H  O  M  E          
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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The Buzz

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.
- Marc Heinrich

His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
- Rose Cole

[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.
- C-Train

This post contains nothing that is of any use to me. What were you thinking? Anyway, it's probably the best I've read all day.
- David Kjos

Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
- Jonathan Moorhead

There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
- Carla Rolfe
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Double Crucifixion. Part V - Illumination
If you haven't done so already, please read through the first, second, third, and fourth posts in this series to get the context.

Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready my God, Thy will to see,
Open my eyes, illumine me,
Spirit divine!

Some of you will recognize the refrain from the hymn, "Open my eyes, illumine me".

I don't think anyone ever (really) uses the phrase, "Illumine me" today, even in Clara Scott's (the hymn's author) day, it just made for nice poetry. In Psalm 119 verse 105, David describes God's word as a lamp unto his feet and a light unto his path. Same metaphor - illumination equals an opening of the understanding. God's word opened David's understanding so that he could "see" the spiritual path upon which God expected him to walk.

I mention this, in this way, because the word our English translations sometimes use has some cultural baggage tied to it, and I want to address the baggage up front in order that we are aware of how we might inject our cultures baggage into our interpretation, before we even look at a verse that uses the word in question.

I am speaking of being "enlightened."

Our culture has mystified the idea of enlightenment. When a Buddhist "seeks enlightenment", he is seeking an awareness that will help him escape the cycle of suffering and rebirth, and bring his soul or spirit into nirvana. An "enlightened" Buddha has had some mystical experience that convinces him he is now on the path to nirvana, and fit to help others on the same path. In mysticism "proper" enlightenment is the pursuit of communion with an ultimate reality - usually through some sort of "spiritual" meditation. The list of mystical religions is long enough and I am not about to catalog it, since they all share the same underlying notion - that a person is operating at one spiritual level, then, after a mystical experience, they operate at a superior spiritual level.

The man who hears the good news about Jesus Christ, and comes to understand the manner in which God has chosen to save - that man has been enlightened. He hasn't had a mystical experience, nor has he experienced a spiritual change. All that enlightenment requires is that he understands the good news, that is, that he knows the way of salvation.

In our culture however, because we are influenced by the idea that enlightenment is a spiritual state one arrives at - we may well press the idea into a Christian mold, and conclude that enlightenment means salvation.

The problem with that is it is false. Judas was about as enlightened as you could get. The demons, James reminds us, are enlightened. Every person you share the gospel with, who understands it but rejects it - is enlightened. Both the tares and the wheat are enlightened, but only the wheat are saved. That is going to be something we want to keep in mind in up and coming posts.

In the next post I plan to look at what it means to be restored again. I hope you stick with it.


posted by Daniel @ 9:48 AM  
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