Sunday, May 4, 2008

Lit. Reviews from Amazon

pop fiction reviews

My faith

Because I have chosen to tackle some controversial and theological issues, and because I have approached each one from a Biblical perspective, I now want to address the issue of my faith itself. I realize that many people might find it terribly simple-minded to start with a premise of faith and draw my conclusions from that, rather than approaching everything objectively and "intellectually." Well, I will first state that I find a godless perspective no more intellectual than a God-centered perspective. But that's another blog, for a day when I feel like delving into it. Suffice it to say that I have given much thought to deep issues since I was a child. My earliest memory of struggling with unanswerable questions goes back to the dinner table when I asked my dad where the evil within Satan came from if God, being entirely good, had created him. Dad explained that anything contrary to God was evil, and I asked why, etc.

It has been the experience of my heart -- as much or more than my mind -- that has "answered" some of these questions for me. I have felt the love and presence of God -- most strongly, in fact, right after my agnostic phase -- and realized He is utterly, inexplicably loving and perfect, and it makes perfect sense now how anything in opposition to Him is evil. He is not a bully, he is just love and law, and havoc and judgement are a natural result of opposing him, and they are what necessitated Christ. That almost makes God sound helpless against his own power...but again, there is another elusive issue.

It is to my agnostic phase that I wish to point: I have been through, and continue to go through, those tough questions, that ones that have no real answer, the ones which drive people away from faith to atheism or agnosticism. As with other schools of thought I do not adhere to, I completely understand how people do. I completely understand the tendency to swear off faith, to scoff at the seemingly non-intellectual faith-based mentality.

Bottom line: I have chosen faith, but not after weighing the evidence for and against it, and experiencing, for a time, life without it. I have many stories, incredible stories of miracles, spiritual manifestations, all those "signs and wonders" that I could use as evidence of God, but in the end, it's always a choice. We humans have the uncanny ability -- even tendency -- to split our head open on a rock and still deny the rock's existence. So my stories really don't matter. Faith is a choice and that is what I have chosen.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


I believe in them. I hesitate to talk to many Christians about them because so many Christians dismiss them as demonic. However, there is no Biblical basis (that I know of) for that theory. Here is a passage from Luke 24: “While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, ‘Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.’ When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet.” Scott Maruna, who wrote the article found on the link below, makes such an excellent argument for ghosts from a Christian perspective that I cannot add much more to it. (Link is now dead -- sorry.) One thing he points out is that Jesus would not "waste words" talking about what a ghost does or does not have if they didn't exist. It would be like telling a kid not to worry because "the boogieman does not have sharp claws."

Ghosts do not have to be incompatible with Heaven and Hell. We know so little of what happens in the afterlife, especially immediately after death. And it is likely different for different people. Regardless even of my spiritual beliefs, the evidence for ghosts cannot all be explained away as hallucinations OR demonic activity. I believe the spirit world is every bit as complex as this world, and to give any one phenomenon a blanket answer is to assert a knowledge that a being of this world cannot possess.