Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Thoughts on 'The Inner Ring'

In C.S. Lewis' writing The Inner Ring he discusses groups that people are affiliated with and what those groups represent. He explained how these groups are everywhere; how some are small, some are big, and how some groups are within other groups. Each group has their own thing that they only know about.

People will sometimes change their actions to get into one of these groups. C.S. Lewis raises the question if anyone is ever happy with what they did to get into that group. I think these groups can be a good thing sometimes. Some groups motivate people to work hard so that they can join the group, such as military groups or academic groups.

We need to understand that these groups are not everything. When people become too consumed with what your group is doing they loose sight of what is best them as an individual.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Thoughts on 'The Problem of Pain'

In the chapter that we read of The Problem of Pain, Human Pain, C.S. Lewis addresses the issue of how a purely good God that is omnipotent could allow pain to happen. Lewis explains that it is us, not God, that have created pain. He says that God did not create the whip, we did.

God created Earth in perfect harmony. Evil did not come into the world until Adam and Eve brought it here. God did create everything, so evil had to come from some place. Unless evil is not something that can be made. Evil is the absence of good, just as darkness is the absence of light.

Some people argue that it does not matter that God did not create evil, because he still allows evil to happen. God does not simply allow evil to happen though. God gave people free will; we all have the choice to follow God or not to follow God. The gift of free will is a good gift and we have abused it. We have allowed evil into our hearts. If God were to purge the world of evil he would have to split the soul of every person into two. The battle between good and evil is not simply between those who are good and those who are evil, it is a constant battle that we fight every day in the depths of our soul. It is only through the power of Christ that we can be redeemed despite the evil in our lives.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Engaging God's World, Chapter 4 Redemption

At the very beginning of the fourth chapter of Engaging God's World Cornelius Plantinga defines grace as mercy to undeserving. By this definition we all receive God's grace, because none of us deserve to go to heaven. Sometimes people get caught up in saying that it's not fair that some people have to go to hell, but it is quite the reverse. None of us deserve to go to heaven, because we have all sinned, but through God's grace we are given the opportunity to go to heaven.

Recieving this grace might sound fairly simple, but it is a constant battle. God has given us a guide to follow though. Plantinga claims that the Ten Commandments are a recipe for freedom. Even though we have ten absolute laws our lives and the Church can always be improved. We do not need to change the Ten Commandment; we need to change the way we live our lives. There is always room for improvement.

Plantinga points out that we all need a miracle. None of us can do this on our own; none of us can redeem ourselves or lead perfectly Christian lives. It is through the saving grace of Jesus Christ that we are all saved.

Thoughts on 'Man or Rabbit'

In C.S. Lewis' writing Man or Rabbit he answers the question of whether or not a person can lead a good life without being a Christian. Lewis seems to think this is a stupid question. He does not think anyone could simply want to live a good life without caring about believing anything. If a person has no set of beliefs how do they know what is right or wrong? A person has to believe in something to consider the life they have lead a good or a bad one.

Lewis raises the point that leading a good life is just going through the motions if it is not for an end goal. As Christians we believe that we are made for a better place and this life is only a means to an end. An atheist leads a life of no meaning, because according to them everyone lives for around eighty years and then their life simply comes to an end. Without God there is no purpose to any of our lives.

Lewis also points out that without God's help none of us can be moral. We are all fallen beings and without God's help we would all dwell in our sin. God helps us and brings us up since he is the ultimate good in the universe.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Thoughts on 'Abolition of Man'

In Abolition of Man C.S. Lewis talks about man's rule over nature. He talks about how we should not become to consumed with the world we currently occupy. We are meant for a world beyond this one. Lots of people are too worried about material things that do not concern God. People need to realize that knowledge over this world has value, but it is second to the Lord.

God wants us to live our lives in this world, but we have to realize that there is more. For thousands of years people have been too concerned with conquering nature, when we really need to work on is improving ourselves. This does not give us permission to be selfish and only think about what we want. We need to care more than anything about God and other people. For those are things that will matter in this life and the next. Material goods of this world are finite. God is eternal.

There are so many theories and beliefs in our world that are entirely based on facts people received from finite things of this world. We need to focus on what we have learned from God and to never put too much emphasis on things of this world.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thoughts on 'The Four Loves'

In C.S. Lewis' book The Four Loves Lewis discusses eros in the third chapter of his book. He defines eros as the state of being in love. To me he makes it sound sort of like a crush. It is not lust for someone though; it is the passion of a relationship. The new found love that two newly weds feel for one another.

Lewis goes through each of the four loves in four different chapters. He emphasizes that we need to have all four of these loves to have a lasting relationship with someone else. Storge is the type of love that a mother and her child share. It is the affection that two people have for each other; the caring a mother feels for her son or daughter.

Philia could be best described as friendship. Liking another person and being able to have fun with them. This is a very important component to a relationship. People can care for each other, but if two people never have fun together there relationship will not last.

The most important part of a relationship is agape. The love of God that brings to people together. This is why it is so important to be a mutually christian relationship, so both members of the relationship move closer to each other as they move closer to God.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Engaging God's World, Chapter 5 Vocation

In chapter 5 of Cornelius Plantinga Jr.'s book Engaging God's world Plantinga discusses vocation. Plantinga explains that each of us has our own life and situations that we have to keep pure and holy. We also have to help others do the same; we cannot just stay in our own little christian bubble. We all have a small kingdom of God that we need to help preserve within the kingdom of God that contains everyone everywhere.

Plantinga tells us that Jesus accomplished a lot in his time here on Earth, but he also left us a lot to do and work on. We all have so much that we can work on during our short time on Earth. Jesus has called us all to lead selfless lives. With all the problems in our self and in the world there is lot to work on in very little time.

Later Plantinga talks about what college should train us for. It should not just train us for our future career, it should prepare us for our living in God's kingdom.