The expression “surrendering your mind to God” can easily be misunderstood. It certainly does not mean that we are to cease thinking. Rather, it means that we are to control the topics of our thinking according to God’s agenda. We are, to some degree, responsible for that about which we think. This issue is related to the mind-body debate in philosophy which, in part at least, looks for an answer to this question – “Is there ‘something’ in us that is responsible for some of what we think? If there is, then that means that there is something in us that is vital, but that is not “matter.” (0050821)
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When addressing some Christian college students, a friend of mine raised the issue of suffering, specifically the suffering that can happen when Christians are persecuted, even violently. He went to the point of affirming that Christians facing such suffering should not shy away from it, but rejoice in the midst of it.
His statement clearly forces us to think about courageous Christianity. And, many of us have some degree of doubt about how courageous we would be when facing torture and/or violent death. Yet, are we treating the issue properly when only personalizing it that way, affirming that we are to rejoice in suffering?
On one hand, how do we rejoice in suffering without promoting injustice, since so much suffering is the result of someone’s immorality? And, on the other hand, how do we rejoice in suffering and also hate sin, which we should be doing? I am not sure I have answers to either of these two questions. (0051012)
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Do you also experience frustration when hearing people present their ideas in an overly simplified way? (My question, as you see, tells you what I sense in such situations.) One of the overly simplified presentations is to lay out a false dilemma, saying that there are only two options before us. In such cases, making an argument for one option automatically negates the opposite option. On the other hand, a person can negate the case for one of the options, and on that basis alone affirm that the opposite option is valid.
But let’s face it, our decisions rarely involve only two options. Yet, we want to make things simple, and ignore all the options except two of them. Flee such over simplification, whether done by a politician, a professor, a preacher, or a prosecutor!! (0060120)