Is Facebook in Line with the Final Goal of History?

I made some comments on Facebook about the importance of using time wisely and making sure it fits in with the glory of God. “The Glory of God” is a good and true way to sum up the final goal of history.

In response to my statement there was a question. It went like this, “Is reading Facebook in line with the final goal of history?” This might be a long answer to what could be a short answer, “yes.” I might not have understood the question or what the author was looking for but here are some reasons for why time spent on Facebook is connected with God and His history. Some of you will recognize my Dutch friend who I have tried to bring along to help me.

First, the final goal of history is connected with history at every point. I don’t know how it is possible to disconnect the goal of history from anything within time. In every historical moment there is a connection with the goal of all history. Time is not a neutral thing it is a connected thing. It is connected with God’s ultimate view and purpose for time. So while on Facebook I am either relating to God in rebellion, like the first Adam or I relate to Him in submission like the second Adam (Christ).

The first verse in the Bible tells us, “In the Beginning God created the heavens and the Earth.” We also learn that “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.”

I think many people put things and ideas like these in the area of the “common” or the “natural.” “Common” is a very special thing in God’s world. The things in the common or natural realm are not neutral for they belong and exist in the God created universe. Therefore they are connected with God. Common things like studying for quizzes or looking at flowers are things that take place in the unique and special universe made by the Triune God. Plants and computers do not belong to the chaos universe. Rather, they declare His glory. All in the universe, space and time, are in relation to God their Creator either in rebellion and curse or in redemption and blessing.

We live in a personal universe because a Person created all things. Therefore all of time and space is relational or personal. All things are important…whether it is my children’s speech or their kicking a soccer ball around. Our bodies move and run and function because God created them that way. Neither the foot nor the ball belongs to empty space and time. All reality is “Coram Deo” reality. Bugs and tests and computers are connected to the true metaphysical reality in which they exist.

God is the final reference point for creation and man at every point. He could not just be the final point for some things. He is related to all or nothing. There is no point in His Creation that is totally man-centered or thing-centered. It cannot be because man did not create the Universe.

Furthermore, the fact that we are thinking when we use Facebook declares the glory of God. The fact that we communicate ideas through Facebook does the same. The minds and geniuses that created Facebook declare that there is a God. They were made in the image of God and therefore their minds actually work and work well. The fact that our fingers touch the key-pads because our brain tells them to declares something. Any fact of Creation must be directly related to God because He is the creator and sustainer of the universe in which things like facts are possible.

There is rationality involved in Facebook which proves and assumes that rationality exists. This relates to the true God because in the chaos universe rationality could not exist. In the chaos universe that doesn’t exist we wouldn’t be trying to communicate ideas on Facebook. It would have never come into being. So if that were our universe Facebook could not exist. The very fact that Facebook is used proves that there is a God. Any use of time on Facebook is at least in that way related to God.

Facebook is something outside of the human and installed on a machine outside of the human knower. In a chaos universe or a ? universe the human knower could know nothing about things outside of himself because it’s not him. How could he know it? How could he even know that it exists and is not a phantom? Apart from the Biblical reality we would not be able to know if when we touch the pads of the keyboard the keyboard is really there or not. If God is not the sustainer and creator of both the subject and the object the subject could not know the object. If we did think we knew something out there apart from God it would be an irrational leap of faith in a dark and chaotic universe that does not exist.

The fact that we are talking about Facebook proves that there is a God because it is impossible that a bare unconnected fact can exist. If it did exist it would only be connected to chance or ? and that would make irrationality the mother of us all…which is irrational and therefore pointless to talk about.

When we are on Facebook we are admitting a change of information is happening. This can be done only if we already assume that there are foundational principles in place that undergird knowledge. If we really thought that all of reality, including Facebook, was irrational then we probably would not spend time on it. But we do assume that knowledge is possible and this can only be true because there is a God of knowledge behind and undergirding all other types of human knowledge. If this was not assumed even by unbelievers then Mark Zuckerberg would never have attempted to invent Facebook. Facebook, in other words, proves the existence of God. In the chaos universe or in the ? universe or in the all is One universe, Facebook would never have come about. In the “In the beginning God created…”  universe, the only universe that exists, Facebook can and has come about. So in this sense, Facebook declares the glory of God. When we use it we are declaring that we know God to exist and that knowledge is possible. Chance or chaos does not give a foundation for knowledge to exist.

Everything in the universe, thus, is ultimately related to Him. Things do not drop into God’s universe or appear there without Him knowing about it. We may not understand how it is that God allowed such and such into His universe but one day we can ask. He knows. He will be able to explain it. There is mystery in life but that is explained for the Christian in that God transcends our limited capacities. He knows it even if we do not. That makes sense. The unbeliever on the other hand knows a very limited amount about the universe and history. He has a finite mind and even though he can be very intelligent he can at best know a tiny portion of the created universe.  He is shrouded in mystery and yet has no explanation for why mystery exists. He wants the Christian to be shrouded in unexplainable mystery as well so that therefore all can declare independence from anything absolute. People don’t like the absolute and they are absolutely sure we Christians shouldn’t either.

Our hearts motivation for being on Facebook is directly related to God as well. What we look at and think about on Facebook as well as how much time we spend on Facebook is all related to God. God will judge all things including my time on Facebook. My heart is related to God so everything I do in time and in my soul is related to God inescapably. Facebook is a part of Creation and what I do with it is a part of providence so it is connected to God in these ways as well. None of this would be true if “all is God (monism)” because then we would not be able to distinguish anything as good or evil thus making the whole point of discussion mute.

The whole of Biblical reality must be assumed if we are to be on Facebook honestly. Apart from what the Bible reveals to us about the nature of reality man is at a total loss to know anything or even if knowing is possible. I am glad that smart dudes like Mark Zuckerberg are very inconsistent people. He suppresses the truth but at the same time the truth is inescapable and he has to live in the rational world that God created. He is made in the image of God and therefore he borrows from the Biblical universe and creates pretty useful gadgets. We can thank God that even unbelievers are a mixed bag.  

So, finally, is reading on Facebook in line with the glory of God? Yes, Facebook proves by its assumption and by its function that this universe is orderly and functional.

So Facebook, being in a rational universe as opposed to a vacuum universe makes total sense and should be enjoyed within the proper ethical limits established by God’s Word. Then we can be assured that our use of Facebook will be in line with the ultimate goal of history. 

 

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A Responsabilidade e sua, Homem!

Não seria controverso afirmar que o Brasil (assim como os Estados Unidos) está uma crise cultural. As instituições do casamento e da família estão em desordem. Divórcio, adultério, homossexualidade, confusão de gênero, anarquia sexual e falta de autoridade são apenas alguns dos sintomas que resultam dessa tragédia. Nenhuma sociedade pode ser saudável quando a família, a mais básica das instituições, está em confusão. Há esperança? Sim. Como podemos nos recuperar?
Nós certamente não podemos nos recuperar persistindo no mesmo curso. Não podemos culpar as mulheres e as crianças. Não precisamos de mais um filósofo para dar a sua opinião que contradiz o “grande pensador” precedente. Também não podemos continuar pensando que todo homem pode ser um “deus” e fazer o que é certo segundo sua própria mente. Precisamos de um padrão objetivo e autoritativo para nos guiar. Nós temos essa instrução autoritativa na Palavra de Deus.
O caminho bíblico para a recuperação é claro. Alcançar os homens. Por quê? Os homens têm o dever e a responsabilidade de defender o casamento e a família. Eles devem ser os pastores da família, e, se os pastores falham, as ovelhas se extraviam.
Aonde os homens foram durante esta crise cultural? Assim como o primeiro Adão, eles falharam em cultivar e proteger o que era a sua responsabilidade dada por Deus. Deus colocou o homem no jardim para cultivar e nutrir o jardim, a fim de que ele desse frutos para a glória de Deus (Gn 2.15). Ele deveria ter domínio, como um pequeno senhor, sob o grande Rei de toda a criação. Ele deveria ser o servo do Senhor na terra. Quando um homem “cultiva” ele nutre, edifica, delicadamente guia e governa para a glória de Deus. Quando age essim, ele está começando a voltar à ideia da verdadeira masculinidade. Quando acrescentamos o outro ingrediente de “guardar”, temos a imagem completa. Um homem deve proteger e conservar e continuar a vigiar e manter o que Deus colocou sob seus cuidados.
Os homens devem ser líderes-servos de muitas maneiras. Homens são colocados no casamento e hão de ter famílias. Eles têm a responsabilidade diante de Deus de cultivar e guardar o coração e a vida inteira de sua esposa e filhos. É nessas relações que eles têm a responsabilidade de fazer com que o amor a Deus e aos outros seja mantido. Um verdadeiro homem percebe que, quando há problemas em seu casamento e família, ele é o maior responsável por assegurar que eles sejam resolvidos. É uma coisa terrível ser um homem, pois Deus lhe deu uma enorme responsabilidade.
Ser um verdadeiro homem é ser alguém responsável diante de Deus. Quando o pecado entrou no mundo, foi a mulher quem havia sido tentada. A quem Deus chamou para assumir a responsabilidade por aquilo? O homem (Gn 3.9). Por quê? O homem havia falhado em cumprir sua responsabilidade como senhor e protetor do jardim.
Quando Cristo veio ao mundo, ele viveu exatamente o que Adão falhou em realizar. Ele assumiu plena responsabilidade por sua noiva e sua família. Ele entregou a sua vida para que eles tivessem vida. Este é o retrato mais verdadeiro e fiel da masculinidade espiritual. Infelizmente, a masculinidade não é mais identificada com Cristo. A masculinidade foi manchada e conformada à opinião pública. Ela precisa ser transformada e reformada, conduzida de volta ao padrão definitivo da Palavra de Deus.
Não é suficiente fazer cartazes e simplesmente protestar nas ruas. Não é suficiente dizer ao mundo que você está cansado da corrupção. Se você de fato deseja ver o mundo transformado, então torne-se um homem bíblico, um homem que entende o significado da verdadeira masculinidade.
Quando falhamos em ser o tipo de homens que devemos ser, é em Cristo que podemos encontrar perdão e restauração. É também nele que aprendemos a nos levantar e a continuar na batalha para sermos líderes-servos responsáveis para a Sua glória e para o bem da humanidade.

PROBLEMAS e deus

Há tantos problemas no mundo moderno é difícil até mesmo começar nomeá-los. O mundo secular tem um manual que tenta rotular alguns dos problemas “mentais”. Ele é chamado o Manual Diagnostical e Estatístico de Transtornos Mentais. É quase mil páginas. É a vida mais complicada no mundo moderno? Ou, há um outro problema?

Infelizmente, o mundo evangélico não faz muito melhor. Como um pastor e missionário em uma igreja evangélica eu preciso perguntar a mim mesmo: “Como posso ajudar?”
Como um pastor as respostas que eu acho deve vir da Palavra de Deus. Essa palavra descreve um grande Deus e nos dá uma grande teologia.
Infelizmente, grande parte da igreja de hoje tem um pequeno Deus e uma teologia fraca. Por esta razão, nós corremos para o mundo secular para obter ajuda. Eles dão alívio e conforto através de drogas e e uma dose de auto-estima.
Esse não é o tipo de alívio que é oferecido na Bíblia. Jo não tinha drogas e ele definitivamente não encontrou ajuda de conselheiros mundanos. Como é que ele sobreviveu por provações? Ele finalmente chegou cara a cara com seu grande Deus. Ele aprendeu a pensar corretamente sobre Deus e sua vida. Eu acredito que este é certamente o que a igreja evangélica precisa.
Eu puxei um livro de John Owen da prateleira hoje. Na introdução J.I. Packer explica o problema da igreja evangélica hoje. Ele explica que a igreja tem um evangelho fraco:
“O novo evangelho visivelmente não consegue produzir reverência profunda, arrependimento profundo, humildade profunda, espírito de adoração, uma preocupação para a igreja. Porquê?
Gostaríamos de sugerir que a razão está em seu próprio caráter e conteúdo. Ela não consegue fazer os homens a Deus centrado em seus pensamentos e tementes a Deus em seus corações, pois este não é primariamente o que ele está tentando fazer. Uma maneira de afirmar a diferença entre ele eo velho evangelho é dizer que ele é muito preocupado exclusivamente para ser “útil” para o homem – para trazer a paz, conforto, felicidade, satisfação – e muito pouco preocupado em glorificar a Deus. O velho evangelho era “útil”, também – mais aliás, para a sua primeira preocupação sempre foi a de dar glória a Deus … Seu centro de referência foi inequivocamente Deus. Mas no novo evangelho o centro de referência é o homem … Considerando que o principal objetivo do velho era ensinar os homens a adorar a Deus, a preocupação do novo parece limitada a fazê-los se sentir melhor. O assunto do antigo evangelho era Deus e Seus caminhos com os homens, o tema da nova é o homem e a ajuda Deus lhe dá. Há um mundo de diferença. Toda a perspectiva e ênfase da pregação do evangelho mudou.”
Que possamos voltar ao grande Deus, o grande teologia eo verdadeiro Evangelho, que proclama a Palavra de Deus.
amém

PROBLEMAS e deus

PROBLEMAS e deus

Há tantos problemas no mundo moderno é difícil até mesmo começar nomeá-los. O mundo secular tem um manual que tenta rotular alguns dos problemas “mentais”. Ele é chamado o Manual Diagnostical e Estatístico de Transtornos Mentais. É quase mil páginas. É a vida mais complicada no mundo moderno? Ou, há um outro problema?

Infelizmente, o mundo evangélico não faz muito melhor. Como um pastor e missionário em uma igreja evangélica eu preciso perguntar a mim mesmo: “Como posso ajudar?”
Como um pastor as respostas que eu acho deve vir da Palavra de Deus. Essa palavra descreve um grande Deus e nos dá uma grande teologia.
Infelizmente, grande parte da igreja de hoje tem um pequeno Deus e uma teologia fraca. Por esta razão, nós corremos para o mundo secular para obter ajuda. Eles dão alívio e conforto através de drogas e e uma dose de auto-estima.
Esse não é o tipo de alívio que é oferecido na Bíblia. Jo não tinha drogas e ele definitivamente não encontrou ajuda de conselheiros mundanos. Como é que ele sobreviveu por provações? Ele finalmente chegou cara a cara com seu grande Deus. Ele aprendeu a pensar corretamente sobre Deus e sua vida. Eu acredito que este é certamente o que a igreja evangélica precisa.
Eu puxei um livro de John Owen da prateleira hoje. Na introdução J.I. Packer explica o problema da igreja evangélica hoje. Ele explica que a igreja tem um evangelho fraco:

“O novo evangelho visivelmente não consegue produzir reverência profunda, arrependimento profundo, humildade profunda, espírito de adoração, uma preocupação para a igreja. Porquê?
Gostaríamos de sugerir que a razão está em seu próprio caráter e conteúdo. Ela não consegue fazer os homens a Deus centrado em seus pensamentos e tementes a Deus em seus corações, pois este não é primariamente o que ele está tentando fazer. Uma maneira de afirmar a diferença entre ele eo velho evangelho é dizer que ele é muito preocupado exclusivamente para ser “útil” para o homem – para trazer a paz, conforto, felicidade, satisfação – e muito pouco preocupado em glorificar a Deus. O velho evangelho era “útil”, também – mais aliás, para a sua primeira preocupação sempre foi a de dar glória a Deus … Seu centro de referência foi inequivocamente Deus. Mas no novo evangelho o centro de referência é o homem … Considerando que o principal objetivo do velho era ensinar os homens a adorar a Deus, a preocupação do novo parece limitada a fazê-los se sentir melhor. O assunto do antigo evangelho era Deus e Seus caminhos com os homens, o tema da nova é o homem e a ajuda Deus lhe dá. Há um mundo de diferença. Toda a perspectiva e ênfase da pregação do evangelho mudou.”

Que possamos voltar ao grande Deus, o grande teologia eo verdadeiro Evangelho, que proclama a Palavra de Deus.
amém

PROBLEMS and god

There are so many problems in the modern world it is difficult to even start naming them. The secular world has a manual which attempts to label some of the “mental” problems. It is called the Diagnostical and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It is nearly a thousand pages. Is life more complicated in the modern world? Or, is there another problem?
Sadly, the evangelical world does not do much better. As a pastor and missionary in an evangelical church I need to ask myself, “How can I help?”
As a pastor the answers I find must come from God’s Word. That Word describes a big God and gives us a big theology.
Sadly, much of the church today has a small God and a weak theology. For this reason we run to the secular world for help. They give relief and comfort through drugs and a dose of self esteem.
That is not the kind of relief that is offered in the Bible. Job had no drugs and he definitely did not find help from worldly counselors. How is it that he survived through trials? He finally came face to face with His big God. He learned to think rightly about God and his life. I believe this is certainly what the evangelical church needs.
I pulled a book by John Owen off the shelf today. In the introduction J.I. Packer explains the problem of the evangelical church today. He explains that the church has a weak gospel:
“The new gospel conspicuously fails to produce deep reverence, deep repentance, deep humility, a spirit of worship, a concern for the church. Why? We would suggest that the reason lies in its own character and content. It fails to make men God-centered in their thoughts and God-fearing in their hearts because this is not primarily what it is trying to do. One way of stating the difference between it and the old gospel is to say that it is too exclusively concerned to be “helpful” to man–to bring peace, comfort, happiness, satisfaction–and too little concerned to glorify God. The old gospel was “helpful,” too–more so incidentally, for its first concern was always to give glory to God…Its centre of reference was unambiguously God. But in the new gospel the centre of reference is man…Whereas the chief aim of the old was to teach men to worship God, the concern of the new seems limited to making them feel better. The subject of the old gospel was God and His ways with men; the subject of the new is man and the help God gives him. There is a world of difference. The whole perspective and emphasis of gospel preaching has changed.”
May we return to the big God, the big theology and the true Gospel which God’s Word proclaims.
Amen

Thoughts on the Death of a Friend

DSC_2969

 

Ernest, the mortal, is gone. I am sad because even though I knew him for a short while I saw a young man of faith. He was a blessing to have around. He was always willing to help and because of his strength, energy, and attitude his help was appreciated.

 

“Those legs that now can nimbly run,

Shall then with faintness fail

To take one step, death’s dart to shun,

When he doth thee assail.” (Bunyan)

 

He wanted to grow and progress in life. He told me that he wanted to become an engineer so he could invent and create. He wanted to build things. He wanted to learn more about His God and His Word. He wanted to be a blessing to his family and see them at peace with God and each other. He wanted to be a true man in this world fighting the battles of unbelief, the world, the flesh and the devil. He wanted to be a man centered around Christ and His gospel. His battling days are over. We lost a good brother, a warrior, a friend. He has met the last enemy of death. In Christ death has been defeated.

 

“O blessed then is he that’s wrapt

In Christ his righteousness.

This is the man death cannot kill,

For he hath put on arms;

Him sin nor Satan hath not skill

To hurt with all their charms.

A helmet on his head doth stand,

A breastplate on his heart:

A shield also is in his hand,

That blunteth every dart.” (Bunyan)

Ernest was adopted…twice. He came from Africa. His natural father wanted to give him a better chance in life. The father who adopted, who called Ernest “son,” showed him much about this world and life. I am certain that he taught him about hard work and responsibility because I saw these as natural to Ernest. Now he has the privilege of seeing the full spiritual reality of adoption “Come, ye blessed, inherit the kingdom of your father, and your God, by adoption into his family.”

 

If he were here to speak to us, I am sure he would want you to know some things. He would want to remind you that “Our hour-glass is fast ebbing out; time stands ready with his scythe to cut us down; the grave yawns to receive us. ‘Man dieth and wasteth away; yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he’ (Job 14:10).” Your clock is ticking down and your inevitable end will come. There is a great judgment to come before the Creator. Have you made your peace with him? Are you in His family? Do you have a city, a home, a family that extends beyond the bounds of this time and this space? He would like to ask you like Bunyan,

 

“Have you felt the

alarm in your soul under a sense of sin and

judgment? Were you dead, and are you made

alive? O, then, while you bless the Savior for

such unspeakable mercies, seek with all

diligence, as life is prolonged, to extend the

blessing to others. There is no work nor device

in the grave, whither we are all hastening, that

can benefit mortals. The great gulf will be fixed,

and our state be finally decided for eternity. O,

then, if you have not yet attained that good

hope of heavenly felicity, sure and stedfast—

hasten….” Hasten to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

He would remind you that as he is now you too shall soon be. His message from His King is “We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor 5:20-21).

Manhood and the Cultural Crisis

Brazil Pic

It will not be controversial to say that Brazil (America as well) is in a cultural crisis. The institutions of marriage and family are in disarray. Divorce, adultery, homosexuality, gender confusion, sexual anarchy and a lack of authority are just a few of the symptoms that result from this tragedy. No society can be healthy when the family, the most basic of institutions, is in confusion. Is there hope? Yes. How can we recover?

We certainly cannot recover by sticking to the same course. We cannot blame the women and children. We do not need one more philosopher to give his opinion which contradicts the previous “great thinker.” Nor can we continue to think that every man can be a little ‘god’ doing what is right in his own mind. We need an objective, authoritative standard to guide us.

We have that authoritative instruction in the Word of God. The Biblical road to recovery is clear. Reach the men. Why? Men have the duty and responsibility to uphold the marriage and the family. They are to be the shepherds of the family and if the shepherds fail the sheep go astray. Where have the men been during this cultural crisis? Just like the first Adam, they have failed to work and protect which is their God-given responsibility.

God put man into the garden to grow and nurture the garden so that it would bear fruit to the glory of God (Gen 2:15). He was to have dominion, like a little lord, under the great King of all creation. He was to be the servant of the Lord on the earth.

When a man cultivates he nourishes, builds up, gently guides and rules for the glory of God. When he does this he is beginning to return to the idea of true masculinity. When we add the other ingredient of guarding we get the fuller picture. A man is to protect and sustain and continue to watch over and maintain what God has put under his care.

Men are to be servant leaders in many ways. Men are put in marriage and will have families. It is the heart/the whole life of their wife and children that they have the responsibility before God to cultivate and guard. It is in these relationships that they have the responsibility to see that love for God and others is maintained. A true man realizes that when there are problems in his marriage and family that he is ultimately responsible to see that they get resolved. It is a fearful thing to be a man because God has given him awesome responsibility.

To be a true man is to be a responsible person before God. When sin entered into the world it was the woman who was tempted. Whom did God call to responsibility for this? The man (Gen 3:9). Why?
Man failed to fulfill his responsibility as lord and protector of the garden.

When Christ came into the world he lived out exactly what Adam failed to do. He took the full responsibility for His bride and family. He laid down His life so that they might have life. This is the truest and best picture of spiritual manliness.

Sadly, manhood is no longer identified with Christ. Manhood has been stained and conformed to public opinion. It needs to be transformed and reformed back to the ultimate standard of God’s Word.

It is not enough to make banners and merely protest on the streets. It is not enough to tell the world that you are tired of corruption. If you really want to see the world changed then become a Biblical man, a man who knows what true masculinity is about. 

When we fail to be the kind of men we are supposed to be, it is in Christ where we can find forgiveness and restoration. It is also in Him that we learn to get back up and continue in the battle to be responsible servant leaders for His glory and for the good of humanity.