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Theological, Doctrinal, and Spiritual Musing - and whatever other else is on my mind when I notice that I haven't posted in a while.
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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
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His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
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[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
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Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
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Friday, September 15, 2006
Even HP Lovecraft knew...
Who has been raised who hasn't first died?
That is not dead
Which can eternal lie
Yet with strange aeons
Even death may die
- HP Lovecraft.

I don't really know how the HP Lovecraft book came into our house when I was growing up. It may have been that a cousin brought it over and left it, or perhaps my older sister took it out from the library and never returned it. I am really not sure. But one thing I was sure of - I didn't much care for it. The short story collection was all about scary stuff, and as a young boy, such things were not my cup of tea.

In my late teen years and early twenties, I began to play role playing games, one of which was based on the world of HP Lovecraft's writings - the game was called call of Cthulhu, a game set in the world inspired by Lovecraft's short story of the same name. Unlike other role playing games, where you basically started off weak, and grew stronger and stronger, in this game you started off weak, and stayed weak - but the monsters became more and more powerful - and the best you could hope (for your player) was for him or her to stay alive the longest. It was twisted, and it is enough to say that I am thankful I am no longer influenced by such things. Yet when I began to play the game, I began to read HP Lovecraft - to get a feel for the "world" in which the game is played.

So as I was contemplating the study I am writing for Sunday morning's adult class, I was reminded of the above quote. "That is not dead which can eternal lie." The first time I read it I thought it was such a neat bit of poetry - and I memorized it for that reason, so I could wax eloquent amongst my university peers who were impressed by such gibberish. Yet the thought was, in its own way, indeed eloquent, even poetic. If something never ceases to be, it isn't dead.

Lovecraft was writing about ancient monsters from the stars - a pantheon of sleeping deities bent solely on destroying everything for reasons incomprehensible to man. Things which, according to Lovecraft's short stories - could be awakened by men. The pericope above (short snippit) is supposed to play on that idea - that these things are not dead, but merely dormant until awakened.

I doubt very much that Lovecraft was a believer, and I am not going to speculate, nor investigate the matter - it is enough for me that the truth he partly articulated reminded me of that fuller truth found in scripture. I mention his quote only as a way of introducing the thought.

In Romans six, Paul tells us that the Christian doesn't sin anymore because if the Christian is in Christ, then the Christian has died to sin and been raised with Christ.

Many stumble in Romans seven because they think Paul is saying that the normative Christian experience is not what he had just described in Romans six, but is in fact now a different experience whereby you sin, feel bad, and thank Christ that you won't go to hell for it - even though Paul closes the thought by thanking God that God has delivered him from this Romans seven experience in Christ - and even though we see Paul say in Romans eight that anyone who lives according to the flesh will die. Yet in spite of this, they continue to live in Romans seven, even imagining that such at thing is normative.

I could spend a month on that topic and never touch the bottom of it - but it is enough to say that on Sunday we will be discussing a miracle that neither Jesus nor the apostles ever did, nor could ever do - but a miracle that apparently is performed routinely in many churches today.

We note that while Jesus walked this earth (on more than one occasion) He raised people from the dead. Likewise the Apostles did as well. But no one, no one in all of scripture ever raised to life someone who hadn't died yet.

You see, no one is raised in Christ who hasn't died in Christ. No seed has ever sprouted that hasn't died first. No one is raised in newness of life who hasn't died on the cross with Christ. It isn't hard to comprehend - but there are hard hearted "believers" who cannot believe that. They would rather believe that you are raised to a newness of life in Christ whether you die with Christ or not. Now that's a miracle that even God can't do.

The truth is

As long as you refuse to die,...
In your sin you shall eternal lie.
posted by Daniel @ 9:45 AM  
  • At 1:42 PM, September 15, 2006, Blogger isaiah543 said…

    Do you believe that being dead to sin and crucified with Christ is something already true of every true believer? Or are you saying that true believers who are still struggling with sin need to die to sin and be crucified with Christ?

  • At 3:17 PM, September 15, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    I believe that being dead to sin and crucified with Christ is something that is already true of every -true- believer, and that this is done by God and not by a man's own hand.

    Notwithstanding, I believe that many true believers today are still struggling with sin because they do not understand or believe the promises of God. They are like the Israelites who died in the wilderness - they are camped outside of God's rest, and refuse to believe that God can give them victory in Canaan - and so they rot there, in Romans seven.

  • At 9:22 PM, September 15, 2006, Blogger Even So... said…

    Yep, we see eye to eye again; are you only 5'3"?, or are you leaning down?

    Since you read HP, you may understand this: I used to go around shouting "Hastur" all day to see if he would appear...silly boy...

  • At 7:47 AM, September 16, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    I was exactly five three once.

    I think because of the AD&D deities and demigods (the original with the melnibonian and cthulhulian mythologies included, and not the latter versions that were printed after they lost the permission to use them) there were many "gamers" shouting "Hastur, Hastur!" - just not during game time.

  • At 9:58 AM, September 16, 2006, Blogger Brad Williams said…

    Dude, I have to admit that even during the days when I role-played all the time, the Call of Cthulu freaked me out.

  • At 4:11 PM, September 16, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    Believe it or not, there were games that were much darker. Revenant was d.a.r.k., and "In Nomine" was just vile and twisted. The whole vampire schtick was gothic and messed up. I played 'em all. (To my shame, and detriment).

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