23 Matching Annotations
  1. May 2023
    1. whether you wake or sleep, you will live with him

      It seems Dr. Piper is equating sleeping, here, with death, and implying that we needn't fear death because it's not real.

      I used to fear death, when I believed there was an afterlife and I was plagued with doubts about whether I would be playing the harp in the clouds, or suffering eternal torture. Once I realized there isn't anything after death, I was able to understand that dying is just like not being born yet. I've already experienced that.

      The only fear left, really, is the fear of a painful death. But, I have a fear of painful life, too, so I have to keep dealing with that one.

    2. And that’s the way I’m relating it to dementia.

      I didn't see any "antidote" to the fear of dementia in this section. He just described how ugly dead people are.

      I rather like the way Mexican culture honors their dead, at least as it was depicted in the Disney cartoon, Coco.

    3. What’s the point of the affliction?

      Why must there be a point?

      After we treat the specific ailments that may be troubling us, the treatment for affliction is really fellowship.

    4. What am I supposed to do?” The answer is believe. Believe him.

      Belief is not something you can do. Nobody can choose to believe anything. Belief is something that happens to you.

      You might choose not to voice your questions. You might choose not to look for or at alternatives to the answers you prefer. These choices might eventually lead you to actually believe something, but you did not believe because you decided to believe.

      I grew up believing in Christianity because I was a child who accepted the words of adults as truth, without even realizing I had the option to investigate their veracity.

      I never decided to stop believing. I lost my faith because I chose to study it. I was determined to substantiate the truthfulness of the faith I already had. Eventually, after many years, I realized I hadn't really believed in Christianity for quite some time. At that time, the only choice I made was whether to let others know that I no longer believed.

    5. Without that abiding consciousness of the presence and power of my dear Lord and Savior, nothing else in all the world could have preserved me from losing my reason and perishing miserably.

      Stories don't have to be true to inspire us. Many novels and movies have actually inspired people to achieve more than they thought themselves capable of.

    6. “My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

      The many poor and homeless would beg to differ, here.

      How many people die because they can't afford their life-saving medicines (while the pharmaceutical companies make record profits)?

    7. It’s not everything you can imagine. You might think, “I want health. I want to be done with this broken arm. I want to be done with this arthritis. I want to be done with this macular degeneration. I want to be healed.” And you don’t get healed. You’re going to die before you get healed, and the promise of Romans 8:32 is still true. You will have what you need in order to honor him and bless people.

      When it all boils down, this section doesn't alleviate the fear of not having enough money. Instead, it is telling you that you shouldn't have this fear in the first place, because you're wrong to think you need more money.

      Christianity is very good at blaming the victim for their own problems.

    8. He will give us “all things.”

      That's sound logic, but there's no evidence of an actual God actually giving "all things" to any people, let alone his followers.

      Notice how Dr. Piper realizes he needs to qualify this promise, in the next paragraphs, by explaining that "all things" doesn't really mean all things!

    9. fighting the fear of not having enough money

      In a capitalist society, where the profit motive is the prime directive, the fear of not having enough money is one of (if not, the) greatest fears we have in our old age.

      My hope of a better tomorrow includes a society that has outgrown the profit motive and sincerely cares for everyone, even the old and unemployed.

    10. Suppose you made a decision that was contaminated by selfishness, and you didn’t see it. But it was, and it was not the best decision.

      This paragraph proves that God is not "instructing you", but you are making your own decisions. Sometimes you make good decisions, sometimes you don't.

      You've heard vox populi, vox Dei, which describes democracy, but vox hominis, vox Dei is exactly what this section is describing!

    11. “I’m going to carry you. I’m going to carry you.”

      Christianity's greatest success comes from the sense of community it tends to generate amongst its followers. It is actually that community that does the real carrying. You will feel God carrying you, to the extent that you have community.

    12. If you don’t have the resources to do it, he doesn’t expect you to do it.

      This is a very common cop-out, throughout the Bible. A grand promise is made, and then an all-encompassing excuse is tacked on to explain that anytime the promise is unmet, it means the promise doesn't apply.

    13. Most religions of the world operate on that principle, but not Christianity (or Judaism, rightly understood).

      Really? Judaism and Christianity, both, embraced slavery and idolatry, despite claiming otherwise.

    14. other gods

      Most of the time, what is true of "other gods" is also true of the Christian God.

    15. God gets public glory

      Humility is good, but it's better achieved in silence. Too often, people giving glory to God is really a way to humble brag (remember the Pharisee on the corner).

    16. Well, there are needy people everywhere, and maybe you’re just a little bit ahead of them, and you have something good to do. You can do good to them. So that would be number three: to free you from being self-preoccupied and to serve.

      This is the primary objective of Jesus' teachings and the tenets of socialism (which is really the economic expression of Jesus' teachings): loving our neighbors as we love ourselves.

    17. it’s invisible glory because joy is in your heart

      lol, it's invisible glory because there is no God, which makes it imaginary glory.

    18. Because if you trust God to take care of you, you’re happier than if you don’t trust him.

      ...you're happier than if you don't trust him, but still believe he will judge you.

      If you don't believe that you are depraved, but that you are intrinsically good, you can be happier than if you trust in God!

    19. faith in future grace

      If I'm not totally depraved, then I don't really need "future grace." My forward-looking hope is that more and more individual humans will progress toward peace and love (the so-called "red letters" of the Bible). This is a hope that Jesus seemed to have, but the overarching message of the Bible denies.

    20. The answer is gratitude as we look back and faith as we look forward.

      This is a really nice metaphor, especially if you think of "faith" as "hope".

    21. Read Ephesians 2:7. It’s one of the most amazing verses in the Bible.

      This verse really seems to be "kicking the can down the road", so to speak. Obviously, we aren't observing these "immeasurable riches" today, so the author just promises them in some "coming age".

      Nothing wrong with this, by the way: it's good for leaders to inspire hope for the future.

    22. we will never be deserving

      This concept that everyone is intrinsically wicked has probably caused more psychological harm than anything else, and it's my suspicion that this was deliberately invented by people who wanted to keep the masses subservient without having to exert too much physical force to do so.

      As a parent, I have tried to nurture a strong sense of worth in each of my kids, so they never feel like they don't deserve good things.

  2. Apr 2016
    1. openness and globalization are only a means, not an end.

      I disagree with this assertion: openness and "globalization" (i.e., the dissolution of nationalism) are, in fact, an end, not merely means.