What is faith, in Christianity? In some precious discussions with a
friend, we found out that there are at least two positions. See if you
can agree:

certain faith
The certain faith of fundamentalists is the human work of
accepting some content as the truth.
hoping faith
The hoping faith of non-fundamentalists is an unproven but
justifiable hope that some content is true. Justifiable means that it
remained after considering in all incertainties, difficulties and
objections.

Both definitions apply to all kinds of believers: Christians,
Marxists, evolutionists, etc..

Practical differences

In Christianity, certain and hoping faith show at least these key
differences in practical living:

  • Dealing with facts and arguments.
    For certain faith, being convinced is the work which a fundamentalist
    believer does. He is stronger convinced of the believed content than he
    can justify by facts and arguments; he even needs no facts and
    arguments at all to perform the work of being convinced. So, either he
    is not interested in facts and arguments at all, or he builds tools
    from them to express his convictions. But he does not allow the facts
    and arguments to affect his faith. On the other hand, with a hoping
    faith you are interested in facts and arguments, you believe “for sure”
    what is provable from them, and believe “as a hope” what you can
    justifiably extrapolate.
  • Salvation by grace, or by grace
    and the work of faith?
    Fundamentalists think that faith is the
    “only necessary work” man has to add in order to be justified without
    works. They would not verbalize it that explicitly, but it may be seen
    from their insecurity when discussing what faith is, if not a work.
    Non-fundamentalists think that their faith is no work but the
    acceptance of the work of Jesus Christ, which is justification by grace
    alone. As faith is not esteemed a work, it needs no quality: even the
    philosophically justifiable conviction that Jesus is the Christ if
    there is any God at all
    is saving faith. To fundamentalists
    however, such a conviction is no faith at all: for them, only a certain
    conviction of all the Bible says is faith. Fundamentalists have a
    work-based faith, as faith is a work for them; so they have the same
    burden as every other believer with a work-based faith: salvation has
    to be achieved by good human performance, here by believing in a most
    straight and certain way.
  • Cultivating strenghth or
    weakness.
    In
    fundamentalist faith, being convinced is a human activity, and
    salvation depends on it. So for the sake of your eternal life, you are
    not allowed to be weak here. This cultivated strength results in
    hypocrisy, because people will hide doubts from themselves and
    others. And this cultivated strength extends to other areas, generating
    the idea that holiness must be and can be achieved by human strenght.
    The result is people and churches which pretend strength and hide
    weakness, to be spiritual. On the other hand, hoping faith communicates
    doubts and difficulties and does not fear them: as a justifiable hope,
    it will stand as long as there is a reason to hope. The content of both
    certain and hoping faith is that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah of
    this wrecked human race. But only in a faith that needs no own strength
    (i.e. hoping faith), the conception of one’s own wreckedness finds room
    and can grow, resulting in cultivating the admission of weakness. Which
    generates authentic, compassionate people and churches.
  • Strong and weak interpretation
    of the Bible.
    People with a certain faith are certain what they
    believe and that it is true. From this flows a strength-demonstrating,
    knowing interpretation of the Bible, not leaving any questions. On the
    other side, people with a hoping faith might admit that they don’t know
    what many passages of the Bible mean.
  • Trusting oneself or something
    external.
    Certain faith does not need the believed reality to
    exist: it relies only on the ability of the believing person to
    believe. On the contrary, hoping faith trusts not in any own ability
    but in the existence of a real God. Therefore it is interested in God’s
    power and help and can acknowledges one’s own weakness and wreckedness.
    Hoping faith leans on God and trusts God, while certain faith leans on
    oneself and trusts oneself. This is the practical difference of
    “faith’s perspective”, apart from the question how faith is justified.

Which faith is the Christian one

I want to invite you to think about the question whether the
Christian faith is intended to be certain or hoping … you are invited
to discuss it with me here, also. You’ll have noticed that I couldn’t
conceal my opinion in what you’ve read so far. Now I will reveal the
way I came to this opinion. Grown up with the “certain faith paradigm”
(though far ess extreme as pictured above), I couldn’t bear the
unjustiied certainty of my faith. But I though that my faith had to be
that certain and that my salvation depends on such a faith.

Now, the honest consequence of a certain but unjustified faith is to
search for justification. Which means, I needed the scientific-style
proof that Jesus is the Christ, i.e., God’s promised saviour of
mankind. I thought to prove that by contemporary miracles which happen
“in the name of Jesus Christ” and called the project which collects
such miracles “Second Acts”. I intended to execute this project during
a world tour of several years … .

I need not to mention that this kind of faith was
at times a very stressing issue: seeing this certain faith as the key
to
salvation, I expected myself to believe “for certain” but was unwilling
or unable to do as long as the justification was missing. From these
negative consequences, and because salvation is absolutely “not by
works”, I conclude that the gospel of a “certain faith” is no good
message at all, i.e. cannot be the gospel. So Christian faith is hoping
faith.

Another confirming argument is how I arrived at a practical way of
coping with the lack of proofs for my faith, yet without knowing that
this was the transition from certain to hoping faith: in the dilemma of
believing for certain without prove, the two bad options are (1) to
think that you do not need proofs or (2) to generate fake proofs. The
real way out however was to hope that you will once have the proof for
your faith. Concretely, I hoped to find this prove by collecting
“Second Acts”.

This basically turned my faith from a certain one to a hoping one
(but yet with a temporary target and the illusionary idea that I will
arrive at an ultimately proven certain faith within life on this earth
by writing “Second Acts”). At the point of writing this, the current
situation is even better: I can cope with the lack of ultimate proof
until death, where I expect to come from “hoping to seeing”. This is
however no insecure hoping as if in doubt: hoping means that I think
and expect to be true what I believe. But not in a fundamentalist
manner which proclaims certainty beyond measure, rather with a unproven
but justifiable hope.

Now, the essence of hope is the wish to see the hoped-for reality
more and more, to get more and more proof. Which means that this
“Second Acts” project is still alive, but with other reasons behind: I
intend to do a world tour of several years to document proven
contemporary acts of God. There’s nothing more cool and precious than
to see what we hoped for, though this will be limited in this
world to the first few steps only. But anyway, it’s so cool and
precious! If anybody shares this same fascination, just tell me.
Perhaps some of you even like to join me on this world tour?

“For we were saved with this hope in mind.  Now hope that is
seen is
not really hope, for who hopes for what can be seen? But if we hope for
what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience.” [Romans
8:24-25 ISV]


Start date: 2007-10-08
Post date: 2007-10-08
Version date: 2007-10-08 (for last meaningful change)

I don’t wanna sound proud and I do.
I’m building my own world right now.

A world without houses, but with homes.
A world without streets.
A world without passenger cars.
A world where 4-10 people live on 13m², with a living room of 148,939,100,000,000 m².
A world where one can work from anywhere in this living room.
A world with a space station moving in this spacy living room.
A world without furniture.
A world without DVD player, desktop PC, notebook, PDA, TV, alarm clock, mobile phone, landline phone, SIP phone, dictaphone, remote controls, MP3 player, stereo music equipment.
(That’s due to convergence.)

A world with brothers and sisters around, not just acquaintances or “just” family or just nobody.

A world where you know your Father and why you are around here.

If you are interested, keep tuned.

Some day, a HowTo will appear here which explains how you can build such a world. It has 90+ pages now and needs some more 🙂

Update as of 2011-05-09: The “HowTo” finally made it online and can be found at my “Documents: Main” page as the EarthOS document. Note that it’s called “idea pools” as I simply lack the time to finish and polish all that … . If you like the idea, check out Open Source Ecology, a group pursueing a similar approach, but they got practical already.

 

Just some minutes ago (on this 2007-09-30) I got the message that
somebody I knew for
some years before I moved to my current place … has
cancer.

This life is no fun, essentially. Morbidity is 100%. Whatever you or
I might be doing right now, it is for sure that it will end at our
death or even before. Whatever there might be, death renders it
senseless. So, face this: death is the most urgent problem in this
life. As it is the ultimate threat to all life, to our very existence.
So to deal appropriately with this life, our foremost activity is to
fight death. Find a way out of this senseless vanity!!! Even
sacrificing a “normal job career” for removing death is surely worth
the effort.

Now, is there any way out. People invented different religions to
imagine there is a solution, but it quiets our mind while our body
dies. People invented medicine but it prolongs time while our body
dies. If there is any hope here, than by Jesus. Who is said to have
died and resurrected, that is, to have conquered death.

Which makes the activity of fighting death to be concretely the
activity to check if Jesus is right, and how to overcome death by his
grace. Oh guys … I want soooo much to be absolutely, absolutely,
absolutely sure about Jesus conquering death, and my eternal life. How
to be? How to be? How to become sure? How? Jesus lived 2,000 years ago,
and I live 2,000 years later. How to overcome that distance? How to
overcome the problem of historic proof where it is even impossible to
know what exactly I did yesterday? Jesus is said to live in people’s
heart. But that is no proof as we even don’t know what “heart” is,
actually. And what is man, actually?

Sigh … . I remember all this fact based, truth based relating to
Jesus’ resurrection that I find in the four Gospels and the Letters of
Paul, John, Peter, James and Jude. What value have these reports it in
this time? I cannot refer myself or anybody else to any kind of
experience or recent report of it that could serve as
justification for a faith in the Gospel.

Sigh … . It seems that my life task will be to face death. And
find eternal life to be the present of God. And find how to be
justifiably and confessably sure about this and to tell other people
about this. We’ve gotta remember the severity of life, that is: it ends
by death (or worse, eternal death) unless you have eternal life for
sure. There’s only this one thing left to place into my life. Getting
assured of my eternal life, really and justifiably sure, perceiving
this to be the truth, the truth and nothing but the truth. Then, to
tell people about what I’ve found.

Folks!!!! You cannot expect people to convert to a God that is only
in your words!!!! You guys must be able to show God to them, make them
sure and let them experience that God exists and acts today. And forget
all these light, subjective, emotional and psychological “proofs” for
that. Real, “hard” works of God are needed here. Things he
does, not just your words. Things he does, not just
your words. What does it help you or the people around you if
God is in your thoughts, heart and mind, but not active in your life?
How can you discern such a God from a mere concept????

Our God, Father. How can I explain your Gospel to somebody without a
proof for it? How can people begin to search and respect you, how else
if not by tasting your reality?? So show us, please, Dad.


Start date: 2007-09-30
Post date: 2007-10-01
Version date: 2007-10-02 (for last meaningful change)


Today (on 2007-09-29) I was having supper here in my little room and was currently eating a slice of bread with gammons, seasoned with some salt. When it came on me that I wanted to know how many ions, placed next to each other, make up one edge of one of these little salt grains I was seeing. This question had bothered resp. interested me at some times before: how small are atoms, measured by everyday objects, so as to get a “feeling” for the size of atoms. This time I decided that I wanted to know … .

Some quick research in the Internet gave the first results: in the ion grid of a crystal, the grid distance is the result of summing up the ion radii of both ions … an ion radii are measured thus that the attractve and repulsive forces of two ions are in equilibrium when placed in the distance next to each other that is given by the sum of both ion radii. For Natrium Chloride (Na+Cl, i.e. salt), the sum of the ion radii is 0.276 nm [Ernst-Georg Beck: Chemiekurs 2002, Kap. 2.1 Ionenbindung]. So this is the distance from the center of one Na+ ion to the center of its neighbour Cl- ion, i.e. the grid distance.

So now let’s calculate how many ions make up the edge of a 0,5mm salt crystal cube:

0.5 mm / 0.276 nm = 0.0005 m /
0.000000000276 m = 1 811 594 ions

How to imagine that numer? Imagine a square with 1.8 kilometers edge length, partitioned into 1mm² small squares. Then each square resembles one ion, and the big square the face of the salt crytal with 0.5 mm edge length. In my imagination up to this calculation, I would have rather thought of a square with 100 m edge length as an analogy, i.e. I thought that atomic structured were about 10 times larger.

Now, thinking of the way our body is made up of structured where single molecules matter (e.g. DNA), I marvel at God’s awful excellence in fine mechanics. He really an deal with structures of that size, while we have a hard time to even find an analogy for them!

BTW, this is the authentic picture from the rest of the slice of bread I ate when thinking about this salt crystal thing 😉


Start date: 2007-09-29
Post date: 2007-10-01
Version date: 2007-10-01 (for last meaningful change)

Some things have changed in this vision since last re-vision … umh, ok. It will be cool and humiliating and enlightening to see the differences when posting new versions of this mindmap in future posts … this thing is never finished, I think. And, this is my first image on this blog, bringing some more colors to it 🙂 Note that you need to click the image to view it in original, readable size.


Start date: 2007-09-29
Post date: 2007-09-29
Version date: 2007-09-29 (for last meaningful change)

Since 2-3 months I am occupied with demystifying my faith in God,
that is, removing “religious elements”. This article is an interim
result statement, summing up the main findings for your and my reference.

Demystification proceedings so far

  1. The creator’s greatness. It was argued that there is no
    “24/7 immediate company with God”, see “What
    kinda company with God is possible?
    “, “The
    third way of life in this world
    ” and “The
    cream white area of contact with God
    “. This is an effect of God
    being a so much higher being than we. Another aspect of the creator’s
    greatness is that his creatures are expected to be conscious of their
    createdness and live that out (see “Createdness
    and creativeness
    “).
  2. Humbleness as the essence of faith. See “Createdness
    and creativeness
    ” but probably also “Weakness
    strengthens the church
    “.
  3. The natural nature of the congregation. See “Be
    your congregation
    ” and “Natural
    transformation in the church
    ” and “Weakness
    strengthens the church
    “.
  4. The (mostly) natural nature of communication with God.
    In most cases, God communicates with us indirectly by the truth already
    revealed (see “Is
    wisdom indirect?
    ” and “Natural
    transformation in the church
    “) and not directly, concretely,
    individually (see “What
    kinda company with God is possible?
    “, “The
    third way of life in this world
    “).
  5. The natural nature of human happiness. See “Autarky
    escape from the hedonic treadmill
    ” and “Please
    define happiness!
    “.
  6. The natural nature of transformation. See “Is
    wisdom indirect?
    ” and “Natural
    transformation in the church
    “.
  7. The meaning of visible elements in the gospel faith. See
    Formfehler
    in der Beziehung zu Gott?
    ” and “Learning
    the Lord’s supper anew
    “.

Demystification effects so far

I just can write from my own experiences here so far. First of all,
my faith got much more justifiable – I remember when I was once unable
to argue with someone why I thought character transformation in the
church would be a supernatural act of God and not just education. Now,
I’d say transformation
is indeed natural
, but that does not weaken my faith. Instead, I
got a much clearer view what I can expect for a conformation of my
faith by experience: the contemporary miracles of God, which I’d really
like to document in the “Second Acts” project. The clarity here comes
from a conscious division between explicitly supernatural elements of
faith (miracles and where God indeed speaks individually and directly
to us or guides us concretely) and “naturally implemented” elements of
faith like transformation, communication with God by truth, the freeing
effects of truth, the nature of happiness, the nature of faith
(humbleness), the essence of the congregation and the symbolic-only
meaning of visible elements like the Lord’s supper and baptism. The
naturally implemented elements of faith are real and belong to faith
but constituate no experiences that justifiably confirm our faith –
they need not either, as there are enough miracles out there yet to be
documented 🙂

I’d also say that my relationship to God got much more relaxed,
stress-free and liveable by demystification. The insight that this
world is “my universe” and God wants me to live in it by myself,
equipped with the truth he reveals, makes it easier to cope with
experiences of hardness and unrighteousness that would before have
shaken my faith in a “good” God. Now, they’re just what happens in a
fallen world; God did not intend them for me and will not concretely
remove these things out of this world (in some cases) as he’s sure I
can (learn to) handle because he equipped me with truth and with his
Spirit of Truth.

And by a stress-free relationship to God I also mean that I don’t
have to force myself into communion with God by reading the Bible or
something. Religious exercises are a myth that mostly comes from the
idea of “24/7 immediate communion with God”. Instead, in this mostly
“mediate relationship” to God, I hope I’ll emphasize loving my fellows
much more in the future, as this is how I can express obedience,
thankfulness, worship and appreciation for God. And Besides, a
relationship just has the quality it just has, and I simply (try to)
accept the relationship as it is, knowing that God will succeed in
making this relationship unfeigned and good some day.

Demystification issues not yet addressed

This list contains, to my current knowledge, the issues I need to
investigate further before I’d think that my practical living with God
is non-religious and sound. At this point of time I will hopefully be
able to proceed to put the “Second Acts” idea into practice, which is
to document critically and objectively the supernatural acts God does
today, to confirm my faith and the faith of others. I know that
succeeding here and even being able to start this whole thing is not
dependent on my own creative power (what is this, actually) but on
God’s grace. The good news is, God is full of grace, so I
justifiably hope that this “Second Acts” thing will once be done!! And,
dear readers: you’re really really welcome to join me for this, so if
you share the same desire for seeing and soberly documenting God’s
contemporary acts, please let me know!

Now, the list of issues with (my) faith where demystification is
still needed to some degree:

  1. Marriage demystification. What is marriage in God’s
    view, actually? And what is the taboo-loaden human conception of it?
  2. Prayer. How to thank God for a meal without religious
    catchphrases? Probably, prayer is more about transhipping sorrows to
    God than to expect answers as from a wishing machine.
  3. The Holy Spirit. How can I recognize the admittedly
    supernatural stuff he dos within me? He seems to be
    perceivable as an “undirected positive force” in a Christian, but how
    to prove scientifically that others don’t have this that way and that
    this force is supernatural?
  4. The Revelation of John. How to deal with the symbolism
    of this bible book without introducing religious meta-physics and
    unverifiable exegetic myths?
  5. Decision finding. How to deal adequately with the
    freedom God grants us regarding concrete decisions? How to know where
    God indeed wants us to be obedient to some concrete hint or command?
  6. Objective view on miracles. Most contemporary miracle
    reports carry some religious bias, as opposed to the sober style how
    the bible documents miracles. So sadly, many miracle reports today will
    probably turn out to document natural phenomena only.
  7. Conversion. Is it a naturally implemented phenomenon or
    is some naturally unexplainable miracle implied?
  8. Who belongs to God? What is really meant by being saved
    exclusively by Jesus?
  9. Has the Bible supernatural effects? Is it the
    “supernatural word of God with strength of its own”, or is e.g. dynamic
    understanding of bible passages (i.e. an understanding which changes
    over time) a natural phenomenon which can be observed with other texts
    also?
  10. The theodicy,
    demystified.
  11. The subtle acts of God. I don’t really know what this
    will be about, but it deems to me that the greatest part of what God
    does today is subtle in nature and difficult to recognize.
  12. What means that our supply comes from God?
  13. What is the nature of God’s promises? Where does God
    promise average results, and where individual concrete blessings he’ll
    give?
  14. What does the devil and the demons really do? And where
    do we only thing they do something, while it is a natural consequence
    of this world’s quality, e.g. a bad coincidence? And, what is the
    nature of how evil spirits work: do they do evil concrete deeds, or are
    they an undirected evil force in people’s mind?

Start date: 2007-09-29
Post date: 2007-09-29
Version date: 2007-09-29 (for last meaningful change)

Yesterday and the day before that I thought about some commercial
activities I wanna get myself into. And I had to think about if that
sorta planning and intending is alright in God’s sight or not. As I
knew of some verses which say something hereunto but I wouldn’t
understand. Me thinks I got some better conception now. Here are these
verses:

(13) Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go
to such and such a town, stay there a year, conduct business, and make
money.” (14) You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your
life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
(15) Instead you should say, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live—and
do this or that.” (16) But you boast about your proud intentions. All
such boasting is evil. [James
4:13-16 ISV
]

The Int’l Standard Version cited here preemptively takes you on the
right track. Until yesterday I had the following conception based on a
German translation [James
4:15 GerElb1905
]: it depends on the concrete will of God if we live
another day, and God might want that or the opposite for us; and
likewise for what God wants us to do concretely; so only in the
incident when God wants us to live another day and do what we
plan to it will come to pass. To me, this now smells like folk
religiousness. Let me explain why and then conclude with an alternative
(and grammatically justified) translation.

Men’s duality as a created creator

God created the human being to be “his image” [Genesis
1:26 ESV
]. According to the verse just quoted this means that man
should have dominion above all other things in this world – just as God
has dominion above all things in the whole known and unknown universe.
Man resembles God in that the world is his universe. So man can be
called the “god in this world”, perhaps see [Psalms
82:6 ESV
] for that.

So man is in a complex relationship: in the direction toward God he
is the creature, and in the direction towards this world he is the
creator. As the creator, man can work and build and reach and govern
something; as a creature, he should know that he lives because of the
goodwill and grace of his creator. Sadly, his creator is invisible
while the things he can create are visible; which serves as a steady
temptation to deem oneself as creator only. Which obviously would not
be appropriate to reality.

Nonetheless, Adam tried it, and every human being since him: we
wanted to be just as God, a creator only, not just a humble creature.
It deems us unjust that God demands us to be humble creatures while he
allows himself to be creator only. But he does not! God is Father and
Son (and Spirit), and as such Creator and Creature in “personal union”.
So the error begins with the misconception of God when we want to be
“just as God”. What we want is to break “free” from love … we wanna
be egoistic, wanna have all for ourselves. This is not just confined to
the love relationship to our creator only, but affects also the
relationships to our wife or husband, to our children and to nature. So
the deepest cause of all of man’s problems is his rebellion … against
love.

But: there is no way except love; where there is more than one
entity, there is society, and society without love does not work.
Between complimentary entities, love is respect in one direction and
care in the other; and every human being has part in many such
complimentary love relationships, so cannot complain that this is
unjust. Human beings are to respect God as their creator, yet care for
their fellows; husbands are to care for their wifes, while wifes are to
care for their children (here, in their natural, worthy role as mother,
which is being closest to the children). Children are to respect their
mother, and wifes are to respect their husband, and husbands are to
respect God. In Paul’s words:

Now I want you to realize that Christ is the head of every
man, and man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ. [I
Corinthians 11:3 ISV
]

So man’s task is to live both things out at the same time, in love:
being creature and creator. In the directions towards God this demands
just obedience to love, and humbleness before God (in the most positive
sense of the word) [Micha
6:8 ESV
]. A lack of humbleness towards God might be expressed by
explicit rebellion. Or it might be expressed by a lifestyle that is
intended to convey complete independence from God, so as if we’d be
immortal by our own virtue. James denounces exactly this lifestyle in
the concerned passage [James
4:13-16 ISV
]. As an example of explicit rebellion against God
(hidden in all kinds of God-independent lifestyles) let’s have a look
at what is said about Nimrod and the Tower of Babylon after the deluge:

(2.) Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront
and contempt of God. He was the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah, a
bold man, and of great strength of hand. He persuaded them not to
ascribe it to God, as if it was through his means they were happy, but
to believe that it was their own courage which procured that happiness.
He also gradually changed the government into tyranny, seeing no other
way of turning men from the fear of God, but to bring them into a
constant dependence on his power. He also said he would be revenged on
God, if he should have a mind to drown the world again; for that he
would build a tower too high for the waters to be able to reach! and
that he would avenge himself on God for destroying their forefathers!
(3.) Now the multitude were very ready to follow the determination of
Nimrod, and to esteem it a piece of cowardice to submit to God; and
they built a tower, neither sparing any pains, nor being in any degree
negligent about the work: and, by reason of the multitude of hands
employed in it, it grew very high, sooner than any one could expect;
but the thickness of it was so great, and it was so strongly built,
that thereby its great height seemed, upon the view, to be less than it
really was. It was built of burnt brick, cemented together with mortar,
made of bitumen, that it might not be liable to admit water. [Flavius
Josephus: Antiquities of the Jews, book 1, chapter. 4, paragraph. 2-3
]

There are many more interesting considerations about how to deal
with our createdness adequately. For example, James advises to express
an adequate, humble attitude towards our creator in some way [James
4:15 ISV
]. How can we do this today, without resenting to the
stereotypical religious expressions or the folk religiousness often
found in prayers before meals. Or, what the “tree of life” in paradise
means here: in my view, there is reason to think that only regular
eating from this tree’s fruit guaranteed eternal life and healing from
injuries and illnesses; thereby man was remembered of being dependent
(ultimately on God’s favor) and had no self-immanent eternal existence.
While by eating from the “tree of knowledge” man expressed the wish to
be independent “just like God” (with the misconception about God
implied that we discussed bove). Another thought: me thinks the book of
Ecclesiastes is a big advise how to live our createdness out adequately
… look for example at [Ecclesiastes
3:12-13 ESV
]. What do you think, guys 😉

James 4:15 re-understood

Now here’s how I would explain the verse I misunderstodd previously:

Instead you should say, “If the Lord wants us to live (as
he does, but it depends on that), we will live — will hopefully
do this or that.” [James 4:15 explained]

That’s because I conclude from context [James
4:14 ISV
] that John just wants people to recognize and live out
their createdness, i.e. our immanent transientness which is extended
day by day by the grace of our creator. James does not want to say that
God may want our death, but we must be conscient that God
wants our life [John
14:6 ISV
; I
John 5:11-12 ISV
; I
John 4:9 ISV
]. And that we live beauce God wants us to and not
because we want to. After all, we normally die not from God’s will but
from sin and a sinful world, that is, from our wish to be independent
of our creator’s sustaining grace. And he does not want to say that
what we can do concretely depends on what God wants us to: but the
freedom to be able to do “this or that” comes from God.


Start date: 2007-09-27
Version date: 2007-09-29 (for last meaningful change)