Wednesday, May 7, 2008

An Experience with Romans 7

If my hideous heart strays from you,
what can I do?

Desire God, says our true Lords servant,
but my heart is like a hidden venomous serpent

Oh Lord, my treasonous heart amend,
That on you only may this evil sinner depend

Your great grand Glory is my desire,
So also are the spiteful smashing sins that lead to the fire!

Can holy humility be sought by hidden pride?
Can love's Life be lived in a lie?

Oh hope that down in me dwells!
Secure, eternal, joy; my heart swells!

For Jesus, praise His name, the Lord sits at the right hand,
Justice towards me, the sinner, he answers the demand!

My guilt and guile mingled with His blood, sweat and pain,
No more, for the moral Law, will fear remain!

The prayers that he now with eternal persistence, for me, will pray,
continually, progressively in my heart are changes made.

One day my lowly body, in loving likeness, will be made new,
and only love will I have for you

Come Lord! Jesus Come!

Written By Stephen Stanford

Existentialism and Christianity

This past semester I took a course on Existentialists Philosophy. I began the course with a complete disrespect for the existential philosophers. This is do to two facts. The fact that I am a Christian and the fact that I have taken most of my philosophical training in the analytic philosophical tradition. Now that I am done with all the philosophy courses for my degree, I will have to say that the existential philosophy course was, perhaps, the most unique. Most of the philosophy professors that I have had treat existentialism as a kind of pseudo-philosophy. I think that their criticisms are not that far off. Indeed I am not, nor will I ever be, a supporter of existentialism. I do find some aspects of that school of philosophy illuminating. One aspect that I find illuminating is the idea that subjectivity has a role in the way that we see the world. Existentialism comes genealogically from phenomenology. What we end up seeing and believing, to a large measure, is determined by our presuppositions. This presuppositional context helps determine the way we perceive things.

The christian should not see the fact of our subjectivity a problem. This is because the regenerated man's subjectivity is correlated with Gods divine subjectivity. Gods divine subjectivity is also Gods objectivity. Thus, we can know the world, as it truly is, when we have become regenerated after the likeness of Christ. We begin to interpret reality as God interprets reality. God's interpretation is always right. Therefore, unless one trust in Christ and receives by the Holy Spirit a new mind, one's epistemology is always at odds with one's ontology. We must seek the ontology, that of the scriptures, that can correlate with our epistemology. Only in the worldview that the bible gives us, does the correspondence theory of truth and the coherentist theory of truth meet in unity. Yes, as you may recognize, I am definitely a Van Tillian!

If you want a good introduction to the main existential philosophers, you ought to read Robert C. Solomon's Introducing The Existentialist: Imaginary interviews with Sartre, Heidegger and Camus. I read the book at the beginning of last semester. The book is split into three parts where Solomon does fake interviews with the three major existentialist. As he interviews he reviews some of the major aspects of each philosophers position. It is a fun way to learn about what these philosophers were all about.

Written by Stephen Stanford

Monday, May 5, 2008

An Experience With Holy Sonnet 14

Shall I ask you to batter my heart?
Shall I ask you my sins to subdue?

Surely you are sovereign!
Surely you care too!

Shall I tell you, like Donne, how I am prone?
Shall I ask you to ram my heart through?

For unless you chain me,
only sin will my heart spew

Written by Stephen Stanford

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Christ Lord Over Death

Who thinks of death more than I?
Who can think of death and not bat an eye?

Does the unknown experience, the thought, cause you many tears?
Does the thought of the heart, its beating stop, cause you the mortal truth suppress?

O sinner, fear not, but flee to Christ
O sinner, for those in Christ, death has not mastery; Christ owns all sovereignty

Written by Stephen Stanford