Friday, February 25, 2011

Random Thoughts on God's Independence, PhD's, and TV

I have realized several things about me in the past few weeks.

1) I find the whole question about God's foreknowledge and predestination exhausting and frustrating. I am deeply unsatisfied by the Reformed explanation of God's sovereignty and human freedom. However, I am equally disturbed by Molinism's attempt to explain it.

    Basically, my problem with Molinism is that it hinges upon this strange concept of our freedom where God looks ahead into the future, sees our free actions, and then can choose which world to actualize based upon that foreknowledge. The problem, however, is that that makes God's knowledge of something dependent upon humanity. Since we insist on a God who is self-existent in every way and independent, I feel very uncomfortable with forfeiting this concept.

2) PhD work becomes less desirable every day. Maybe it's just my apathy, but I find it incredibly painful to even write a 500 word essay for seminary. I used to enjoy writing papers but I can't stand it now. I am still an avid reader and student--I just hate doing it for class. I think my current struggle rests in this: If I am going to study alot, I want to be able to get a degree out of it--but I don't want to write the papers for the degree. I just want to read. Since no program exists like that, I am just going to finish my M.A and rest. Maybe I will get my desire to write later. I guess, if anything, I will go get an M.Div later...maybe. Schoolwork just feels agonizing.

The other thing that feels agonizing is the fact that there are so many things I want to read about apart from theology but I simply cannot right now. I have been dying to read some books about the wild west but simply do not have time to do it. I also feel this strange guilt when I read anything that is not theology related--like I am wasting my time. I know that is absolutely absurd. I think what is needed is this reprogramming of myself.

3) I love TV. I lived without it for the past two months but I finally broke down and got internet so I can stream NETFLIX through my TV. So I have been basking in an overflow of movies, documentaries, and tv shows.! I also feel like it makes my house feel like a home. TV gives me a place to come back to a relax.

This leads to a strange revelation I have been given--TV is not evil in itself. John Piper, in his book Don't Waste Your Life, says alot of stuff about how we waste our lives in front of TVs. I think I remember reading somewhere where he does not own a TV. I guess during his nights he devotes himself to reading or something. Like I said, I tried that for two months and got royally stressed out (not to mention my eyes hurt). I also felt somewhat disconnected from the people in my church. They looked at me as a relic (and nutcase) and I felt out of touch with what was happening.

Since I started watching movies, I have noticed my own thinking about how the Gospel applies to life has changed (for good). I have been able to see more clearly needs in youth ministry and my own understanding of how to connect the Gospel to others has been clarified. This has happened in the span of--oh--three days.

Long story short: I think that if you are a pastor, you need TV. You need to know what is on TV. You need to watch movies. You need to watch documentaries. You need to relax. You need to know what the culture is saying.

As for me, I am going to go catch up on TV and lament I still have 9 months of schooling left.

1 comment:

  1. Good post! If this helps, I learned this about resolving sovereignty and free will: study real hard, then die. and you will get it!
    And your PhD program is the one I opted for as well! As a result I wound up reading great things that helped me that I NEVER would have read in any programmed study. Plus all the other fun stuff I was interested in, history, pirates, westerns! Go for it