Knowing God – Chapter 1 Quotes

For dinner time edification, our family is going through Knowing God by J.I. Packer. This was one of the first Christian books I read, and it laid a firm foundation for much of what I believe today as a Christian. Here are some quotes from Chapter One, “The Study of God.”

If we pursue theological knowledge for its own sake, it is bound to go bad on us. It will make us proud and conceited. The very greatness of the subject-matter will intoxicate us, and we shall come to think of ourselves as a cut above other Christians because of our interest in it and grasp of it; and we shall look down on those whose theological ideas seem to us crude and inadequate.

There can be no spiritual health without doctrinal knowledge; but it is equally true that there can be no spiritual health with it, if it is sought for the wrong purpose and valued by the wrong standard.

How can we turn knowledge about God into knowledge of God? The rule for doing this is demanding, but simple. It is that we turn each truth that we learn about God into matter for meditation before God, leading to prayer and praise to God.

Grace and Peace

Living forever through technology?

Glenn Brooke at Be Bold, Be Gentle writes about the possibility of greatly extending the human life span through technology:

Ray Kurzweil is a very smart man, and has written extensively about his confidence that computers and medical technology (e.g., nanobots that will repair human tissue) will effectively allow humans to live forever. See this blog post for a good jumping off point on that theme.

A few thoughts on this idea:

1. This is a sad idea. Given the frustrations of life, and the grinding nature of sin in human relationships — irrespective of the perfection of the human body and our thinking capacity — I suspect such “eternal” life would be a Faustian bargain. There is no way these technologies address our fundamental problems of being.

2. This is an arrogant idea. There is a Creator, and He is sovereign over all our steps. One car accident, one tornado, one slippery kitchen floor… there are damages to the human body that cannot be overcome by technological repairs.

3. May our Lord save us from situations where we are tempted to sin because we have technological options that far outstrip our wisdom.

4. I can hear Thomas a Kempis speaking: “What good is it to live long if we do not live well?” (from The Imitation of the Christ)

5. We have not learned the lessons from the Tower of Babel. I’m certainly in favor of medical advances to help people. But we have a strong tendency to pursue these things because we want to become gods.

I’ll take the new resurrection body that is mine in Christ instead.

Grace and Peace

PETA strikes again

Welcome to The GeoChristian. Out of over 600 posts on my blog, this one on frog dissection is in the top five in terms of how many people view it. The purpose of The GeoChristian is twofold: 1. To enhance science literacy within the Evangelical Christian community. 2. To present a Biblical Christianity that is hostile to neither science nor the environment. I invite you to browse around and read some other posts.

Headline: U.S. shoppers hopping mad over frog dissection kit

NEW YORK (Reuters) – On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me … a frog dissection kit?

Shoppers at upscale U.S. menswear and accessory store Jack Spade in Manhattan’s trendy SoHo district were hopping mad to see frog dissection kits selling alongside $775 leather file cases and $145 Italian calfskin passport holders.

The $40 kit came in a cloth bag complete with a vacuum-sealed formaldehyde-treated frog, scissors, magnifying glass, forceps, probing sticks, ruler, instruction booklet on how to explore the animal’s innards, and a moist towelette.

After a barrage of complaints from shoppers and animal activists, the store said Tuesday that it had cleared its shelves of the kits and would no longer offer them.

“We’re going to issue an apology,” said company spokesman Mordechai Rubinstein.

Many of these same people who oppose frog dissection or medical research on laboratory animals have no problem at all with aborting a human being. My only complaint would have been the $40 price tag; the Fisher Scientific catalog has frogs starting at as low as $2.83 each ($283 for a pail of 100 frogs). Nice big bullfrogs are $9.95 each.

I’m thankful (on this Thanksgiving Day) that the doctors who do surgery on us first did surgery on live animals. I’m also thankful that before they did surgery on live dogs, they dissected dead cats. I’m also thankful that before they dissected dead cats, they dissected dead frogs.

Grace and Peace

Rat dissection image from Wikipedia article on dissection