abominable

Where are the female writers

Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach

What Should I Preach ?

 

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Find also:

  1. Religious Freedom in a Multicultural World conference, 25 Sep 2015
  2. Freedom for faith
  3. Hope by faith and free gift
  4. Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight
  5. Atonement And Fellowship 4/8
  6. Bible in the first place #2/3
  7. Bible in the first place #3/3
  8. The Bible and names in it; Proclaiming the Name of The One and Only Who Is and has EverBeen
  9. Necessary to be known all over the earth
  10. Necessity of a revelation of creation 10 Instructions for insight and wisdom
  11. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  12. Reasons to come together
  13. The Right One to follow and to worship
  14. Fools despise wisdom and instruction
  15. Those who love Jesus
  16. Risen With Him
  17. What is preaching to me… and what it is for others.
  18. Are You Afraid To Witness?
  19. Science, 2013 word of the year, and Scepticism
  20. 34th World Congress of the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF)
  21. See God’s wonderworks and hear His Voice
  22. Faith related boycotts
  23. European Parliament stands for human dignity
  24. Inequality, Injustice, Sustainability and the Free World Charter
  25. Texts, writers, accesibility and willingness
  26. Journal for and from bothered citizens
  27. Couple Ordered to Stop Holding Bible Study at Home Without Permit
  28. A small circle taking a nation hostage
  29. Being Charlie 2
  30. Lack of religious freedom South Sudan
  31. 2013 Lifestyle, religiously and spiritualy
  32. 2014 Religion
  33. Stepping Toes 2014 in review
  34. Blow to legitimacy of the capitalist system
  35. Anti-Semitism ‘on the rise’ in Europe
  36. Israel, Fitting the Plan when people allow it
  37. Vatican against Opponents of immigration
  38. Migrants to the West #2
  39. Migrants to the West #3
  40. Migrants to the West #10 Religious freedom
  41. Freely & fairly
  42. Approachers of ideas around gods, philosophers and theologians
  43. Democratic principles for church
  44. Manifests for believers #5 Christian Union
  45. Mormons, just an other faith
  46. Driscoll not wished as a guest at 2015 Hillsong Conference
  47. Vatican lifts ban on married priests for Eastern Catholic churches in US, Canada, Australia
  48. Anti-Semitic incidents in Australia in 2012 highest ever on record
  49. In a world which knows no peace sharing blessed hope
  50. A beginning with many false starts
  51. Church sent into the world
  52. Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism
  53. Two new encyclopaedic articles
  54. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  55. Using the name Jehovah but not a witness of that name
  56. To remove the whitewash of the Jehovah Witnesses as being the only true Bible Students and Bible Researchers
  57. Not many coming out with their community name
  58. Let us make sure we are not stiff-necked
  59. Christadelphian Auxiliary Lecturing Society in changed times
  60. Dissolution of Bijbelvorsers (Bible scholars), Association for Bible study
  61. Counting sands and stars
  62. Dealing with worries in our lives
  63. Sunday 7 September service: Imitate prophets and Paul
  64. A man from the North wanting to have control in Belgium
  65. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  66. First Century of Christianity
  67. Breathing to teach
  68. Words to push and pull
  69. Good or bad preacher
  70. Caricaturing and disapproving sceptics, religious critics and figured out ethics
  71. A true sermon is a real deed.
  72. What Should I Preach ?
  73. Truth, doubt or blindness
  74. Preachers should know and continue the task Jesus has given his followers
  75. How to Choose a Bible for Preaching
  76. Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News
  77. Missionary action paradigm for all endeavours of the church
  78. A new school-, academic and church year
  79. Kill the messenger
  80. Biblereading statue
  81. Record breaking preaching in Mount Dora
  82. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  83. Parish, local church community – Parochie, plaatselijke kerkgemeenschap
  84. Not all ability to preach

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Further reading:

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Announcement, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Spiritual affairs, World affairs

The Need to Understand Genre

When we look at the Book of books, the Bible, as we said in the previous article, it is important to take the words and genres as they are written down and passed on from one generation unto the next.

The Gutenberg Bible displayed by the United St...

The Gutenberg Bible displayed by the United States Library of Congress, demonstrating printed pages as a storage medium. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

God is a God of order and did not give His Words in such a form that ordinary people would not be able to understand it. It is written so that every person can get wisdom out of it.
It is true it is not directly written for us in this time, but has to be looked at writings for those times when those people were living in total different conditions than we now.

God has communicated His message to special individuals over thousands of years. But he wrote first for them, in their time and in their culture. He preserved the message for us, but it was first written to another people in another time. {The Bible is simple… right?}

In the knowledge that they had a  different cultural background to us, we should look at those writings from that standpoint.

The original audience was an ancient one. They knew nothing of the science, technology, medicine, and other things that define our modern world. They knew little of democracy, and literacy was not widespread. It is only in the modern era, from perhaps the 18th century onwards, that literacy has been common. Even today literacy is not as widespread as it should be. Consider then that the original audience most commonly would have heard rather than read the text! {The Bible is simple… right?}

As such the text often was intended to be of a format that people could easily remember. For this reason stories instead of literal or scientific reviews of happenings were a good way. Most important for the Biblical writers was to bring over the message of God. To convey His message and to bring it in such a way people at that time could understand it. Therefore we also should look for the intentions of the writing and for what is being emphasised in the passages.

One of the most important aspects of the human side of the Bible is that, in order to communicate his word to all human conditions, God chose to use almost every available kind of communication: narrative history, genealogies, chronicles, laws of all kinds, poetry of all kinds, proverbs, prophetic oracles, riddles, drama, biographical sketches, parables, letters, sermons, and apocalypses.

To interpret properly the “then and there” of the biblical texts, one must not only know some general rules that apply to all the words of the Bible, but one also needs to learn the special rules that apply to each of these literary forms (genres). The way God communicates the divine word to us in the “here and now” will often differ from one form to another. For example, we need to know how a psalm, a form often addressed to God, functions as God’s word to us, and how certain psalms differ from others, and how all of them differ from “the laws,” which were often addressed to people in cultural situations no longer in existence. How do such “laws” speak to us, and how do they differ from the moral “laws,” which are always valid in all circumstances? Such are the questions the dual nature of the Bible forces on us.

Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth (Fourth Edition.; Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2014), 26–27.

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Preceding articles:

Genre – Playing by the Rules

Summerholiday season time to read the Bible

Holiday making and dreaming

Home-stayers and their to do list

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Additional reading:

  1. Looking for something or for the Truth and what it might be and self-awareness
  2. The faithful God
  3. Have you also been deceived
  4. Increased in wisdom in favour with God
  5. The very very beginning 2 The Word and words
  6. Necessity of a revelation of creation 2 Organisation of a system of things
  7. Necessity of a revelation of creation 3 Getting understanding by Word of God 1
  8. Creator and Blogger God 11 Old and New Blog 1 Aimed at one man
  9. The Metaphorical language of the Bible
  10. Background to look at things

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14 Comments

Filed under Religious affairs

The I Am to explore

When looking at the world man and animal can be seen moving around, sometimes men going about more than wild beasts.

In that universe where everybody in his worldly life is so busy with working and with earning money to be able to buy as many gadgets as they would like and to make their material dreams realised, lots of people consider those who have faith in a Supreme Being to be loosers or people who live in fantasy worlds. Lots of them do believe that when in faith you just have to accept everything blindly. For them and many faith is a mystery, where you need to ask any questions.

It is true that we mortals can not understand everything. We could even say that we should not even try to understand everything. Question is if you may look at faith on a rational way. Can you believe in a Higher Being Which or Who created everything. And do you have to approach all the saying about It/Him rationally?

Portrait of René Descartes, dubbed the "F...

Portrait of René Descartes, dubbed the “Father of Modern Philosophy”, after Frans Hals c. 1648 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The last few years focus has been on the rationale. René Descartes with many followers could say “I think, therefore, I am”, and we can only agree because when you are not in existence you can not “be“. When born and not able to think the being of that person is also like as if without life and can not do anything. To be able to do something a creature (animal or man) has to think or to use its/his/her brains. Without the use of the brain, without letting the ‘electricity’ go through the nerves, creature shall not be able to do much. It has to receive something, analyse it, act and react to it. But before it can go into action and reaction it has to have knowledge of the self. It has to have a working ‘I am‘ and has to feel as an ‘I am‘.

Though man faces some problems.
First there is the “I am”, the “Self” which it has to come to face and has to try to understand.
Secondly it has to come to see that the “I am” is only part of a bigger part of “I Am”. When it comes to know that it can go searching for that Bigger “I Am” and hopefully shall come to recognise the “I Am Who Is” without nothing can exist.
Thirdly each little “I am” has to recognise that manifesting the “I am” demands interaction, but that such interaction is never ending. One word only points to another word and never to reality itself. Having brains thinking, receiving interpretations and having to make interpretations itself, it shall have to come to the conclusion that no one interpretation can ever be regarded as final.

As in interpretation, so in life: everything becomes undecidable.

Now there is a difference between all who want to understand and try to approach the many “I ams” in this world. Into this decidedly undecided world, there are people who have opened their eyes and have come to see what is behind the ordinary “I am”. They have found The Bigger “I Am.” They might have found it by listening to their inner voice or by coming to read, see and hear the Word of God. For them the curtains have gone open and the biblical message as reasonable thinking person has come to them with common sense. They have come to see and understand that Faith and logic are not really opposites.

Genesis 1 tells us that man was created in God’s image (Genesis 1: 26-27).

“26  Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:26-27 NAS)

Diagram from one of René Descartes' works.

Diagram from one of René Descartes’ works. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being created in the image of God, means also each person we see around us has something which might be found also in God. Each person we do encounter can carry something from God with him or her and can share it with others. The person who has come into the faith, believing there is a Creator Deity, and who has seen the Works of that God (Source of knowledge) shall also come to the understanding of the importance of sharing the knowledge of that “I am” with others. For the one with faith it is like being with child, incredible exiting and giving lots of energy. It is as an extra breath given to you.

In the past many man of all sorts of professions have already felt the special awareness and consequences for them of having faith in the Elohim, Divine Creator of heaven and earth. The “I Am Who Is” or the “I Am that I am” is the Most Almighty God of gods, Who overshadows any other god or “I am”. He is also One God Who demands recognition for His important Pole Position. He does not like to see that His creatures do love other gods more than Him. Believers, man of faith, should recognise that and take it into account, worshipping only that One and Only One True God.

To help us to understand that Bigger “I Am” and our own “I am” This Eternal Being has given His Words and let it hem be notated by the many faithful men. All those writings about the “I Am” are bundled in the Book of books, the Bible, the infallible Word of God.

In the several books of the Bible we can find a.o. the Book of Psalms in which we can find the answers:

  1. God gave us the Psalms and other Books of the Bible
  2. as a prayer book for our lives.
  3. to show the friends of God.
  4. to learn through poetry and song.
  5. to experience the transcendence and the imminence of God at once
  6. to affirm the mystery of life
  7. to educate and to exhort ourselves
  8. to show us our sins
  9. to remind us of the brevity of life
  10. to remind us of the necessity to live the right way
  11. to show us the way to a better and easier life
  12. to express our heartfelt longings
  13. to discover God His Character
  14. to discover God His Will for our lives
  15. to learn to direct ourselves to the utmost important things in life
  16. to learn how to behave
  17. to learn to pray aright
  18. to reveal His sovereign grace to us
  19. to show us the Way to Salvation
  20. to show us and give comfort in finding the Way to the Kingdom of God

Created in the image of God, the image of the Big “I Am” this is not just an outward likeness, for God is Spirit, and is only for our understanding presented in a description which is derived from that of a human. Upon further reading in the Book of books, the Bible, we can see that God’s Word reveals that humans, unlike animals, are provided with rational. Man can think and reason logically, but above all he is able to know God; and the latter goes. An animal has no sense of higher values, let alone God, a man does. But that is also exactly what sets him apart. A man who does not have these capabilities, or does not use them, is indeed no more than an animal:

“Man in [his] pomp, yet without understanding, Is like the beasts that perish.” (Psalms 49:20 NAS)

In fact, it is precisely this ability to abstract reasoning that,

according to the apostle Paul, makes the infidel shall not go unpunished because when he looks around himself he should be able to see the many things God provided. It might be true that the invisible things of God can not be seen, but even his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived since the creation of the world are working with the mind, so that they are without excuse.

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20 NAS)
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Preceding articles:

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Additional readings:

  1. What is life?
  2. Looking at three “I am” s
  3. Creator and Blogger God 2 Image and likeness
  4. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  5. Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality
  6. Looking for True Spirituality 2 Not restricted to an elite
  7. Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience
  8. Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life
  9. Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people
  10. Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences
  11. Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists
  12. Improving the world by improving the Faith
  13. Are you religious, spiritual, or do you belong to a religion, having a faith or interfaith
  14. Faith because of the questions
  15. A Living Faith #9 Our Manner of Life
  16. Fear of failure, and fear of the unknown
  17. Looking for something or for the Truth and what it might be and self-awareness
  18. Leaving behind the lives we have touched.
  19. Only the contrite self, sick of its pretensions, can find salvation
  20. God won’t ask
  21. Pieces
  22. There is no true and constant gentleness without humility
  23. For those who make other choices
  24. Do you believe in One god?
  25. Revelation 1:8 – Who is Speaking?
  26. Use of /Gebruik van Jehovah or/of Yahweh in Bible Translations/Bijbel vertalingen
  27. Without God no purpose, no goal, no hope
  28. Only worhsip Creator of all things
  29. A great man does not lose his self-possession when he is afflicted

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  • Love: Reuniting the objective and subjective… (thosecatholicmen.com)
    The modern world has fallen into a dualism of body and soul in many ways. Descartes, a founding father of modern philosophy described the soul as a “ghost in a machine.” It is only too easy to focus on the body in an animalistic fashion, focused on pleasure and gratification. The opposite extreme is to fall into emotionalism or even a spiritualism that sees no compelling connection to the body.
  • Descartes and the Begining of Modern Philosophy (joshpcb.wordpress.com)

    n the 17th and 18th century Western philosophy was in strife – split between British empiricism (figures such as Locke and Bacon) and continental rationalism (such proponents as Leibniz and Spinoza), both camps disagreed with one another on the topic of epistemology and metaphysics.

    Important to add to the context is that in this time, scholasticism was the most prestigious method of education; it entailed Aristotelian values with a significant religion input. Scholasticism used logical methodology to deduce and then resolve contradictions. It was also qualitative, looking at objects and people and how they worked behaved, i.e., their qualities, and it was this manner in which Descartes was educated

  • Last lecture of the semester: Foucault and Derrida on Madness (foucaultnews.com)
    We need a history of that other trick that madness plays—that other trick through which men, in the gesture of sovereign reason that locks up their neighbor, communicate and recognize each other in the merciless language of non-madness; we need to identify this moment of that expulsion before it was definitely established in the reign of truth, before it was brought back to life by the lyricism of protestation. To try to recapture, in history, this degree zero of the history of madness, when it was undifferentiated experience, the still undivided experience of the division [of madness and reason] itself. To describe…[what] allows Reason and Madness to fall away, like things henceforth foreign to each other, deaf to any exchange, almost dead to each other. (my emphases)

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