Nearly a year ago, I published two articles (“What
kinda company with God is possible?
“, “The
third way of life in this world
“) that claimed: immediate contact
with God is in no way that commonplace as most Christians believe.
Here, I want to add some thoughts to that tradition to get a sharp
criterion what kind of interaction (mediate or immediate) we are to
expect in what situation. But note that these are experimental thoughts
… .

Criterion statement and explanation

Currently, I propose the following statement:

Currently, there are only two things to be said about God’s
initiative activity in relationship to this world: (1) the Gospel is
true, (2) God uses some supernatural phenomena to confirm that the
Gospel is true. All other phenomena are natural phenomena.

To explain: the Gospel is
God’s single and sufficient line of action to save this world. The
Gospel was promised immediately after the fall and unfolded by the
death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. Since it is in the world,
the Gospel has effect on the world and is traded on from man to man:
there are people who hear and believe it, get changed personally, and
thereby get motivated to preach it again. This makes up for a natural,
organic propagation of the Gospel – God does not need to add to this or
to coordinate this in any transcendent way. But there’s one thing that
calls for God’s immediate interaction with this world: to confirm the
Gospel’s truth by supernatural acts, as it’s no justified reason to
believe it as a message traded on by humans, as there is generally no
justified reason to believe humans. The Bible relates that God’s
supernatural activity is for this goal (Heb
2:3-4 ISV
; Mk
16:20 ISV
).

Continuations

Here’s a list of stuff that would follow from the above statement,
and is a subset of my current set of beliefs:

  • Because God’s supernatural activity is to confirm the truth of
    the Gospel, it’s not primarily to help
    people in their individual lifes. Though this is often the effect of
    God’s supernatural acts.
  • Martin Luther had no individual, special calling from God. There
    were social developments that led lateron to the enlightenment, and
    their result within a sincere
    believer of Martin’s character
    was the rediscovery of grace.
    From this may be seen to what degree God wants this to be our world,
    saved by the Son of Man, not by God’s continuous fighting against all
    the evil in this world.
  • Missionaries and other servants generally have no individual,
    special calling from God. I don’t exclude exceptions, but even in
    apostolic times, there were 13 such cases only (12 Apostles plus Paul).
  • There is a personal relationship to Jesus, but in the sense that
    Jesus and me are in some definite position to each other, depending on
    his and my character, history, deeds, thoughts etc.. This relationship
    should be taken care of, but it should not be mixed up with personal
    contact, which is the very rare case.
  • The theodicee question is only meaningful in the form “Why does
    God hinder less evil than he does good in this world?” With above
    statement about God’s concrete activity in this world, we find symmetry
    here: he’s not involved in most good things that happen (in an
    immediate way), so we cannot blame him for hindering just a few bad
    things (in an immediate way). Me thinks we need to understand that he’s
    God and we’re men … the difference in size is that incredibly huge that it’s
    perfectly adequate that God saved this world through one huge action only (the Gospel)
    instead of by fighting evil in millions of actions. The latter is our
    task, as these are our size of actions.
  • In continuation of the last point, we might observe that God
    leads the large-scale things in our individual lifes (mainly, to accept
    the Gospel). But it’s our task and that of our fellow humans to
    influence how smooth that works, i.e. to lead and to help in the
    small-scale things of life.
  • If the Gospel and its supernatural confirmation is everything
    that God does, everything else is human activity. This would reveal
    many of our claimed God-given and God-created things in our
    congregations to be psychology only, i.e. religion. That includes all
    that hype regarding callings, impressions, worshipping etc.. You guys,
    let’s love each other, and if that is done, enough has been done …
    [quoted from old Apostle John, according to Christian tradition].
  • It’s far off to blame God for leaving this world alone. He saved
    this world by the Gospel, and even beyond that, he helps it mediately
    by the effects of the Gospel.
  • Normally, there is no supernatural reason for difficult times. In
    Acts, affliction is attributed to man, not to the devil. This means, we
    should keep our eyes open to see and help those who happen to come into
    affliction, so that there is help for them in just time.
  • Because God confirms the Gospel by supernatural acts, and because
    it’s beautiful, fascinating and motivating to see this, we may and must
    expect answers to prayer and concrete guidance by the Holy Spirit. But
    we must keep in mind that this is to show the Gospel’s truth to us and
    others. It’s not what we can
    expect to happen as the average case in our relationship to God.
  • In continuation of the previous point, we should view most parts
    of our prayers as “applying Gods truth to our personal life”, as
    “relating to God”, not as interacting with God.
  • We may apply
    psychology, sociology etc. where applicable: to motivate Christians, to
    determine weak points in congregations, to grant professional help to
    addicts before or after their conversion, etc..

The most interesting result of “Third way cont.” is probably that
it’s the firs viewpoint (to my knowledge) that combines simplicity,
justified faith and an adequate place for human wisdom and activity.
But of course, this whole viewpoint needs o be checked against the
biblical testimony (esp. Acts) and against reality … .


Start date: 2008-05-28
Post date: 2008-06-14
Version date: 2008-06-14 (for last meaningful change)

Inspired by a recent discussion with a friend, I’ll get you here on
an experimental track of thought. So be warned, and check the content
for its truth by the methods you see fit for that. Note that this is
just a quick document to save some thoughts … get inspired or build
upon it, but don’t take it as doctrine.

Determined or responsible?

When talking about the behavior of other people, you’ll note there
are two people: those who judge it, and those who explain it. Sadly,
both is a naive way of aproaching behavior: the first group claims that
every human being is responsible for its individual behavior, to full
extent; the second group claims that the environment is the cause of
individual behavior, to full extent.

Both answers cannot be lived out. If we are fully responsible,
there’s no explanation for the vast majority of people that act in
uniform ways, as if driven by external force. If we are fully determined,
there is no perspective for the future, because the world will develop
in determined ways, and these seem to lead to catastrophies, everytime
and again.

Neither, nor

The correct alternative cannot be that naive. Instead: yes, my
behavior is determined by my environment up to this very moment; but it
needs not to be so from now on. When analyzing human behavior, you’ll
find reasons for each action, and reasons for the reasons, and
everything results from the environment. But neither educators nor
judiciaries would follow from this that people cannot change. It just
means, they cannot change by themselves. If you want to change people,
you need to change their environment. School, for example, is such a
changed environment, in that pupils are confronted with other values
and expectations than they know from home.

Now if educators apply this to educatees, why don’t we apply it to
ourselves? The ability to apply it to others does not include the one
to apply it to purselves. But there might come an external change of
environment that enlightens our mind for a moment, so that we can
recognize the need to change our own
environment. This moment is where we can act responsibly, but we can
also go by.

Summing up: you cannot change yourself, you can just expose yourself to
an environment that changes you.

The way out: from normal to social behavior

Even people without axiomatic ethics (i.e. non-religious people)
recognize that not every kind of behavior should be tolerated. As we
saw, every kind of behavior has a cause and can be explained, and in
that sense we can call it normal “normal”. Also, we chould be eager to
understand other people’s behavior (it’s called empathy), as that’s the
precondition of finding help for people.

But explainability does not mean that every kind of behavior is
“good”, i.e. has a right to stay unchanges. Without axiomatic ethics,
“good” needs to be defined via pragmatic truth (“that what works is
good”). Which means that socially adequate behavior is good, that’s
behavior where a human society can be built upon if the underlying
principles would be taken by everybody. As a result, a society will get
itself educators that teach its members good (in the sense of socially
adequate) behavior. This teaching will be done by changing people’s
circumstances, see above.

Mapping this to Christian words

I need to admit that, until now, I understood the Bible’s message
this way: God judges all people’s behavior and assigns to everyone the
full responsibility for his or her individual behavior. Now that I
think this is no meaningful or adequate approach to human behavior, I’m
interested if this is really the Bible’s message or was just my naive,
non-enlightened interpretation.

Let us see. I’m going to start with a collection of Bible quotes
that say something about responsibility, cause of human behavior etc.,
and from their general spirit I will re-define some well-known
Christian words.

“Therefore, as you go, disciple all the nations, […] teaching
them to obey all that I have commanded you. […]” [The Bible, Mt
28:19-20, ISV]

At
least to some degree, discipling seems to be something do-able, an
activity.

“For you spent enough time in the past doing what the Gentiles
like to do, living in sensuality, sinful desires, drunkenness, wild
celebrations, drinking parties, and detestable idolatry. They insult
you now because they are surprised that you are no longer joining them
in the same excesses of wild living.” [The Bible 1Pet 4:3-4, ISV]

This
excessive lifestyle is normal, understandable, average behavior for
man, to the extent that it’s surprising when people dare to deviate.

“For you were like sheep that kept going astray, but now you have
returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” [The Bible, 1Pet
2:25, ISV]

“When he [i.e. Jesus] got out of the boat, he saw a large crowd.
He had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a
shepherd, and he began to teach them many things.” [The Bible, Mk 6:34,
ISV]

It’s
obvious here that man cannot help himself: he needs a savior, a
teacher, a sheperd.

flesh, original sin
The bad qualities of man, aquired by growing up in a fallen
world: bad education, bad childhood and perhaps bad DNA. “Bad
qualities” means what leads to dysfunctional society. And interesting
enough, it’s the same what God calls “sin”.
fallen world, world, worldly
The bad environment that we find ourself in. Including bad social
conditions (bad examples etc.), bad physical conditions (illness,
genetic diseases including affinity to depression etc.), bad
environmental conditions (earthquakes, cosmic rays, tsunami waves, crop
failure etc.) and bad spiritual conditions (existence and activity of
demons etc.).
repentance
The correct alternative of the first responsible decision that a
man is able to do in his life. It’s acknowledging that one’s behavior
is bad (though it has reasons, no matter) and choosing to be changed by
God through living in a changed environment from now on. These changed
conditions include a congregation, close companionship with brothers
and sisters, concrete activity and words from God, and more.
holyness, love
The goal of character transformation that God intends for
everybody. It’s equivalent to what people without axiomatic ethics
would (if consequent) follow from the necessity of forming a functional
society.

To sum up: God seems to be empathic. That is, he knows the reasons
why human behavior always develops in bad ways. (That is, socially
dysfunctional, as opposed to love). He also knows that it’s no solution
at all to tell humans about the determination of their behavior. He
just sees that, man must be saved: because of this determination, he
cannot help himself, and the environment does the best to harm him, as
it’s a fallen world. Man needs something that changes his environment
to the better, and by this means, changes man to the better.

And then God changed the human environment by sending His son, and
then His spirit into our human world. Every positive change can be
deduced to this act of God: this change of environment caused other
changes (making church come into existence etc.), and these changes
changed people. Within this changed environment, human behavior is also
determined, but to the good. This determination is described in the
Bible as “God gave us of His spirit”; which I currently understand to
some degree as “taught us to desire the same that the Holy Spirit does”.
And he taught it by coming into the world and changing the world … .

A problem: how to deal with all the commands in the Bible, if I say
that man is not able to change himself so as to keep them? I admit that
the biblical testimony (see the quotations above) points not very
clearly in the direction of this post, but I can explain why: because
the Bible is not a document to explain the world as it is, rather a
document to change the world as it should be. Therefore, it contains
commands much more than it expresses the connection of environment and
behavior, as commands serve two functions in a world where environment
dictates behavior. One function of these commands is to show the bad
quality of his behavior and character to man (that’s the task of the
“law”), to enlighten man to a state where he’s ready to accept God’s
salvation (see below). Another aspect would be that these commands are
not something that’s intended to be fulfilled one by one in a
mechanistic way, but something that, as a multitude of repeated
commands, establishes a different environment. Different from that
where man was used to live in. Now, he meets with other expectations,
other definitions of what is “tolerable behavior”, and why. This
environment changes man, if he’s exposed to it for a prolonged time.
The commands as such, or the strained attempt to keep them, don’t
change anybody. Not in character: it may change the outward behavior,
but only for a time.

One last problem: If it’s all God’s activity to change people by
changing the environment, why did Jesus teach that some people qualify
to go to hell? That is, isn’t it God’s fault that people go to hell, in
the sense that he didn’t perform well enough to change all people’s
environments? The answer seems to be to me: changing one’s environment
is something that God does without asking us, but only to the degree
where we’re changed (“enlightened”) enough to do this responsible
decision: “Do I want acknowledge that my behavior is not good and let
God change me to the better, or do I want to adhere to being good and
feel ok, though it’s not true and though the results will be
devastating?”. The ability to do this decision is in no way the “free
will” of man, as if man would have the ability to do right our of his
own strength. It’s possible simply because of God’s kindness, who wants
to respect His image in man instead of perfecting man without his
consent.


Start date: 2008-06-12
Post date: 2008-06-12
Version date: 2008-06-12 (for last meaningful change)

In addition to my recent article on Amy
resp. her YouTube videos on “emo”
I wondered how an authentic life
with Jesus could be made known to people like the emos, in a way that
would make them take Jesus seriously. Invitations to any Christian
events are useless if there is not already a personal connection. So
what? Here’s a radically different approach to try out. It is an idea
that’s enabled by the rise of the Internet, esp. web 2.0 social
platforms like YouTube.

The basic idea is: come into individual people’s life without any
invitation. Help them where they need help, and call them to Christ.

The practical approach would be kind of the following, and I am
currently inclinded to try that out once my
expedition mobile
is ready:

  1. Get a community of ~4 authentic Christians who are able to deal
    with conflicts quite well, have good social skills and have sympathy
    for every other kind of freaky people.
  2. Get a community truck, e.g. the expedtion mobile I mentioned.
    This will be the permanent living place of the community.
  3. Search and select interesting, freaky people on web 2.0 platforms
    like YouTube. They should be selected if the community judged that they
    might accept Jesus if they just get to know him really and experience
    that he’s truly God and saviour.
  4. Contact these people and await their invitation to meet in
    person. For example, send links to video clips to them with a stylish
    self introduction of this freaky, nomadic community. This steps might
    also be left out … .
  5. Meet in person. Therefore, visit them with the community truck.
    Stay some days with them, placing the truck near the place where they
    live.
  6. Invite them to travel with the community for some time. This will
    give good opportunity to introduce Jesus to them in a way that they are
    able to take seriously.
  7. If they finally want to know Jesus personally as their saviour
    and stay with the community, that’s fine. Perhaps they stay for 3
    years, which is a fine time for character education and transformation
    (also called sanctification). Then they start perhaps their own
    invitational transformational community, and the network grows 😉

Does anybody note the similarity to the way Jesus called his
disciples? They were called and had the chance to come at that very
point of time in their life – that’s different from the “permanent but
shy invitation to Jesus” nowadays, that does nothing but get on
people’s nerves. Also note that Jesus started his worldwide kingdom
with 12 (well, 11) well-educated disciples, not with a multitude of
non-transformed churchgoers who had nothing but heard about Jesus.


Start date: 2008-05-25
Post date: 2008-05-25
Version date: 2008-05-25 (for last meaningful change)

I presume this will get quite a mournful article. It’s not that I’m
happy with what I’m going to note here, I’d really like it to be the
other way round. So disprove me if you can, I’d be grateful for that.

The problem starts with the sad fact that we as Christians in the
Christian Western world don’t experience God for real. There are some
believable reports, but not enough and not obvious
enough to serve as a contemporary justification for ones faith. Most
are not believable, though: they’re too close to the entropy lowerings
that happen by chance in a life full of dynamics and interaction. It’s
a point of selective perception: we select the favourable chances out
and call them “acts of God”, and ignore the unfavourable chances as
“that’s just life”. This would not be possible with obvious works of
God.

The first thing to note is that is is no exceptional case. We’ve got
other cases like that reported in the Bible. For example this:

“Now the young man Samuel was ministering to the LORD under Eli.
And the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no frequent
vision.” [The
Bible, I Samuel 3:2, ESV
]

So I won’t suggest general cessationism as the “doctrinal solution”
here. Instead, it “just happens” (for some reasons yet unknown to me)
that God does not acts or speaks in some areas at some times. I will
call it “geo-cessationism” or “living in a cessationist area”. It seems
as if God would let people alone at times with just the historic fact
that Jesus dies for them and that they can get saved by believing that.
Of course Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to be always with us, and this
might be the case, but then, the effects of the Spirit are untraceable,
neither in our own nor in other people’s life in cessationist areas, so
that it is impossible to use the effects to justify ones faith in the
Holy Spirit and Jesus.

For us, this means that we need to be able to cope with such a
situation. Here’s my suggestion for the various aspects of a coping
strategy:

  • You have to justify your faith from other sources. From history,
    and /
    or by moving to or visiting an area where God acts today. This is more
    difficult and less reliable than experiencing God himself, but it is
    just that way.
  • You’ve gotta live your life pretty much on your own. You may
    spread your life ‘n sorrows before God in prayer and you can expect him
    to listen. But don’t expect him to help practically. (There will be
    some rare cases where he does, rejoice in them. But don’t expect this
    to happen for any single case you pray for, as it won’t happen in the
    average case and “hope deferred makes the heart sick” [The
    Bible, Proverbs 13:12, ESV
    ].) From God’s side, all that is there to
    help you is the general truth in the Bible (you need to read,
    understand and apply it yourself), the community with your brothers and
    sisters and their loving help. That’s pretty much compared to not
    believing in God, but it lacks His concrete help, like, by prophecies
    for you and stuff.

So while it seems possible to cope with living in a cessationist
area, it’s no box of chocolates. So may I be surprised with
experiencing God’s acts, here or otherwhere, not too far from now … .


Start date: 2008-05-10
Post date: 2008-05-10
Version date: 2008-05-10 (for last meaningful change)

Lately, I read Bob DeWaay’s article “How pietism
deceives Christians
“. He argues against what he calls “pietism”,
namely, “a
practice designed to lead to an experience that purports to give one an
elite or special status compared to ordinary Christians.” [Bob DeWaay: How pietism
deceives Christians
]. He strongly argues that sanctification is the
work of God:

If the “secret” to a higher order Christianity is based on
something we
discover and implement (the secret to the deeper life), then it makes
sense that some Christians could achieve a higher status than others.
But if salvation AND sanctification are God’s work through His grace,
then we are all in the same boat, and there’s no higher order. [Bob
DeWaay: How
pietism deceives Christians
]

This could lead to the conclusion that human activity has no place
at all in sanctification, as there’s no improvement that humans can
reach. This is an error. There’s no improvement just because we already
are
in Christ what we become through sanctification.

Also look to the many exhortations in the NT. God integrates people
into their sanctifiction process. DeWaay knows this, as he mentions:
“If a teaching is called pietism but teaches no more than what God has
always used to sanctify Christians, then it is not really pietism.”[Bob
DeWaay: How
pietism deceives Christians
]. And sanctification never introduces
higher-order Christianity, as it only makes us what we already became
in Christ:

For by a single offering he has perfected for all time
those who are being sanctified. [The
Bible, ISV, Heb 10:14
]

Intermediate result: man’s activity is integrated into the process
of
his sanctification.

So, to desire change towards holiness
should not be termed “pietism”. It’s a work of faith. Also, to do
something in that direction shouldn’t be called “pietism”: generating
ideas, trying something. But note, these ideas are just to
practically help those with a desire to change. They’re not meant to
generate a desire for change, because those without any desire for
holiness need an initian conversion to Jesus instead.

And again, the result
of thinking and trying is not important, but the existence of this
desire to change (= work of
faith, taking God seriously). Ideas for revival need not be pietism,
but they’re about practicing the basics of ones faith (continuous
repentance, desire for holiness). Now, repentance means “thinking
differently”, and this starts with recognizing and analyzing a problem
(e.g. as done in the article “Oh
we of decadent faith!
“). Repent,
think differently: the Laodicaeans were admonished to go into a
different direction, so it is good to try this / something. Also,
repentance implied “trying
differently”, so it’s a good idea to generate some ideas how to try
differently.


Start date: 2008-03-20
Post date: 2008-05-03
Version date: 2008-05-03 (for last meaningful change)

“Second Acts” is a project to collect the contemporary acts of God
in good historician’s manner. It was just
started
, but until now I don’t know if God recommends or forbids it
or if he’s indifferent about it. As this is important to known, I
prayed and thought about that, and here’s a thought that brought me
somewhat further.

If I want to know if “Second Acts” is justified, I could look at
“First Acts”. Which is justified in the sight of God, as can be seen
from it appearing, as man is used to say, in the “Word of God” (the
Bible). First and Second Acts are comparable, as they both try to
collect the contemporary acts of God, and the contemporary experiences
man made with God.

Now, Luke, the author of Acts, did not say much about its
justification:

“(1) In my first book, Theophilus, I wrote about everything Jesus
did and taught from the beginning, (2) up to the day when he was taken
up to heaven after giving orders by the Holy Spirit to the apostles he
had chosen.” [The
Bible, Acts 1:1-2, ISV
]

He seems to imply “this second book is to record what the Apostles
did as a consequence to that command”. Luke mentions no specific
justification for the Book of Acts, but he refers the reader to his
first book and does not mention that the justification of the second is
any different. In the first book we find:

“(1) Since many people have attempted to write an orderly account
of the events that have been fulfilled among us, (2) just as they were
passed down to us by those who had been eyewitnesses and servants of
the word from the beginning, (3) I, too, have carefully investigated
everything from the beginning and have decided to write an orderly
account for you, most excellent Theophilus, (4) so that you may know
the certainty of the things you have been taught.” [The
Bible, Luke 1:1-4, ISV
]

This states as the book’s purpose to assure Theophilus of the
certainty of the Christian belief’s content. And this is exactly the
aim of the Second Acts project, by executing a proof that God is indeed
real, living and active today. This makes up a basic justification for
“Second Acts”.

And the above verses contains some other interesting points that
support and extend this justification:

  1. The “events that have been
    fulfilled among us” (Lk 1:1) —
    The Greek “πεπληροφορημενων”
    (Strong 4135) rather means “being fully carried out in evidence”, and
    as the Greek form is (resultative) perfect, it should be translated as
    the result: “by which we have beedn fully convinced”. This is a very
    sober, rational word, and should not be translated “to be believed”, as
    in some German translation, to not mix up with the translations of “πιστευειν”
    (to believe, to be faithful towards). This implies that a
    rational-hearted approach to the content of the Christian faith is
    legitimate.
  2. “I […] have carefully
    investigated everything from the beginning” (Lk 1:3) —
    “Investigate”
    is the translation of “παρηκολουθειν” (Strong 3877), which is a
    compound meaning literally “follow near”. This activity, of “tracing
    the events from the least achievable distance” is Luke’s tool to assure
    Theophilus of what he has already heard from other sources (Lk 1:4).
    Which says practically, not every account of the Gospel is equally
    appropriate to let the reader recognize its truth. This depends on the
    sender of the Gospel message. In Theophilus case: he heard the Gospel
    message before from an unmentioned source, but that source was
    seemingly not sufficient to convince him fully of the genuineness of
    the Gospel facts. Then, he had the ideal case: he got the message from
    Luke, a skilled and trustable acquaintance; and Luke got it from the
    eyewitnesses (probably; see Lk 1:2), and the eyewitnesses got it from
    their eyes. Now, 2000 years and countless nameless transmitters after
    Luke’s books, it could be high time to reduce our distance from the
    facts about Jesus — by recording the facts that happen in our time.
  3. “the certainty” (Lk 1:4) —
    “Certainty” is “ασφαλεια” (Strong 803) in Greek. This is a compound
    noun starting with the negative particle “α”, so should be translated
    better “unfallability” or “inerrancy” to catch the notion.
  4. “the things you have been
    taught” (Lk 1:4) —
    Literally, “the words you have been instructed
    with”. By implication, “λογος” (Strong 3056) means also topic, doctrine
    and stuff, but the first meaning is “something said” (“word”). This
    vocabulary makes it somewhat more obvious why Theophilus needed some
    confirmation from a nearby observer he can trust: when hearing it, the
    Gospel is just made up of words, and words are not trustable per se.

To summarize these points, this would be my rendering of these
verses:

“(1) Since many people have attempted to
write an orderly account of
the matters of which we have been completely convinced, (2) just
accordingt to them being passed down to us by those who had been
eyewitnesses and servants of
the word from the beginning, (3) I, too, have carefully investigated
everything from the beginning as a near observer and have decided to
write an orderly
account for you, most excellent Theophilus, (4) so that you may know
the certainty of the words you have been taught.” [The Bible, Luke
1:1-4, my version]


Start date: 2008-04-27
Post date: 2008-04-28
Version date: 2008-04-28 (for last meaningful change)

Ok then. Finally, this is the “official” start of the Second Acts
project. I’ve to admit that its predecessor project (“A Seeker’s Guide
to Life”) is not yet finished. But there’s a need to move on now, away
from knowing God just by words about him.

Definition

The project “Second Acts” is a proof that God is real. (It’s however
no classical “proof of God” because “proof” is used as in everyday use
and does not mean a strict quasi-mathematical proof.)

This proof is performed by identifying and collecting cases where
the direct and immediate agency of God was experienced. This will
include supernatural answers to prayers, healings, fullfilled
prophecies. To arrive at a strong proof without the discussable
attributes of textual transmission, only contemporary cases are
included, and strong confirmation from various disciplines is collected
for these cases.

This is a quasi-empirical proof, because this way of collecting
contemporary acts of God can be repeated infinitely with new
contemporary acts of God. This is sensitive to the fact that a
permanent personal immediate encounter with God is impossible —
instead, encounters with God occur on are special, rare occasions, and
these cases have to be collected (see the article “The
third way of life in this world
“).

The “Second Acts” project will, for a good part, be no more than a
historician’s collection of what God does today — this fills a gap, as
writing sober chronicles has become unpopular in this world of
Christian pamphlets, emotional devotionals and Bible commentaries. In
biblical times, simply writing facts down was a more common thing to
do, as can be seen from the four Gospels and Acts, which are the new
testament chronicles.

Purpose

To prove and show God to be real is necessary because ubiquituous
human success, error and heresy robbed our perception of God’s reality.
This is  detailed in the article “Oh
ye of little faith!
“. It’s necessary if we want to want a true,
clear, absolutely full conviction of what we believe — if it is true.
And to disprove Christianity — if it is false.

In practical faith life, the results of the “Second Acts” project
should be combined with a nonreligious, completely demystified
Christian faith. Because this provides a reality-conformant faith in
God: what remains is just the truth, and its confirmation by experience.

The purpose of the “Second Acts” project is not to “find life”, i.e.
to arrive at the conviction and experience that life in this world is a
good way to spend our time. Finding life is up to “A Seeker’s Guide to
Life”, the other project, and “Second Acts” is a part of that, so to
speak. However, an important part, as finding the truth about God is a
very important part of life.


Start date: 2008-04-22
Post date: 2008-04-23
Version date: 2008-04-23 (for last meaningful change)