Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Opus 2015-480: How Can You Disagree with Me?

That is really one of the big questions for me.  I don’t mean about whether you like sausage or pepperoni on your pizza.  I understand that people actually have taste buds that work different.  I understand that you get used to some things.  I know about the comfort of the familiar.  I am more concerned about things like the basic difference between Democrats and Republicans.  I wonder how one person can be a Christian and another a Muslim. 

How can you disagree with me?

I don’t have an answer but today I am going to try to show a false concern when it comes to Christianity at least.  As Christians we are expected to share what we believe and hope that others will also believe.  One of the driving forces is a belief that people simply have not heard the truth.  How can they believe if they have not heard?

My point today is that the problem is not ignorance as much as rejection.  I am rereading a science fiction novel written by Poul Anderson.  I was surprised by some pretty clear statements made by him about what Christians believe.  We sometimes fall for the red herring in the question of how can God send people to Hell who have never heard of Jesus.  Actually they have.  They understand.  They reject.

The novel by Poul Anderson was from twenty years ago.  I remember that I enjoyed him in my youth and thought I would reach for the magic again.  As I was reading I came across the following dialogue.
    “‘On the other hand, the Roman Church in modern times has taken pains to investigate alleged miracles, establish their empirical authenticity.  As Saint Paul did in the beginning’
    “Donaldson waited.
    “‘First Corinthians,’ Dick said.  ‘By now I have the passage memorized.  He realized that the Resurrection is the central fact of Christianity.  If you can believe that a corpse rose from its tomb, walked and talked, ate and drank and lived for forty days, why, then you can swallow anything, ancient prophecy, virgin birth, wedding at Cana, instant cures of leprosy - those are mere detail.  The Resurrection is what matters.  “And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.”  Paul went to considerable trouble to find eyewitnesses; he names them and lists the reasons for trusting them.’”, p. 41
I would not have been surprised to find this in a story written by a Christian but based on my reading of Anderson I don’t believe he makes that claim.  In the story he proceeds to attack all religions.  He is an equal opportunity attacker.  I quit reading because the story was being lost in his enthusiasm in making an anti-religion rant.  But if you read what he wrote, it shows a clear understanding of basic Christianity.

He goes even further a few lines down,
    “Dick smiled. ‘I suppose.  You must know better than I how much science is taken on faith.  How many crucial experiments have you carried out yourself?’
    “‘Uh-huh.  Or how many theoretical developments have I tracked the math of, step by step?  Precious few.’”
So we have a popular, successful author who expresses clearly the basic foundation of Christianity and an awareness that science if also based on faith.  It does not make a believer out of him.

So, if you are a believer, relax.  Even when people know what we consider the truth it does not make them believe in Jesus.  They have other beliefs.

Keep in mind that some people like liver and onions.  Some people like anchovies on their pizza.  You don’t need to agree or understand, just acknowledge and be able to sit at the same table with courtesy.

Anderson, Poul.  Dialogue with Darkness.  New York:  Tom Doherty Associates, 1985.

homo unius libri


  1. Like they say, God doesn't send anyone to Hell. He shows us the two paths and their destinations and then lets us chose which one we follow.


Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.