Pursuit of Percipience

the blog that nobody reads which I write to silence the voices in my head

Tag: theology

Unicorns in the Bible

unicorn 001
The Bible (King James Version) mentions the unicorn several times: Numbers 23:22, 24:8; Deuteronomy 33:17; Job 39:9; Psalm 22:21, 29:6, 92:10; Isaiah 34:7.

Other versions of the Bible, such as the New American Standard Version, will instead use the term wild ox, as the Hebrew word, rê’em [pronounced: reh-ām’], probably refers to a wild bull.

Atheists like to bring up the Bible’s use of unicorns to attack its validity. Surely, if the Bible mentions unicorns, a mythical beast lacking any evidence for ever existing, then the Bible itself is a mythical document not to be taken seriously.

But what an intellectually lazy argument it is to automatically assume that the KJV Bible, a document translated over 400 years ago from Hebrew, Greek,* and Latin sources,** would use the word unicorn in the same way it is used today. Indeed, all you have to do is go back 200 years to find unicorn defined differently than today. The 1828 Webster’s Dictionary defines it as this…

unicorn

A rhinoceros. And the same dictionary defines rhinoceros as this…

Rhino

This does not mean that the KJV Bible is talking about rhinoceroses when using the term unicorn. But, it does make it rather obvious that the definition of unicorn is not the same today as it was 400 years ago, and the argument to write-off the Bible as myth due to its use of the word unicorn is unfounded.

Here is a good video which inspired this article…

* The Greek of unicorn is μονόκερως transliterated as monokeros [one horn].

** The Latin version of the Bible (the Latin Vulgate) uses the term rinocerotis in Deuteronomy 33:17 and rinoceros in Job 39:9.

Advertisements

God & Humour

bps

Notice that humour, no matter what culture you’re from, is based on the “fallenness” of Man. There is always the contrast of our nobleness against our absurdity: a well dressed man slipping on a banana peal; the oldest and wisest of us being too deaf to understand what’s going on; the majestic design of our bodies and any white man dancing…

Whether the joke is dark, clean, dry, family oriented, racial, or about animals, the formula is always the same.

So what if our “fallenness” was taken away? What if we were always noble and majestic without all the insanity? Would we be grey and boring? Well, it depends. But, for the moment we can at least be certain that our humour is a product of our circumstance: the contrast of what we were designed to be opposed to what we currently are.

Does God have a sense of humour? It doesn’t appear so in the Bible. Jesus wept, but He didn’t laugh — at least it wasn’t recorded if He did. On the one hand, if the formula above is correct, God can’t have a sense of humour as He is not fallen in any way. On the other hand, we are created in His image, so if we have some sense of humour it must come from Him.

The only explanation that makes sense is that God does indeed have humour but it transcends our own — a humour based on joy rather than the conflicting absurdity which is our current existence. Our humour is but a broken shadow of His own.

It’s hard to understand as everything we experience seems to be relative to other things. You put your left hand in ice cold water, and your right hand in hot water, then put both hands in room temperature water — your left will feel it as hot while your right as cold. So, which is it? Does the picture below make you sad or angry? Or do you laugh?

dark

The Higher Culture

scaleThe lesser culture is always drawn to the higher culture (or the perceived higher culture).

Christianity always creates the higher culture, and as long as Christians hold strong to their beliefs, that higher culture will remain strong.

Sin is the disease of the world and Christianity is the immune system. But what happens when a previously Christian society turns it back on its beliefs? The immune system becomes an autoimmune disease — which is worse than the original disease that society suffered from before Christianity came in.

Today in the west, progressive leftist ideology is seen as the new higher culture. It is nothing more than a counterfeit Babel though. Nobody 30 years ago was thinking that we needed things like gay marriage (as one example). But now, if you speak out against gay marriage you will be labeled a hateful homophobic knuckle-dragger who is stuck in the primitive wasteland known as “The Wrong Side of History” where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

If Christians want to shape the future of the western world and plant more churches, they will have to rise up to the difficult call of creating the higher culture once again. It’s harder now than before. To bring a higher culture into a pagan culture is easier than doing it in a post-Christian culture where the blessings and benefits of Christianity are still enjoyed by the very people who are ignorantly rejecting its foundations.

 

Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy Quotes #2

“The young are backed by God; only the mature must face Him.”

“We know God primarily because we know that we are not gods but would like to be.”

~from The Christian Future, page 96.

Three Viewpoints of Eschatology

For my students…

There are three points of view one can adopt when considering the return of Jesus.

The first is to believe that the world is going to get worse and worse until Jesus comes back, when, He will judge the world and pour out His wrath on sinners. Currently, many people who lean to this viewpoint believe the return of Christ is near. Mostly in the west, where Christianity is being abandoned, will you find people holding this view.

Second, you can say that God already poured out His wrath on sinners two thousand years ago, onto Jesus, and after Jesus rose from the dead we began to live in a new creation, and the world has been getting better and will continue to do so until Christ’s return. People who hold to this view tend to believe that the return of Christ is many years away, possibly thousands of years away.

And third, one can believe that, just like riding a roller coaster, sometimes the world will be good, and sometimes not. Jesus is coming back, but the roller coaster ride won’t end till He does and it won’t indicate when He will.

Technically speaking, the first is called Premillennialism, the second is Postmillennialism, and the third is Amillennialism.

Obviously these are very brief descriptions, and there are variations to each viewpoint.

The term “millennium” is found in Revelation 20, and refers to a thousand year reign of Christ. In the first viewpoint the millennium (taken to be a literal thousand years) comes after Christ’s return and takes place on the earth. With the second viewpoint, the millennium (usually not taken as a literal thousand years) will happen before Christ’s return and will take place on the earth. And in the third, the millennium (not a literal thousand years) is happening now, but in heaven.