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    Faith Seeking Understanding
          "Faith seeks understanding passionately and relentlessly, or it languishes and eventually dies...Human life ceases to be human not when we do not have all the answers, but when we no longer have the courage to ask the really important questions." ~Daniel L. Migliore, Faith Seeking Undersanding

    Tue, Jan 24th - 4:47PM

    So I have this friend I met at camp last summer. My first impression of her was not good, but as I got to know her I was really impressed. She is fourteen years old, and she is Jewish. Now this is especially suprising because I met her at a Christian camp for people with diasabilities. She was the only non-Christian staff member in the whole camp. In fact, some of the other counselors had attacked her for her beliefs in the past. Yet every year she comes back as a counselor. For the next two weeks of camp, I got to know this girl much better. We talked and laughed and made fun of each other. It was great. Now she is the only person from camp that I still keep in touch with. In the past we have talked on the phone about once a month. This week she called me three times. It has been an eventful week for her, but that is not what I want to talk about. Hannah is an amazing Jew. Her family was never serious about their religion. It was just something they did. But Hannah wasn't satisfied with that. She decided to find out what it really meant to be Jewish. She wanted to take her religious beliefs serious. How many fourteen year olds do you know who think that much as religion? Especially ones not encouraged by their parents. She is so amazing and it breaks my heart that she is so passionate but is still missing the point. Her God is distant, uninvolved, and stern. She cannot see the connection between her God and my loving, personal Jesus. I told her last night that I never want her to stop being Jewish. I love talking to her and learning about her beliefs. I long for her to understand how Jesus' life and death was the fulfillment of Judaism. But I don't understand enough about Judaism to be able to show her the connection. For now I am just enjoying her friendship and learning about her beliefs while I contiue praying that Hannah will eventually see the truth.

    Comment (2)

    Mon, Jan 16th - 3:05PM

    I had another "discussion" with my roommate. We were talking about Benjamin Franklin's attempt to improve himself morally. He made a list of virtues and kept a schedule of his trangressions in each area. Eventually he gave up because he made no progress in this fashion. I commented that he was going about moral improvement in the wrong way because God was not a part of the process. My roommate objected to this. She asked me if I did not believe that people could improve morally unless they are Christians. When I answered that that is indeed my belief she said I was being cynical.

    I realize that my view of human beings is not a very hopeful one on the surface. I believe people are fundamentally evil in that they are natually selfish creatures. The Bible says the heart is desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9), and it is. One commonly used example of this is that no one has to teach a baby to be selfish. Instead we have to teach children to share and consider other people's feelings and needs. People cannot change this essential nature on their own. They cannot make their hearts not be desperately wicked.

    Let me clarify here that I am not saying that non-Christians must all be horrible, ruthless people. Some of the most moral people I know are not Christians. I believe that people are capable of moderating, controling to some extent the outward expressions of their inner selfishness. A person can make a commitment to never lie or never insult other people. But they cannot suppress the thoughts and desires that preclude these actions. They can only prevent their expression. The heart remains wicked even if the body is controlled. There is another way to consider this. If I am wrong, and people can improve morally without God's help, then what is to prevent them from becoming perfect? If a person by their own efforts can completely eradicate the thoughts, desires and actions associate with one particular sin, why can't they do the same for all sins? If this were possible, a person could be sinless. Clearly, this is not possible as the Bible says all have sinned and fallen short of God's glory (Romans 3:23).

    So people are incapable of improving themselves. Instead, people must rely on God to give them the ability to improve morally. But I do believe that this is a cynical belief. This belief only focuses attention all the more on how much people need God. My purpose is not to diminish people but to praise God. He is the source of all goodness. It does not come from us. I think there is great hope in this belief. Saying that we can change on our own only provides false hope. We can't. We need God. This is not a horrible thing, but a wonderful thing.

    P.S. Would you all pray for me about being more open and less prideful when I have these discussions with my roommate? I know that she is not putting down my beliefs. She is challenging them, but that is why I came to college anyway. And many times she agrees with me, but we argue because we have not clarified subtle distinctions and instead use general statements. I also need to learn that I can say that I don't know and need to think about something and not be saying I agree with her and just can't think up another argument right now. So please pray.

    Comment (4)

    Thu, Jan 12th - 3:14PM

    My internet is working again. Praise God. My roommate's however is not working. This is very strange because we are both using the same internet. I do not understand. She can connect but is unable to check her email or do any other number of things she should be able to do while online. Maybe it's her computer. None of us know that much about computers.

    Anyway, my roommate and I were discussing philosophy last night. I hate philosophy. At least, the kind you learn about in philosophy classes. This is strange because I enjoy discussing theology, and theology is similar to philosophy. Maybe it is just that I know more about theology and therefore it is easier for me to win any arguments I might be having with someone. Maybe it is because I care more about understanding God than I care about whether I can trust my senses or only ideas and concepts. Maybe it is because theology deals with a person, a being of some sort where philosophy is exploring abstract concepts like knowledge, art and beauty. Maybe it is because theology actually effects that way I live my life and philosophy doesn't. Whatever the reason, I hate philosophy. This is unfortunate because my roommate is taking Intro to Philosophy, and she always wants to talk about what she's learning. Normally I like this, but it was frustrating me last night because she wanted to discuss philosophy. Besides this, Amy and I are enough alike yet still different enough to pursue an argument tenaciously while following completely different thought patterns. We usually end up argreeing on some side issue without really coming to any conclusion on the main issue. This leaves me feeling slightly dissatisfied and rather put out. I'm afraid that my irritation stems solely from the fact that I am not sure if I won or lost that argument. I will have to work on that. Clearly my pride is getting squeezed and making me irritable. I am much better than I used to be but pride is such an insidious sin. C. S. Lewis calls it the sin that people dislike most in others but are least aware of in themselves. I have found this to be true in my life. Pride dwells underneath the surface of one's conscious thoughts making one take offense at insignificant things and creating a subtle feeling of superiority. It is only when something happens to bring pride into our conscious awareness that we can do anything about it. I know this sounds similar to some of Freud's theory, but I do not believe that everything Freud had to say was nonesense although a lot of it was nonesense or, at the least, greatly exaggerated. We don't have to reject the whole of something because parts of it is false. But that's another topic for another blog, and I have to get to class soon.

    Comment (3)

    Mon, Jan 9th - 1:13AM

    I'm Back

    Hey Everyone. I'm back at school, but my email is not working well so I will not be blogging much right away unless it starts working soon. In the circumstances I feel lucky that I was able to check where my classes are tomorrow. So hopefully I'll be writing again soon.

    Comment (2)

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    About Me

    Name: C'Anne Johnson
    ChristiansUnite ID: cannejohnson
    Member Since: 2005-12-02
    Location: Sonora, California, United States
    Denomination: Evangelical Free
    About Me: Hi everyone, I am an Azusa Pacific University Student whose father likes to use blogs to check up on his kids. Like any college student, I'm just trying to figure it all out. Thought I might as well share my thought with other believers who actually ... more

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