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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday Message: Luther and Excuses

Some things you know from instinct- some you learn- and some you find from conflict.  I always knew there was God, and Jesus.  My mom's faith in going through her prayer book every morning, going to church every week, and eventually going to Catholic school managed most of it.  But at a young age, I knew I needed a Bible to figure things out.  And being a Catholic family, the Bible just wasn't on the short list of things to have around.

My first Bible was a New Testament/Psalms  the Gideons passed out when we were in 7th grade.  I soon acquired a ubiquitous Good News:  The Bible In Modern English, and the questions started.

I am now reading the Martin Luther bio Here I Stand  by Roland Bainton, and I have found that Martin and Martin had a lot in common.  Luther was willing to give himself to serving God; but he could not resolve the conflict between a Holy God and miserable, sinful man.  A Catholic MIGHT tell you, "Well, Luther got mad about indulgences-for-money, and tore the Church apart as a result."  And for many of them, that would be a watered-down-language version.  But it wasn't the full story, not by half.  His conflict began with not being able to accept Christ's mercy because of seeing Jesus as Judge.  After many attempts to aid him in his conflict, his mentor basically gave him a Bible and told him to take over as the monastery's Bible Teacher- a form of Physician heal thyself.

And it worked.  He devoured the Bible, and as he did, it not only settled his inner conflict of faith by showing him, in the author's words, that the Cross fused Justice and Mercy into one; but it also laid bare the other conflicts in the Roman Church, and convicted him that the Bible should be the ultimate guide, interpretable by any who read in faith.  And this is how the conflict began.

"I am not so audacious that for the sake of a single obscure and ambiguous decretal (Papal pronouncement) of a human Pope I would recede from so many and such clear testimonies of divine Scripture.  For as one of the Canon Lawyers has said, 'in a matter of faith, not only is a council above a pope, but any one of the faithful, if armed with better authority and reason.' " The Cardinal Cajetan) reminded Luther that Scripture has itself to be interpreted. The pope is the interpreter.  The pope is above a council, above everything in the Church.  "His Holiness abuses Scripture," Luther retorted.  "I deny he is above Scripture."  The Cardinal flared up and bellowed that Luther should leave and never come back unless he was ready to say "Revoko"- I recant. (Bainton, p 73)

As Luther's battle continued towards the Diet of Worms, he was challenged by his debater on Papal decretals- and as he read them, he only became more convinced he was doing the right thing.  And as if to convince me, after I had told Laurie the story I read my e-mails.  I get daily devotionals from Pastors David Jeremiah and Chuck Swindoll- and BOTH of them that day touched on the infallibility of Scripture.  Martin's First rule- if God tells you something twice, PAY ATTENTION!

And that leads me into the other book I am reading, physicist Michio Kaku's Parallel Worlds.  Without committing to either side- yet- he touches on both sides of the argument of whether there is indicated in modern cosmological theory a divine Creator necessitated.  He points out the hundreds of "Goldilocks Zones" the earth falls into- the narrow range in which life could have possibly develop.  The planet's distance from the sun, the size of the moon needed to stabilize rotation, the size Jupiter needed to be to sweep all the asteroids out of inner space, the magnetic field strength, the right mass to impart just enough gravity to keep the "good" gases in and let the toxic ones escape-  even the distance from the galactic core to prevent too much radiation.  And yet, you have statements like this:

From Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg:  The strong anthropic ("Must be a creator") theory is "little more than mystical mumbo-jumbo."

And Alan Guth of MIT: "I find it hard to believe that anybody would use the anthropic principle if he had a better explanation for something... the anthropic principle is something that people do if they can't think of anything better to do."

But here's the thing:  the only argument so far given AGAINST Divine Creation is the Law of Large Numbers:  Among hosts of galaxies and billions of dead planets that are out there that we KNOW of, odds are we just got lucky.  They never connect this end of the snake to the other- Even if their theories prove sound, where did the m-branes, the dimensions that connect, the plank distances- where did THEY come from?  How were they set?  Logically, you CAN'T come to the beginning of EVERYTHING until you hit something eternal that began it all.  And there, you hit that which is unexplainable by man.

Except, as Luther might say, through Scripture.

Romans 1:20-  For from the creation of the world the invisible things of Him are clearly seen, being understood through the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.


  1. I continue to learn from your writings, Chris. Thank you.

    1. And I continue to learn I am doing a really crappy job of replying. Thank you, my friend!

  2. Chris:
    ---"Martin & Martin"...nice touch.
    ---An apt description of the fusion of MERCY and JUSTICE via The Cross, too. Well stated.
    ---Truly a case where CONVICTION means a lot more than merely a pretense to incarceration.
    ---I love Martin's 1st for me.
    ---I am familiar with the "Goldilocks Zones" in the universe. The "laws" of CHANCE simply cannot be THAT coincidental to cause such things as the existence of OUR planet...there has to be a much higher power at work to achieve that level of precision.
    ---Good close with the Roman's passage.
    We rely upon our FAITH (through scripture) to know such things are not only possible, but more than probable.
    Science could learn a lot just from that.

    Very good post.
    Stay safe (and well-learned) up there, brother.

    1. Man, I really got behind on replies! As the story goes on and coincidences pile up, they just keep excusing them with theories that don't really play out. What will they do when the theories run into the end?

  3. I come here and learn so much and for that I thank you

    1. You are always welcome. We learn together.