Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Reverse Enginering

Reverse Engineering

The Chinese are really good at reverse engineering, ie copying something by taking it apart. It works really well on mechanical things but not so well or even impossible on other things like chemical compounds and people. I tired a new product the other day that worked incredibly well and I asked the manufacturer if he had patented the product. He said no and he never would because to patent it he would have to tell them how he made it. Since it was impossible to reverse engineer it, the process was all the protection he needed. That brings me to where we were in our ponderings. The jury is still out on the degree of brokenness of the planet, but according to the responses I received from the last blog, some of us have come to the personal conclusion we are definitely broken, wondering if it is irreparable. Even believers who think they should know better by now are struggling and do not know why. To figure out what has gone wrong we have to do a little reverse engineering to figure out what it was before we can correct it.
So what is wrong with man kind and more specifically what is wrong with ME? Why am I not where I think I should be or could be by now? If we use the popular evolutionary model with the big bang we could, at least in theory, go back to whenever it was man separated from monkeys, chimpanzees more specifically I’m told. Casual observation reveals them to be generally interested in feeding, breeding and fighting. The fighting prioritizes the rights to the first two. Come to think of it, that seems pretty much like the essence of most of the soaps and reality TV shows. I guess they could be on to something. We could skip a few generations and ask my mother. I’m sure my mother would say there is nothing wrong with me, you can ask her…she and dad are a little busy doing something with Jesus right now, same with all my grandparents so I guess we will have to skip that one till later. We could ask my sister Annette, but I have found her memory of things (especially things about me) is not always that reliable, especially now in her advanced years. (Bet she comments on that one). I’m gonna give the evolutionary approach a pass on this question and try reverse engineering from a creator approach, ie God. So which one? The Hindus have a lot, but since they made all of them in shop, I will give them a pass too. Budda was a good guy I guess, but he died and quit talking to people. Allah is quite popular but he never said anything, we have to take Mohammed’s word for it and Mohammed was as much a political leader as a religious leader and that causes me some concern. I also question any god who promises me something later that he forbids me to have now. Ie if the ultimate goal is 72 palaces equipped with 72 virgins, why wait for heaven? (and how do the 72 virgins feel about this arrangement!) Then there is the God of Jews, Christians, Catholics, Protestants, Mormons and whoever else claims the God described in the Bible. (I know you are questioning how I could lump all these very different groups together but I did not, they did it themselves by accepting the Bible as the revealed word of God. This does not make me a heretic! You might as well know this about me right now. I signed the Pastor’s Charter of Reconciliation along with 45,000 other pastors at a conference in Atlanta Georgia in 1994 pledging to try to heal the denominational rifts within all those who call on the God of the Bible. I know and accept the differences between us and I do worry about some of their ideas but I am committed to cooperation for the kingdom of God not competition for my castle. Don’t bother trying to involve me in denominational wars, I won’t go there. What we can agree on is more important to me that the things we do not agree on and all these folks say they agree the Bible is the word of God. That is a good enough starting point for me.) Why accept the God of the Bible? At this point it helps to be old and to have gone through a number of crisis that forced me (on a regular basis) to consider just who God might be. Having an earned doctorate doesn’t hurt here either. I have read a lot over the years, thought a lot about what made the most sense and have always been brought back to the same conclusion: My heart cannot accept what my mind rejects. I got that from Josh Mc Dowell, author of Evidence that Demands a Verdict and More Than a Carpenter. My choice for the creator, the supreme being, the uncaused first cause, the originator, the author, the sustainer of everything is the God who first revealed himself to the Jews thousands of years ago and then to me almost 55 years ago. Of all the gods worshipped by man, He is the only one who bothered to write. NO other book save the Old Testament of the Jews and the New Testament of the Christians claims to be authored by God. There is a lot of technical stuff written on how we can know the Bible is true but for me it boils down to a simple argument. Which makes the most sense? The Bible CLAIMS to be written by men who claimed to be inspired by God, writing at His bidding and instructions. This leaves me with 3 simple options:
1. It was
2. They Lied
3. They were crazy, hearing voices that were not there.
I’ve read it cover to cover many times. The moral principles alone eliminate the Liar inspired writings and the accuracy and honesty would not emanate from crazy conspirators so I am left with the Logical choice, it must be the Word of Jehovah, the Just, Loving and Righteous God, I AM. I’m thinking if we carefully reverse engineer His Word to us we will find out where we went wrong and even how to TRULY fix it. I know there is a story going around about some apple thing, but that may have been put out by the Florida Orange Growers Association.
What do you think God says went wrong? I know the sin thing, but the cross thing took care of the sin thing and we still are doing this blog thing because we don’t have all the answers, only some of them.
P.S. Doni showed me the list of the cities around the country and world where people are reading this blog. I am humbled.


Aimee said...

Dad, I sm SO glad you are doing this. You have touched the lives of so many, and I know the Lord will use you as His tool to reach even more through your blog. I LOVE YOU!!!

Doni Brinkman said...

I have been trying to reverse engineer me all morning. Mom and I talked about it on the phone. Why does reading a book on the love of the Father affect me to the core of my being so profoundly when I have been raised with this truth all my life? I have said over and over that I know that I know that I know that He loves me but somehow - that has taken on such new and deep and powerful meaning for me as of late. The kind of hefty substance that leaves me reeling with "how could I miss this"? And where did I miss the boat? Did my basic personality type just derail me from the get go? Was it our culture? Is it a process that we all grow and mature through or all of the above? My heart did not accept what my mind rejected. My answers are that Jesus Loves Me. My behavior suggests that my obedience is often powered by my yearning for "top spot" and "favored daughter" position. Yet here I am...sitting in the quiet thinking - He loves me because I am His. He delights over me. He sings over me. Who I am right now. Who I was. Who I will be. I know I am jumping ahead but I am YOUR favored daughter and I know where you are headed. Loving you today and every day.

Doni Brinkman said...

Can't wait for tomorrow now hee hee!

Brooke said...

It's like Sunday, every day! Thats a good thing!! I love it and love you!

heidi jo said...

(doni - can you make the location tracker public so we can all see?)

papa z - We told you they would read... "If you build it... they will come." :) Hee hee... I'M SO GLAD YOU TOOK THE RISK! This reminds me of our email conversations from about 9 years ago on Grace... we've come a long way and look, THERE'S STILL MORE OF HIM TO EMBRACE! Amazing and beautiful.

OK - but you asked a question... what does HE think went wrong... hmmm... I'm guessing I better go read that book before I say too much. :)

PapaZ said...

Heidi jo, Which book you gonna read? Grace is a limitless topic only excelled by love...if indeed they are different topics at all.

Doni Brinkman said...

Notice he is forming a habit of answering a question with a question LOL? Dad she is talking about He Loves Me :) but she wants the study guide to the Shack. And Heidi - I think not on the public tracker because I am finding, post Grace4Today discussions, that it makes people nervous. :)

heidi jo said...

doni got it on all counts.

and yes.. IF they are separable at all... likely not. :)

maybe over time we can get a generic update about the number of readers and how many countries - without the details that some might want more private.

Laurie said...

I love the questions that you leave us all with.
What went wrong? I am not sure I have the answer to that but my inital thought was that He gave us free will. Some of us have used that free will in directions that lead away from God. Still, He waits for us to choose Him.

songgirl52 said...

I am so glad you are leaving your Ponderings for us all to process...love it.

Question for you.....any chance you would be willing to post your study questions and notes on the Shack on your blog? I am very interested in the study on that amazing book but I just can't get to your house on Thursdays. I would love to do the study via the blog if thats possible. :)

i am not said...

Can I have a copy of the Shack's study guide? I was planning to do a blog discussion about it in the fall and as I'm not a natural discussion leader, I'd love some help in that area.

Email? Mail? How would that work?

PapaZ said...

Doni will find the best way to post The Shack Discussion guide for anyone who wants to view it.