This psalm opens by setting the stage for why the rest of the psalm is important. We are blessed because the Lord will forgive our sins, and for those that seek forgiveness, there is nothing that will provide more joy. Have you ever asked for forgiveness from someone in your life? If you were truly sorry, do you remember the wave of relief that came once you were forgiven? This is a feeling that cannot be replicated, it is a feeling of relief like no other, and when the Lord grants us forgiveness, this feeling of relief comes with an intensity that cannot be forgotten.
Why is it that when we see something on the internet and feel like we disagree with it, we immediately tell the person posting the content that they are wrong? Shouldn't we at least assume that we may not fully understand their position? And if we make that assumption, shouldn't we proceed by asking them to elaborate on why they hold that position rather than our own? Perhaps I am naive, but it seems that this one simple step would dramatically change how we view and interact with on another.
Have you ever found yourself staring at an orange sunset, or looking up at the starry night sky and thinking that God simply had to have made this? I know I certainly have. Psalm 19 captures this moment, and transitions to a train of thought that sometimes follows it.
Psalm 15 takes on the task of summarizing the righteous, who are allowed to dwell with God, as opposed to the fool, covered in Psalm 14. The general message of the psalm is one of love, which should be of no surprise to those who follow the words of Jesus. Although it should be noted that the Old Testament is often unfairly ridiculed for its violence, while portions like this are easily forgotten by those who do not study fervently. If the path of the righteous can be summarized in love, why is this passage referred to as a wisdom psalm? Perhaps, loving one another is not as easy at it may seem.
There is no doubt that the doctrine of creation is one of the most disputed aspects of Christianity today, particularly among Christians. This debate drives division among Christian culture, and has even elevated to the point of hostility on occasion, while terms like "heretic" are loosely thrown around in anger. As Christians, can we seriously justify this level of divisiveness over the details of such a doctrine?
Psalm 14 is unique in that it is the first time we are introduced to the biblical definition of the word fool. The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." This Psalm goes on to speak about the results of rampant disbelief and laments those that have rejected God. This is the basic impression that one gets from a casual reading of the text, but there is far more laying beneath the surface here.
Humanity lives on a 196 million square foot rock that is hurtling through space at 67,000 miles per hour inside of a galaxy that is 100,000 light years long, among a pool of roughly 200 billion galaxies. Humanity is either the epitome of insignificance, or blessed beyond imagination by a loving Creator. The mere fact that we have been able to not only exist, but flourish, should be an indication of the latter. Psalm 8 really draws our attention to both or insignificance, and our blessings.
There are only two paths in life, the path of righteousness and the path of wickedness. As we make our way through this perilous journey of life, we come to realize that there are certain things which are always wrong, and certain things which are always right. The distinction becomes objective, and we are made aware that there are two, very real, opposing aspects of this world, good and evil. Two paths on the same journey. We cannot be on both paths, it is an objective impossibility to do so, and so we must choose our path, the path of the righteous or the path of the wicked.
Do our minds deceive us into believing in God? Do we fool ourselves into thinking we see the divine when really there is only nature? Are our mental faculties programmed to infer intelligence exists in places where it ultimately does not exist? These are arguments made on the basis of a concept called agent detection, a supposed evolutionary trait designed to help us to survive in the wild. The idea is that by examining a situation, like rustling in some bushes, we may be able to avoid danger if we are able to quickly distinguish intelligence involved, like a tiger waiting in those same bushes. So let's examine this concept, and its impact on faith.
The Kalam cosmological argument is one of the most popular Christian apologetic resources, and has been so for quite some time. The argument is fairly straightforward: (i) Whatever begins to exist has a cause of its existence, (ii) The universe began to exist, and (iii) Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence. The first two premises have to be accepted, in order to arrive at the third statement, or conclusion. In quantum physics, there is some questions about the first two premises, due to theories like Quantum Field Theory and the No Boundaries Theory. I believe that even if the first two premises of the Kalam argument are proven false, the conclusion is still necessary. Ultimately, quantum physics will have no impact on the Christian worldview.