Why Making Decisions Is So Hard – Tim Challies 為何做決定這麼困難

Making decisions is one of the most difficult things we do.  If it is that hard to choose between the mint chocolate chip and the rocky road, how much more do we agonize over this church or that church, this school or that school, this job or that job, this person or that person? We pray, we sweat, we weep, we read, we toss, we turn. Why this fear? Why this agony? Why these sleepless nights? It is the uncertainty …

Source: Why Making Decisions Is So Hard – Tim Challies

為何做決定這麼困難 中文版 Chinese version

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Why Natural Selection is probably a misnomer

I think natural selection is somewhat of a misnomer. Even natural processes can be God directed.

For example, the cold winters were planned and executed precisely and intently, down to the exact temperature and duration, to cause necessary intended changes to happen on earth…

Here is a slightly less vague example to help, before I dig up the details on the one given above.

I was in the Chicago Field Museum and was wowed out of my mind by the guide’s introduction of Lignans – introduction of new type of cells, buidling blocks of trees, that cannot be digested by anything on the planet at that time, and then all these were buried and turned into pressurized into coal millions of years later. That blew my mind. Imagine x years of trees grown all over earth rapidly then when they die they just accumulated pile high. Then the pressure and their own weight (plus maybe some geology and tectonics) made them into fuel that we use and rely on today. How did this cell lignan suddently come to existence and why? And why wasn’t there anything that could digest it??

Science can discover and observe but only history, philosophy, theology can tell us why. Even all the human disciplines added together cannot know everything, so how can One human discipline claim know everything and have the right answer?

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The fickleness of “Like” 讚的短暫易變

人的喜好真的是會一直改變的。

People really are fickle with their preferences and likes.

五個月來都看不順眼的紅色開水壺今天突然讓我賞心悅目。

An “kische” red tea kettle I couldn’t stand for five months suddenly looks particularly fitting and pleasant in my kitchen and pleasant today.

為了它天涯海角,不惜出高價住辦公室旁,不計時數,不算加班費還自掏腰包,不吃不睡,熬冰熬火,辛苦奮鬥,苦苦衝刺了就快兩年的工作(之前的相關工作和碩士學位也是費盡心血下盡工夫苦熬了四年才換來的),竟然食之無味,心灰意冷。

A career I gave almost everything for – moved great distances leaving friends, culture and family, pouring in countless hours and dollars, sacrificing sleep and recreation, frequently enduring harsh weather conditions both extreme cold and hot, exerting both lots of heavy lifting and intensive thinking and learning… suddenly one day became completely uninteresting and pointless.

說人的審美疲勞也不過兩三年- 花大筆錢裝修添置家具久了也沒味道了。

They say people have aesthetic fatigue that hits in every two or three years. One can spend a fortune on a kitchen reno and some new furniture but after a while it will all lose appeal.

但上帝是可靠的,完美的,永遠的。祂靈活多樣且能適應無限樣情境變化,但祂真理,旨意,美意不變。祂的智慧是全方位全時間的,我的片面見解永遠比不上祂的所知所見。

But God is reliable, perfect, and eternal. He is live and manifold, meeting infinitude of different needs and circumstances, but remaining unchanged – His perfect truth and will will never change. His wisdom is all encompassing, through all time. My partial views an piecemeal understanding will never compare to His perspective and awareness.

感謝上帝才是能依靠的。我怎能依靠善變浮躁、心猿意馬的自己呢?

Thank God that He is reliable. How can I depend on fickle me?

不管我現在愛什麼、不愛什麼;不管我現在想不想怎樣、做不做這個 – 這些都有它的不確定性在。這就是為什麼我們人類常常會後悔。但上帝 – 祂是不變的,全知全能的。跟隨愛我們純粹只為我們好的祂 – 才是超乎我們能想像、超乎我們能了解的穩妥。

Whatever I love right now, or hate right now; whatever I want to do something or not – these all have its inherent uncertainties.  This is why there is the plague of regret of any member of humanity.  But God – He is unchanging, omniscient and omnipotent.  Following He, who loves us and only wants the very best for us, is the only way to peace and security that is far beyond our imagination and understanding.

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Jesus – Logician and Lord

An interesting look at the intellectual prowress – or lack thereof – of Jesus.

https://theologicalmatters.com/2018/05/22/jesus-logician-and-lord/

By Travis Dickinson

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Q&A with Michael Ramsden, Tom Price Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics

Q1 (1:00) 與非基督徒對答時,尤其是與一些聰明,對聖經略有所知的非基督徒,他們總會拿聖經文來跟我抬槓,要我解釋為什麼基督徒的行為像是從聖經挑挑選選過,僅服某些教條而不服其他另外些教條,例如,怎麼同性性愛是不被允許的,但女人帶領牧眾講道就ok。我嘗試研究一下,但讀到很多互相衝突的意見。

主持人代言:換句話說,我跟他們講一些聖經裡的真理時,他們就說那些是你挑來講的,我不服。那麼,我們真的挑三剔四的嗎?如何回應這種質疑呢?

A1 (Tom Price – 4:58) 應 – “我們似乎以個人偏好/利益來揀選經文”的這個疑問— 神學這個領域是含有極為嚴格的構架、理論、規範、和紀律的。當我們真正深入研讀聖經研究聖經來看它到底在說什麼的時候,我們會注意到有某些想法、某些主題會浮現出來,而且會貫穿全書,例如,上帝會說話的這個主題,上帝會與人溝通,向人顯現自己的特徵和性質,祂會表達祂希望人們如何來生活,而有時候祂對我們的要求跟我們自己想做的很不一樣。當我們凡人與上帝交流時,不管我們是什麼狀況- 有同性吸引的掙扎、自認是同性戀、或自認是中性或無性別、或我們是異性戀,不管是什麼狀況,我們與上帝會面時,祂即是最驚艷最完美最聖潔的存在,那麼當然祂這完美聖潔的創造者,面對我們這些被造物,祂一定是會挑戰我們每個人生命裡的每一部分,那我們就必須面對上帝對這些事情的看法,祂說這個是該怎麼樣,等,也都是應該的。我覺得我們生命裡沒有任何一部分是應該藏起來的,應該攤開雙手給上帝教導我們更正我們,看祂要我們怎麼去辦。那我們回到這個“說話[或啟示人]的上帝”這個主題時,我們就會注意到,上帝給我們的種種挑戰種種話語和教導,有些在聖經裡連綿不斷持續幾千年、各種不同場景都一貫不變的,有些則不是,而是在某些情況某些時間指定的。

例如,“一對”的這個主題,或是“家庭”的這個主題,上帝賦予“一對”還有做出“一個家庭組織”的模樣,是從創世紀就描繪地很清楚的,且都沒有變的,這個主題: 一男一女倆由婚姻到一起成為一體,這個主題從一開始就持續,到最後。[RL comment – not when Paul said it was fine to stay single and Jesus said in the new world people will be like angels and there will be no marriage – but acknolwedge that there was still the metaphor of the Lamb’s marriage]。而那些說女人該怎麼樣,或對某些做法的要求的一些指示, 是在某些特定時段、特定狀況、特定文化環境或面對某種特定挑戰的時候的教導。聖經裡有些部分描述女人必須戴特定的頭蓋,但另一方面,女人是第一發現耶穌的空墓的重要角色,而且耶穌在一個不把女人和小孩當人看的年代背景,一反主流文化地非常歡迎女人和孩童來接近他,這是沒有任何一個遠古時代的偉人聖人做到的。有些學者甚至認為,耶穌對女人和孩童的親切和照顧態度,撒下了往後婦女解放運動的種子。古時重男輕女的狀況在當時的環境是嚴重到女嬰經常被拋棄致死,因為人們總要男嬰來繼承家業。而耶穌對婦女和孩童的態度是完全不同。總之,有些訓導是應與某些特定時段,而有些訓導則能夠清楚觀察到上帝對我們一貫地、超時空地、不變地、清楚地諄諄教誨。

還有另一個因素。舊約裡有種種不一樣的律法。其中有許多儀式律法,是有預示性前兆性的律法,暗示耶穌的到來和他會在十字架上成就的事情。那麼這種類的律法當然在真正耶穌到來,在十字架上犧牲受死後成就了所需做的工作後,即不再需要被繼續執行了。那麼就在更廣的神學觀點來說,一點也不矛盾,反倒是圓滿完善(totally consistent)- 耶穌的十字架,清楚顯明了過往儀式律法的真正意義所在。

那還有一些是常識 – 在沙漠裡別吃豬肉- 因為豬肉容易腐敗。

多學習認真摸索上帝的真意,並以耶穌為鏡,以耶穌為中心,就能清楚了解所有事情的來龍去脈和重要性了。

這麼看來,就有條理了,我們並不是隨隨便便瘋了傻了,以偏好來挑選自己當下想要服從,合乎自己口味的聖經條例為條例。

教會還是有很大的工程得做,我們必須更加地接受他人,愛護與我們不同的人。這是很重要的,因為聖經裡一貫性地教導我們要照顧外人、接受外人、接受與我們不同的人 (be hospitable to the foreigner)。我們也要好好遵守。

主持人:Q1A1 總結就是,我們必須要有正氣 [integrity 這個字英文裡含義是“一貫性,整合性,不三三四四,不分裂],要懂得謙卑,即是清楚知道,有些話題,有些疑問,是比較困難的,不是那麼容易快速回答的;這也許都要花好幾年好好跟人相處,要長期思考、長期討論、交流,才能得出真正答案,才能真的轉換、感動人心的。我們應不怕說,“我不知道”。來,大家好好來說,“我不知道”。[“我不知道,但我很願意跟你一起探索這個問題”]。說我不知道,或我不知道聖經裡的某些章節或前因後果,不代表我們信心失敗。Tom 是說,我們應該要了解聖經,也邀請他人來討論。耶穌才是主題;許多人爭辯對末世如何發生最正確的見解,或其他的辯論話題—- 這些都是皮毛,不要花時間在那上面。真正重要的是耶穌。我們的話題,應該鎖準耶穌為重點,才有力量。

[待續]

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Saying Goodbye to Anthony Bourdain, and the ‘Bourdain Soul’

See my response to this post. I had wanted to write a tribute to Anthony Bourdain on my own but hadn’t gotten started in time.  Eric’s post provided the perfect opportunity for me to collaboratively discuss Bourdain with other thinkers and fans, so I posted as a comment – an article-length comment.  Things are always better in interaction.

Eric Hyde's Blog

anthony-bourdain mug

If you don’t know who Anthony Bourdain is it’s probably because you hate traveling and good food. He was THE perennial all-star travel and food critic; he held the job that I, and anyone with any sense of sense, dreamed of having.

And besides the actual Anthony Bourdain – the witty, sarcastic, crass storyteller, chef extraordinaire – I think many fans have a place in their souls which could be called the ‘Bourdain soul’; that special place in the psyche lost in dreams of endless travel and culinary luxury. This dream would remain pure fantasy if it were not for a select few people, like Anthony Bourdain, who actually lived the dream.

Now, I’m not totally foolish. I know from the dozens of celebrity suicides in the past that the luxurious life does not guarantee a paradise of soul; I know from endless readings of my spiritual heroes of the…

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Michael Ramsden – is belief in Jesus Christ irrational

Thinking you can do away with all questions about God just because you have science, is like having a cake, a beautifully decorated and delicious one, then having biologists, chemists, physicists explain it by the physical sciences. Telling of the chemical and physical processes of its making.

But there are other answers that only the cakemaker could satisfyingly and enlighteningly give, that the scientists couldn’t. Such as, why did you make the cake? What’s the story?

The cake maker might say, I made the cake for my grandma’s birthday.

You can be totally rational, and totally wrong.

你可以非常理智,但完全错误。

Insanity is when you lost everything but your rationality.

当你失去一切而僅剩你的理智,那才真的是疯了。

https://youtu.be/VcxAPigdZAA

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Stephen Meyer on Intelligent Design

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Biblical Archaeology Dr. John Bloom, Biola University

 

These lectures are great, especially because for October 2017 in my C.S. Lewis Fellows Program we rigorously scrutinized the origin, historicity, and the reliability of the Bible (Old and New Testament and how it came through the thousands of years of its history).  This is absolutely fascinating.  I have long contemplated going into graduate school for apologetics and this is another nudge in this direction.

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23 Reasons Why Scholars Know Jesus Is Not A Copy Of Pagan Religions.

Source: 23 Reasons Why Scholars Know Jesus Is Not A Copy Of Pagan Religions.

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