28 Oct 2012

Dialogue with an atheist - Part 1


Dialogue with and atheist - Part 1 - by P.K.Odendaal - October 2012 

This is a continuation of my previous dialogues, and like the others, this is also a hypothetical dialogue. Not that it is fictional. It is a summary of all the discussions and arguments I have had with atheists and agnostics over many years, and of the principles of their unbelief written in many books I have read. In this dialogue my own words will be prefixed by the acronym GLC meaning a God Loving Creature. 
GLC:        So Atheist, what do you believe in?
Atheist:   I can better tell you what I do not believe in. I am an atheist and I do not believe in God. I only believe in things that I can see or observe - things material and physical. Things which I do not believe in is anything else. I do not believe in the meta-physical world or something intangible.


27 Oct 2012

Adult Sunday School - Part 17 - The Dead shall rise


Adult Sunday School - Part 25 - The dead shall rise - by P.K.Odendaal - October 2012. 

Ouch! ... that's a terrible blow to atheists. They think that they can just die one day, and never live again - and never answer for their deeds on earth or anywhere else. How convenient. Atheists believe in determinism which states that each cause has an effect. But, they omit to state that it is only they who are free from this injunction, as their lives and deeds - and death - has no consequences or effects. How inconsistent is that belief? Enough of that. I am here to bury Caesar, not to praise him, lest he should rise again.
But there is a way you may rise again.

20 Oct 2012

Adult Sunday School - Part 16 - The Sign of Jonah


Adult Sunday School - Part 16 - The Sign of Jonah - by P.K.Odendaal - October 2012

Jonah is one of the shortest books in the bible, but so full of meaning and prophecy, that one can hardly ignore it. In fact - it is one of the first books newcomers read, being such a wonderful and even far-fetched story of someone being swallowed by a whale and later spit out on a beach.
So whilst it is a miracle, we will not stop there, but probe deeper into the underlying meaning, especially since Jesus Christ told us that He was giving us the sign of Jonah, when asked for a sign (by the people). Mat 12:39  But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: v:40  For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

19 Oct 2012

From the Grave

From the Grave by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

When the first sere leaves of the year were falling,
I heard, with a heart that was strangely thrilled,
Out of the grave of a dead Past calling,
A voice I fancied forever stilled.

All through winter and spring and summer,
Silence hung over that grave like a pall,
But, borne on the breath of the last sad comer,
I listen again to the old-time call.

18 Oct 2012

Zwischenzug - 1 - Thank you

As a 'zwischenzug' (an intermediate neutral move in chess) between articles, I wish to thank everyone for reading my blog. I appreciate it - and please feel free to question or support my arguments. 
 
I have been surprised this week with two unexpected outcomes.
 
The first one is that my latest article, Adult Sunday School  - The Lamb of God, reached unexpected reading statistics, pushing it up to sixth place overall within six days. It inspires me to extend this series.
 
Secondly, I was surprised to find that for the last week, Russia was my largest audience. That really means something for me, due to the history of that country. I always maintain that  South Africa (the country I live in) and Russia have very similar histories. South Africa has a short, sad and sorry history, and Russia has a long, sad and sorry history - both tainted largely by suffering, greed and the monopoly of power, combined with unnecessary wars. But then, is that not the history of every country in the world?
 
I feel strongly about questioning everything we accept as normal and at face value - even the simple things, and like to probe its uncertainties with new perspectives - mostly unsuccessful - but here and there I can feel the light breaking though in this twilight between knowledge and ignorance, or between light and darkness.
 
Please share with your friends and acquaintances.

Thank you !

13 Oct 2012

Delila

Delilah - by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

In the midnight of darkness and terror,
When I would grope nearer to God,
With my back to a record of error
And the highway of sin I have trod,

There comes shapes I would banish -
The shapes of deeds I have done;
And I pray and I plead till they vanish -
All vanish and leave me, save one.

Adult Sunday School - Part 15 - The Lamb of God

Adult Sunday School - Part 15 - The Lamb of God - by P.K.Odendaal

Written October 2010, Rewritten April 2012, April 2014, April 2019

Writing about the Lamb of God is a continuing process as new insights are gained every time the scripture is studied again. It is Pass-over 2019 now and I have freshly considered the last week of the life of Christ. In this last week He is fulfilling the prophecies of the Lamb of God and showing us what will transpire towards the end of the world. Once again I gained new perspectives on this subject since I wrote the original article back then.

6 Oct 2012

Adult Sunday School - Part 14 - The Last Judgment


Adult Sunday School - Part 14 - The Last Judgment - by P.K.Odendaal - October 2012. 

This used to send shivers up my spine, but not anymore - and you can prepare yourself for this to take the sting out of it. But sure as we live, there will be a Final or Last Judgement of the World. It will be like a court case for individuals and nations, and it is easiest to think of it in terms of a court case on earth, as what we have on earth is based on a justice system instituted by God for Israel.
The basis for any such a court case is the presence of a judge (Jesus Christ), an accuser (Satan), an accused (me and you), witnesses (anyone we wish to call), and the Law (Mosaic Law and the Bible). We all know the procedures which will be followed. Satan will bring in an accusation against us, we will plead guilty or not, and if we plead innocence, we will need to defend ourselves with suitably prepared witnesses and arguments in terms of the Law (and the rest of the Bible).

4 Oct 2012

Philosophy - Part 24 - Deeper into the Sunset Limited


Philosophy - Part 24 - Deeper into the Sunset Limited - by P.K.Odendaal - October 2012. 

Somehow this story haunts me often, and although I have spent much time on it here on the blog, it comes up again and again as a general life crisis for many people, although not for me personally. I know their position and their plight quite well, as I almost tripped in front of that train many years ago. Although we have gone much deeper than a superficial treatment of the disease, we have not explored its depths satisfactorily.
What is concept of the The Sunset Limited? It is the pinnacle of a life of self-destruction, ending sadly with an inevitable nihilistic act - in this case jumping in front of a train to commit suicide. It is clear from the story that White has no other viable option. If we listen to him carefully, we can clearly hear the words of Nietzsche in the background of his thoughts.

3 Oct 2012

Upon the Lonely Moor

Upon the Lonely Moor - by Lewis Carroll.

I met an aged, aged man
Upon the lonely moor:
I knew I was a gentleman,
And he was but a boor.

So I stopped and roughly questioned him,
"Come tell me how you live!"
But his words impressed my ear no more
Than if it was a sieve.

2 Oct 2012

Goodbye

Goodbye  - by Ella Wheeler WilCox

Goodbye - yes, I am going
Sudden? Well, you are right;
But a startling truth came home to me
With a sudden force last night.

What is it? Shall I tell you?
Nay, that is why I go.
I am running away from the battlefield,
Turning my back on the foe.

Riddles? You think me cruel!
Have you not been most kind?
Why, when you question me like that,
What answer can I find?