Thursday, December 18, 2008


Recently I have been intrigued by the amount of opinion and debate over particular controversial issues. In one such comment, somebody made the point that all people continue to live under the curses that God put on us as a result of our disobedience and desire to be separate from God. These curses are known primarily as the curse of death, of pain in childbirth, of an estrangement of the relationship between men and women and a curse upon the land and its ability to produce crops for us easily.

I have been taught that it is biblical (throughout my childhood) that this is still true today, that we live under the effects and consequences of these curses. Which, to a point, I agree. It is true of every human being that they are all to die. No one lives forever. That effect of Eve and Adam's transgression is still in place. As is the possibility of eternal separation from God. And it is true that we also need to work to provide our own sustenance, as it is true that it is a painful ordeal bearing children and there certainly has been a constant strain between the genders through all history.

But how aught we to preceive our lives now under the grace of Christ? This I wrote in response to someone who argued for the inability of all human kind to escape the consequences of these curses:
"We certainly do deal with the consequences of our actions every day, including the first act of disobedience. But I would also be careful how it is we interpret that curse. And I will hazard a new way of viewing the curse of God upon us after the Fall: we view our physical death as the true result of our actions. The consequences of disobedience. I believe that our spiritual death is also a part of this consequence. But through Jesus Christ, death itself has been turned inside out and now, as Christians, our physical death is the means by which we gain immortality and partake of fellowship with God unhindered. Death is not to be feared any more by those who believe! Why then would any other resultant effect of the Fall and its curses be observed as continuing in perpetuity? So then, it would stand to reason that this curse of men in rulership over women might also be stood on its head. Turned inside out. Made to help in the formation of the Kingdom of God, as opposed to opposing it. God has used his own curse on us to give us life, can he not also 'use' any other 'curse' he makes to guide us along to life? Not many Christians would argue with male 'headship' or leadership in the home (however you want to define that). Why is this? Because, for many, it works! Why is that? Not because it's a curse, in my opinion, but because through Christ Jesus, the curses have been made into blessings."

And has God not also turned work into a blessing as well. The need to work and provide for one's family has not changed, but the means and enjoyment by which this is done is something that becomes for us one of our, if not our, prime life fulfillment factor! Now God has turned what we do out of necessity for survival into the greatest opportunity to share the truth and presence of Christ with other people!

Thursday, December 04, 2008


What is boredom, really. I have often found the whole idea of boredom somewhat ridiculous. I suppose because I have rarely found myself to be bored. This is likely due to my over active imagination and my ability to entertain myself at any given time. And also my being somewhat intraverted has helped me to be able to find solace and enjoyment whether I'm with others or not. But what causes people to be bored?

It SEEMS to me that bored people are people who are not content. Either not content with their particular activity, or not content with the circumstances they find themselves in. That said, I have certainly felt 'boredom' come on when stuck in converstation with someone I have NOTHING in common with - but then, I think that my boredom is my own fault because even then, I could actively be engaging that person to talk about things I would be interested in ... or I could simply choose to be interested in that person.

People who are bored are, not uncommonly, people who have a variety of amenities and comfort activities that could easily take up time to entertain. It almost seems that the more people seek to do to entertain themselves, the more bored or discontent they become with these activities and their own time. On the flip side, people who have relatively little seem to be able to enjoy life much more easily. Strange isn't it. This is certainly true in children who have been given a variety of toys, or not. Those who are almost forced to creat their own fun and toys seem to be able to have fun and enjoyment in any place or circumstance with whatever they have to make use of. While those who have been given the means to be entertained without having to create or think it out themselves, tend to become restless. Which is something else that is interesting with boredom: bored people are not usually slothful, they're usually restless and busy at trying to find something to entertain themselves with.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Women as leaders in the 'church'

A friend of mine recently asked me my opinion of women in leadership within the 'church'. I put the word church in quotations because it is the definition of our institutionalized machine that we call church that I am particularly referring to.

So I began thinking about this topic. I have normally kept my distance and simply listened to opinions on this topic because I have never really had any good evidence or advice to form a coherent opinion on the debate and disagreement surrounding it. Though, essentially, I have come to understand, that it is traditionally viewed that women will not receive or attempt to have positions of authority within the church. Also that women will exercise particular restraint when helping to make decisions or simply talking in church. These are, I would hazard to guess, rather conservative views nowadays.

So I asked my beautiful wife Kari (pictured above) what she thought of women in the church and in the process of our conversation, I began to realize how I felt about it and I'll share that with you here:

  • It does not seem reasonable to me to assume that women should be relegated to any particular position of lower authority than men. Partly I come to this conclusion because I find that the Bible is full of women who are leaders (both good and poor). Partly because I believe it is God who calls all people to do and be who and what they are, not people. But it is, and has been the supposed duty of the male dominated authority of the church to discern where best to put people. It has also fallen to those men to interpret scripture as such that we have these particular views of women in the church.
  • It does not seem reasonable to interpret any of the verses that speak directly to women regarding their roles in the church in the epistles as completely literal and blanket truth for all time. These verses (likely more than most) have been examined thoroughly in the context and persons they were written to and about. And a good majority of the conclusions favour interpretations that do not classify or pigeonhole women into narrowly defined roles or responsibilities.
  • Most importantly, in the light of the character of the God I love and serve, it does not seem true that women ought to be thought of as not appropriate for positions of supposed 'high authority'. 1 Corinthians 1:27 - 29 "But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him." If chooses the weak and lowly and despised things to accomplish his purposes, then it stands to reason that God has already 'used' [I have recently despised using this word as such] women to much more greater profit and effectiveness in the Kingdom of God than he has men because of their relatively constant debasement by the male gender. Kind of flips our thoughts of our work for the Lord on it's head.
  • An interesting thought I had during this discussion with my wife was this also, that Jesus had chosen 12 male disciples. He also had numerous female disciples who were with him for a good part of His journeys. I have also found that men seem to place far more importance on numbers than women do. (I'm much more excited to watch the odometer on our vehicle hit 100,000.00 than my wife is). Not sure why this is and it isn't a judgement statement on men or women. But it almost seems to me like Jesus had more than 12 disciples. Creating the number kept the number of committed men down, but then we're told that there were a large number of women who followed and learned from him as well. Were these not also his disciples who learned the ways of Christ and gained an understanding of the good news of God's salvation too??

I'm certainly not trying to men bash here (I am a man!). But I think that the debate about women in authority over men in the church is most often tackled from a limited point of view. We so very rarely look at these type of issues from the perspective of who God is and his character. It would save us all a lot of headache and heartache if we simply knew our Lord well enough to know how he views us.

For the record, I have worked in churches and camps under the authority of women and have visited churches with women pastors and have, for the most part, had no negative opinions on their place because of their gender. If they happen to be poor leaders or poor examples of godly people, then it really doesn't matter whether their male or female, does it?? We may be better suited for particular tasks because of our strengths accorded to us because of our sex, but we ought always to make these decisions in the light of who God is and how it is that He values us.

Friday, November 07, 2008

The second Larson child has arrived!! Pictures below!

At 5:24 am this morning Nov. 7th, weighing in at 8 lbs and 11 oz, 21 inches long with a full head of rather curly hair, our second boy Maerk Nils Larson emerged into the world for the first time. The birth was a far less traumatic one from when Griffin was born. Kari is doing very well and we expect to be home from the hospital tomrrow. He's healthy and breast feeding well already. Thank you to all who prayed for us and rejoice with us in this new little life. Sorry, no pictures yet. I will post some as soon as I get some in.

And yes, the baby pool is now officially closed. The winner will be declared shortly.

The baby pool contest is closed and the winner is declared below!

1. Joey Polishak! With a total of 33 pts out of a possible 50 pts!
2. Miles Bissky - a CLOSE second with 32 pts
3. A tie for third between Megan Bissky and Kyle Kjemhus with 29 pts
4. Graham Blackburn with 28 pts
5. Chris Klix with 25 pts
6. Jon Polishak with 24 pts
7. a tie for seventh between Pat Wiens and Dave Wismath with 18 pts

Friday, October 24, 2008

Tim & Kari Larson baby pool #2!! Enter and Win! revised

Ok, sorry folks, I guess some people found my baby pool post a little to involved or complicated.

This is the scaled down version and if you have further questions, see the post below (the blue type are the rules).

Enter the contest by submitting a guess on a variety of categories related to the birth of our second child! Every guess is worth a $2.00 entrance fee up to a maximum of 3 guesses. A guess must include the weight (lbs, ounces), length (inches), date, time (a.m., p.m.) gender, and the name (first and middle). With such a guess you are entered into the contest! Contest closes when the specifics are disclosed and the winner (whose combined guesses are closest to the truth) will receive half the winnings. The other half go to the child's education fund.

Thanks and happy guessing!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tim & Kari Larson baby pool #2!! Enter and Win!

Baby pool guesses so far:

1. Gabriel Erik, boy, 8 lbs 11 oz, 21 inches, November 9th, 6:10 p.m.
2. Soren Timothy, boy, 8 lbs 7 oz, 21.3 inches, November 9th, 3:03 a.m.
3. Lauren Marie, girl, 7 lbs 6 oz, 19.2 inches, November 7th, 7:33 a.m.
4. Eoyewin Peregrin, hermaphrodite, 6 lbs 8 oz, 18.5 inches, Oct. 31st, 6:00 a.m.
5. Mahar Nebucadnezzer, boy?, 7 lbs 3 oz, 20.5 inches, Nov. 7th 11:11 p.m.
6. Morgan Rebecca, girl, 8 lbs 9 oz, 20.5 inches, Nov. 1st, 7:30 a.m.
7. Guy Fox, boy, 7 lbs 9 oz, 23 inches, Nov. 5th, 11:00 a.m.
8. Ferdinand Railroad, boy, 7 lbs 5 oz, Nov. 4th, 2:34 a.m. (length?)
9. Bertrand Russel, boy, 7 lbs 5 oz, Nov. 6th, 10:06 p.m. (length?)
10. Pascal Brennan, boy, 7 lbs 5 oz, Nov. 5th, 5:25 p.m. (length?)
11. Benjamin Evelin, boy, 9 lbs 2 oz, 20.5 inches, Nov. 6th, 2:47 a.m.
12. Cassidy Phaydra, girl, 8 lbs 7 oz, 19 inches, Nov. 7th, 2:17 p.m.

There have been a few other incomplete guesses I'm waiting on as well. A few adendems to the rules: You are allowed no more than 2 middle names in the guess. If the child does NOT have two middle names, the middle name that gains you the most points will be used. Names chosen as guesses must be a reasonable, widely accepted names and not simply a string of letters or words put together. Name guesses must be in the english language and common names from other nationalities are accepted. All names will be reviewed for legitimacy and entrants will be asked to submit a proper name if the guess is unreasonable. If the gender guessed is 'hermaphrodite' or some other combination of sexes, then the child MUST be that particular gender classification as assigned by the doctor after birth for that guess to count for points.

We're less than 4 weeks away from the due date of our second child and I'm excited to announce that we're opening another baby pool for you to enter. It is much the same as last years except there will be a few slight changes to the rules and you'll have more time to guess and get your entrance fee in.

Because of complaints and discovered truths of baby's birth, I have removed the option of guessing the childs hair colour and eye colour. I said the winning hair and eye colours were blond and blue. I've since been told that EVERY child is born with blue eyes (is this true?) and their eyes change colour quickly after birth. Also, a child's hair is generally rather wet and can also change quickly after birth so it's true colour is sometimes up for debate.

Here's some details of last years pool:

Total Pool Winnings amount (all guesses included): $151.00
Winnings: $75.00; Baby education fund deposit: $76.00
Total # of guesses: 73

The rules are below for the pool. The Pool is open from the time this post is posted.

Pool fee minimum: $2.00

Entrants must guestimate the baby's weight (in lbs & oz's), length (in inches), gender, name (first & middle) and date and time of birth. Entrant whose combined guesses are nearest the actual will win. Winner will receive half the pool money. The other half of the winnings will go towards the child's education fund to be set up by the parents. Only three guesses per participant. $2.00 fee per guess required. Once submitted to the parents, the guesses will stand and cannot be changed or swapped or removed. Winnings cannot be awarded until winner's entrant fee is submitted. If winner does not submit fee within a week of disclosed winning specifics, winnings will go to the next closest entrant whose guess and fee are submitted. Weight, name and time of birth guesses nearest to the actual will add to the probability of a win. For example: if actual name is Ferdinand Englebert and guessed name is Frank Vince, points towards the guess are awarded for every correct letter in the actual name found in the guessed name. So the letters F, R, A, N, I and E are all correct letters and count as points towards a win. Also, if actual time is 6:42 pm and closest guessed time is 6:40 pm, points towards that guess are awarded to deciding the winner. Time guesses must include a.m. or p.m. suffixes. Entrants may otherwise scheme, plot, conspire, collude and machinate to their hearts content but may not, in any way, request leading information from the parents. The pool is open to anyone wishing to join who is at least acquainted with the parents. Pool closes when the actual information is disclosed to the populace. Disclosure will be formally done on Tim's blog: Guestimates may be entered on paper in person, via e-mail (to, via snail mail (#2 27915 Trans Canada Hwy, Hope BC, V0X 1L3), on Tim's blog posted as a comment below on this post or on Tim's Facebook profile as a private message. Pool fees may be done via cash or cheque. Cheques may be made out to Tim or Kari Larson. Pool fees are non-refundable.

The points system works as follows:

Guess closest to baby's actual weight when born = 10 points
Second closest guess to baby's actual weight when born = 9 points ... and so on

Guess closest to baby's actual time of delivery = 10 points
Second closest guess to baby's actual time of delivery = 9 points ... and so on

Guess closest to baby's actual length when born = 10 points
Second closest guess to baby's actual length when born = 9 points ... and so on

Guess that is correct for baby's actual date of birth = 10 points. 1 point is deducted from every date guess for every day removed from the date of birth. So, if actual date of birth is Nov. 5th 2008 and guess is Nov. 4th or 6th, either of those guesses will receive 9 points.

Guess that is correct for baby's gender = 10 points

Guess closest to baby's names: 1 point is awarded for every correct letter in the first name and middle name. For instance, last year's winning guess was Franklin Bruce. The actual name was Griffin Bruce. This guess, now would have received one point for each letter in the word 'Franklin' that is also in the word 'Griffin'. So that means 1 F, 1 R, 1 N, and 1 I would receive points towards the first name (4 points total); and the middle name, being the same as the actual, would receive 5 points for that guess (one for every correct letter) for a total of 9 points between both names.

Thank you and good luck!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The end of a Summer and the rewards therein

I have just completed another summer of camping ministry. An excellent summer from all respects. I have thoroughly enjoyed the staff team I worked with and am already excited and anticipating the upcoming year with thoughts of positive changes to our program and curriculum which will hopefully enhance our mandate: to create an environment in which God might work in the hearts of others.

I am exhausted though. It's a long process of preparation through the Spring that helps make a summer an excellent one. And bringing on a staff team and working with them to help them develop their own character as they serve children in a camp setting takes an extraordinary amount of energy. But I believe it is more than worth it.

As I was finishing my work this summer I was considering how absolutely enjoyable I consider my work and I wondered to myself this question: I wonder how many people find that thing which they enjoy most in life as an occupation - I mean, truly find it ... and DO it! You know, their dream job. What's the perentage? I'm not entirely certain, but at least for now, I feel I have found that which I love to do. It isn't a cooshy job but it is a most rewarding job. I find it utilizes a variety of skills that I have and puts me in contact with some excellent people. Plus I feel I am privileged to be making a difference in the lives of children. That, to me, is one of the greatest rewards of what I do.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Resting in Peace

It's an odd thing, that the thing we fear most in life - death, is the means by which we find peace in the end. 'Rest in peace' is the eulogy written on most any tombstone. The implication being the deceased is no longer in struggle while in life.

Speaking of death and peace, two people passed away a couple of days ago that were dear to us. Paul Awalt, Kari's Uncle, and husband to Cathy Awalt of Victoria, passed away. He was loved and cared for by Cathy all his days and is sorely missed.

As well, Rita Lihaven, a beautiful woman of God, who helped to usher in a new era of camping at Camp Kawkawa as I entered that place and time. Rita passed away due to the ravages of cancer in her body. She mentored me into the executive director position at Camp Kawkawa in 2005 and went on to sit on the board for Kawkawa and district executive board for the Christian & Missionary Alliance Church in BC. She was a woman of great passion and care for others. She loved Christ and was moved by the Spirit. She was a good friend.

May they rest in peace

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Is it possible, do you think, to have peace without conflict?

When Christ says, 'peace l leave with you; my peace I give to you ... ' what is he saying?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

New Baby on the way!

For those of you who do not yet know, the Larson family is due to increase by one before the end of the year! November 5th is our due date for our second child. I was so excited about it I accidentally let it slip ... ok, it wasn't accidental, it was somewhat deliberate. But I couldn't hold it in! We're eagerly awaiting the birth of #2!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Comparative sizes of astronomical bodies

I find this fascinating. A little perspective of space and size.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Bible (from the greek = byblos; meaning book)

The Bible. The Book, as it were. I have recently heard it stated, or described, that the Bible is not the full expression of who God is, but that it is the very MINIMUM that we require to understand the character of our Almighty Lord and His plan of salvation. It is a selective document put together to give us a glimpse into God's mind and heart and His dealings, feelings and actions towards His creation.

I have read so many different statement's of belief that state the Bible is the FINAL authority on all these godly matters. Well, it certainly states them clearly and gives us more than enough to chew on. It is our only logged reliable account, that I know, of the central actions that provide our salvation and record the great work of Jesus Christ. It is the written insight into the Truth of who Jesus Christ truly is. These I do not doubt. But what do people mean by final authority? Is this still a worisome dreg left over from the cup of anger we poured out on the Roman Catholics in the 16th century? What of all the evidence and God-encounters and life experience we gain in living for Christ? What of all the things HE has revealed to me that I have not found written in the Bible? What of all the things not explained and seemingly unexplainable, in the Bible?

Here's a quote from Brian McLaren's book "The Story We Find Ourselves In"

"... I think that's another flase impression that preachers and pastors often give: that the Bible is God's answer book to remove all mysteries and make everything simple and clear. The fact is, the Bible deals with life's absurdities and craziness with pretty amazing honesty. Sometimes, the best the Bible does is to name the agony, you know, just describe it without attempting to resolve it or explain it. Sometiems, I think the Bible is more of a question book than answer book; it raises questions that bring people together for conversation about life's most important issues."

Monday, March 10, 2008

The link between knowledge and responsibility

A quote from this great fantasy novel:

"You thought, as a boy, that a mage is one who can do anything. So I thought, once. So did we all. And the truth is that as a man's real power grows and his knowledge widens, ever the way he can follow grows narrower: until at last he chooses nothing, but does only and wholly what he must do ..."

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


On April 19th/20th I will again be paddling the Fraser River from Hope to Fort Langley with a variety of individuals in Camp Squeah's annual paddle-a-thon. The event promotes the financial support of young people who are in post-secondary education but are coming volunteer their service to camp. The paddler's each are raising monies for bursaries for these summer staff members to be able to come and serve on our staff team and be able to afford tuition costs when they return to school.
If you'd like to, you may support me in this exciting venture by either sending cheques to Camp Squeah made out to Camp Squeah with my name and 'paddle-a-thon' somewhere on the cheque, or you are more than welcome to come and celebrate this great event in Fort Langley on the Sunday afternoon as we arrive at our final destination on the beach! Or do both! It's a great fun time, either way. And we even have some young staff coming and paddling down the river too.
Thank you to all for your love and care of young people in this ministry.
For more information check out the new Camp Squeah website:

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Enter through a gate

What comes to mind when you read this passage:

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

Friday, February 15, 2008

A woman's intuition

I have been doing a little thinking, lately, on how it is that women are different from men. But just one aspect of this topic because I can only think one topic at a time, especially when it comes to women, or, more specifically, my wife, with whom I am constantly reminded of how different we are.

This is just it: I have been contemplating how a woman feels and what causes a woman to feel or have feelings for different reasons. To begin with, because they seem much different responses, feeling wise, than how I react to the circumstances of my life. It is becoming more and more apparent (though I think my wonderful wife would wish it was an even quicker process) that everything in a woman's world (and I'm going to make a few grand generalizations here, because I know very little about the mind of a woman) is connected. Everything affects everything else. When my wife, Kari, has a particularly negative circumstance in a day, that circumstance affects EVERY aspect of her day for the remainder of that day ... and sometimes longer. Depending on the magnitude of that negative circumstance. Honestly, it drives me a little crazy because I simply do not react in a similar fashion.

But I have been wondering, because it seems that the good majority of women feel or think this way and have been doing so since the beginning of time. So, it seems this is a completely natural aspect to their character. But I would argue that this aspect has been the staging point for man's subversive attitude towards the feminine for the same length of time. We have believed that it is 'weakness' to be hampered by emotions and feelings, as it often seems to us men. It is encumbering and limiting. It is illogical and sometimes irrational to us. But that certainly doesn't make it wrong.

Now I believe that we are the carriers of God's image and character. If so, then in this natural way of interacting with the world around them, may be another extension of God's character that we men have blatantly ignored and frowned upon and laughed at. A woman's ability to 'feel' many things at the same time ... almost seems like they have a little bit of the 'omni' that God has. Our God and Father is the only One who can, at all times, feel all things and be in communion and relationship with everyone at the same time. God is always omnifeeling! He is saddened by the sin of some, rejoicing over the choices of others, and constantly responding to each of us individually and well as communally. This is completely unfathomable, EXCEPT that women do that to some extent themselves! They feel many things at once. And I have talked to a number of women who wish they didn't. It is sometimes confusing to women why they feel so much at once, and frustrating for them too. It is overwhelming. I'm overwhelmed by it and I don't even do it! I wonder too, if this might not be linked to this 'woman's intuition' that we sometimes label but can't explain how a woman can 'know' something that is otherwise unknowable. We shrug it off, but it's a little crazy that we do so and not consider that God may be at work expressing himself in some mighty way through his feminine creation.

Just a thought, and perhaps a defense of women and their created state in relation to us as men and the God who created them.

Poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844 - 1889)

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck (accede;understand) his rod (rule)?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wear man's smudge and share man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs -
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The suppression of the conscience - Tolstoy

A quote from Leo Tolstoy's The Lion and the Honeycomb

"People smoke and drink not out of boredom or in order to cheer themselves up, not simply because they like it, but in order to suppress their conscience. If that is true, then the consequences must be awful indeed. Imagine a building constructed by people who, instead of using a rule and a square to get the walls perpendicular and the corners rectangular, used a soft rule which adapted to the irregularities in the wall and a square which bent to fit any angle, acute or obtuse!
But this is just what happens in life when we intoxicate ourselves. Life does not accord with our conscience, so we bend our conscience to fit life."

And I would hazard to guess that we also 'intoxicate' ourselves thusly with entertainment, wealth, anger, sexual dis/misorientation, etc. I'll let Tolstoy continue:

"Everyone will find that at each period of his life he was confronted by several moral dilemmas, and that his well-being depended on the correct resolution of these dilemmas. The resolution of such dilemmas requires a degree of attention which constitutes true labour. In any labour, especially at the beginning, there comes a time when the work seems painfully difficult, and our human weakness prompts us to abandon it. Physical labour seems painful at the beginning; intellectual labour all the more so. As Lessing says, people have a tendency to stop thinking when it first becomes difficult; and it is at that point, I would add, that thinking becomes fruitful. A man [or woman] senses that the resolution of the questions before him demands labour - often painful labour - and he wants to evade this. If he had no means of stupefying himself, he would be unable to drive the questions out of his concsiousness, and he would be forced, against his will, to resolve them. Instead of this , however, he has found means to drive the questions away as soon as they arise. As soon as the questions demanding resolution begin to torment him, he resorts to these means and so avoids the anxiety they evoke. ... And yet it is the resolution of moral questions that constitutes the movement of life."

What think you?

Friday, January 11, 2008

A Lack of Heaven

A while ago, I was privileged to take part in a National Ministry Gathering for Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship wherein all the IVCF staff workers from across Canada gather to encourage one another and gain perspective on the purpose of the organization from a national viewpoint. At one such gathering, my conception of heaven was greatly challenged by an insightful and motivating biblical scholar. Because of these thoughts I have come to discard my taught interpretation of heaven (as in, that ethereal 'somewhere' where we end up floating in the clouds playing harps wearing long white robes).

Instead of this evangelical insubstantial interpretation, I have come to believe that I don't really know the place where we will be gathered as God's children. But honestly, I'm far more inclined to believe that we will live, much as we are, in body and in relation to one another but without any fear or shame or selfish ambition, on the earth in its renewed state.

The arguments that intercepted my former belief were this, that the majority of heavenly afterlife visions, and including the coversations of Jesus, speak not of us going 'up' to a 'heavenly' place, but rather, Christ and all God's host returning to earth. The only visions we have of a heaven apart from earth are given in the book of Revelation in John's attempts with his own eyes to describe the indescribable. But what is this place? We cannot know. At the end of the Book of Revelation, there is a description of a 'new heaven and a new earth' (Rev. 21:1) that is described as a gigantic city that is exactly the shape of a cube! A cube?? What an impossible shape for a city. Not only that it was an impossible 1,500 miles in each direction! And it is described as beautiful, with streets of gold and all that, but it's dimensions are a little mind boggling and I can't imagine living in such a place. But what was fascinating was this, that the distance measured for the city was approximately the size of the known world at the time. John was perhaps describing the earth itself ... but more than that. What other place is described in the Bible as a perfect cube? The answer was: the Holiest of Holies. That place within the temple, as laid out by the Lord Himself, where He alone dwelt and could be visited by His people. The living place of God! God's dwelling place. But now we are God's dwelling place by His Holy Spirit. We are His Holiest of Holies. And yet this city descends down to us and becomes for us the living place of all God's loved ones. Could this not be a vision of God coming to us and renewing for us this earth he created, even as we are renewed into His likeness, and then forever living with Him without fear or sin!

God has always ever come to us. I find nowhere in scripture, or in my own life experience, where we have first gone to Jesus. He has always been the instigater of salvation and relationship renewed with his creation. These thoughts just seem to make so much more sense. Not that God needs to make sense, but there is far more to life after death than just sitting around and playing harps, for sure.