Episodic Journal

Iwan Njoto Sandjaja

The Meaning of Christmas

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In this century, after we explored the power of nuclear, may be we should go back, and explored the power of love. Love is very powerful. Love can haste the time. In Genesis 29:20, because of Jacob’s love, 7 years seemed like only a few days. I hope 2 years in Manila seemed like only few days because I love what I study. Love’s power is also as strong as death (Song of Solomon 8:6).

Love is the never-ending source of great literatures. Humanly love is very selfish and ego-centered yet still has great power. Trojan War is one of the great example of the power of humanly love. When human love is compared to divine love, human love loses its glory. God’s love is unconditional and sacrificial (the opposite of selfish) love. Love is the greatest among faith and hope (1 Corinthians 13:13) because when you love, you also hope and have faith.

Let us compare love with faith. James 2:18 said “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.” Can you show your love without deeds? We can show our love by what we do. God is not only love us and say it to us through His Word only. God show His love through what Jesus have done on the Cross. He who did not spare His own Son, but gave him up for us all– how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? (Roman 8:32). Show your unconditional and sacrificial love, not only through what we said, through our action and work because God already show His unconditional and sacrificial love through the Christmas and Cross. That’s the meaning of Christmas. Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

The Lasallian Prayer

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I will continue, O my God, to do all my actions for the love of you. St. John Baptist de La Salle, pray for us. Live Jesus in our hearts, Forever.

The Problem of Evil

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The Deductive Version

  1. God is exist
  2. God is omnipotent
  3. God is omniscient
  4. God is omnibenevolent
  5. God created the world
  6. The world contains evil

How to find a way to get from preposition 1-5 to a new preposition: The world does not contain evil that contradict with preposition 6?

Answer to Deductive Version

The claims that God can do absolutely anything is not true An omnipotent being cannot do a lot of things The bible declares that God cannot lie or swear by a being greater than himself No proponent of the deductive problem of evil ever succeeded in supplying the missing preposition needed to reveal the presumed contradiction

Platinga’s Proposition

  1. God exists, is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, and created the world
  2. God created a world that now contains evil and had a good reason for doing so
  3. Therefore, the world contains evil
Good reason for created world that now contains evil:
  1. Bounded Will.

    God want us to have choices. Evil is the side effect of bounded will. Because there are choices, we can do evil. Why God gives choices? Because real love requires freedom. No real holiness without freedom to choose. Robots cannot have real love because they don’t have their own will.

  2. To defeat evil forever.

    Adam was created in “Posse Pecare”. Adam has given options between do God’s will or rebel. He might sin and he actually sin. After that, we all in “Non Posse Non Pecare”. We cannot not sin. We always sin. But through the redemption of Jesus Christ, we might not sin ( Posse Non Pecare). And at the end (consummation), we cannot sin (Non Posse Pecare). If we compare the beginning and the end, we can conclude that God does not create perfect world but God create perfect world for his purpose.

  3. To produce great character of man

  4. For greater good and avoid bigger evil
  5. Give us privilege to serve and take part in Christ’s redemption through suffering

John Calvin said that pain and evil is the proof of God’s grace.

God whispers to us in our pleasures and shouts to us in our pain; pain is God’s megaphone to a deaf world. (C.S Lewis)

Q/A Is God the first cause of evil? No. Evil is not positive entity. Evil is the side effect of bounded will.

The Inductive Version

If God exists, then all evil has a justifying reason But it is not the case that all evil has a justifying reason Therefore, God does not exist

Answer to Inductive Version

Rengasdengklok Dalam Alkitab

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Tidakkah anda pernah mengamati kemiripan sejarah bangsa Israel dengan sejarah bangsa kita Indonesia? Bangsa Israel adalah bangsa yang terjajah oleh Babilonia, Romawi. Begitu juga dengan bangsa kita yang terjajah oleh Belanda dan Jepang.

‘Hot Button’-nya Tuhan

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Pernah mendengar istilah ”Hot Button”? Ini merupakan istilah dalam bahasa Inggris yang kalau diterjemahkan secara harafiah berarti ‘tombol panas’. Di sebuah pabrik, pada mesin-mesin besar biasanya ada tombol yang sebesar telapak tangan, berwarna merah menyala. Jika tombol itu ditekan maka proses yang penting dan signifikan akan terjadi. Itulah hot button.

Love

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Love makes the world turn around. Cinta membuat waktu 7 tahun seperti beberapa hari saja (Baca kisah Yakub di Kejadian 29:16-29 terutama ayat 20). Cinta membuat kita kuat berlari bermil-mil jauhnya dan tidak merasa lelah. Cinta memampukan kita melakukan tugas-tugas yang luar biasa yang tidak dapat dilakukan oleh orang kebanyakan. Cinta memberikan motivasi kuat, keinginan kuat, rasa pantang menyerah dalam hidup kita. Cinta membuat hidup kita lebih hidup (kaya iklan rokok aja). Cinta membuat seseorang berharap juga meski tidak ada dasar untuk berharap, Cinta membuat kita terjaga dimalam hari dengan penuh semangat mendoakan orang yang kita kasihi. Cinta membuat kita membaca seluruh Alkitab dalam satu bulan.

Thank You Lord

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Thank You Lord for saving my soul,
Thank You Lord for making me whole.
Thank You Lord for giving to me,
Thy great salvation, so rich and so free.