Sunday, July 11, 2010

"There's No Way To Describe What I Do. It's Just Me." -- Andy Kaufman

Remember that time I finally posted a new post?

I know how lame it is to check your favorite blogs and see that it still hasn't been updated with a new post! Don't you hate that!? And since I know that this is your favorite blog, I think you can relate. Going too long without a fresh dose of Dave can ruin anyone's mood...

With that in mind, let me proceed! We'll start with more theology!

I took the "Eternal Judgment" topic over to the Theology Forums at Faithwriters. It's an online Christian writer's community that I've "belonged" to for years. In fact, I don't know that I've ever plugged them here before! If you're a Christian, and a writer, check them out! Maybe you'll like it too! They have a lot to offer. Here is the site, and here is the forum. Actually, Faithwriter's is where I know Havah and Paula from...

Anyway, I took the Eternal Judgment discussion over there, to see what they had to say. And I also started a thread on the "who you are vs. what you do" topic... did I discuss that one here? I don't recall... basically, the idea is that God loves/values us based on who we are, not on what we do. My question was: what other way is there to know "who someone is" except by seeing what they do/say? I'm not saying that "what we do" and "who we are" is synonymous - I just don't think they can be separated easily, that's all. I think what we do is a good reflection of who we are...

I don't mean what we do for a living - I mean our behavior each day - the decisions we make. If God loves "who we are" without reference to "what we do" then why does the ENTIRE BIBLE from Genesis to Revelation place great importance on what we do? Whenever you see God angry in the Bible, He is angry at the way His people are behaving. Seems to me that "what we do" is of paramount importance - and can even lead to that "eternal judgment" we've been chewing on here.

If in my heart I want to be an adulterer (for example) but use self-control and force myself to stay true, which one is the "real me"? The one that wants to sin? Or the one that modifies my behavior to keep from giving in to what my heart wants to do? Which one is "who I am" and which is "what I do"? Aren't they both intricately tied together? If I decide to cheat, does God still love "who I am"? If I resist the sin, does God love me more/less? Does my behavior really have no impact on whether God loves/values me? If not, then why resist sin?

And check out this verse:

Deuteronomy 8:2
Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 

Well, does God know what's in our hearts, or does He have to find out (through our behavior) like everyone else? And if He loved/valued them for who they were, then why did He need to test them and see if they'd keep His commands or not? Would it be moot?

I think this idea has kind of crippled the gospel/church, really. "Yeah, I sinned, but it's ok, God knows my heart." As though we're expected to sin, and God is ready to forgive, so ultimately it doesn't matter if we sin or not, or if we resist sin or not. It's a separate issue.

In other words, God loves us for "who we are" and not "what we do".

I just don't buy it.

So again, the question is: what other way is there for us to know who a person is except by seeing what they do and hearing what they say? Is there another way?

Wow, theological rant time! Sorry about that... I better break things up with a funny picture or something...

You gotta love a good pun. 

So my two eldest daughters come home to us on Monday. Yay! Today was Middle Daughter's 15th birthday. I'm looking forward to getting them home safely. I think they're just as anxious to return home. This is the first time, really, that they've gone anywhere solo, without one or more parents tagging along, ever. I think 12 days was too long. They want to come home. I don't think it was like they imagined it would be.

I'm making good progress on Device and Desires, by KJ Parker. Good stuff, so far. I really like Parker's writing style.

Hey, if you get a chance, head over to The Writer's Notebook blog. He has a review of the Extended LOTR trilogy up, which he recently watched back-to-back-to-back in one sitting. A monumental task, if you ask me. Not sure I could do that, as much as I love the trilogy. He also has a review of Steven King's classic book IT, which is a good read (the review is a good read, I mean, though the book certainly has its merits). I remember reading IT twice back in high school - and really enjoyed it, for the most part. But I also really enjoyed The Talisman back in high school too, and y'all remember what happened when I re-read The Talisman last year... a great disappointment. That experience prevents me from wanting to re-read IT. I'd rather just hang onto the faded, fond memories of it.

While we're on the subject of book reviews, Rebecca has a new post up, where she does quick reviews of three books: The Lies of Locke Lamora (Lynch), The Lacuna (Kingslover), and Under This Unbroken Sky (Mitchell). If you're curious about her thoughts on those books, click this link to go there.

And Logan has a review of a book of short stories simply called Stories, which was edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio. Did Logan like it? Well, go over there and see! Sheesh!

This is a three-panel segment from a webcomic I saw recently that amused me greatly... there was story before and after it, but it wouldn't have made sense to y'all. This small section stands alone well, I thought. I dig this kind of humor...

Dangit, I didn't save the link (or even the name) to this webcomic... lemme see if I can track it down and edit it in later...

Sorry, no funny videos for you tonight. I'll keep looking...

I think I'm going to call it a night. The beard is growing back nicely. All will be well soon.

Until we meet again...



Abbie said...

Pop had an interesting thought - that God has His perfect plan all mapped out for every individual, and it is our job to us to either choose to find out His plan for us, or do our own thing. He was referring to this verse:
Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
I guess that also means no behavior modification, but actual change in our minds, so it isn't in us anymore.
Those are just my thoughts on it. I like your rants dave....

And I'm glad your girls are coming home too!

logankstewart said...

I don't have time to think about this. Life's been quite busy of late. But the webcomic is Dresden Codak, or at least I think that's what it is. Excellent post; I'll have to get back to it later.