Sunday, October 10, 2010

A different perspective on the devil

I saw a link to an e-book called Calvinism: A Closer Look by Daniel Gracely on another blog, a few weeks back. I've been working my way through it a bit at a time, and today I'm reading chapter 9. It gives some interesting information about the book of Job, and he's discussing some things about the nature of the devil that are also very interesting. One thing it mentions is
The book of Job is believed by most scholars to be the oldest book of the Bible.
Apparently I don't read many scholarly books, because I don't think I'd seen that before. I've really enjoyed what I've read so far in the previous chapters and I've no doubt I'll feel the same through the rest of the book which appears to be a total of 21 chapters. Here's an important paragraph from the 9th chapter I'm reading:
The position we have been advancing in this book is that God is a free will Person, and that He has made other free will persons. We also want to press forward the idea that all free will persons whom God has made, both angelic and human, have retained their free will. In fact, humans have retained it despite the Satanic activity which has affected human history, and also despite the unlawful acquiring by Adam of the knowledge of good and evil (a knowledge we inherit in seed through the male, Adamic line). In short, we believe the book of Job will show that God does not choose the choices of other persons.
Following are a few more sentences from the article, which certainly give food for thought.
For his own part Job never mentions Satan in any of his conversations, and he seems unaware of the role the Devil played in bringing about his ruin.

The Devil does not appear to be double-minded, however. By being single-mindedly set against God, Satan is all the more effective because he never gives his opposition—God and the believer—the benefit of the doubt. He always assumes the worst about God and us, and this assumption informs his protest.

Perhaps this explains why the Enemy presumed to believe the worst about Jesus, and why the demonic world was astonished when they learned that Christ had risen from the dead. In fact, the Bible tells us that had the demonic world known about Jesus’ resurrection they would not have crucified Him.

Thus, according to the Bible, God took all of Job’s possessions, including Job’s children, and put them into Satan’s power. God did this without directing Satan toward any specific end. God is not the causal agent for any of the disasters brought against Job, even though God speaks in an idiomatic way as though He were responsible for Job’s ruin by having removed His divine protection.

But we must allow God to describe Himself, not some theological system that differs from the Bible. As a friend of mine has pointed out, when Christians allow the latter, they end up going to church and worshiping theology (i.e., so called) rather than the God of the Bible. The point here is that Job teaches us that God is not sovereign in everything, but rather sovereign over everything. To be sovereign in everything would mean God foreordains ‘whatsoever comes to pass.’ To be sovereign over everything means God will ultimately judge how others have been sovereign in their own sphere of decisions.

There's a lot more there, absolutely worth reading.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Search engines and advertising

In order to increase visitors to my site, I've done some advertising with Google Adwords and Yahoo. Up to this point, my site comes up with a pretty good rank for certain search terms but I figured every little bit helps with only a few hits a day.

However, since Yahoo and Microsoft have some sort of sharing arrangement I've been getting notices from Yahoo that I have to move my campaign over to Bing. I'm not a huge fan of Microsoft but I thought I'd look into the logistics of moving my campaign. (Nor am I a big fan of Google, for that matter, though they are hosting this blog my issues are mostly with Adwords). But, the first thing I saw when I clicked on the link for migration information was a message that it was strongly suggested that I install some software called 'Silverlight'. I figured I'd play the game for a moment or 2 to see what happened, since I'm running Linux and/or OpenSolaris (OpenIndiana) which is obviously not going to run a Microsoft application that will most likely want a registered version of Windows installed.

When I clicked on install, it took me to a page to download a Linux version called 'Moonlight'. Before I opted to install I decided to do some research. I found some very interesting information. Here are some links: