My Christian Perspective course -- which is, essentially, an upper division philosophy class that I generally feel very unqualified for, although I am required to take it for graduation, so...
Anyway, what started out as a daunting course is quickly turning into something
that juxtaposes the daily conversations that I not only have with others but in my own mind.
Just the other night, as boyfriend and I explored the book of Acts, I found myself trying to explain what I believe in my heart (which is never really an easy thing to articulate, am I right?). We only read Acts chapters 1 and 2 -- which are major! The ascension and Pentecost?! So much good stuff!!
So today it was fascinating when my professor had the Bible scheduled for lecture...yes, the Bible...in a nutshell, essentially.
He started out by asking the question,
Does history have a beginning? Because some, like Christians, believe that this earth has a beginning, though our God does not.
Then there are many others, but for now we'll simply reference the secular naturalists that believe we have a beginning and an end and nothing else.
Christians, too, believe in an end for this life as we know it, although we also believe that there is no stopping eternity's time.
Where Christians also believe in is that the earth has purpose, where as others are inclined to believe that everything happened by chance and for no other reason.
In my opinion, this is a sad mentality.
And, no, not sad as in pity-worthy-sad,
but a hopeless sort of sad.
I couldn't fathom that mentality just as much as a believer in nothing couldn't fathom mine.
I respect a difference of belief from mine, but I'm not here to compromise right now.
Anyway, the next question was big:
Why did God do this?
What is God getting at?
I can speak only for myself with certainty, but I assume that not many Christians ask themselves these questions.
Life's routines and everyday worries and the ups and downs all become commonplace distractions -- I sooooo relate!
But when you do come around to asking yourself these questions, like I did today,
your mind can be totally blown and totally blessed.
I could go on and on about the nitty-gritty parts of the lecture,
but I can't do the details justice in the way that my professor can.
What I'll state, however, are the points that moved me and are making my mind bend all over right now:
1. You can't have the Old Testament without the New Testament -- they correlate
perfectly, illustrating God's ultimate purpose and desire for humanity
2. People like King David are used as foreshadow for who Christ is even in spite of their flaws
3. Babel and Pentecost can be read simultaneously, and the connections between the two also foreshadow the Kingdom God is preparing
4. Covenantal mentality (i.e. Abrahamic, Mosaic, Noahic...) is also a foreshadow for the promises
God intends to keep with his people
5. A snapshot of what God is getting at can be seen in Revelation 7-9
6. Another snapshot of the community we can hope for in Heaven can be seen in 1 Peter 2:9
7. What is God honoring by having Hell?*
8. We have to take Hell as seriously as Jesus took it since we are called to the Great Commission
and since we are called to be Christ-like
9. With this, we are all called to be students and to make students not converts, so as to add to the
Kingdom God is building
10. (What blew my mind today) The book of Acts just kind of ends. We learn a little bit more from the Epistles, and we primarily hear about Paul and his missions. However, where we are today on the great scale of life (which my professor so humorously had us illustrate on the white board) is in between where the Bible leaves off in Acts and the second-coming for Christ. Which means (BRAIN BLAST MOMENT) that we are here today still writing out the book of Acts, still living out the rest of the Biblical story! How cool is that!?!
To end, I'll leave you with a quote that the professor gave us from Dallas Willard.
He sums up the question of what God is getting at by saying this:
"God's aim in human history is the creation of an all inclusive community of loving persons with God himself included as its primary sustainer and most glorious inhabitant."
And, from what I am also learning from my next paper for this course,
Heaven--God's Kingdom--is not some up in the clouds location. Heaven will be here on earth, consisting of great many nations--and most importantly, God--who are the people group that chooses God. A people group that has exercised its freewill in accordance to God's desires. A people group that lives and worships and is in community on earth at its most perfect state. A people group not separated from the presence of God.
All inclusive, all about love, and all about the Kingdom.
Sometimes, I love college.