Joy in Submission

Painting of Jesus Washing Peter's Feet by Ford Madox Brown

Painting of Jesus Washing Peter’s Feet by Ford Madox Brown

“Some things are so important”, wrote Søren Kierkegaard,  “that they cannot be communicated directly.” Joy in submission is one of those things. How would Kierkegaard attempt to indirectly explain this issue? I do not know. But I am willing to attempt an impossible task of thinking in Kierkegaardian manner as I address how serving is reigning in God’s kingdom. The concept I named, ‘Joy in Submission’.

We were made to reign. We were made to reign through serving. We were made to serve. The objects to which we serve define who we are. Some objects bring intrinsic joy and life when served. Others bring despair and death. Those that bring despair and death often promise intrinsic joy and life but deliver despair and death. Fame, sex, and money are objects that often promise intrinsic joy and life. When they serve us, they do deliver what they promised. But when we serve them, they bring despair and death.

Submission, in God’s kingdom, brings intrinsic joy and life. Submission is serving. Serving is reigning. Thus reigning is submission. Submission is a way of life. It is a way of life worth living. A life worth living is a passionate life. A passionate life glorifies God by enjoying Him now and forever. Enjoying God now and forever is a passionate living that rejoices in serving God through serving others. Serving others is submission. Continue reading

Explosive Joy & Divine Romance

Gandolfi Allegory of JusticePeace and salvation, Yahweh is King (Isa. 52:7-8). This was and is a victorious proclamation that Yahweh’s kingdom has come on earth as it is in heaven. The God of Israel has return to His people. Here comes the inauguration of the eschatological era. It is the dawn of the new creation. The time of restoration of the fallen world has come. “Behold, your God”, proclaims those who herald this evangelion to God’s people who are anxiously waiting to hear the good news. Waiting to hear that  the time of God’s dominion on earth as it is in heaven has come.

Where this evangelion is proclaimed, there there is an explosive joy among God’s people. This explosive joy is rooted in Christ Jesus. He is not only the bringer of the evangelion but also the evangelion itself. He is the bringer of God’s kingdom in heaven to earth and He is the everlasting King in that joyous divine rule that will wipe away God’s people tears, bring end to morning, suffering, pain and death. He is also the true fountain of the living infinitely and imperishable joy itself.

The Church is called to heralding this evangelion. She is sent to herald God’s redemptive drama. She is sent to behold Christ Jesus as the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the fallen world and as the Lion of Judah, who has triumphed over darkness.

The Church is the last Eve. She is kept pure. She is without stain or wrinkle. For Her last Adam is keeping Her holy and blameless. Her mission, heralding and living in this divine romance, is a reaction. Just like laughter, it is not an action.

This mission is a reaction towards an overwhelming and compelling divine love. She is overwhelmed and compelled to be like Him, and to act like Him. She is overwhelmed and compelled to be holy, loving, patient and kind. She overwhelmed and compelled to protect the weak, to persevere in the darkness, to rejoice in truth, to welcome the outcasts, to heal the wounded and to bring hope in despair. The divine love compels Her to rekindle heaven on earth.

God, Love & Evil

Pain Pauls blog

The standard response to the traditional problem of pain and suffering, after Alvin Plantinga’s contributions1, is that there is a morally sufficient reason for a being that is God to permit or bring about instances of pain and suffering.

If it is possible, not necessarily true nor believed by (a)theists, that a being that is omnicompetent has a morally sufficient reason to permit or bring about instances of pain and suffering, then the traditional problem of pain and suffering fails to show that such a being cannot exists.

An atheologian, defending such a case, is now demanded to show that it is necessarily true that it is logically impossible for an omnicompetent God to have a morally sufficient reason to permit or bring about instances of pain and suffering.  “No one, I think,” correctly stated William L. Rowe, “has succeeded in establishing such an extravagant claim.” (Rowe 1979: 335 fn1) Paul Draper concurred: “I agree with most philosophers of religion that theists face no serious logical problem of evil”(Draper 1989: 349 fn1)

What could be a morally sufficient reason for a being that is God to permit or bring about instances of pain and suffering? A theologian could simply and legitimately say she does not know. As a limited being she cannot fathom the reason of unlimited Being to permit or bring about instances of pain and suffering. Shouldering a harder task, this article speculatively explored love as a possible morally sufficient reason from a Christian worldview.

It is a possible, not necessary true, that God created higher sentient creatures to exemplify His morally perfect character (1 Pet. 1:16). Higher sentient creatures were created to be in a loving-relationship with God and with each other (Matt. 22:37-39). Freedom of will, the ability to or not-to exemplify God’s essential character (through loving or not-loving God and each other), is essential for there to be a genuine loving-relationship.

Genuine love necessarily requires freedom of will. For higher sentient creatures to exercises freedom of will, they had to be created at an epistemic distance from God. Instances of pain and suffering are the consequences of some of higher sentient creature abusing their freedom of will. These higher sentient creatures chose not-to exemplify God’s essential morally perfect character.

According to Christians’ account, God, who is able to eliminate instances of pain and suffering at any moment, permits instances of pain and suffering for a specific period of time. There is a time in the future where the epistemic distance would be removed. This will be the time, which God will not only eliminate all instances of pain and suffering but also bring justice and restoration to the victims, and righteous punishment to all the evil-doers.

This Christians’ account does not have to be true or believed by others. It needs only to be possible. If it is, and I think it is, then the traditional logical problem of pain and suffering fails to show that the God Christians’ believe cannot exist.

[1] (1965). “The Free Will Defense,’ Philosophy in America. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press,  (1967) God and Other Minds: A Study of the Rational Justification of Belief in God. Ithaca: Cornell University Press and (1974) God, Freedom and Evil. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. Nelson Pike also ought to be included. Rower, William L. (1979) ‘The Problem Of Evil And Some Varieties Of Atheism,’ American Philosophical Quarterly Vol. 16. 4:335-341 Draper, Paul (1989) ‘Pain and Pleasure: An Evidential Problem For Theists,’ Noûs 23:331-350.

Love Unites Us To God

Clement’s (died c.100 A.D), presbyter and bishop of Rome, letter to the Corinthians is probably one of the earliest Christian writings outside the New Testament. It’s in his letters were you find important evidences of Paul’s mission to Spain and also the martyrdom of Peter and Paul.

One of remarkable passage I came across that I wish to share is the praise of love that is in Christ Jesus:

Let him who has love in Christ keep the commandments of Christ. Who can describe the [blessed] bond of the love of God? What man is able to tell the excellence of its beauty, as it ought to be told? The height to which love exalts is unspeakable. Love unites us to God. Love covers a multitude of sins. Love beareth all things, is long-suffering in all things. There is nothing base, nothing arrogant in love. Love admits of no schisms: love gives rise to no seditions: love does all things in harmony. By love have all the elect of God been made perfect; without love nothing is well-pleasing to God. In love has the Lord taken us to Himself. On account of the Love he bore us, Jesus Christ our Lord gave His blood for us by the will of God; His flesh for our flesh, and His soul for our souls.

To that I will add first epistle of John:

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.We love because he first loved us (1 John 4:16-20 ESV)

May the awesomely infinity, unspeakable and unfailing love unites us to God.


The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume I: The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus. 1885 (A. Roberts, J. Donaldson & A. C. Coxe, Ed.) (p. 18). Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company.

O How Much God Loves Us

John Piper and Matt Chandler: Sermonjam with David Crowder Band “How He Loves”

At the cross in holy love God through Christ paid the full penalty of our disobedience himself. He bore the judgment we deserve in order to bring us the forgiveness we do not deserve. On the cross divine mercy and justice were equally expressed and eternally reconciled. God’s holy love was ‘satisfied.

John Stott (The Cross of Christ p. 91)

Silent Voices, Tearless Cries

They call me a baby when I am wanted and just baby in Latin when I am not wanted,
They say I am part of the one carrying me, she has a choice to do with me as she pleases,

If she pleases, she could stop my heart that began to beat 24th day I was formed,
If she pleases, she could stop my liver from making my own blood cells 8th week I came.

Do they not know, I can breathe already on my 12th week?
Do they not know, my own blood flows in my veins in a month?

Hear me praising God, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Hear me leaping with joy, for He who formed me for His glory.

Why do I deserve to be punished for the wickedness of my father?
Why am I to be sacrificed for the greediness of your selfishness?

Hear my silent voice.
Hear my tearless cry.

See, my inward parts are formed; knitted together by Him who foreknew me.
See, my eternal life in His hands; safely kept by the One who forever loves me.

From my  reflection on the issue of abortion

Poem: Sexual Healing

Poem by: Jeffrey Bethke

So lets look as this subject, and ill tell you why im disgusted,
So tonight looks like sex will be the topic of discussion.
Now sex isn’t evil, for marriage is why God made it,
But I know you like come on Jeff, that’s too outdated.
This is 2011 bro, we do it for recreation,
Hey this is even college, so we do it while you’re wasted.
lets look into that logic lets pop off the seal,
And lets question something we thought is already a done deal,
For example take a rape victim and once its revealed
When her bruises go away is she totally healed?
I mean the damage is lasting, you can see it in her eyes,
If it was just abused recreation, why did it ruin her life?
I mean if sex is just for fun then why on us does it take such a toll,
Maybe its because You don’t have sex with a body, you have sex with a soul. Continue reading