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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.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I'm Back, and I'm Sick . . . YUK!!!

Well, I am back to blogging, but I got really sick two days ago. Someone where I work showed up very ill and several people, including myself, ended up catching what he brought to work . . . summertime sickness . . . nice (he says sarcastically as he blows his already raw nose)!

Anyway, I'll be around though, I intend to post a few articles on gradation of sin, which has been a current topic of discussion in my life as of late. So I want to get it out there and see if I get any response. So . . . stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Taking a Bit of a Break

For the next week or so things will be quiet around here. I am taking a bit of a break from blogging and shall return in about a week. Until then, may the peace of the Lord be with you.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

How Often Do You Seek "Assurance of Pardon"?

In the almost two years I have had this blog, aside from various other blogs being the source of people coming to my blog, most of the people who end up on my blog have come from Google searches. The most interesting thing about these Google searches is the topics of the searches. In other words, my blog has been the destination point from Google searchers seeking such topics as music, churches, various theological issues, various people searches (i.e. Calvin, Luther, etc.), but the most common Google search is, hands down, "Assurance of Pardon."

This "search topic" has always made me wonder, do people search for this because they seek assurance of pardon in their own lives, or because the need for such assurance drives them to research and seek out answers about that topic? I know, I know, perhaps I am reading too much into this, these are just Google searches you say. But I know from my own personal experience that I search topics at Google in order to find answers to what I am seeking. Therefore, that being the case, it would seem to follow that perhaps the most sought after answer is to the question do we really have "assurance of pardon"?

Do people seek answers to this topic because of a basic need within their own lives to be "pardoned"? Or is this just a hot topic? I tend to lean toward the former as opposed to the latter, but perhaps there are other options that drive people to seek out this topic, maybe they are researching for a term paper, or what have you. Nonetheless, I do find it very intriguing that this topic is, by a very large margin, the highest Google search that ends up at my blog.

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

See, I'm Not So Foul Mouthed After All

Ha!! My blog got a "G" rating! Now if I wrote my blog while I was driving in my car, it would probably get a rating of NC-17.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Why I Love Jonathan Edwards

Below is a guest post I was asked to write for Ben Myers at Faith and Theology. I never actually posted this at my own blog, and he recently re-ran the thread again so I thought I would go ahead and post the article here. Hope you enjoy!

Jonathan Edwards has been called the greatest American thinker. Having read and re-read much of what Edwards has written, I would agree with this sentiment. In fact, Edwards was one of the first theologians I encountered in my own theological studies. After studying both theology and philosophy, I have often thought that the best theologians are those who have immersed themselves in philosophy. And Edwards was no exception.

Edwards had, I think, a nice balance between theology and philosophy, and he knew how they worked together. His work on human nature and human will (especially in The Freedom of the Will) still offers perhaps one of the best explanations ever produced on the fallen human condition. In addition to his theological work, Edwards was a Congregational pastor, and his sermons were published and are still being read today. Among these is, of course, the famous (but often misunderstood or misrepresented) sermon titled Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.

But aside from all this, Edwards was also a poet, a musician, a lover of nature and the outdoors, the last of the great puritans, and a friend and counselor to many in his day, even when he himself was suffering from great bouts of depression. While I do not necessarily agree with everything Edwards wrote, I still think he is a force to be reckoned with. In my opinion he is one of the most underappreciated theologians in Christian history—but time will tell how much he really contributed to the theological landscape. Perhaps eventually we will catch up to the thinking of Jonathan Edwards.

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Monday, July 09, 2007

Let Mercy Come and Wash Away . . .

What I've Done

Excellent video, song and message by Linkin Park

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Practice of the Presence of God

"That we ought, once for all, heartily to put our whole trust in God, and make a total surrender of ourselves to Him, secure that He would not deceive us.

That we ought not be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed. That we should not wonder if, in the beginning, we often fail in our endeavors, but that at last we should gain a habit, which will naturally produce its acts in us, without our care, and to our exceeding great delight.

That the whole substance of religion was faith hope, and charity, by the practice of which we become united to the will of God; that all besides is indifferent, and to be used as a means that we may arrive at our end, and be swallowed up therein, by faith and charity.

That all things are possible to him who believes; that they are less difficult to him who hopes; that they are more easy to him who loves, and still more easy to him who perseveres in the practice of these virtues.

That the end ought to propose to ourselves is to become, in this life, the most perfect worshipers of God we can possible be, as we hope to be through all eternity.

That the greater perfection a soul aspires after, the more dependent it is upon divine grace."

- From Brother Lawerence's The Practice of the Presence of God

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Jesus Video

Last night a friend of mine showed me some "Jesus videos" that were used in a church curriculum to demonstrate how Christianity and Jesus are commonly misunderstood. The setting for these films was a teaching curriculum in a particular church, but apparently in previous courses of this same curriculum the overall point of the class was misunderstood due to preconceived notions about what it means to be Christian, etc. So these films were used to break down those misconceptions. The film is actually quite funny, and you can see the various misconceptions throughout this whole film series. This is third film in the series - you can click on the you film itself and it will take you to Youtube where all the other films have been posted.

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