Bruises in Perspective

BFB211120 Galaxy You Are Here
Panoramic view of the entire sky as seen by Two Micron All-Sky Survey. (Original image: NASA/JPL photo PIA04250). 

Being all alone in the universe is scary. The good news is that we are not alone: there is a Creator Who wants to dwell with us. However, it’s still scary when we realize there’s a long, painful process involved in becoming the precious vessels He designed for His dwelling.

Genesis 32:3-36:43; Psalm 118:22-29; Isaiah 8:14-15; Daniel 2:31-45; Obadiah 1; Matthew 21:41-44; Hebrews 11:6

Click here to listen to the podcast: Bruises in Perspective

Click here to download the transcript: Bruises in Perspective.pdf

Music: “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy,” 100 Greatest TV Themes, Silva Screen Records Ltd. 2002.

Fox Byte 5775 #8: VaYishlach (And He Sent)

וַיִּשְׁלַח

Florida State University, where the seeds of my first great crisis of faith matured.  (FSU Westcott Building, Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
Florida State University, where the seeds of my first great crisis of faith matured. (FSU Westcott Building, Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

There was a time I wrestled with God.  The wrestling match began in my teenage years, when I detected certain inconsistencies in the instruction handed down from my elders.  From my Southern Baptist church and family I learned that God had given free will to every human being, and that we could choose whether to follow Him or not.  From my Presbyterian school I learned that God had foreordained everything, and that a process called predestination somehow influenced the choices we make.  This was not the only inconsistency encountered in my Christian upbringing; there were and still are many.  The question of free will and predestination, however, shaped the context of my wrestling with God from the beginning.  I had no reason to doubt the sincerity of my elders, nor had I reason to question the truth of what they taught me.  What I questioned was how these seemingly incompatible truths fit together.  I still do not have the answer, but a very wise man helped me find a way through the dilemma.  He was my Bible teacher.  One day in class someone asked him to explain which was correct, free will or predestination.  He may have been the only person in the school qualified to answer that question.  He was an ordained Baptist minister, and had had ample opportunity to consider the subject as he taught Bible in our Presbyterian academy.  His answer was surprisingly Hebraic, both imminently satisfying and frightfully frustrating:  he asked us if both concepts were present in the Bible.  When we said yes, he said, “Then they both must be true.”  And that was the end of the matter.

And the beginning.

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