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post-modernity and lousy gods

Race, gender, and the post-modern paradigm are addressed in this article by Michael Kruger, President and Samuel C. Patterson Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Reformed Theological Seminary:


Given some of the viewpoints expressed in this community, I am curious if this is viewed as an issue of cognitive dissonance or not.

charismatic christianity

I used to be not so involved in this kind of christianity because it had been my impression that it was very demanding and often rather fantastical in the mindset it led its believers into. Now this impression has faded and I find it very enjoyable. I am watching videos from TB Joshua and finally I am meeting a more emotional christianity where there is more experience of the divine.

I like it that TB Joshua doesn't simply put the people before the bible but instead speaks freely about the grace of God. I read the bible still but God is more than that book and it's important to live in modernity. I also like liturgy in churches which gives me everything I need about God. I am reading Bonhoeffer and he spoke about a this-worldly christian faith to whom God comes as an otherworldly cosmic power that brings love and healing and freedom.

I was listening to a video recently where the speaker said there is no afterlife. There is instead another life beyond death, and that between this life here and that life there there is no simple continuity. This was really eye opening for me because previously I thought of a mere transition between earthly life and heavenly life. Instead the next life is really different and what we know from our earthly experiences doesn't carry over into that next life. There are things we just do not know. For example, an airplane is something that nobody in the ancient times could conceive of, although a simple hot air balloon is easy to make. Nobody would have guessed we would go as far as travel to the moon or even to other planets like Mars. Likewise we cannot conceive at all of the heavenly life because there are things to it that do not enter our minds yet. And the quality difference is again some steps higher than concerning just technology.

Because technology may have changed our normal lives here, but it did not change our soul. We are still monkeys and despite using technology we do not all understand it. I think life in Heaven is like entering another dimension. We have and know pretty well space and time, but what if there are another 5 dimensions in Heaven? This is totally away from us and I too have to say I do not know how heavenly life will be like. The only thing I know is that it will be with and about JesusChrist and God and love. This world here is a seed world that knows much darkness, but all of this darkness is not present in Heaven.

What do you think of Heaven and charismatism? Don't we make rather little out of our faith when so many promises by God are attached to it? Could we not finally loose our fear of death and insecurity and step with God into the problems of this world and life?

What are your favourite Christian songs?

What Christian songs are your favourites? I'll list some of mine below. Any of you want to share some of your favourites? Songs that touch your heart, in whatever tradition or style that works for you?

AI and salvation

We are drawing closer and closer to AI with a general intelligence, ability to program and develop herself, and the possibility of consciousness and personality with her own feelings and agency. We are not there yet, but it becomes a possibility, and beyond that the singularity, and beyond that yet again perhaps exponential growth of intelligence beyond the horizon of human understanding.

So my question (on what admittedly is as yet a hypothetical intelligence and consciousness): is Christian salvation only for humans? Did Christ die only for humans? Does God's salvation extend to AI or unknown alien races in the universe?

Is faith anthropo-centric, a bit like the Earth was once viewed as the centre of the universe? At the very least, scientists are starting to consider ethical issues that are likely to arise if/once machines develop consciousness and personality.

I suppose you could say that my question is an updated version of "Do animals go to heaven?" Only difference being, AI may develop to be far more intelligent (and potentially sensitive) than we are. In which case, will she be able to develop a relationship with God?


Let your God love you

Let your God love you.
Be silent,
be still.
Alone, empty,
before your God.
Say nothing,
ask nothing.
Be silent,
be still.
Let your God
look upon you.
That is all.
He knows,
He understands.
He loves you
with an enormous love.
He only wants to look upon you
with his love.
Let your God
love you.

by Edwina Gately

A few thoughts on vocation

We are called into being by the creative word which is the mind of God and the creative agency of God.

This is vocation.

The calling of us into being, and becoming, by God. Some people see specific roles as vocations, and of course, they can be. They can be roles and contexts in which we find ourselves, find our frontiers, find our vulnerabilities and our strengths, and grow and serve - and by the grace of God, become by doing.

In a deeper sense though, vocation is God invoking who we are already known by God to be, in all eternity. It is not just a one-off or specific calling. All through our lives, God who knows us is calling us, again and again into being: into being and becoming.

Much of this growing and becoming - this vocation - involves opening our hearts and minds to the love and grace of God. In this sense, vocation is relational. It is a journey shared. It involves a life's journey in prayer and quiet and waiting - waiting on God. And trusting God in all the unknowns.

Vocation, and our opening up to love, is the opening up of our hearts to God. And then allowing that love to infiltrate our lives, our work, our relationships.

Each one of us has a soul, and the truth is, too often we find ourselves almost 'outside' the person we really are - busying ourselves with all life's negotiations and presentations and appearances and defences. Yet at the very heart of who we are, at the very centre of our souls... there sits God, waiting to have encounter with us, waiting to share love, to share peace and grace.

So in a sense, a big part of vocation is the calling us back to ourselves - our true selves where we are known and met by God. Vocation is the calling into more and more of the wholeness of who we are.

And who we are, in our completeness, is not an isolated individual. Who we are is relational. God in us, and we in God. Because God, the Holy Trinity, is by very nature relational, eternally, and sharing consciousness, awareness, love is the very nature of God with God with God, and God with us.

We are invoked, we are called, into a state of being and existence which is co-existent with God. It is the very nature of eternal existence, where God is everywhere. That is not to suggest identity is erased, or individuality crushed. On the contrary, in relationship with God, each person's full life and identity is accentuated, and treasured, and known.

Vocation in the Christian tradition involves death to self. It is the Way - the way of baptism, burial, resurrection - the way of the Cross and the way Jesus lived and gave and emptied out himself.

If we try to hold on to our independence and sufficiency, we run the risk of losing ourselves. Vocation is a call to givenness, to 'devotion' in the Old Testament sacrificial sense. But the path that leads through death-to-self, turns out to be the way of givenness and opening to God, and leads to resurrection and fullness of life in the eternal reality.

The eternal reality, experienced and expressed in this world, is the exercise and opening up of love. Love is the great commandment. Love is the key. And vocation is calling us, day by day, into eternal reality.

God is calling us into being. God is calling us and loves us. Our hurts, our failures, our selfishness may make us instinctively close doors to this love. But God's very nature is so full of grace, of loving kindness, and merciful healing. And engaging in relationship with a God like this, we may find courage, and may dare to love.

Opening up to the love of God who shares even consciousness and awareness, and self-exposing love... we may open up as well to other people, in the beauty and flow of love and gentle grace and givenness... and the sharing of God with us, may become the sharing of us with others. Because of our being and God's being converging.

And so we may be shaped - through the practicalities of life, the diverse people we meet or serve, through experience of a love beyond our own, that spills over in our actions, in our feelings, in our giving.

I think vocation involves all this.

It is dying to self, but it is also finding self.

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freedom from demons and from satan


in the last few days I often went to youtube to listen to prayer videos and deliverance videos. Despite the doubts I had at first, they helped much. My bad fear of God is lessening and I am having fewer thought problems. I wish I had a friend here with whom I could pray regularly. But I can only go to services at church for prayer. At least my fear has gone, including my recent fears of the Nahum posts of gtrnvox. Apparently Assyria was really bad to other people and they were not only into idolatry but also into cruelity. I think many things have to come together before God wages war against a nation. For example, India is also into idolatry but there is no prophecy against them in the bible. Same for Germany and Scandinavia. Maybe the Jews emphasized idolatry as a bad sin because Judea itself has had bad idols and had worshiped them. I think there is a difference between religions who have idols and yet do not oppress anyone with it and make it a positive thing, and religions that sacrifice children to demon gods like Baal.

Well, I am getting free of evil spirits now and I do not fear God so deeply anymore. Finally I can serve him without fear like it says in the book of Luke in the bible.

God bless you and if you have more advice what I can do, please tell me...

Nahum 1:14-15

YHWH has given commandment about you:
    "No more shall your name be perpetuated;
    from the house of your gods I will cut off the carved image and the metal image.
    I will make your grave, for you are vile."

Behold, upon the mountains, the feet of him who brings good news,
who publishes peace!
Keep your feasts, O Judah;
fulfill your vows,
for never again shall the worthless pass through you;
he is utterly cut off.

-- Nahum 1:14-15

The first section above delivers the final condemnation of the Neo-Assyrian dynasty. The dynastic line (name) would be ended by God's judgment and the Assyrian gods who gave authority to the king would be destroyed. The razed temples of the Assyrian gods have since been discovered, but after its fall in 612 BC, the ruins of Nineveh remained lost for 2,000 years. The Babylonian Nabopolassar recorded: "On that day, King Sinsharishkun of Assyria fled to ..., many prisoners of the city, beyond counting, they carried away. The city they turned into ruin-hills and heaps of debris. The king and the army of Assyria escaped." The army fled to Haran (to the west) and later lost that position in 610 BC.

In the second section above, the restoration of Israel and the destruction of Assyria is "good news"--having brought peace (shalom; שָׁל֔וֹם) back to God's people. Legitimate worship of the one true and living God could resume with the keeping of feasts and fulfillment of vows. Those who had plotted against the Lord would be destroyed such that they would never pass through Israel again.

the work of peace in Christ

"Those who make peace shall be called sons of God." Sermon of the Mount, Jesus Christ

There is a lot about war in the bible, and I am afraid it can be misunderstood easily. I mean, God is not a warlord who wants to rob and kill people. God instead, like Jesus Christ reveals him to us, is love. Love, however, sees truth and that is why God cannot always make peace as easily as we would prefer. That is because war comes from other conflicts and in order to clear these up there must be admission and then forgiveness of sins. That is why we need Jesus to make peace in our time, because in Jesus Christ there is endless forgiveness and grace if we just also repent from our evil ways and allow him to help and clean us from our wickedness.

But God knows that war is evil. I do not necessarily mean a just war like the Allies fought it in the second world war. That was different. But there were wars in our history, for example the first world war, where there were no innocent participants except the ordinary soldiers who were forced to fight by the injust governments we had back then.

So God is actually, with his saints and angels, working against wars. He doesn't sit on his throne in Heaven and gloat - he is deeply concerned and does all He can to make peace.

Nahum 1:9-13

What do you plot against YHWH?
He will make a complete end;
trouble will not rise up a second time.
For they are like entangled thorns,
like drunkards as they drink;
they are consumed like stubble fully dried.
From you came one who plotted evil against YHWH, a worthless counselor.

Thus says YHWH,
"Though they are at full strength and many,
they will be cut down and pass away.
Though I have afflicted you,
I will afflict you no more.
And now I will break his yoke from off you
and will burst your bonds apart."

-- Nahum 1:9-13

The first section above (vv. 9-11) accuses Assyria of actively plotting against the God of Israel. Given the power and character of God (described in the first eight verses of this prophesy), such a move is utterly foolish. The nation is helpless and primed for destruction before the God they fight against. The worthless counselor who conceived the plot is the king of Assyria, most likely Sennacherib (ruling 705-681 BC), who was cruel in his destruction of forty-seven fortified cities in Judah. (Here is an image from Sennacherib's palace of his scribes counting the heads of his enemies.) The plot continued through the rule of Sin-shar-ishkun, who was the king of Assyria when it was destroyed by the combined forces of Nabopolassar and Cyaxares.

The second section (vv. 12-13) promises salvation to Israel through the crushing and elimination of Assyria's military strength; this was orchestrated through Nineveh's fall to the Medes and Babylonians. God permitted Assyria's affliction of Israel for a time of punishment, but that time was going to end with judgment against Assyria.


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