Journey of Transformation 有限者的覺悟

我如今所知道的有限,到那時就全知道,如同主知道我一樣 ~林前13。

Archive for April, 2007

感觸

Posted by Joyce Chen 許陳 明正 on April 20, 2007

為了趕論文,
沒有時間寫我的感觸,
也還沒有整理出我的感觸,
因此選了以下三篇文章來記錄我對Viginia Tech massacre的難過及傷心。

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Violence and Bloodshed are Not Cool or Fun–by Adrian Warnock

Posted by Joyce Chen 許陳 明正 on April 20, 2007

A couple of weeks ago I saw the movie “The 300.” I meant to blog on that experience but was busy with other things, but today is a good day to rethink my reaction to the movie.

In watching the movie I came away seeing that I would be breaking ranks with a lot of people I like who gave the movies good reviews. Indeed there was virtue in the movie – comraderie, courage, brotherhood and sacrifice and other things. But I came away thinking to myself that the main character, the star of the movie was the blood. There was nothing subtle about it, nothing was left to the imagination, in fact since the movie followed the graphic novel format on which the movie itself was based, the blood and gore was even more graphic than necessary.

If you have read about the battle of Thermopylae in something like Pressfield’s Gates of Fire or a straight historic account you will know that this is truly one of the most inspiring stories of history, as this small band of 300 held off the massive Persian onslaught. Yet, in the movie, it just seems to me that the thing that is most embedded on the mind is the bloodshed, not the story and characters. Subtlety is a key to great storytelling – leaving things to the reader’s or viewers imagination enhances the story, in this case the bloodshed became the story.

Which brings me to the events of yesterday. Given the carnage at Virginia Tech, can we all come to some kind of agreement that bloodshed is not cool, is not fun, and is not entertaining?

It occurs to me that people who experience this kind of carnage in real life probably aren’t the ones who are making the graphic movies and writing graphic descriptions of this stuff in novels. From yesterday I heard of the police officer who could only say that this was the worst thing he had ever seen. I heard of a surviving student who was in one of the classrooms who can’t sleep because of the the things he saw – everytime he closes his eyes he sees the blood.

I have never been in the military but I have known many who have and known many who have known people who have served in the military and could tell their stories. Often these people can’t speak of the things they witnessed in war. Often they wrestle with post traumatic stress syndrome. So why, when it comes to entertainment, do we treat things as cool that people who experience them in real life find unspeakable?

I guess the point I am making is that police officers, soldiers, medical personnel and real life victims of violence don’t speak of that violence and bloodshed as something entertaining or cool or glorious.

I’ve never wanted to be simplistically prudish about this. I’ve let my kids play games like Halo and others, and I have watched most of the standard war/warrior movies. Sometimes I have come away from those things genuinely moved by the story and the characters and have been able to keep the bloodshed in context.

But it seems to me that there is something fundamentally wrong if we can engage in entertainments that graphically portray violence and bloodshed and walk away from them thinking those things are cool. People in real life don’t say “wow, that was awesome the way he wiped all those people,” or “did you see that guy’s head explode – cool!”

Given the events of 4/16 (another date that will probably live in the same kind of infamy as 9/11) can you imagine having a discussion with your friends about how cool the bloodshed in “The 300” was or how awesome the graphics are in that new first person shooter game if you knew that one of the survivors of this massacre, or maybe one of the parents who had lost a child, was listening over your shoulder? I think anyone would realize this was out of line. My question is “under what circumstances does it then become ‘in-line’?”

I’m not going on a crusade here and I’m not arguing that violence in entertainment is necessarily the cause of violence on campus. I’m also not arguing against any portrayals of violence in literature or entertainment. If I were to argue that I would have to stop reading the bible. Pollyanna is not my hero – it’s a violent world that we need to come to grips with.

But yesterday’s events are a graphic reminder to me that violence and bloodshed are not to be glorified – they are not cool, they are not fun and are not entertaining.

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Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Virginia Tech — by Doublas Wilson

Posted by Joyce Chen 許陳 明正 on April 20, 2007

Topic: Letter to Mr. Harris

Let’s tie two timely issues together. This is sometimes dangerous, because when issues are timely, they are also frequently raw, and this means that it is easy to be misunderstood. But I will try to state this basic argument against atheism as briefly and as clearly as I can.

The first timely issue is the presence of the new atheism, which various influential people are crusading for. Regular readers of this blog know that the new atheists are here, they are belligerent, and if you don’t come along with them with glad shouts of acclaim, the obvious explanation for your lack of cooperation is that you’re an idiot. Truculent is the word.

The second issue is the Virginia Tech shooting that the nation is still reeling from. Everyone is appalled, grief-striken, and numb. That is what makes it easy to misunderstand. Everyone is also touched, focused, and teachable. That is what makes it possible to begin to understand.

Here is something I wrote in Letter from a Christian Citizen.

“If the two of us were looking at a news report of the latest atrocity, I would want to say that at some point in the future, in some fundamental way, that will be put right. You want to say, as an atheist, that it will not ever be put right. But you refuse, for some reason, to take the next step and say that there is nothing wrong with it now” (LFACC, p. 54).

I wrote these words long before the Virginia Tech tragedy, but knowing that something awful like it was bound to happen at some point in the future. Sam Harris made a similar point in his book when he described a particular crime, yet future, as inevitable.

Now let me head off the misunderstanding (and it is always the same one). I am not arguing (or otherwise hinting) that Sam Harris, or Richard Dawkins, or any of these new atheists are in any way supporters of this kind of murderous rampage. I know that they are as appalled as I am. So the point is not that they are secret admirerers of the shooter.

My point is that atheists disapprove of this kind of thing, but their disapproveal cannot be derived from the premises of their atheism. It must therefore come from somewhere else. This means that Harris, Dawkins, et al. are as much opponents of the logical consequences of atheism as I am. They like to portray themselves as courageous “facers-of-the-consequences.” If logical consequences were a bracing autumn breeze, the upper right hand corner of Dawkins’ blog would have a picture of himself standing in it, chin out, hair swept back, and a steely resolve in his eye. “Bring those consequences on.”

Okay. Here is one. Given atheism, the Virginia Tech shooter is now in the same condition as Helen Keller, Mother Teresa, John Paul II, Ted Bundy, John Lennon, and Dolly Madison. The nirvana of non-existence is now his, and he successfully escaped to that haven from every claim of justice. That rampage is an atrocity which Harris, Dawkins, and Hitchens all believe will never be put right. Justice will never be applied to it. And this lack of justice is just the way it is. So what is wrong with this lack of justice now? Given atheism, nothing is wrong with it.

But even the new atheists cannot bring themselves to acknowledge this. This is because they are created in the image of God, and they know better. So my charge is not that they approve of such things. Of course not. Not a bit of it. My charge is that they are purveyors of an impotent disapproval. The shooting has stopped, the shouting has died down, the bullets are all spent, and the shooter has begun to decompose. And the infinite concourse of atoms that constitutes all reality continues to roar by us heedless, continuing, as always, to not give a damn.

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Dr. Stanley Responds to the VA Tech Tragedy

Posted by Joyce Chen 許陳 明正 on April 20, 2007

Dear Friend,

The events we heard about and saw on television Monday from Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia were extremely disturbing and horrifying. Our thoughts and prayers are going out to the families and friends who lost loved ones to this senseless act of violence. At In Touch Ministries, we will continue to pray for the Lord to comfort and heal everyone affected by this terrible act. It’s difficult to understand how and why something like this could happen. Oftentimes, in the face of overwhelming tragedy, we wonder why a loving God would allow so much injury and loss of life. We ask, “Why didn’t He prevent it?” “Why didn’t He do something?” My friends, no one knows the answer to that question. But what we do know is that God is still in control.

The most powerful thing we can do at this time is to cry out to God for the grieving families of those precious students, for their friends, the faculty and the entire student body. The days, weeks and months ahead will be a long and difficult healing process. The apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 is most encouraging when he says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.”

Prayerfully yours,
Charles F. Stanley

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We All Mourn….

Posted by Joyce Chen 許陳 明正 on April 17, 2007


Students gather in front of the War Memorial to mourn their fellow students, Monday, April 16, 2007, in Blacksburg, Va. A gunman killed 32 people at Virginia Tech Monday in the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history. (AP Photo/The Roanoke Times, Sam Dean)

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等候成長

Posted by Joyce Chen 許陳 明正 on April 16, 2007

彼得三次不認主,
但是在30年後,
他為福音被釘十字架,
是倒過來釘的,
因為他認為自己不配與主同一個方式死去。

若我們教會裡有一個彼得,
他三次不認主,
不知我們會怎麼對他?

另一個不知,
則是mmm……30年後這位仁兄是否也會願意為福音獻上自己的性命?
這個不知,是否讓教會覺醒,
要像主對待彼得一樣的對待周圍的彼得們!!
(至於主怎麼對待否認祂的彼得,不在本文論述之內。)

這些話是對我自己的提醒。

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和弦

Posted by Joyce Chen 許陳 明正 on April 14, 2007

Bruce Springsteen(布魯斯‧斯普林斯汀)是位搖滾樂巨星,
他的Born to Run曾是排行榜第三名,
1980年,The River排行榜首。
他的大型音樂會都是上萬人的。
1988年某日,
這位名人,沒有保鑣跟著,
背著他的吉他走在哥本哈根的一條街上,
看見一位街頭藝人在唱他的The River,
於是,這位美國樂壇巨星,
拿起吉它就和這位街頭藝人合唱起來,
那麼的自然‧‧‧
就好像在他自己的大音樂會一樣。

這段錄影我看了好幾次,
一種莫名的感動。

好久才摸清楚為什麼那麼感動,
其實這就是上帝每分每秒都在為我們做的;
我們就好像那個街頭藝人,
上帝一點都不嫌我們,
一直在旁與我們合奏我們的生命之歌!

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尊重人

Posted by Joyce Chen 許陳 明正 on April 13, 2007

與人相處時,
彼此的尊重是何等的重要,
因為我們都是按神的形象造的,
我們每一個人在神眼中都是祂的寶貝,
如果我們不尊重他人;或勢力眼或歧視,
這將何等傷神的心!
試想若有人不尊重我們的孩子;或輕視或歧視,
做父母的是否會傷心?
同樣的,若不愛周遭的人,就是不愛祂的所愛的。

求神將愛放在我們的心裡,
讓我們以祂的愛來愛人。

我們真的沒有資格去渺視任何人。

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真愛

Posted by Joyce Chen 許陳 明正 on April 9, 2007

True love makes a man indifferent to all competing desires.
The man who truly loves his wife, and has grown to maturity in that love (a rare enough phenomenon, admittedly), is free from the desire for other women.
The same is true of the person who has come to a mature love of the Lord.
~~ Thomas Green

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對比

Posted by Joyce Chen 許陳 明正 on April 5, 2007

對比:

* “Man’s whole life is a continual contradiction of what he knows to be his! In every department of life he acts in defiant opposition to the dictates of his conscience and his common sense.” ~~Leo Teostoy

* “Don’t follow me, I am lost!”~~common saying in this culture.

* “Don’t do as I do, do as I say.”~~common saying in this.

* 這並不是說我…已經完全了 (I am not perfect),而是竭力追求…基督耶穌要我得著的 (I intend to follow Christ and Christ’s grace is in this pursuing)。(腓 3:12)你們在我身上所學習的、所領受的、所聽見的、所看見的、(do what I do) 這些事你們都要去行 (follow me)…。(腓 4:9 ) ~~保羅

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Good Friday & Easter 受難節與復活節

Posted by Joyce Chen 許陳 明正 on April 3, 2007

His death was with the resurrection in view!

He died in order to rise,

and by His rising to proceed

His ultimate glorification (12:23; 17:5)

and pouring out the Spirit (7:37-39)

so that others, too, might live.

耶穌犧牲的死本身不是目的,

祂的復活也不是事後的想法。

祂的死是與復活並列的。

祂死,是為了復活,

而藉著復活,

祂繼續走向祂終極的榮耀(約12:23,17:5)

與聖靈的澆灌(7:37-39),

好叫人也可以活著。

Carson, D. A.

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"It is a serious thing to live in a society of pos…

Posted by Joyce Chen 許陳 明正 on April 2, 2007

“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you say it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations–these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat.
C.S. Lewis(The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses, New York: Collier Books, 1980, 18-19)

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