From justifying God to justifying existence

More (see my last post on the subject) from Living by Faith by Oswald Bayer. . .

Not only are we always judging, condemning/justifying ourselves and each other, we also judge, condemn/justify God.  Bayer has some interesting reflections on “theodicy,” the question of how or why God allows evil,  drawing on sources that I wasn’t familiar with.  But what most struck me was Bayer’s observation that when the idea of God fades away in some people’s minds, the problem of theodicy remains.  He describes a “secular theodicy.”  No longer, “why does God allow evil and suffering,” but “why does existence allow evil and suffering.”  In many ways, that latter question is harder to answer.  I am seeing that this is why so many people today believe that life is meaningless, absurd, pointless, and (in a tragic number of cases) not worth living.

I’m thinking that, as I read on, Bayer will show that justification by Christ on the Cross justifies God (in this sense) and justifies existence itself.

[Read more...]

The digital generation prefers print on paper

I really enjoy my Kindle.  But when it comes to reading scholarly works, I need to flip back and forth, mark pages, study illustrations, and generally read more carefully.  I kind of need hard-copy printed books to do that.

Now it turns out that the Millennial generation, computer-literate and screen-oriented as they are, are the same way, maybe more so!  Their preference for reading old-fashioned books is overwhelming.

See why, with details about the mental difference between reading on paper and reading on a screen after the jump. [Read more...]

What else Turing did

The movie The Imitation Game focused on how mathematician Alan Turing broke the German “Enigma” code, a major contribution to the Allied victory in World War II.   Those interested in artificial intelligence talk about the “Turing test,” the goal of making it impossible to tell whether a machine or a human being is responding to questions.  But  Turing’s most enduring contribution is not known so much.  He wrote a paper about 0′s and 1′s and computable numbers that basically invented the concept of software. [Read more...]

Justifying ourselves

I am reading a book that is blowing me away:  Living by Faith by Oswald Bayer, the contemporary German theologian who is sort of the Lutheran answer to radical orthodoxy.  Instead of reading it all, then writing a formal review, I am so excited by this book that I thought I would write posts about what I am finding so interesting as I am reading through it.

Bayer begins by showing that the concept of “justification” is not an arcane theological concept.  Rather, it’s something we are preoccupied with all the time.  We are always engaged in trying to justify ourselves.  We are always maintaining that we are right, particularly when other people say that we are wrong.  At work, in our casual conversations, in our relationships with others, we are always defending ourselves, making excuses, scoring points, and seeking approval.  I mean, you see it in the comments on this and other blogs. [Read more...]

In Europe, only outlaws have guns

In Europe, owning a firearm is pretty much illegal.  But a huge black market has arisen in military-grade weapons, making them easily available to criminals, gang members, and terrorists.  Proving the adage that if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will own guns. [Read more...]

Twins!

I have two more grandchildren (for a total of 11), as my daughter Mary in Oklahoma had her twins!  The complication is that they came 8 weeks early.  They are in a neo-natal intensive care unit in Oklahoma City.  They are doing fine, considering, and they are big for their extremely young age, weighing 4 lb. 4 oz. and 4 lb. 12 oz., so from what we are being told, the prognosis is good.  Thank God for today’s medical technology.  They have been baptized.  We’d appreciate your prayers for little Anastasia (“Resurrection”) and Dorothea (“Gift of God”).


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