Tag Archives: theology

My Thoughts on Jesus and Easter

Grace2When it comes to Easter, I believe many think that this is only a holiday for religious people. I think people should put all these “Churchy,” “religious” and “Jesus-freak” labels aside and actually explore God’s nature without society’s influence of domesticating it or without compartmentalizing God towards religion. So in a podcast I was listening to, someone said “affirming the trinity in the modern world is like crazy

talk,” and I kind of did that fast exhale, kind of when you see a funny meme on facebook, mostly because that seems to be true. It also mentioned “If we believe in the trinity, then shouldn’t we be called “Godtians” and not just “Christians?” While a bit humorous, it is also thought-provoking because it made me think, why don’t we call ourselves Godtians? Then the lecture brought out a good point though, we aren’t striving to be fully divine like God, we are striving to be fully human as Christ was. Some think Jesus was this perfect person, when in reality he was human just like the rest of us– he probably also clipped his toe nails and had inside jokes with the apostles.

Furthermore, in the podcast I was listening to, I really liked how he defined Omnipotence. When mentioning this word, I’ve always thought of God having all kinds of powers, or perhaps holding a lightning bolt. However, the way he said it made all the more sense to me, “Omnipotence is not a power over people, it is more of an empowerment from God and others.” Through Jesus, I can definitely see Him reflecting God’s omnipotence. Additionally, when he mentioned miracles, I often thought that miracles are only physical, yet he mentioned, “Miracles are God’s intervention in our lives,” meaning they can both be physical and spiritual. All in all, Jesus’ life not only showed what it means to live a meaningful and joyous life, but it also reflected God’s spirit and Omnipotence. Though this is a hard concept to grasp that God is both fully

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

human and fully divine, the podcast had a great analogy when he said, “Like the strands of a rope that, twisted around each other, provide a strong cord, these two perspectives compose the strands of the theological tightrope of Christology: the affirmation that Jesus is truly God and truly human.”

But, who is this God or Jesus we speak of? Just like many today, I also used to imagine God to be a loving wise elderly man. I’m not sure if that is my original thought, or if I got inspired from movies/media like Bruce Almighty or The Giver. Similarly, when I think of Jesus, I often think that he looked like Mel Gibson from The Passion. It is interesting though, I had found out from one of my college classes that Jesus most likely looked more Mediterranean, (just like in the picture below)

and not so much the European look we have gregariously applied to Jesus. I think it’s safe to say that external influences have distorted the image of Jesus. Nonetheless, perhaps this just goes to show that we should not look to random sources for discovering who or what God is, (His looks are irrelevant to his godly spiritual characteristics and actions anyway) but rather go right to the source and God will reveal Godself.

And now, since today is Easter, I often keep the golden nuggets of insight to myself but I thought I’d share one today. Here is a wonderful quote that beautifully epitomizes the nature of God in today’s world:

“Now yes, yes, creation sometimes screams a confusing message—fear, pain, grief. Fire burns, rivers flood, winds go hurricane, the earth shudders so hard it levels cities. But you must remember—this was not so in Eden. Mankind fell, surrendering this earth to the evil one. St. Paul says that creation groans for the day of its restoration (see Rom. 8:18–22), making it clear that everything is not as it was meant to be. People come to terrible conclusions when they assume this world is exactly as God intended. (An assumption that has wrought havoc in the sciences.) The earth is broken.
Which only makes the beauty that does flow so generously that much more astounding. And reassuring.”

How blessed are we to have a God who still intervenes in our fallen world?! How blessed are we that this God sacrificed himself to give us the perfect example of what it means to be human?! Happy Easter Folks!!

If God is God Then Why?

One of many books we had to read for a theology class in university was titled “If God is God, Then Why?” (by Al Truesdale). I flipped through the book and saw so much highlighted, that I decided to read it again. I remember writing several reflections about this book and after reading it and I could see why – there is so much to question and reflect on. I definitely recommend giving it a read. If you’re too busy though like 98% of people I know, here are some of my summary and reflections on it (-:

If God is God than Why? by Al Truesdale is a book that encompasses a story and perspective from a woman who had to witness great tragedy in her loved ones—her mother who died from cancer, and her father and husband who passed away in the 9/11 attack. Loneliness engulfs her, so she expresses the theological questions with her friend Barbara, who seeks answers through letters to her uncle, a priest, minister, and professor of theology. Within these letters, both Barbara and Janice go to great lengths to answer questions regarding the problem of evil. Though they may not come to a concise answer, their exploration expresses deep consideration to the wide held problem of evil within the world. There were a few of many answers that seemed relatable or convincing to the problem of evil, though they were eventually refuted within the text. Some of the convincing answers to me were that evil and suffering are God’s way of getting our attention, an aspect to life that enhances the soul (soul-making theodicy), and it is a result of abused finite freedom.

First, when professor Carl mentioned that evil is God’s way of getting our attention, I was a bit confused as to why God would do that. Furthermore, Carl later goes on and mentions how God is God, and not associated with evil at all. However, he mentioned one of C.S. Lewis’ quotes—“ God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” Though this thought is later refuted because Jesus ultimately suffers with us in our pain, there still seems to be some truth behind it. I have definitely experienced this in my life and seen it happen to others. For example, whenever I get deeply sick, when I have surgery, or even when I have period cramps or pregnancy contractions, I can hear God’s voice so clear, compared to when I am healthy and take many things for granted. Furthermore, I also had a friend who after having an injury from a snowboarding accident, they seemed to have a better understanding of what is important in life during the healing process. In a way, it’s almost like pain and suffering has a way of humbling us. For me, it makes me realize that the only one who can heal the pain is God (the spirit), not worldly things (let’s not get technicial, I’m not talking about medicine…of course that helps for many people…I’m talking about worldly pleasures:). In most instances, it seems that pain is a process that humbles us before God to hear God’s voice clearer.

The second attempted solution that seemed to resonate with me is that evil occurs to better the souls of people, or the soul-making theodicy. I had never heard of this before, and had a hard time grasping the idea. However, Carl mentioned how “Responsible and virtuous character often comes from investing costly personal effort in concrete challenges” (Truesdale 55). Though it is not possible logically, I feel like evil acts and suffering are like challenges and pressure one must overcome in order to be like a diamond in the end. I have seen this in many cancer patients—many aren’t sure if they are going to make it. However if they do end up healing from the process, they seem to have a new thankfulness in their soul for health and many other things in life. The soul making theory makes a lot of sense when the challenge, evil, or suffering is overcome—almost like in the book of Job. Furthermore, the soul making theory is also often seen in many near-death experiences, giving a new profound outlook on life.

Many of the solutions to the problem of evil often seem circumstantial. Reading this book, it was interesting to get a glimpse of some of the possible solutions to the problem of evil. However, some things just seem unexplainable. When pain or suffering occurs throughout the nation, such as school shooting or natural disasters, I am all the more like Janice, questioning why God would allow this or how it can be disguised as good in the greater scheme of things. Yet I later understand that only God knows, because we are merely humans who are dependent on God to sustain us. Maybe professor Carl was right in his brief response—perhaps there is no solution and clear explanation of evil and suffering for us to comprehend. However it is comforting to know that Jesus suffers with humanity, which in the Christian perspective, all the more emphasizes the meaning of the cross.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Let us know in the comments below!