Category: Qohelet’s Musings

Beauty for ashes

October 26th, 2010 — 2:46pm

I often ponder the problem of evil in God’s world, the dark mystery of His wisdom in using sin and grace to manifest His glory (especially in the cross, and in the final judgment of all things). A thought came today that the horrible miseries and evils of the present age occasion some of the sweetest fellowship known to man. My best friendships have been forged in fires of suffering, in seasons when I had to bear a burden my friend could no longer bear alone, or when he did so for me. If laughter melds heart to heart, so do tears. Will, perhaps, some of the richness of the life to come be that we have wept together on earth, that we have known each other thus? Could it be that terrestrial love burns hottest in the commonness of struggle, and that the joy of celestial rest together will rise in part from this? What blades of love may spring in that world from seeds that died in this one, and did not remain alone? What love of God is known to us in His unfathomable entering and bearing our curse? Can we ever stop laughing at the horizons of love our God has opened through the malice of our Serpent foe?

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Serious and yet

October 2nd, 2010 — 9:29pm

“It is one of the difficult and delightful subtleties of life that we must deeply acknowledge certain things to be serious and yet retain the power and will to treat them often as lightly as a game.” (C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves)

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Culture and religion

August 18th, 2010 — 7:22pm

“With all its wealth and power, [culture] only shows that the human heart, in which God has put eternity [Eccles. 3:11], is so huge that all the world is too small to satisfy it. Human beings are in search of another and better redemption than culture can give them. They are looking for lasting happiness, an enduring eternal good. They are thirsting for a redemption that saves them physically as well as spiritually, for time but also for eternity. And this only religion, and nothing else, can give them. God alone can give it to them, not science or art, civilization or culture.” (Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, p. 3.328)

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Creation and time

May 29th, 2010 — 6:10pm

“Time is the necessary form of the existence of the finite. It is not a separate creation but something automatically given with the world, cocreated with it like space. In a sense, therefore, the world has always existed, for as long as time has existed. All change, then, occurs in it, not in God. The world is subject to time, that is, to change. It is constantly becoming, in contrast with God, who is an eternal and unchangeable being. Now these two, God and the world, eternity and time, are related in such a way that the world is sustained in all its parts by God’s omnipresent power, and time in all its moments is pervaded by the eternal being of our God. Eternity and time are not two lines, the shorter of which for a time runs parallel to the infinitely extended one; the truth is that eternity is the immutable center that sends out its rays to the entire circumference of time. To the limited eye of the creature it successively unfolds its infinite content in the breadth of space and the length of time, so that creature might understand something of the unsearchable greatness of God. But for all that, eternity and time remain distinct.” (Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, p. 2.429)

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Under the sun

May 13th, 2010 — 7:26am

If we were to paraphrase the wisdom of Qohelet, it might run something like this: Life under the sun isn’t paradise anymore. It’s crooked, empty, broken beyond remedy. But the day will come when God will bring every deed into judgment, and unveil the beauty of His every purpose. And since He rules time as well as eternity, the unfolding as well as the end of all things, His daily will is trustworthy, and we enact our trust by partaking of food and drink, wine and oil, labor and love. One who knows paradise is no longer and not yet, but is surely coming through the rule of God, may rejoice in the fruit of his toil under the sun – for it is the gift of God.

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March 25th, 2010 — 10:32am

“Comprehension excludes amazement and admiration. I comprehend or think I comprehend the things that are self-evident and perfectly natural. Often comprehension ceases to the degree a person digs deeper into a subject. That which seemed self-evident proves to be absolutely extraordinary and amazing. The farther a science penetrates its object, the more it approaches mystery. Even if on its journey it encountered no other object it would still always be faced with the mystery of being. Where comprehension ceases, however, there remains room for knowledge and wonder. And so things stand in theology.” (Bavinck, p. 1.619)

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To believe is to struggle

March 1st, 2010 — 2:01pm

“A Christian believes, not because everything in life reveals the love of God, but rather despite everything that raises doubt. . . . Throughout the whole domain of faith, there remain crosses (cruces) that have to be overcome. There is no faith without struggle. To believe is to struggle, to struggle against the appearance of things.” (Bavinck, p. 1.441)

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