Friday, January 23, 2009

Plantinga - Chapter 4: Redemption

It was said in class yesterday that the price of freedom, when we place ourselves in the center of it, is loneliness. I have never thought about freedom much before this course because I always thought of myself as free. But I am not free. No one really is. And the further we try to get away from the constraints the world puts on us the more alone we are. Freedom, like everything else, comes with a price. Professor Adriana said that we should develop discernment when looking at the world because it will turn into wisdom. So how does redemption tie into freedom, discernment and wisdom? It's simple really. We are a fallen world because of the sin that we have allowed to creep into every corner of our lives. We are not free from sin now nor will we be free from sin ten years from now. However, we can learn and grow in the area of discernment to grasp a better world view and understanding which can develop into wisdom over the years.

In the opening of the chapter Plantinga talks about God's never ending mercy and grace. He brings up the point that when Adam and Ever were found naked in the garden after they had sinned they could not even look each other in the eye for fear of what they might see there within. How often do you speak to someone who will not look you directly in the eye? We are a fearful nation. We are afraid to let too much out or to absorb too much in. The eyes never lie. In someone's eyes you can see the pain they harbor as well as the love and joy they have to offer. However, we often do not look each other in the eyes. We are afraid to learn too much about a person or to reveal too much about ourselves.

Plantinga made a metaphor of sin in our lives to wilting flowers. He says, "Sin traps people and makes them wilt; godly obedience liberates people and helps them flourish." Often times we find ourselves trapped in sin and we do not know how to get out on our own. Instead of crying out to God we rely on ourselves and contribute to our self deterioration. If we just obeyed God's commandments and did not get trapped by sin we could be the most brilliantly colored flower but instead most of us settle to be wilting flowers or even a weeds.Another point of Plantinga's that really struck me was this: "Through baptism God identifies a person as being "in Christ." Through faith the baptised person identifies herself the same way." I have never thought of baptism in this light before. I have always heard that baptism is an outword expression of faith that every Christian should do. Some people even go so far as to say that a person cannot go to heaven if they have not been baptised. In response to these people I say "I guess I'm going to hell then." Baptism has been an issue I have been struggling with for a long time. Because for me, at this very moment in my life, getting baptised would not mean anything. I feel like I have been waiting for something - some sign telling me when and where I should be baptised. I have a church at home but like I said in one of my previous blogs, that is no longer my home. My home is here and in four years it will be somewhere else. I guess what I'm waiting for is to find my church home and get baptised there. I don't know if that's right or wrong and I don't know if I'm even allowed to make that decision on my own. The way I look at it, right now I am with Christ and He with me. When I get baptised, whenever that time may be, I'll be in Christ and what a joyous day that will be.

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