Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Old Theological Fires, Quakes, and Books
What a week it's been. Can't keep Japan out of my mind. Each day brings new photos, new videos, new news about the problems with the nuke plant. How hard can one country take it on the chin? I mean, I know people are resilient creatures, but after a while, I start to wonder about breaking points and things...
There seems to be quite a number of epic-level events these past half-dozen years or so. The Boxing Day quake/tsunami, the quake in Haiti, that quake in China a couple years back, the New Zealand quakes... I can't help but be reminded of particular verses like Hebrews 12:26-29, etc., that talk about God shaking the earth and the heavens.
It also brings back to mind certain conversations I have within myself that I've rarely felt I've come to any sort of satisfying resolutions over. Such as, when things like this happen, it takes a prominent space in my mind, and I wrestle with the issue of balance. If I dwell on it for long lengths of time, it feels like it will crush me. If I squirrel it away into a corner of my mind and softly close the door, trying to "go on with life", does that minimize the severity of the event? I find myself praying about the situation over there quite constantly, at least in some part of my heart. Does everyone find their own level, as far as internally handling huge things like this, or is there a standard approach God expects of us?
Of course, the bigger discussion is one my brain goes to often, in reference to many things - but it fits this event perfectly. How involved is God in every aspect of this event, if all? Did He decide when, where and how powerful the quake would be? Did He initiate it, knowing full well what would happen? Did He specifically decide who would live and who would die? Is He deciding, as I write this, how bad things will get with the nuclear reactor over there, and every person that will be affected? Or did He merely set up a self-sustaining system (the earth) with its shifting tectonic plates, and then He oversees it as it goes about its necessary business of shifting and moving and colliding and subverting? Is a quake of this magnitude (and all that it brought with it) basically just a byproduct of a system God set in motion, and He merely presides over it, letting events unfold as they may, while intervening here and there, based on who calls out for Him, etc.?
I've expressed similar thoughts previously here about wars, and whether God directs the trajectory of every bullet fired, and decides who will get hit, who will live, who will die... or if the bullets take their own path based on physics and environmental conditions and other factors, and God presides over it all, perhaps intervening here and there, but for the most part letting it play out according to the system He set up?
How involved is He in every detail? Does He micromanage everything? Or is the bulk of it determined by the (relatively) self-sustaining set of systems He has put in place here?
I know I've waxed boring on such topics here before, I apologize for the well-worn trail I'm wandering down here. I just can't help but ask these questions again, at times like this. My brain keeps spinning it around - I wish I could settle on an acceptable answer or set of answers.
Check this video out - it will freak you out. It's only 3 minutes long, please let it run through. You don't get a really good feel for it until about a minute in.
I want to change the subject to lighter stuff - I don't want to add to the weight on hearts like mine. But I don't want to come across as needlessly goofy or absurd, like I normally roll. I think I'll keep this post mellow and save the nonsense for another time.
I decided to taste A Wise Man's Fear to see what it's like, and surprise, surprise! I'm hooked and devouring it as we speak. About 75% through at the moment. I'll have a review up soon, for those that find such things curious. KJ Parker is on hold, as is an eBook sent to me by an author named Val Gunn. It's called In the Shadow of Swords, and I'm only a scant 20 pages into it. Seems fairly standard Fantasy fare at the moment, but I'll dive in and see, and post a review of that as well.
I'm sure many of you have seen this, but I wanted to post it because it's cool, and to test and see if clicking it will pull up the ultra-high-res version for you to get a good look at the detail, or if it will re-size it to a certain size. Click it and let me know what you think. My man, Boromir! He owns.
I still have to read the Song of Ice and Fire series again before July. Hope I don't get burnt out on the series by the time Volume 5 is released.
OK, I'm done. Sorry for the serious, mellow nature of this post. I'll post again soon.