"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

"...God is love. Love includes communication."

I finally finished The Book That Made Your World by Vishal Mangalwadi the other day and have just a few more notes to share.  Mostly this is for my benefit because I found this book helpful and wanted to record a few of the things that stood out to me. Really, there was much, much more, but I can't exactly reproduce the whole book, can I?  I'm aware that not everyone would like it as much as I did, but for me it was timely.  It gave me more assurance in the life-changing message of the Bible. And although the author is a Christian, he is not a Western one. (He is from Allahabad, India in the Uttar Pradesh state.) So I enjoyed the perspective of one not exactly like me writing about his own country in some aspects and all the historical ties he brought into the book.   Oddly enough, this month's issue of InTouch - which I shared recently often speaks to me on issues I am currently wondering about *cue spooky music* - came yesterday. The subject: the Word of God.  Coincidence?  (Usually in the June issue they speak about fathers because of Father's Day.)

Here are some of my last notes. I may do one more post with just a bit more depending on if I really want to type it. 

Private revelations cannot generally be confirmed as divinely inspired.  They may be supernaturally inspired, but how would we know if they are from God or from the devil, angels or demons?  Most books of the Bible are not revelations received in a subjective, trancelike experience.The Gospels, for example, claim to be objective public truth. They bear courageous witness to the public events of Jesus' teaching, miracles, prophecies, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension -- witnessed by five hundred people. The Gospel writers - "the evangelists" - challenged the interpretations of Jewish scholarship and a brutal Roman state.  They opened themselves to cross-examination. Matthew, Mark, and John gave eyewitness accounts as evidence for their truth. Luke described how he systematically researched the facts, carefully checking them out with eyewitnesses. This is a very human, scholarly way of writing indeed! ...

Ill-informed critics assume that Christians believe the Bible because the Roman Catholic Church councils declared it was God's Word.  The reality is that the Church believes the Bible because Jesus lived and died "in accordance to the scriptures." ...

[insert material about Jesus fulfilling Scripture and then an example from amoebas about how life and information transmission is related and reveals a God who speaks]

From the very beginning, the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament) reveal a God who speaks: "And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light."  Thus the Jewish worldview sees language as foundational to reality.  We human beings speak because we are made in the image of a Spirit who said, "Let us make man in our image."  Man became a "living soul" when God breathed his spirit ("breath") into a body of clay. Thus, human language has both spiritual and physical aspects.

The Bible teaches that God is love. Love includes communication. Both Old and New Testaments teach that God speaks to us because he loves us. He gave us the gift of language so we may know and love him and one another as his children. Love, Jesus taught, was the whole point of divine revelation, that is, communication.  In the Judeo-Christian understanding, love and language are aspects not of chemistry but of our psyche or soul.  Our chemistry is designed to facilitate love, knowledge, communication, and worship.

pg. 393-4

Have you ever had one of those timely things just happen to you?  A book or sermon or song or note from a friend that spoke to exactly what you were struggling with?  What do you think about love including communication?  Other thoughts?


sanil said...

Yeah, that happens a lot. :) I've heard many people talk about how they get messages right when they need them, from random sources. I have a couple friends who say that's human tendency to see patterns and to make meaning of coincidence. I say I don't really care and I'm glad it happens, anyway. Regardless of how or why, our brains are wired in a way that lets us find the answers we need in the world around us, and that's cool.

Love definitely requires communication. I've had and seen so many relationships (family, romantic, friendly) destroyed because people didn't talk to each other. No matter how much we care about people, we can mess them up if we don't actually do things to make sure they know and experience it.

Lat said...

"..objective public truth"

This sounds interesting.But how does one know if all views of this public truth were accepted? Weren't there some/a few that they didn't approve of?

Language is one that differentiates man to other creatures.But they too have languages thru' which they communicate including love.Sometimes I just don't know why I don't like Man to be singled out for everything special as comapared to other creations.I've grown to respect the natural world to a degree that I would defend it whenever i feel it's warranted :)

I've known some experiences that just happens in a conincidence that a msg from friend when I really needed hope and encouragement.

Amber said...

I very rarely get 'divine communication'. And when I do I usually figure that it's just my subconscious kicking me in the pants. Apparently she's smarter than I am.

The rest of it...seeing meaning in coincidence? I consider reality matrixing. Our minds see patterns and make patterns and meaning out of chaos. Just the way we're wired.

Susanne said...

Sanil, thanks for your comment. I'm glad to know others get answers in similar ways even if it's all just a pattern-brain fault/whatever! I don't have it happen super often to make it not special, but occasionally I find it a cool coincidence. :)

Great paragraph on communication! Thank you!

Susanne said...

Lat, I'm sure it wasn't accepted by all. Things seldom are.

Yes, all of God's creation is nice, but as far as we can tell, only humans have been able to use communication to actually write books and transfer ideas and such. I think God created us a degree or two above the plants and animals, but maybe that's my human-centric viewpoint speaking. I do appreciate God's creation though. Most of it is much more peaceful than humans! :)

Susanne said...

Amber, she who is smarter than you? Yeah,maybe I'm just seeing patterns. It's still cool.Hey, God can send messages in patterns, right? ;-P Don't worry. I'm not one of those kooky people who received dreams and divine messages like that. Just sometimes a thing or two will speak to a need in my life at just the right time. Simple things like that. :)

Amber said...

Yeah. My subconscious is smarter than the conscious me. It's just a fact of life. Also, she's a bit of a bastard. But that's neither here nor there...