Archive for November, 2006

To Live is Christ!

Posted: 11 November, 2006 in Theology

Broken chains

http://www.harlemlive.org/community/peeps/mcknight/chains.html

This week I have been thinking a lot about that verse in Philippians 1:21 “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

This post will essentially be a summary of a sermon my dad preached a little while ago, but I was so impressed by this thought that I am compelled to share it with you.

Besides the wealth of comfort we can take from verse with regards to a Christian dying, and the life hereafter we often miss the amazing first part of the verse – “For me to live is Christ…”
It is amazing to keep in mind that Paul was in prison when he wrote these words and instead of letting his circumstances get him down, he claims that he is a bond servant of Jesus Christ. He recognizes that nothing happens in this world that is out of the control of the Lord and instead of thinking of himself as a prisoner of the state – he goes straight to the real reason he is there. He was there because God had so worked his circumstances so that he would be in prison at that particular time. That fact really struck me – we can take so much comfort from that remembrance, that everything is under God’s control and works together under His good hand. God is never “stuck” and wondering how he could possibly get us out of a sticky situation – He is in complete control and we can trust him with our whole existance!

The other thing that really challenged me was that Paul was able to find joy in living – even from living inside a prison cell! His desire was that in everything Christ would be glorified in him!

He says that his desire would be to depart from this world and be with Christ (My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.) but he recognizes that he is still alive on Earth because God still has work for him to do here.

The main part of this text that I hope will change the way that I live was the verse: “For me to live is Christ…” In order to fully understand what this verse meant I had to ask myself what it means for this life to be Christ?

I had to ask myself: “What am I living for?”, “Why do I bother getting up in the morning?”

Do I do school each day so that I will be one day closer to the weekend? Do I live for the weekend? Do I live for entertainment? Do I live for things that I enjoy? What is it that I live for, and more importantly, if all these things were removed from my life would I still have a reason to live?

For Paul, to live WAS CHRIST. Christ was not merely a philosophy for Paul, not merely a God way out there who helps in trouble. He was not even a lens through which he viewed life – a new outlook… For Paul Christ was THE reason for living. He was his goal, his one desire, his only real joy!

Christ was what Paul looked forward to, it was his real reason for living!

I had to ask myself – if I were given the choice between watching the next episode of Prison Break or reading the next installment of Acts, between re-watching the matrix, or spending time with my Lord, even between lying on my bed staring at the ceiling, or meditating on the things of God – which would I choose? I was frightened to see how easily I crave the things of this world rather than Jesus, who laid down His life for me!

I arrived at the conclusion that surely Paul’s view of life ought to be my view of life, and the view that every true Christian has on life? Our reason for living ought to be Christ, our goal should be Him alone.

He alone is: “thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.”

Geocentricity

Posted: 1 November, 2006 in Science


I was struck by something a little while ago, and then my sister came and spoke about it again today because she came across it in her text book. Imagine that the model of the universe you have been taught for all your life might be wrong! Its quite staggering to think about, but like Ive said before – if you stop thinking and simply accept what people tell you because they said it then you are in a dangerous position.

I was very interested to find out that there is still a school of thought that holds to Geocentricity as opposed to Heliocentricity. That is that the earth is the center of the universe and that the sun and planets revolve around it. At first I thought that those poor people were probably just still stuck in the dark ages but after hearing more about it I found it quite interesting. Its one of those things that we just accept because it comes from the scientists.

But it is interesting that neither the theory of Geocentricity nor the theory of Heliocentricity can be proved. So there’s no way of really knowing whether we are going around the sun or whether the sun is going around us.

Interestingly Copernicus’ idea was not based on science as much as it is on philosophy. He agreed with the philosophy of Plato and Pythagoras (yes, that name makes me fake sickness too) who believed that the sun was the culmination of everything good!

This textbook gives some very interesting quotations from the Bible to support geocentricity:

Genesis 1:1,16 – Sun, Moon and stars created after the earth
Judges 5:20 – speaks of the “stars in their courses”
Psalm 19 – speaks of the sun “running a race”
Joshua 10:13 – the sun stood still.
2 Kings 20:8-11 – The sun went backwards

Now most of those things could be just interpreted as having been said in a human perspective, but they might well be literal! Isn’t it just amazing how much knowledge of space the bible characters knew without the means of knowing it! See the book of Job for some of that!
Einstein’s theory of relativity insists that it is impossible to tell whether the earth, the sun, or any other body is stationary or moving – just that one is moving in relation to another.

Geocentricity says that instead of the revolving once every 24 hours, the sun travels around the earth once in that time causing day and night. (Joshua 10:15 where the sun stood still) and 2 Kings 20:8-11 (where the sun went back 10 degrees)
This theory also says that the sun travels around the earth in a spiral-type orbit so that it is closer to the northern hemisphere in June and closer to the southern hemisphere in December.

Interestingly, I would think that this theory dispels any notions of life on other planets, it also limits the size of the universe!
Another evidence which has just come to mind and is pretty strong – the star signifying the birth of Jesus
Matthew 2:9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was.

While there is no definite proof for either theory, I find the notion that there might be another way that the universe functions quite exciting. I also think that the evidence in the Bible lends itself more fully to a Geocentric understanding of the universe rather than a Heliocentric view. I dont think I am completely persuaded either way though.

This is not a forum and so I’m not asking for major debate, but I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this? I certainly found it to be interesting.

Source: Theocentric Christian Education South African notes for grade eight.
Picture of the earth: http://www.fpsoftlab.com/images/screenshots/earth-640×480-2.jpg