Does faith in the personal God of Scripture make sense if we acknowledge that we do not have free will? This blog presupposes that we don’t have free will, but argues that far from being a source of anxiety or even a death sentence for faith, our lack of free will may actually be the central point of Scripture and essential to our inherent human dignity.
August 10, 2016 - Whoever Loves His Life Loses It.
loves his life loses it,
and whoever hates his life in this world
will preserve it for eternal life.
readily, and perhaps even reflexively accept that ‘loving life’ in this context
means being too focused on the accumulation of wealth and stuff. The happiness from these things does not last
and often the things themselves don’t last.
We might also note that career advancement, beauty and fame don’t last
physical fitness also doesn’t last. Memories
don’t outlive us. Neither does our education
or efforts to achieve wisdom. The effect
of charity may persist for a while, but just as often as not, it also fades.
don’t think Jesus is advising us to abandon acquisitive practical goals in
favor of non-acquisitive practical goals. The message is more radical than that. I think it is more likely that Jesus
is stating the obvious fact that everything we do to achieve practical benefits
is in vain, as Quoheleth states in Ecclesiastes.
is not a moral code. Rather, it invites us to think existentially. It invites
us to see ourselves as more than just what we can do for each other or for
God. It invites us to see God as more
than just what He does for us. The answer
to the question, “what is faith for”, is, “nothing”. But faith still has extraordinary value.
accept Jesus’ message requires more than acceptance of a different idea. It requires a different way of seeing. But, like the classic drawing of the duck head,
once you see the rabbit head facing the other way you cannot un-see it. Others
can say angrily insist that you are self-deceived if you think you see something they don’t, but you
know the truth.