Thursday, January 22, 2009

Plantinga Chapter 4

As I read through Plantinga’s thoughts on redemption I found myself underlining a lot of single lines that really stuck out to me. I can’t count how many times I’ve been told or heard about how redemption works, Jesus came to save us and because of him our sins are forgiven. I don’t mean to undermine the importance of this subject because it is a very important topic, especially to followers of the Christian faith. But that doesn’t change the fact that I have read many articles and lectures about what redemption is, so when I started to read Plantinga I expected the same concepts brought up that have already been revealed to me in the past. The concepts were the same, but the way in which Plantinga described them and the examples that he used were eye opening and thought provoking.

The first thing that Platinga described that I really liked was “sin traps people and makes them wilt; Godly obedience liberates people and helps them to flourish.” This was a refreshing take on what our problem is here on Earth and why we needed and continue to need Jesus in our lives. Plantinga really captures the image of God as a father and the fact that he will do anything for us and even though at times it seems like he isn’t present and doesn’t care, he most definitely does. Plantinga says “What’s striking, once more, is the persistence of God’s grace. God refuses to let the shipwreck happen.” This reminded me of the story of the man who was trapped in a flood. The town began to flood and the man prayed for God to save him. Another man floated by in a canoe and said “get in I’ll help you” but the man called back “no, God will save me.” Then another man came by on a raft and said “get on I’ll help you” and again the man said “no, God will save me.” Finally, another man drove past in a boat and said “get in I’ll help you” and again the man said “no, God will save me.” Eventually the man drowns and when he’s standing in front of God in heaven he says “God why didn’t you save me!” God replies “who do you think sent the canoe, the raft and the boat?”

Sometimes we forget that just because we can’t see God it doesn’t mean that he’s not there. He really doesn’t want us to drown and he’s going to do whatever he can to keep our “ship” afloat. No father wants to see his children in a wreck.

Another line that helped me to see Jesus as a man that walked and talked just like us was the line “God incarnate, God with a thumbprint.” Thumbprints are one part of our identity that no one else can have and no one ever will. Jesus had his own thumb print just like us. I would guess that God’s thumbprint is a collection of everyone one of our human thumbprints put together. But Jesus had his own identity as a man and could finger paint just like the rest of us.

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