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Shadows of Divine Things

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Location: Texas, United States

This site is devoted to theological and philosophical investigations of the spiritual meanings of life, current events, music, spiritual growth, nature, and learning to be attuned to listening to the 'language of God.' The name of this blog comes from one of Jonathan Edwards's journals which he called 'Shadows of Divine Things,' and later renamed 'Images of Divine Things.' As a Christian I am continously on a spiritual journey to grow more into the image of Christ, to understand what it means to be crucified with Christ. To seek the truths of the Christian Faith is of upmost importance, and to know that any truths that are found outside of Christianity are present there because they ultimately point to God. I have an M.A. in theology and apologetics and I completed one year of graduate studies in Philosophy at Marquette University.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Which Theologian Are You?

You scored as Anselm. Anselm is the outstanding theologian of the medieval period. He sees man's primary problem as having failed to render unto God what we owe him, so God becomes man in Christ and gives God what he is due. You should read 'Cur Deus Homo?'



John Calvin


Friedrich Schleiermacher


Jonathan Edwards


Karl Barth






Paul Tillich


Martin Luther


Charles Finney


Which theologian are you?
created with QuizFarm.com

OK, the fact that Finney even exists on my list scares me to no end!! And, Schleiermacher being third is really making me rethink my theology. Of course, I'll take Schleiermacher over Finney any day!! Fun quiz, go try it our for yourself!!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Great Theologians

Can you name these great theologians? There is no particular order, and don't cheat 8-)











Oh wait!! How did that pic get in there? Well, just ignore this last pic!! 8-)

St. Augustine on the Trinity

"We believe that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one God, maker and ruler of every creature, and that "Father" is not "Son," nor "Holy Spirit" "Father" or "Son"; but a Trinity of mutually related persons, and a unity of equal essence."

- de Trinitate, IX.i-v8.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Homily on Ephesians 5.2.11-12

"Many are the evidences of God's love of humanity. God has saved us through himself, and through himself in such a special way, remembering what we were when he saved us and to what point he has now brought us. For each of these stages in itself is a great proof of his benevolence. Paul now reviews at each stage what he writes. He has already said that God has saved us when we were dead in sins and children of wrath. Now Paul shows to what extent God has raised us."

- From a homily on Ephesians by Chrysostom

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Da Vinci Code Movie

A group of us went to see one of yesterday’s matinee showings of the Da Vinci Code. I had already read the book two years ago, so I was not sure how much of the book Ron Howard (the Director) was going to include in the movie. Much to my surprise, Howard stayed fairly true to the book. However, this caused the movie, as far as movies are concerned, to not work well at all. What I mean by this is that there is so much story content in the book that it does not translate into movie format too well, so the movie came across as stale, shallow, and quite lacking in so many various things.

However, the content of the book was still present in the film, so all the theological nonsense, all the historical inaccuracies, and all the outrageous claims were made in the film. Which, by the way, after seeing the film, made me realize even more so how ridiculous the overall thrust of this film (and book) really is. Granted, I can see how someone who was completely uninformed about certain historical or theological issues could fall prey to the spectacular claims made in the film, but anyone even a little informed could, and should for that matter see right through the ridiculous content.

Nonetheless, at the theatre around the corner from our house, when the film opened this past Friday, there were about 20 or so people (I’m assuming these were Christians) standing outside the theatre protesting the movie (with signs and such). To be perfectly honest I’m not sure what I think about this. On the one hand, it seems a bit over the top to be protesting a movie which is clearly based on a work of fiction, but on the other hand, I can certainly see how someone would want to be informed about the book and film in order to supply a response to anyone who might fall prey to its contents. Has anyone seen the film or read the book for that matter? What do you think about all the hype that seems to be developing around it?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Quote of the Week

"Seek the truth, listen to the truth, teach the truth, love the truth, abide by the truth, and defend the truth . . . unto death."

- John Huss

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Eucharist

Since my wife and I have been visiting so many various churches in our search to find a church home, we have actually seen a lot of various styles of worship, various creeds and confessions sited during worship, and various styles of music. Also, there is one thing that has varied from church to church and at certain times I have taken issue with this one thing, and that is the elements being offered during the sacrament of Lord’s Table (the Eucharist).

It seems quite clear, based upon Scripture and Church Tradition, that God consecrated unleavened bread and wine for the elements of the Eucharist. That being the case, why would any church congregation use anything else but these elements in the Eucharist of their worship service? Why use grape juice or a loaf of bread (leavened) when these things were clearly not consecrated? For some reason, when a loaf of bread is used, or grape juice is used it tends to bother me, and I wonder if this being bothered is unnecessary.

Am I simply being too picky about this? I am actually wondering if, perhaps, my fundamentalist upbringing and background has caused me to be too rigid about this issue. What do you think? Am I being too rigid, is the use of grape juice and leavened bread appropriate? I would greatly appreciate anyone's feedback, thoughts, suggested readings, etc. on this issue.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

"Reel Wisdom"

"Change can be so constant you don't even feel the difference until there is one. It can be so slow that you don't know that your life is better or worse until it is. Or, it can just blow you away, make you something different in an instant."

- Life as a House

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The (Mis) Use of the Bible

Recently I have been grappling over several issues that have actually disturbed me for the better part of ten years. Since my wife and I have been visiting so many different churches in various denominations in our search for a church home (which by the way has now moved beyond the year mark) this issue has surfaced time and again. What issue is that?

Well, the issue of using the Bible to serve an end or purpose with which the Bible was not written. For instance, lately I have heard the Bible being used or quoted from in order to debunk certain practices, either within society at some level, or within certain denominations. It is as if the Bible is being used to debunk something that, in all reality, the Bible was never intended to debunk. If this occurs within a particular denomination, often times the end result is division, splintering, sometimes to such a degree that several groups are formulated from what once was a larger whole. Each group now has its own Biblical view or interpretation that believes the other group, from which it broke off, is in error. This is certainly a misuse of the texts of Scripture. Nonetheless, it happens all too often.

Certainly the texts of the Bible, which were written thousands of years ago, were never intended to be used to demonstrate the personal preferences, or personal woes one may have with a group of contemporary believers (i.e. a certain church practices, etc.) Often the cry, “The Bible says such and such . . . therefore, you should do such and such” is a distorted and forceful misreading (usually done so quite anachronistically) of the texts. Moreover, these “militant” uses of the texts to “warn” a church (or group of Christians) in the 21st century are done so in an attempt to control the environment and not to get at the heart of what the text is truly communicating. Authority of the Bible, in this sense or use, has become an equivocation of the term authority. The “authority” is actually the attempt to use the Bible to express protest against a certain disagreement which misses the point of the text altogether.

Do you see this occurring or am I way off?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

God Certainly Foreknows

"If God did not foreknow the fall of man, nor the redemption by Jesus Christ, nor the volitions of man since the fall; then he did not foreknow the saints in any sense; neither as particular persons, nor as societies or nations; either by election, or mere foresight of their virtue or good works; or any forsight of any thing about them relating to their salvation; or any benefit they have in Christ, or any manner of concern of their's with a Redeemer."

- Jonathan Edwards, The Freedom of the Will, p. 128

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Web Searches

At other blogs that I frequent I have read posts where certain internet searches that have caused an individual to land on that particular blog have been mentioned by the blog owner (Chris Tilling posted on this recently). What is mentioned is usually done so with the intent to be funny, and rightly so. Lately, since I have not posted as much as I have in the past, most of the hits to my blog have been from internet searches (i.e. Google, Yahoo, etc.). Just recently these are some of the searches that have landed people at my blog (some of these are very funny):

1) Protestants are pharisees (must have been a "fundie" search) 8-)

2) Mike + spring + yuma (I'm still trying to figure out how this search pulled up my blog)

3) Divine wrongs

4) Kants thoughts of Anselm

5) Habits of sin (I'm sure my blog was the only search result on this one) 8-)

6) Young fogeys (hmmm . . . is this descriptive of the blog owner?)

Fun stuff!!!

Quote of the Week

"Taken as a whole, the church clearly can't live without the Bible, but it doesn't seem to have much idea of how to live with it."

- N.T. Wright

Friday, May 05, 2006

Philosophical Powers

Augustine 354-430

Nationality: from Numidia, a Roman province in northern Africa Group.

Alliances:"Nefarious" Neoplatonists"Thorny" Theists "Sadistic" Saints AKA: Bustin' AugustineCussin' Augustine A-Gustin' WindAurelius Augustinus

Powers: cognition aided by divine illumination; shape shifting ability.

Weaknesses: inability to do anything that will earn the divine grace necessary to make up for original sin.

Notes: These toys come with with a 224-page minicomic, Concussions of Saint Augustine, explaining the character's origin and describing some of his amazing adventures!

One of my former philosophy professors sent me an e-mail recently with a link to these "action figures." These are hilarious! You can see them all here.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Places I Have Visited

I got these map ideas from David over at Nelmezzo. The red states are all the states I have visited (or lived in) in the U.S.

create your own personalized map of the USA
or check out ourCalifornia travel guide

Places I have visited (also in red) around the world (only the U.S., Mexico, and Belize). Certainly a trip to Europe is in the makings!!!

create your own visited country map
or check our Venice travel guide

Christian Contentment

"Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious, frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God's wise and fatherly disposal in every condition."

- Jeremiah Burroughs