26 February 2014

Heather Campbell

Our dear friends Dr. John and Bobbi lost their daughter this past week. Please keep them in your prayers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Heather Joy Campbell (Soo Kyung), 28, of Chapel Hill, NC, died Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at her residence.

She was born on September 14, 1985 in South Korea. She was raised in Wooster, OH and received her BA from Savannah College of Art and Design. Heather was a faithful daughter, loving sister, compassionate friend, relentless animal lover, inspired creator and a contagious laugher.

Survivors include her parents, John F. Campbell, MD and Barbara (Bobbi) Aker Campbell of Cornelius, NC; two brothers, Peter Campbell of Portland, OR, and Brent Campbell of Nashville, TN; a sister, Kimberly Hyo-Jung Campbell of Seoul, South Korea; sister-in-law Jean Yoo Campbell (Peter); nephew Jamen and niece Lena and many aunts, uncles and cousins. She loved them, and they brought joy to her, as she did to them.

Memorial gifts may be made in Heather’s honor to:  SPCA of Wake Co., 200 Petfinder Lane Raleigh, NC 27603 or Wayne Center for the Arts, 237 South Walnut Street, Wooster, Ohio 44691 A Memorial Service to celebrate her life will be held on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 12:00 PM at Lake Forest Church in Huntersville, NC 28078.

The family will have a reception following the service at the church. James Funeral Home of Huntersville is serving the family of Heather and online condolences can be made to jamesfuneralhomelkn.com.

25 February 2014

Likeness and Unlikeness in Marriage

This quote stands well enough without comment...

     "Ideally, the spouse is to be the "help" of similitude, of likeness. (This is only half the "helpfulness"; but understand and rejoice in this half first.) Husband and wife act as living mirrors to one another. When I look at Thanne (his wife), I discover myself, because Thanne is at the same time reacting to me. If she is reacting truthfully - I will find my needs in the sympathy of her chin; my personal characteristics will appear in the expressions of her face, in her posture and her words. I am in Thanne! And she is in me. And where better to view the truth of my self than in one who neither flatters nor scorns me, but knows me well and lovingly? 

     This mirroring is a most practical "help" to all my work, for I will be wise to my strengths and watchful of my weaknesses thereafter. Neither falsely proud nor falsely inferior, I can make realistic efficient decisions.

     When Thanne's eyes, looking upon me are wounded, then I may know that something in me is injurious. When Thanne's eyes, looking upon me, are consoled, then I may know that I am consolation. And when Thanne's eyes merely look upon me, then I may know that I am: the gift of the knowledge of being! (When she calls) "Wally? Wally?" And I answer: "Here I am." This is a "help" most "fit" to me - to me specifically - one no chattel nor slave nor employer could ever be."

21 February 2014

"The God Who is There" - Francis A. Schaeffer - quote 2

Schaeffer talks about the concept of apologetics, which to him has a few different facets, but I liked a couple of related quotes.

"The proponents of any position who are alive to their own generation must give a sufficient answer for it when questions are raised about it." (emphasis, mine)

"Such answers are necessary in the first place for myself as a Christian if I am going to maintain my intellectual integrity, and if I am to keep united my personal devotional and intellectual life." (emphasis, mine)

- page 151

I thought that these two quotes were important for my own mind because of the way that I see how much my thinking has been affected by the 'leap of faith'/anti-faith mentality that pervades our culture. (see previous post). When I think of faith, I do not think of it in terms of a leap into the unknown, but as a place to step on facts to connect with God based upon reality. I think of the probability arguments advanced by Josh McDowell, the Lord, liar, lunatic argument put forth by C.S. Lewis, the reliability of the Bible as opposed to the reliability of any other book in history, as well as Schaeffer's own argument that non-personal sources could never create personal beings when I think of compelling reasons for faith in Christ.

I love the statements about having real reasons for faith so that you can 'be alive to (one's own) generation', and giving sufficient (not leap of faith) answers. I know that I fall short of this in many ways, but these are ideals for me to shoot for. I also think that I need to have a unity of mind that values loyalty to Christ above all other things - and that will produce an intellectual and spiritual (Schaeffer calls 'devotional') integrity. It is hard to keep your mind united around one thing/concept/Person, but it is something that I am feeling a greater call to.

16 February 2014

A Thought on Atheism

The other day on the way to work I heard someone talking about the merits of atheism. It got me thinking about how atheism can not provide any real moral structure for a society. Any atheist worth his salt will tell you that their highest authority is themselves and that there is no one 'out there' defining what their highest truths should be.  If that is so, that means that the individual, as the highest authority, gets to determine what is right and wrong for themselves. The following strange scenario comes to mind:

Atheist 1: I want your wallet.
Atheist 2: No. I want to keep my wallet.

Atheist 1: Because there is no higher authority in the universe aside from my own desire, I say that I can take your wallet.
Atheist 2: Just because there is no god in the universe doesn't give you the right to take my wallet.

Atheist 1: Actually it does. Because there is no overarching authority determining what is right and wrong for both of us, and, since I am bigger than you and can smack you around until you give me your wallet, I actually can demand your wallet based on my own version of truth - and the might of my arm.
Atheist 2: But I need this money to buy food, pay the rent and take care of my children.

Atheist 1: That is all drama to me - not my problem. As an atheist, you should know that we believe in the survival of the fittest. Because I am stronger than you (and obviously smarter), I am going to take that money, spend it on whatever I want, and won't feel bad about it once.
Atheist 2: That isn't fair! What about my children, not to mention my own dignity?

Atheist 1: Dignity? Fair? Now you sound like those miserable Christians that appeal to a higher authority to make sure that everyone is treated the same, and as you should know, that is a figment of your imagination, and a cultural construct created to make you feel guilty and weak. You are just borrowing from their cultural memory in order to make you feel that there is some type of leveling influence to protect you. Now give me your wallet.

Atheism taken to it's logical conclusions can only create a structure for society that is based on might over right and relative truth in which the strong survive, but the weak are denigrated. This can happen on an individual basis (when an individual - no matter what they profess to believe about the world - takes advantage of another person just because they can; ie: theft, child abuse, rape, murder - they are still living as an atheist, even if they profess to be a Christian), or on a corporate basis (when a country or leader destroys his people based on his own selfishness - examples abound).

I am sure that most atheists would accuse me of gross over simplification. However, I would counter that by saying that they are not being faithful to the simplest presuppositions that atheism has.

"Promises, covenants, and oaths, which are the bonds of human society, can have no hold upon an atheist. The taking away of God, though but even in thought, dissolves all..." - John Locke

13 February 2014

"The God Who Is There" - Francis A Schaeffer - quote 1

I can't recommend pneumonia, but it certainly does give you time to read things that require thought and meditation. For me, this took the form of the significant, weighty book "The God Who Is There" by Francis Schaeffer. While it is nearly impossible to distill a 200 page book into any kind of helpful blog posting, I will list a few of the more significant quotes (for me).

Quote: "We of the West may not be brainwashed by our State, but we are brainwashed by our culture." - pg 141.

I think that I would have partially resisted this statement if I had not already read the previous 140 pages of the book. However, as I read, I became more and more aware that the various forms of culture that I enjoy are by in large part born out of a view that is ambivalent toward God, or outright anti-God. Now, while I might have affirmed that before I read this book, I had pretty much compartmentalized a lot of those cultural influences into categories of 'benign', 'insightful', or 'disturbing' rather than a source of brainwashing. The reason that this quote became more influential in my thinking was due to Schaeffer's expert explanation of Kierkegaard's "Leap of Faith". This 'approach' (for lack of a better word) to belief in God is now the reigning influence when it comes to any aspect of modern man's thinking and culture.  Kierkegaard essentially created modern man's view of faith by stating that there is no way for us to know that God is truly there, and if we are to live with any hope in this world, we must ignore what we know to be true about the world (that there is no supernatural realm, there is no meaning to life, in short - there is no God), and we must take a mental leap into the unknown to find any purpose or meaning (because the essence of God is that He is unknowable). As a result of this, Kierkegaard rails against the true meaning of faith and opens the door for others to redefine it as whatever they choose. It is not a faith based on a knowable God that has provided good and logical reasons for solid faith. It is a leap based on nothing except a desire for meaning and purpose. Even non-believers can not live without meaning and purpose, but they are creating a faith that has nothing to put their feet on, as opposed to historic Christianity which gives numerous reasons for God's existence. All of this to say that this is the mentality of modern man's culture today, and one that I have been influenced by, affected (infected?) by, and that I have in many ways enjoyed.

(All pages are from the collected works edition, Volume 1).