After a dramatic pause, she has returned – with a vengeance!!!!
Haha, hello everyone. You have probably stopped wondering by now what happened to me, and were moving on with your life when you saw this pesky post in your reader. “Oh no,” you thought. “More corny jokes, boring introspective navel -gazing, and odd selfies!!!”
That’s the reaction I have always aspired for.
Unfortunately, I have no glamorous reason to not have posted. I was not swept off my feet by a foreign lover, nor was I invited as an honorary ambassador to represent the U.S. to a new species we have discovered in space. My excuse, as always… school.
Ah, school! Right now I’m in World Literature, Texas Government, Biology 2 (I love that they call it Biology 2, like it’s the sequel to a riveting novel I’ve been waiting for all my life) and Psychology of Growth and Development. Loving Psych. and World Lit., and enduring Government and Biology (not really the professor’s faults, just not my favorite subjects). It’s not a ton of schoolwork per se, but a lot of reading goes into most of these classes, and that can take awhile – I mean, these are textbooks, not light reading (figuratively or literally).
Anyway, today a Blues-Buster seems in order. I may not have much else to show you, depending on the week, but I love this blog and want to keep it up. I also love hearing from you guys and being part of the WordPress community, so I’m really going to try to prioritize this blog!
This blogpost is especially for 1 Cheese Lovers and 2 College Students.
If you’re here just for a laugh, follow the link here to read an essay by G.K. Chesterton on the absence of cheese in great verse. To remedy his complaint, I wrote a poem, which you can read here after you have finished the essay.
But if you are a lonely, desperate, Christian college student trying to make your way through the hallowed halls of higher knowledge, and you need a little encouragement, continue reading.
I recently began Biology Part 2, and between that and some surprising content in Ancient World Literature, I began to feel discouraged. Do you ever feel overwhelmed by figuring out how the spiritual and the visible worlds intersect? It’s easy to believe in an invisible God when you’re in a church, devoted to the reality of the unseen. But in a biology class, talking about how life came out of goo, it can be a little harder. Especially when the Bible and Christian faith are being belittled, misquoted, or even attacked. One thing that has been especially hard to grapple with is evolution and Genesis. Some people are hardcore atheists, and just ridicule all faith. Of course, they put a lot of faith in evolution. Then there are the evolutions who are tolerant to the faith, but just wish religious people would quit rewriting science. There are Christians who absolutely can’t accept evolution. And there are actually, in case you didn’t know, Christians who believe evolution and the Bible are compatible.
I’m not going to say what camp I fall into (Christian evolutionist or 6 day literalist, that is) unless you guys specifically ask me. I’m not ashamed of what I believe in but I DO NOT want to start a debate about all this on my blog. There are other places where you can go do that, (it’s IMPORTANT to think through this) but in this place I just want to focus on the Gospel that brings us together and how we can hold true to that Gospel in college. There are many other issues besides evolution that are going to come up for you at college – issues that Christians are even divided over – and you may feel confused. In fact, if you are really thinking about your faith and what you’re learning, you WILL feel confused.
Here’s my advice to you guys, and to myself:
1 Be honest with yourself, and with God. Instead of pushing questions and doubts to the back of your mind, hoping to forget them, bring them into the light and deal with them. The truth will set you free. Go looking for truth, in reliable places. Start with the Bible, and people whose testimony and lives speak well of them. Do extra research outside of your classroom if something is bugging you. Don’t be afraid. God is going to help you. He gave you a mind for a reason. He also has not made everything known to you, but He will guide you in a search for truth. He’s not afraid of questions and you shouldn’t be either. All of my questions and journeys have eventually led me back to God, the Way the Truth and the Life, so let yourself learn without fear.
2 Don’t discount everything you’ve heard about God and everything you’ve seen Him do because one professor makes a convincing argument against Him. RESEARCH the facts. People are fallible. Think very carefully through everything. I like to play devil’s advocate in my head sometimes. It gets you to think through things more. Challenge your thoughts, or blanket statements that you hear. Don’t be taken in by false dichotomies (being told you have to choose between this or that when there are really more than 2 logical options – example: because there’s evil, if God is all good, He can’t be all -powerful. And if God is all-powerful, He can’t be all good).
3 Talk to older, wiser Christians about how they have reconciled the intellectual and spiritual worlds in their minds. You’re not the first person with questions. Lots of people at your church, pastors included, have had the same thoughts, but they stuck with God in the end and believe that faith and reason ARE compatible. Ask them how they came to that conclusion.
4 Read a good book. Some recommendations: ‘A Case for Creation’ by Lee Strobel, deals with evolution and science. ‘A Case for Christ’ deals with historical evidence for Jesus’ death and resurrection and the reliability of the New Testament. ‘The Case for Faith’ examines many questions, such as the problem of evil. ‘How to be a Christian in College’ by J. Budziszewski, is also a great book for when you are feeling discouraged.
5 It’s ok to not find answers right away, and to have unresolved questions in your mind. Everyone does. Even the convincing professor who seems to have everything figured out. NOBODY is omniscient. We all have questions that bug us. I’ve had to discover which ones I have the time and motivation to research, and which ones I just have to live with.
6 When in doubt, pray. And stick to your convictions. If you don’t feel right about doing something, don’t do it. When you know you’d be lying to say you believe in something, don’t say you do believe it. Sometimes, my professors pose questions to me that I don’t have the answer for. “So then”, they seem to be asking, “why don’t you just accept my answer?” Here’s why: I will not go against the Bible, against my God, or against my conscience. I can’t always give an answer. But I know God can.
Be inspired by the words of Martin Luther, the hero of the Reformation, who gave this answer to the Diet of Worms when he was asked to recant his beliefs:
‘Unless I am convicted of error by the testimony of Scripture or (since I put no trust in the unsupported authority of Pope or councils, since it is plain that they have often erred and often contradicted themselves) by manifest reasoning, I stand convicted by the Scriptures to which I have appealed, and my conscience is taken captive by God’s word. I cannot and will not recant anything, for to act against our conscience is neither right nor safe for us, nor open to us.
On this I take my stand. I can do no other. God help me.
In other words… men can learn certain things through science, philosophy, study, ect. But sometimes men err. Men lie. Men make faulty assumptions. Men make mistakes.
Only the Bible never makes mistakes. Only the living Word never makes mistakes.
Unless I can be convicted I am in the wrong by Scripture or pure logic, I will not recant. God hasn’t failed me. May I not be faithless to Him.
Enough serious talk. Go read about cheese.