Tuesday, September 18, 2007


My son asked me an interesting question about freewill today. And, no, it's probably not what you're thinking if you've entertained this notion before. We've already hashed, rehashed and refried the idea of whether or not humans have freewill. I argue that question on the side of the fence that says yes we do have it. For me, it's an big piece of the puzzle of why Adam and Eve, and us as well, are allowed to be tempted. My son argues that it's at least possible our choices are based so heavily on our experiences, environment, and upbringing that our decisions are made before we consciously make them.

But here was his question. Does God have freewill? My first reaction was, of course. He's God. He can decide to do whatever he wants. My son argued however that because God can only do what's right that automatically limits His options. Yes, God is all powerful, but you can't change his nature, he can only do what is wise and righteous. So the first part of his argument is that God's options are limited, in that respect, and secondly, because He's all-knowing and knows the future, He, also already knows what decision He is going to make now. In other words, since He can see the future, He knew he was going to create the earth and us, so He had no choice at a certain moment in time but to do it and get the ball rolling. MJC said it better and if I didn't explain it like he meant it, I'm sure he'll jump in here and correct me.

So, what do you think? Does God have freewill or is He locked into His decisions? Is there an instance in the Bible where God changed His mind? I already brought up Jonah and the people in Ninevah, who unlike the people in Sodom and Gomorrah, repented and turned away God's wrath. But, as MJC asked, was God really sitting there on pins and needles waiting for the people to repent because He didn't know the outcome, or did He know if He sent Jonah they would repent? God went to a lot of trouble to get Jonah there, so I would assume He knew they were going to repent if Jonah went. So, did God really change His mind?

I think there's more to freewill than the ability to change your mind, of course. It's more about being able to choose different options when they're presented to you. Because of MJC's first point, that God cannot perform an unrighteous act, it would almost seem that our very nature which is sinful and gives us the ability to freely choose good or evil, allows us a type of freewill that God himself doesn't have. Is that possible?

I have a headache now.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Just a Note...

Never, NEVER buy a satellite system for your computer. Mine has been out for about three days now due to cloud cover and rain. On my roof are two satellite dishes; one for the computer and one for the TV. The one for the computer only works when it's sunny from here to California; the one for the TV only goes out when it's hailing on the roof. I don't know why one is so much better than other but it's very frustrating, she said as she typed on the computer in the local library. (sigh)

Drlobojo gave me an idea, however, for my next post. As soon as I finish reading a book, I'll post a book review on it. Assuming my computer is up by then...

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Saint to the Skeptics

I know I haven't posted in awhile. It's been crazy around my house between me working extra hours, my Mom's birthday on the first and MJC's birthday on the 4th, (he's friggin' 17!!! where did the time go?) and trying to make arrangements for people to come lay new floors for me upstairs, and fix the stove, and keep up with the yard, and MJC's homeschooling. Geez! It's hard to find time to post; much easier to let someone else pick the topic and then just comment on it. :) I have a whole new respect for all you bloggers who do it on a regular basis!

Anyway, did anyone else read Time magazine's cover story on Mother Teresa? I know it's not uncommon, in fact it's probably very common, for believers to struggle with issues of faith, but to read about her struggle with it was extremely interesting. It wasn't just a struggle she had for a few months, but for years, something she took with her to confession even, and yet even though she had this emptiness and darkness inside of her, she still managed to accomplish amazing things for the poor and not let go of the original vision God had given her.

Here's an example of what she said in her own words. I'm never sure how to cite stuff, so suffice it to say, I'm quoting what she said as found in the Sept. 3 issue of Time magazine.

"Lord, my God, who am I that You should forsake me? The Child of your Love--and now become as the most hated one -- the one--You have thrown away as unwanted--unloved. I call, I cling, I want--and there is no One to answer--no One on Whom I can cling--no, No One.---Alone...Where is my Faith--even deep down right in there is nothing, but emptiness & darkness--My God--how painful is this unknown pain--I have no Faith--I dare not utter the words & thoughts that crowd in my heart--& make me suffer untold agony.
So many unanswered questions live within me afraid to uncover them--because of the blasphemy--If there be God--please forgive me--When I try to raise my thoughts to Heaven--there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives & hurt my very soul.--I am told God loves me--and yet the reality of darkness & coldness & emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul. Did I make a mistake in surrendering blindly to the Call of the Sacred Heart?"

Strange words, it would seem, from someone up for sainthood. She found a way to deal with this problem, by accepting, even embracing, this dark side of her and found a lesson in it. For those of you reading who have had doubts, how did you get through it and to the other side?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Doctrine of Creation

I know there is a lot of evidence out there for evolution. We're silly not to believe it, right? This post isn't about whether or not evolution is true, necessarily, but more about the doctrine of creation. For example, how do you explain to a kid being taught evolution in school that we owe our very existence to God, if we just evolved from some ape? How do you convince him his life has meaning and purpose if we just got here by an extraordinary series of random chances? And, how do you explain the existence of a soul? Did it evolve, too, or do apes have souls? Is the soul just a higher form of consciousness? If that's all it is, does it just fade away when the body dies? Or am I even asking the right questions about this??

Not surprisingly, I have my own thoughts about this, but I'd like to hear someone else's first.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Religion Under Attack?

I saw this on the CNN website, and personally, as a Christian aware of the history of us being fed to lions and the cost of what it means to be a Christian in other countries even today, I found it a little alarming. Religion is still well and strong in my neck of the woods, but apparently not so much in other places. Or, does CNN just attract atheists and anti-religious people?

Anyway, check out the website and the comments left by readers on it and let me know what you think. I tried to tell my son the other day Christianity wasn't in danger of fading away, and his response was pretty much, "You mean like those who followed Egyptian gods or Apollo?" So, does anyone know of a religion that has been around continuously longer than Christianity? Yeah, I know I could do the research myself, and probably will. Anyway, that's for another post. I'm interested to know what your response is to the people who commented on CNN's story. Do you think that's typical of what's going on in the USA, the same as it's always been, or a backlash against religion in light of recent world events?


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Sweet Nothingness

I'm not sure we're done with the previous post and I want to encourage everyone to keep commenting there, but I'm going to go ahead and throw up another subject for us to chew on. Since the last post concerned hell, it kinda follows this one should be about heaven.

My son worries we'll lose a big part of our humanity in heaven. For example, it seems natural that we would mourn for those we know who didn't make it into heaven and are being tortured in hell for eternity. How do you just forget about them and enjoy yourself? How do you stop missing the brother who didn't make it or the friend you didn't talk to about spiritual things? And how do you live with the guilt that maybe you didn't try hard enough to warn them about hell? No one wants to cry and feel guilty, but if you erase those emotions (i.e., God wipes away the tears himself) from the human psyche, don't you lose a part of what makes up the human experience? Without sorrow, how can we fully experience joy?

And what other emotions are we going to lose in heaven? What about our curiousity? If we know everything and we have all our answers now, what's left to explore? Are we just going to sit around? What about the joy of a job well done? Is everything just going to be handed to us in our mansions? Now, some religions believe we'll be able to have sex in heaven, but if the purpose of sex is to procreate and we don't really need to do that anymore, can we count on that? (He's a teenage boy, he worries about these things, okay?)

Do we even have our freewill still in heaven? Surely no one would be stupid enough to choose hell even after they're in heaven, but it sounds a lot like we become more robotic than human.

So, what's your idea of heaven and where did you get that idea?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Destined for Hell?

Okay, this is a question my son has asked me before. I think I know the answer, or at least one that satisifes me, but I'd like to know what y'all think.

Christianity claims that God knows everything. If God knows everything, then He knows that some people whom He creates will end up in hell. Why would God create people who are destined for hell?