My “ZzZzZ” Playlist

So I’ve got this problem, and it’s that I really like to listen to music as I go to bed.  I have had my “ZzZzZ” playlist, the same exact songs, for about four years now.  Outside of Christmas time, I listen to this playlist every night when I go to sleep (just ask my roommate).  There was only one song that has ever been added or removed.  Other than that one change, this playlist has remained the same.  Here is the legendary sleep playlist of Chris Martin.  It’s got a bunch of outdated stuff on it, but I love it, and it puts me to sleep at night.  The songs are listed in the order they are on my playlist.

Comment on this post with some of the music you like to listen to as you fall asleep, if you listen to music like me.

Can You Feel the Love Tonight (the non-Elton John version)

Hero/Heroine by Boys Like Girls

The Sound of Settling by Death Cab for Cutie

The Way You Look Tonight by Frank Sinatra (my version is a little bit more mellow… couldn’t find it on YouTube)

The New Year by Death Cab for Cutie (I’m usually out by this one)

Title and Registration by Death Cab for Cutie (sorry if this video is weird, trying to find the ones without ads)

Circle of Life (again the non-Elton John version)

You and Me by Lifehouse (this is a tearjerker)

Fix You by Coldplay (this is my favorite song of all time, has been a favorite for a while. seeing this live almost brought me to tears)

Try a Little Tenderness by Michael Bublé

If You’re Not the One by Daniel Bedingfield (by far the cheesiest on here, but a good love song if you ignore the idolatry)

You Don’t Know Me by Michael Bublé

Quando, Quando, Quando by Michael Bublé (my least favorite song on the list, but still pretty good)

NYC Weather Report by Five for Fighting (this is a nice one to wake up to)

 

So there you go.  I just shared a pretty deep part of me with the world.  Please post in the comments what you like to listen to as you try to fall asleep if you wish.

Happy spring semester!

-Chris

Ingredients for Idolatry — Pursuing the Incommunicable Attributes of God

I am now on a four-day weekend from school, otherwise known as J-Term Break.  I just finished Historic Christian Belief, which was basically as systematic theology class, and it was one of my favorite, if not my favorite, classes at Taylor thusfar.  As a Bible major, I love that Taylor students are required to take theology classes, and this was definitely a valuable one.  My professor, Dr. Joseph Pak, did a wonderful job explaining historical views on a number of theological topics ranging from creation to discerning between genuine and false believers.  My mind words in a very systematic, organizational way, and this class definitely played into my strengths, and I really enjoyed learning why I believe what I believe as a result.

One of my favorite parts of Historic was the lecture on the attributes of God, which is more technically called, “theology proper.”  This lecture was toward the beginning of the semester, but I thought I would share a few thoughts from that lecture that came into my mind.

Reformed theology, the strand of theology in which I believe I fit best, has historically categorized God’s attributes in two basic ways: his communicable and incommunicable attributes.  Communicable attributes of God are those that are able to be attained by humans, or were, “communicated” by us being created in his image, if that makes sense (I think I’ve got that right).  Incommunicable attributes of God are those that are not able to be attained by humans, and are not “communicated” through our image-bearing in creation.  In learning about these different attributes and the two categories, I came up with this theory.  This theory is most likely not a new one by any means, but I thought I’d share it with you because I think it has some legitimacy to it.  This blog post will not be as good as I’d hoped as I do not have the list of God’s attributes with me, but I will explain as many as I can remember.

The following is a short list of God’s incommunicable attributes (this is by no means exhaustive, because God’s attributes, like the fruit of the Spirit, can sometimes be a bit drawn out, so it is a concise list for the sake of this theory):
– Independence (needs no sustaining force)
– Immutability (doesn’t change)
– Infinity (has no limitations)
– Eternal (is not bound by time)
– Sovereign (ruler over all)

Like I said, this is not an exhaustive list by any means, but these attributes are enough to make my point.

We idolize ourselves all the time–at least I do, maybe you are all more sanctified than I, however.  We try in so many ways, though we would never admit to it, to make ourselves God.  We worship ourselves, however subconsciously, and attempt to de-throne God in our times of deepest need or struggle.  We try to be God all the time.

My theory is this, “When we are caught, by ourselves or others, making idols of ourselves, our idolatry can almost always be rooted in the wrongful pursuit of God’s incommunicable attributes in exchange for the righteous pursuit of his communicable attributes.”

Here is a list of God’s communicable attributes (again, not comprehensive):
– Love
– Just
– Holy
– Kind
– Gracious
– Merciful
What we do, as blasphemous, disobedient, fallen human beings, is pursue exactly what we did in the garden of eden–an office of deity we’re not fit to hold.  In the garden, Adam and Eve were tempted with the possibility of being like God, knowing good and evil, and to this day, sinful humans cannot keep themselves from disobediently trying to make themselves God in ways they were never meant to be.

We try to be independent–this pursuit is magnified in American individualistic culture.  We try to sustain ourselves and defy the anonymously-uttered truth that, “Christians are not meant to be islands” (that may not be anonymous, I just don’t know who originally said it).  We do this because we think we can, because we think we hold the rest of the incommunicable attributes of God.

We try to be immutable.  This one was harder for me to grasp, but I think I have a bit of a handle on how this manifests itself in our culture.  Do you take growing easily?  Is there ever a time when you’re like, “Man, I love that God is breaking me of this impatience issue I have right now!”  No.  Rarely, at best.  We don’t like being changed, we don’t like being molded.  It hurts.  Why does it hurt?  It hurts because deep down in our heart we’re clinging on to the lie that we are inherently good beings that do not need to be altered and that our individualism and uniqueness matters most.  What we don’t remember often enough is that we’re inherently sinful and inherently disobedient and need a Savior.  Because we forget our depravity, we don’t think we need to change, we attempt to be immutable.

We try to be infinite.  This one is pretty self-explanatory I think.  How often do you think you’re Superman or Wonderwoman?  We think we can do it all.  We’re Americans, we’re tough, don’t be a pansy, be in control of your entire life.  Our finiteness is no excuse for irresponsibility.  But if you ever wonder why you don’t pray enough, look no further than your desire to be and belief that you are infinite.

We try to be eternal.  This one is one of the most prevalent I see because it manifests itself in one major way:  worry.  Have you ever worried about something? Of course you have.  You know why you worried?  Because you aren’t in control of the future and you wish you were so that things could work out exactly how you want them to.  If you could exist in the future and twist future-history to fit into your plans, you would in a heartbeat.  The world tells you this is OK, the Bible tells you this is idolatrous and sinful.  Another way the idolatrous pursuit of this attribute manifests itself is through regret.  Prolonged regret about past action is a result of your sinful desire to play God, exist in eternity, and change your past action.  Stop trying to be God, learn from and grow in your past failures.

Finally, we try to be sovereign.  The wrongful pursuit of this attribute, in my mind, is sort of like the pretty little bow that wraps all of this idolatry up together.  We think we are sovereign, and we try to be sovereign, because we think all of the previous attributes can be said of us, thus making us all-powerful.  Our desire and attempts to be sovereign over our entire lives is the ultimate manifestation of our sinful desires to play God in various ways in our lives.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, may we obediently pursue the communicable attributes of God, those most clearly seen in the fruit of the Spirit.  We need not be concerned with pursuing the heavenly incommunicable attributes of God when we can’t even perfect our pursuit of the simpler attributes of our Father in heaven.  Pray this week that you may grow in one of the communicable attributes listed above, and that God would present you with opportunities to grow in that attribute of him.  Mine is love.

I know this was a rather theologically deep post, and I thank you if you have stuck with it this far.

Also, I have a bunch of Scripture to back up the various attributes of God if you would like those, but to be honest, I’m not posting them because I need to get to bed.  But please please ask me if you’d like to see some Scripture to back up those attributes.

Pursue God’s communicable attributes so that you may become more like him without making an idol of yourself.

-Chris

 

Glorifying God in all things

The following is a short post on a topic about which I could write at length.  My hope is that after reading this you will learn what I am still trying to learn: every word that leaves your mouth is to be to the glory of God.

———————————

The Super Bowl is less than two weeks away and President Barack Obama just delivered the 2012 State of the Union address.  This is a traumatic time for most of my friends.  The New England Patriots are about to come play in Lucas Oil Stadium as the home team in the Super Bowl and a Democrat President just spoke to the nation calling for bipartisan action in Congress.  There is much to talk about for the Hoosier Christian Republican and not much of it positive.

To my friends who find themselves frustrated by both of the two above annoyances, and to those who are aggravated by either, let me offer you a word of encouragement.

Paul says this in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Re-read it.  Yes, he does say all.

You know what falls under all?  Politics and football.

You know what doesn’t fall under all?  Nothing.

Brother or sister in Christ, this Super Bowl season and political race, you must understand that the God who saved you is much bigger than Peyton Manning, he is much bigger than Tom Brady, he is much bigger than Lucas Oil Stadium.  You must understand that he is bigger than the United States, he is bigger than the White House, and he has paid off a debt much greater than that of the United States.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, I beg of you!  Please do not drag the name of Christ through the mud in order to defend your political opinions and sporting allegiances.  Hating a football player is unacceptable, and hating a President is not glorifying the God of your life and salvation.

Look, I don’t care if Tom Brady burned your house down, you forgive him to the glory of God.

I don’t care if the President of the United States raises taxes to 90%, you live your life with whatever money you have to the glory of God.

Your God is bigger than a game and he is bigger than this country.

If your allegiances in this world are at the cost of your Savior’s name, you need to check your priorities.

Do not value the things of this world more than your God and King.  Regardless of how much money the government takes from you, you’re not taking any of it to heaven.

Football is a game, and America is not eternal.  Tom Brady and Barack Obama both have souls.  If you proclaim the name of Christ and bash those two men with words of hate, do you understand what you’re doing?

Glorify God in all things.

-Chris