Friday, July 27, 2007

Random Musings: On the Existence of Evil

Evil, in a very fundamental way, does not exist, because existence is an attribute of God.

Please do not misinterpret this in any way: I am fully aware of the evil in the world, I am simply attempting to redefine the nature of existence.

God declares Himself to be the "I AM", the Eternally existent God. He Is Infinite, and He created all that is "ex nihilo", out of nothing, so "In Him all things consist". That includes evil, which is merely a perversion of some good thing. So, evil exists Only in ultimate and fundamental submission to God (see Job).

To put another way: God is ultimate Good, and ultimate Being. All that deviates from one of these (and all deviations from God, the ultimate standard, are devolutions) necessarily deviates from the other. Why? Because 1). If God is good, and 2). God exists, then 3). Existence is good, and good exists. Existence and Goodness are inseparably entwined: you cannot have one without the other (this is a paraphrase of Augustine with a dash of Athanasius).

The ramifications of this are two-fold.

First is an abstract note: when we complain that we cannot "feel" God or some such rot (which occurs daily in my life; the rot is that we pay it any mind), we have to understand that it is not because He Is ethereal, but rather because we are. He Is the mountain, and we are infinitely less than the mist that breaks upon it. Only In Him do we have hope ever to leave these "shadowlands" and grow into His Image. Apart from Him we drift back into the nothingness "from whence we sprung", to paraphrase Scott.

Second, and more practically relevant (blehh! Practical is so boring...) is the weight that this lends to the Sovereignty of God: all that is (as He Is), is In Him. All that exists exists by His express permission (Amos 3:6). All that we receive, we receive from the Hand of God, and we have no right to be angry about it or even to view it as aught else than a great gift for which we must give thanks (Rom. 1).

Yes, I understand that this is a point upon which I tend to harp, but only because it is essential; it is the foundation of any joy or understanding in the Christian life. Take joy in His Glory, for it is the reason that all things exist. If we take joy in this, we will ever be joyful.

Has it happened to you? Then thank Him for it, trusting that it is another way in which He may be glorified. And yes, that is all that matters.

Sampson and Protevangelium

A very common theme throughout Scripture is the antithesis: the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. A key symbol that should instantly flag such an overarching literary theme to us is found in the conclusion of the protevangelium, the original messianic promise / prophecy: "you shall bruise his heel, but he shall bruise your head".

I recently (about ten minutes ago, eating rice and beans and attempting to convince small children of my insanity, while succeeding beyond my wildest dreams with their violent and burly parents) noticed another of these situations in the death of Sampson.

Sampson managed to destroy the majority, we are given to understand, of the ruling class, of the figurative "heads" of Philistia by pulling a temple down on their not quite so figurative "heads".

Just another weird factoid to inflict upon my weekly reader.

Musings from a Fevered Mind: Apostles as Women

It is very interesting to note the similarities, indeed, the typology existing between 1: Eli (and sons) against Hannah and her line (Samuel as the "father" of David is more than a bit of liberality with the text, but he did annoint David), and 2: the Pharisees responsible for the crucifixion (and sons: "his blood be on us and our children") against the apostles (and their line) at Pentecost.

1. Both Pharisees and Eli accused the "favored" (see Heb. for "Hannah") of the Lord of drunkenness.
2. In both circumstances, the accused were those that God had raised up to replace the accusers.
3. In both circumstances, the glory gradually was transferred from a bloodline to an annointed line.
4. Both Pharisaical line and Eli's family were fully destroyed in the climax of the removal of the symbol of the Presence of God.

I'm sure that it goes much further than this--note the transition from priest to king and from high priest to Christ / Christian, etc, but this post should briefly outline another interesting connection.

And to think: the Inspiration of this book is questioned? The two most self-evident doctrines of Christianity are those of the Ultimacy and Inspiration of Scripture, and Original Sin.

In Praise of Leithart

If you are looking for a single, great, semi-recent, typological commentary on 1st and 2nd Kings with a cool black dust jacket published by Brazos (a position in which I often find myself), I would highly advise reading Leithart's 1 & 2 Kings.

A Return to Augustine

Augustine has a great definition of spirit in his "Confessions". He is renouncing his Manichaean gnostic tendencies, and off-handedly comments that spirit is something that is "everywhere (every physical location) the whole".

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Sunday, July 22, 2007


for H.

I know not why, why lovers, lovers die:
The priests and gods, with downcast eyes
Fail simpler men, who, shattered, lie
While heretics, they curse, we curse the skies.

And since she truly meant so much to me--
Truly light, sky, earth and sea--
From whose end to mine I'd flee,
Then what and who and Why must I now be?

Wodehousian Fun