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Monthly Archives: March 2007

chapter III – the doctrine of Truth

“happy is he to whom truth manifests itself, not in signs and words that fade, but as it actually is” (5).

often Truth is thought of as some kind of virtue or object which is worthy of our study. it is not, however, thought of as a person. what if Jesus is Truth. to know Truth, would then cease to be intellectual pursuit of some transcendant thing, and would become knowing Jesus. it is all too often we pursue knowledge aside from pursuing Christ. what if truth was made manifest and revealed to mankind? what if we could know Truth?

“what good is much discussion of involved and obscure matters when our ignorance of them will not be held against us on Judgement Day? neglect of things which are profitable and necessary and undue concern with those which are irrelevant and harmful, are great folly. we have eyes and do not see” (5).

this, unfortunately, is the case with much of philosphy. for example, i am an active member on a forum called youthpoint. i cannot recall the number of times people have got into heated debates and discussion over things which are “irrelevant and harmful.” the same can be said for the katimavik at tyndale. the kat is a often a place of theological (or not so theological) debate and discussion. i am not trying to imply that there is a problem with discussing theology, however, it is not usually worth being argumentative over. the bottom line is that with many of these issues, our ignorance of them “will not be hald against us on Judgement Day.” rather, we ought to redirect our attention to issues “which are profitable and necessary,” so that Christ’s Kingdom may be advanced.

“he to whom the Eternal Word speaks is free from theorizing. for from this Word are all things and of Him all things speak…without this Word no man understands or judges aright. he to whom it becomes everything, who traces all things to it and who sees all things in it, may ease his heart and remain at peace with God” (5).

how often scholars pursue knowledge while forsaking the Eternal Word. how often, we Christians, pursue Christ but forsake the Scriptures. to know this Word and to be one with him is to remain at peace with God. it is true that faith without works is dead. but deader still are works without faith, for what good are good actions if the soul remains disconnected from it’s Creator.

“o God, You Who are the truth, make me one with You in love everlasting. i am often wearied by the many things i hear and read, but in You is all that i long for. let the learned be still, let all creatures be silent before You; You alone speak to me” (6).

“…in You is all that i long for…You alone speak to me.” nuff said.

“the more recollected a man is, and the more simple of heart he becomes, the easier he understands sublime things, for he receives the light of knowledge from above” (6).

“this ought to be our purpose, then: to conquer self, to become stronger each day, to advance in virtue” (6).

“humble knowledge of self is a surer path to God than the ardent pursuit of learning. not that learning is to be considered evil, or knowledge, which is good in itself and so ordained by God; but a clean conscience and virtuous life ought always to be preferred. many often err and accomplish little or nothing because they try to become learned rather than to live well” (6-7).

knowledge without action (wisdom) is like faith without works, dead. to follow Christ and obey is far greater than the pursuit of knowledge.

“if men used as much care in uprooting vices and implanting virtues as they do in discussing problems, there would not be so much evil and scandal in the world, or such laxity in religious organizations. on the day of judgement, surely, we shall not be asked what we have read but what we have done; not how well we have spoken but how well we have lived” (7).

“how many there are who perish because of vain worldly knowledge and too little care for serving God. they became vain in their own conceits because they chose to be great rather than humble” (7).

this is it. there is no other way to follow Christ than to humble oneself. it is the only way. worldly knowledge is vanity and  cannot compare to the greatness of knowing Christ and becoming one with him. our society prizes itself on greatness. this is a problem. there is, however, nothing wrong with greatness. the problem arises in our pursuit of greatness. whereas the world teaches that to be great we must exalt ourselves above our circumstances, Jesus comes and says that in order to be great one must become a slave to all. in order to be great you must go low in humilty. “Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.””

“he is truly great who has great charity. he is truly great who is little in his own eyes and makes nothing of the highest honour. he is truly wise who looks upon all earthly things as folly that he may gain Christ. he who does God’s will and renounces his own is truly very learned” (8).

chapter IV – prudence in action

“do not yield to every impulse and suggestion but consider things carefully and patiently in the light of God’s will. for very often, sad to say, we are so weak that we believe and speak evil of others rather than good” (9).

wisdom is quick to listen and slow to speak. if so, then why do many of us speak so very quickly? we hear evil about others and are so quick to believe it (all the while forgetting that “human frailty is prone to evil and is likely to appear in speech”). speak good, not evil, even if evil is all you hear.

“seek the advice of your betters in preference to following your own inclinations” (9).

wow.

this man is clearly confused. the term ‘world’ in scripture refer’s to 3 different things:

1) the world = the world system (Jn 15:19; 1 Cor 3:19)

2) the world = humankind (Jn 1:29, 3:16; 1 Jn 2:2)

3) the world = creation, planet earth (Rev 13:8)

we, as the people of God, are told not to be of the world, in fact, to have nothing to do with the world. can you guess which ‘world’ this is talking about? surely not the people. surely not the creation. we are to have nothing to do with the world system, or kingdom if you will, for we are apart of God’s Kingdom instead, and things priorities are far different in this Kingdom.

something that this man said really bothered me: “…rushing around trying to fix the world shows, actually, the world is still in you, you still love the world, and you’re trying to fix it in hope that you can save it…” imagine that, imagine if we still loved the world! not the world system of course, but as God’s people we are called to love the world, meaning God’s creation of course, and all of it at that. God is at work not redeeming individuals, but rather, redeeming Creation to Himself. as far as this man is concerned we ought not to hope in the world, because it is beyond saving, and so we should just let it go on its way. what he fails to realize though, is that God cares very much for His creation. and if God cares so much for it, then maybe we ought to aswell.

peace.

jt

last night i saw pigeon john live at the elmacombo. clearly it was amazing. if you’ve never checked him out, then do that. now, pigeon and i are homies…

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in other news, my friend (and best man) dave, destroyed his femer. he broke it in 2 places while skiing. pray for his recovery.

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i’m feeling like i don’t know where i fit. i feel uncertain of where God wants me. i’ve always been one to persevere, but i’m in a weird state right now. then i read isaiah 61:4 and felt encouraged. read it and, if you feel as though you are in the midst of ruins, be encouraged at God’s promise to restore and rebuild. i think i’ll write more about this in another post sometime.

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this morning i was reading romans 2:17-29 and i would like to point the following out:

A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God.

we’re all jews. i’ll write on this in another post too…

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hmmmmmm.

peace.

 

yesterday i went downtown with Christina and her sister Lisa. we took tonnes of pics (all of which you can see on my facebook). anyways, at the end of the day we went to richtree to eat. while there i saw three toronto raptors! joey graham, the newly aquired juan dixon, and pape sow. it was cool because i got to chat with them for a while (and by a while, i mean like 10 seconds). below is a pic of joey (white hat) that Christina snapped while in spy-mode!

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today was also quite eventful. i worked a long day at the shop and tore apart an engine and hung out with a new guy called dare (dar-EE). then when i got home i was standing in the kitchen and i noticed smoke coming up from our shed area in the back. fire! i ran outside and there was an electrical fire in my shed! it was intense. somehow the water must have caused a shortage because an extension cable (that was plugged in) caught fire and was burning. since it was plugged in there were sparks going everywhere and it smelt of burnt rubber. i didn’t know what to do so i threw snowballs at the wire until it went out. it worked.

peace.

this is what i am. a dirty liar. why? because i once said, “today i am going to start reading ‘the imitation of Christ’ by thomas a kempis.”

i never did start reading this book back on that day. however, i have officially started it today. i think i shall read it slowly so it can sink in and, therefore, cause my life maximum displeasure at its current state. here are some prominant quotes from the first two chapters.

chapter I: imitating Christ and despising all vanities on earth. [the title is hard enough for me to take].

“Let our chief effort, therefore, be to study the life of Jesus Christ.”

for what else can we do that will bring us gain? not that it is gain which we desire, but our desire is to know Christ and be wed to him and him alone. therefore, what will it profit us to pursue anything other than him? it would be like a chasing after the wind.

“Indeed it is not learning that makes a man holy and just, but a virtuous life makes him pleasing to God. I would rather feel contrition than know how to define it. For what would it profit us to know the whole Bible by heart and the principles of all the philosophers if we live without grace and the love of God? Vanity of vanities and all is vanity, except to love God and serve Him alone.”

this is one of my prime concerns with the “emerging Church”. in a podcast that i listen to occasionally the two gentlemen said that, “the problem with the emerging church is that they would rather sit around and talk about having an orgasm than actually having one.” we have so many ‘summits’ and ‘conversations’ that we forget to actually DO the things we are speaking of. oh, there is precious time lost in the pursuit of a solution. in the conversations it takes to come up with solutions and the knowledge we seek to gain from speaking of these solutions. the time that is lost is precious because it is time that could be spent loving others, “with actions and in truth” (1 jn 0318)

“This is the greatest wisdom–to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the world. It is vanity, therefore, to seek and trust in riches that perish. It is vanity also to court honor and to be puffed up with pride. It is vanity to follow the lusts of the body and to desire things for which severe punishment later must come. It is vanity to wish for long life and to care little about a well-spent life. It is vanity to be concerned with the present only and not to make provision for things to come. It is vanity to love what passes quickly and not to look ahead where eternal joy abides.”

welcome to tonights main event: the material vs. the immaterial. sometimes i feel as if our sight does us an injustice, for how quick we are to focus our sights on things visible. this is a battle i know first hand. people know me as the guy with “cool shoes”. i don’t want to be known as this guy and it is something that the very Spirit of God has been speaking to my spirit.

“Try, moreover, to turn your heart from the love of things visible and bring yourself to things invisible.” 

chapter II: having a humble opinion of self.

“Every man naturally desires knowledge; but what good is knowledge without fear of God? Indeed a humble rustic who serves God is better than a proud intellectual who neglects his soul to study the course of the stars.”

(read: the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge)

“If I knew all things in the world and had not charity, what would it profit me before God Who will judge me by my deeds?”

“…he who concerns himself about other things than those which lead to salvation is very unwise.”

“The more you know and the better you understand, the more severely will you be judged, unless your life is also the more holy.”

“If you wish to learn and appreciate something worth while, then love to be unknown and considered as nothing. Truly to know and despise self is the best and most perfect counsel. To think of oneself as nothing, and always to think well and highly of others is the best and most perfect wisdom.”

(read: “i die every day…” 1 cor 1531)

“All men are frail, but you must admit that none is more frail than yourself.”

(read: ted haggard, paul melnichuk)

peace.

jt

the raptors just beat the supersonics in a nailbiter! 120-119, although it should have been 120-116 if it weren’t for that last second 3 from wilkins. it was a good game to watch, i know this because i yelled at the tv on numerous occasions. however, it should have never gone to overtime in the first place. toronto should have put the game away, but because of some typical raptor mistakes, they came close to a loss (oh how i despise losses that should have been wins!). here are some things that the raptors have a tendancy to do that really tick me off as a fan:

1. shoot the 3. please tell me why there is a need to shoot a 3 ball when you are winning and there is lots of time left on the clock? it gets on my nerves when the raps start to settle for 3’s when they don’t need to. don’t come running down the floor and jack up a 3 when you are up by 4 and there is still 16 left on the clock. look for the easy two.
2. give bosh the friggin ball! in relation to my last note on getting the easy two, get it to bosh. i saw a number of jacked 3’s today while bosh stood there just feet from the basket wide open. bosh is your star. he gets the job done when he needs to. when it gets to crunch time, get him some touches, please!
3. rebound. wow. this is why the game today went into OT, because they didn’t get on those boards. when that shot goes up, don’t flippin watch it to see if it will go in. find your man and put a body on him!
4. tj ford. tj gets a lot of love from chuck and many people in toronto, but i’m not quite there yet. the dude makes me nervous. he comes flying down the court like a rabbit hopped up on speed, close to out of control, and makes some ridiculous moves. granted, he hits some big shots. but down the stretch, i’d feel much more comfortable with the ball in the hands of bosh.

it’s not all frustration though. there are tonnes of things i like about the raps:

1. jose calderon. i love this guy!!! i think he is a much better point guard than tj and in a couple years calderon will be insane. the guy just has such a head for basketball.
2. bargnani. wow.
3. team. the raps actually look like a team this year, unlike years past!!
4. victory! we are winning!
5. hardwork. this raptors team, i think, is probably the hardest working raptors team in franchise history. bargnani, the “rookie”, is taking charges like a pro. people are diving for balls. they are actually working.
6. mo pete. this dude has been with toronto forever and he knows his role, even if it means playing 8 minutes like he did today.

i’m pumped, and all i can say is, when those playoff tickets come on sale i’ll be getting mine.