Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"Recycling costs more time, money, and energy than throwing away and remaking."

I was talking to a good friend of mine the other day and she said that recycling costs more time, money, and energy than just throwing something away and remaking it.

That's a fantastic hypothesis.

But to stop there without testing it is anti-scientific.

Turns out:
experts have begun to conduct detailed life-cycle analyses on recycled goods, calculating the energy consumed from the moment they’re picked up by recycling trucks until they are processed into brand-new products. When compared with the amount of energy required to send the same goods to landfills or incinerators and make new products from scratch, the results vary dramatically, depending on the material.

Aluminum, for example, requires 96 percent less energy to make from recycled cans than it does to process from bauxite. At the other end of the spectrum, recycled glass uses only about 21 percent less energy—but it still comes out ahead, according to a study by Washington-based environmental consultant Jeffrey Morris. Recycled plastic bottles use 76 percent less energy and newsprint about 45 percent less, he found. Across the board, the key factor is the energy intensity of extracting virgin materials, which is an order of magnitude higher than that of recovering the same material through recycling. “Even if you doubled the emissions from collecting recyclables, it wouldn’t come close,” Morris says. Overall, he found, it takes 10.4 million Btu to manufacture products from a ton of recyclables, compared to 23.3 million Btu for virgin materials. And all of the collecting, hauling and processing of those recyclables adds just 0.9 million Btu.

- Popular Mechanics
Let's approach this stuff as scientifically, wisely, and common sensibly as possible.

Monday, December 22, 2008

More on Calvinism from my Dad

I used to be really into researching Calvinism and I kept asking my dad about it. I remember him telling me at one point that he personally is about .9 on each of the points. Later I understood what he meant.

Another time when we were talking, we came to something of an agreement that modern 5-point Calvinism pretty much captures a lot of good truths, but, he cautioned me, "hold it with an open hand". He would later go on to give me this same advice about Dispensationalism.

I would later go on to formally abandon the label "Calvinist".

My Dad's One Liners: Vol. 2, Paulinism

I once asked my dad,
Was Paul a Calvinist?
To which he replied,

Calvin was a Paulinist.

Home for the Holidays

Do you know what "Due Diligence" is? Its broadest meaning is something like "evaluating the merits of an investment".

Anyway I have done some of my own Diligence on a charitable endeavor by my community of faith, Thryve. The umbrella is called "The HOPE Project" - it is a non-profit dedicated to partnering with local projects that meet physical needs and preach the gospel.

One of The HOPE Project's projects is in a small war-torn country in East Africa called Burundi. Our friend Prosper comes out to Coeur d'Alene once in a while to speak at our gathering and at local schools. I have met him once. Awesome guy. Speaks like 5 languages. Very sweet guy. Dave emailed him recently, telling him all about our snow and he replied something like "Snow means it is cold. I do not like it." HAHA! Funny guy.

Anyway Thryve raised $40,000 a while back to build 40 of these brick homes, and then we sent some people over to help build some of them. So cool.

And now we're in the process of raising another $60,000 to build SIXTY homes in Burundi! We had a team of 3 over there for the last little while, and 2 of them are on their way back home to North Idaho as we speak.

We have raised $29,183.82 so far, and we were aiming to raise it all before Christmas :(. But it's cool - we're not stopping until we're done. You can read about this specific project of The HOPE Project here. You can read about Prosper's organization that we're partnering with here. You can read about The HOPE Project more generally here. And Thryve CdA's (often outdated) website is here (Thryve Seattle, our parent community can be found online here). I don't really like either Thryve website, personally. But I like the work that's going on in Burundi.

If you want to partner with us for the sake of the gospel, lived and preached, consider giving some money to our Home for the Holidays project.


Want to see some pictures taken by our team over there recently? I just got these in an email (you may be able to spot Bob - pretty much the only white guy and if you can tell, he went a day without sunscreen - not recommended whilst working out in the sun ON THE EQUATOR! Haha!):


It's so much like stealing...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Why God Hates Planned Parenthood.

My sister forwarded me this Facebook post.

I read it. There is one main, fundamental, deadly error, aside from all the good and bad of this post.

He talks about esteeming human life as the pinnacle of Americanism and goodness of government ("more important than freedom, however, is the humanity which underlies it, gives and a beautiful spectrum of meaning to it"), and then he turns around and advocates continuing to give tax-payers' money, against their will, to an institution that advocates, encourages, funds, and performs abortions ("Planned Parenthood... receives several hundred million dollars from the government... it... offers abortion clinics... i see no reason why funding such an organization with my and others' tax money poses a problem).

He never addresses the scientific and philosophical issue of whether a fetus is a human person. If a fetus is a human person, then aborting it is literally murder. Murder is the most evil, vile, destructive, anti-American, soul-damaging action that a human being can perform.

Everything else in the post melts away when this reality is brought to light. Everything.

It does not matter that Hitler resurrected the German economy because he was a murderer. It doesn't matter that the Soviets flew to the moon, because they were murderers. It doesn't matter if I help a woman plan her parenthood if I also help her murder her unborn child.

While there may be good things Planned Parenthood does ("Planned Parenthood offers STD and pregnancy tests, counseling for rape and incest victims, support lines for women in abusive relationships, pelvic exams, pap tests, screening for breast cancer, information as well as equipment to keep one's sex life safe and thoughtful, and more"), all of it - all of it - gets pushed aside in the face of life and death. And I believe abortion is a matter of life and death.

Now, I am not a black and white man. While I believe that God knows what is good and what is evil, and while I believe that objective good and evil exist, I do not believe that it is always simple for a human to discern between them. I believe the situations humans cook up become complex, spectral, and grey.

And I want to respect that.

But that said, the one of Satan's best strategies is to take one of the worst evils he can find, and couch it in the best-looking context he possibly can.

There is a fundamental difference between doing the right thing wrongly and doing the wrong thing rightly.

And I think Planned Parenthood does the wrong thing rightly.

Walking through the Bellagio casino, David tells me "this is the nicest I have ever seen trash look". It doesn't matter that the slot machines are visually beautiful and made out of the choicest metals and plastics. They're still gambling machines.

Looking at Planned Parenthood makes me think "this is the nicest I have ever seen murder look". It doesn't matter that the organization is filled with friendly faces and free pelvic exams. It's still a murder machine.

I could engage all of the other issues and nuances and moving parts, but this one major flaw stands out to me. You cannot esteem human life as the single most important thing in the whole world, and then flippantly throw it out the door if it means that other good things get accomplished. It's upside-down.

God, I sincerely ask you to bring your wrath down upon Planned Parenthood and your love down on the individuals who work there, and raise up a pro-life alternative. Amen.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Engine and Source

I tend to think that while the universe is in a state of decay (2nd law of TD and all that), the earth is being radiated by the sun and is thus not a closed system and not necessarily in a state of decay; it is being fed energy. Babies are still born and plants and animals produce after their kinds. Creativity takes place. Creativity. Generation. Building. Organizing. National GDP's can increase over successive years. There can be new life and growth in localized regions of space-time. Grass is fed by mulch. Life springs from death. Progress can be made - scientific, religious, civil, other. Ok great.

Therefore, the underlying assumption behind recycling is not vain. Meaning, it is not a hopeless cause, as if no matter what we do the earth is inevitably spiraling toward wrath and ruin and the red dawn. Moreover, we are charged with dominion over the earth, so we even have a divine mandate. Think of environmental stewardship as like cleaning up your room. A great big room we all share. In the shape of a sphere. With green leafy things and flowing rivers. Within which we build houses. Ok.

Granted, we may have intamural disagreements about how to take care of it (whether anthropogenic C02 causes a sustained and net harmful net rise in mean global temperature and what to do about it, for example).

But we should all here agree now that respecting the Creation is one way to respect the Creator. Nothing here needs to be said about worshipping nature or foisting a yoke of micromanagement and mind control on the masses. Certainly any cause may be hijacked for purposes such as those, but I am not doing such here now today. Ok.

I tend to think that humanity is meant for greatness, for generosity, for creativity, technology, growth, and exploration. It started in a garden and ends in a city.

So, while the old mantra goes something like "reduce, recycle, reuse", I don't like the "reduce" part of things. No. I want to drive an SUV - bigger and better! Hell yes! I want to build big, beautiful homes. Yes! Jewelry and fashion and the domestication of animals! Space exploration! Complexity! Games! Humor! Art!

Now, while I can understand periods of heightened conflict and thus perhaps the need to "reduce" from time to time, I do not think that slowing the rate at which we generate or create or produce should be anyone's ultimate goal.

All this to say that really what we need are:

1. A way to produce clean energy. Energy that can be conveniently harnessed, whose waste product is 100% recycled (more on this in a bit), whose environmental impact is 100% acceptable and better (more on this in a bit). Green energy. Solve a lot. Huge.
2. A way to recycle everything. It's like - thousands of years, and the BEST solution we've come up with is "uh... just pile it in a heap over there where I don't have to look at it". Honestly. And more than the heap solution - we still let poisons seep into ground water (prego women can't eat fish because of this - and don't get me started on air pollution-related deaths and diseases. sick. and why would anyone think that breathing in gunk and smog isn't bad? I spent a day in my attic, five minutes of which I spent without a particle mask, and I was already coughing up a lung. Breathing junk isn't good - why think then that spewing it into the air to begin with is just fine? No no.).

But by "recycle" I have to mean something difficult to describe while lazy. I really mean something other than "don't create waste" and something more like "don't waste anything" or "don't damage anything that ought not be damaged".

Matter is fundamentally good, thus, nothing can fundamentally, inherently, naturally, be a poison. Matter is good. It can be arranged in ways that are destructive to other arrangements of matter.

Don't destruct. Construct.

Now on to arbitrariness and the environment. First of all, humans are part of nature. By this I mean that we are a part of the universe - we live in it - we are made of matter. Pretending that the best way for humans to live is for humans to have zero influence or impact on the environment is silly. I am not denying that we aren't qualitatively distinct. Just that we shouldn't be considered hostile or unnatural components of the universe. We shouldn't try to keep things how they would be if we weren't here. No no, we are part of it.

Umm. Where was I. Australia. And Australia is entirely peopled with criminals. And criminals are used to having people not trust them. As you are not trusted by me. Ok enough. Enough!

Shoot, where was I? Arbitrariness! Haven't even really gotten there yet. So point one was that we shouldn't try to keep things they way they might have been in our absence. The second point is this: we shouldn't pretend that the environment isn't dynamic.

It changes.

Hard to believe, I know. But the entire Forest Service, funded by taxpayers in a collapsing economy, is dedicated to finding wilderness nobody ever really goes to, and "restoring" its "original" condition. The prospect of explaining to you everything I think is wrong with that is overwhelming.

But my main point here is that the environment changes. Change is not fundamentally bad and we need to come to grips with that.

Ok next.

Arbitrariness. Right. There are a broad range of conditions between which it is ethically acceptable to decide arbitrarily. There is some arbitrariness in beauty (sorry Plato) - even if you believe beauty is in some sense "objective". There is some arbitrariness in landscaping. There is some arbitrariness in large-scale landscaping. Ok.

You know, I think I've made some of my main points.

This was going to be a post about something different, something bigger, but the intro took too long. I have lost writing steam. At least blogging steam. I have been studying the Kingdom of God recently. More recently, I have gotten carried away researching Tyre, and the timeline of creation.

Don't care how long this is. Gonna post.

Not yet-CONCLUSION: We should invest in clean energy (intentionally vague) and we should learn how to not waste or destruct (intentionally broad).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Logos RefTagger

I am trying out this new script that turns all Bible references on my blog into links. I am going to just put down a few references here, then see if it works. If it does, I will stick the control panel for it on the sidebar, and you can customize how it will work for you when you visit my blog.

Rom. 8:1
Romans 3:23
John 1:1
Jude 5
Acts 1:8

Ok it looks like it works, so long as you have JavaScript enabled (which most people do). You can change which version of the Bible is displayed in the links, and you can turn the little "L" links on and off, in the control panel at the bottom of the sidebar on the right. The "L" links pull up the Bible verse in your default Bible version in Logos, if you have it installed on your computer (I disabled this by default, and made the default version on this blog "ESV"). The links don't override any links I have manually coded to BibleGateway.com or Bible.org.

Let me know if you like or do not like this verse auto-linking system.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday Night Confessions

Today, I feel extremely lethargic. I slept in because I felt a bit sick. But I got out of bed around 10 and didn't feel ill, so much as I felt lethargic, much like I do right now. Like, it would feel really good to cry - to just break out in a fit of heaving sobs. I feel the temptation to do so, but can't justify the action to my intellect and so I fight the man. I would like to have the comfort of curling up in bed, but I am not tired. I search my mind looking for something to regret and nothing comes to mind. It would feel good right now to feel remorse for something - some secret, unconfessed sin. It sort of feels like I do in fact rue - but there is no object to my colorful verb. Maybe it's just sorrow. I feel sorrow mingled with apathy. And I don't know why - I have no idea why. But descending and then ascending the stairs to the basement is enough to make me feel bodily weary too. I don't want to call clients, I don't want to be confronted about not calling clients. I don't want to suck it up or grow up. I want to be a genius so my immaturity can be excused with comments like "well he is really good at X", or maybe I wouldn't mind dying early so that people can be like "he would have amounted to so much", and then I can get out of actually working hard to try and amount to something, or out of the disappointment of failing to amount to much. I am too emotionally exhausted to read. I feel guilty and like I am wasting my life because I don't read very much. I pretend to be a philosopher or a student of the Bible or a theologian or a reader or a thinker. I pretend to be a grown up. I am 24 blasted years old - I should at the very least have a Bachelor's degree by now. Anything but this - anything but an abjectly impoverished Curriculum Vitae that only adds insult to lethargy and wannabe, aspirant, depression. It's pathetic in the deepest, purest, and ugliest way possible. I need a good slap in the face. Winter 08/09, here I come.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Happy Anniversary Wife!

Best 4 years of my life. I love you. You are so nice. You are so nice. Gardens and bread and knitting and nice things and you smell good. You are so smart. You are so smart. S-M-R-T.

Monday, December 8, 2008

An Open Letter to Worship Leaders Everywhere

Dear Worship Leader,

There are two major distinct ways for individuals attending the gathering of a community of faith to worship God through music, and trying to blend these two ways together does not turn out well.

One way to worship through music is to sing along with those leading.

Another way to worship through music is to listen to those performing.

Both are acceptable ways to worship God through music. One is participatory with respect to the music, the other is observational with respect to the music (but participatory with respect to the worship).

However sometimes worship leaders will start a song out with words on the projector screen that seem to indicate that the participants should sing along, and then the leaders sing according to a familiar arrangement of the song, and then suddenly one or more of the vocalists will break from the familiar notes and rhythms by singing differently. Quite often the difference would sound good if the other participants weren’t trying to sing along. But since the others are already singing, the difference distracts.

Singing together is about glorifying God, delighting in God; but it’s also about intercourse with other believers. It is about unity. Harmony, sure. But unity above all.

Please, worship leaders, please save your stylized vocals for your performance pieces, when I can enjoy them without feeling awkwardly left behind. When you lead me into song, please sing in accordance with a familiar arrangement.

Love in Christ,

Don't Spare "The Rod". Discipline your child. But don't use the accidentals of a verse as translated into English to oversimplify, either.

The Hebrew verb that is translated as "train up" in most English renderings of Prov. 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go, so that when he is old, he will not depart from it", is "chanuk" (the root word of "Chanukah". It means "dedicate", like Chanukah is "The Dedication". You can dedicate a temple, inaugurate a leader, bless a house, cut the ribbon at a ground-breaking ceremony, or put a bit in a horse's mouth (yes, it can mean that too!). Dedicate your child. Inaugurate your child. Accustom your child. Commit to being a good example to your child. Put a bit in its mouth.

The Hebrew noun translated as "rod" in the Biblical proverb "spare the rod and you hate your child" means basically "branch". This is almost always used metaphorically to refer to lineage (think of a family "tree"). Think of Jesus as the "rod of Jesse", or a "shoot growing out of the stump of Jesse" (a reference to the lineage of Jesus). But it can also mean a more literal branch, like a shepherd's staff. A shepherd uses uses his staff to hook his sheep out of crevices or away from the edges of cliffs. Sometimes he uses his staff to discipline his sheep (for their own good!), and sometimes he uses it to beat away wolves. A good shepherd will take the personality of each individual sheep into account when he disciplines them. It can also be used to refer to a scepter, used to rule a kingdom. The word "rod" can be symbolic of a dominion or of leadership. It can also reference a javelin. I like the symmetry of the proverb. It's like, if you spare the rod, you hate your child, BUT if you love your child you will discipline him (or throw a javelin at him?). It contrasts love and hate, and compares the rod and discipline (spare the rod and you hate your child, if you love your child, you will discipline him). Discipline. As a principle. Not "spanking on the butt with a wooden spoon" specifically.

When we already have "spanking" in our minds when we read this proverb, it sounds like a proverb about... spanking. We assume "rod" means "spanking rod". Why? Because that's what we assume rods are used for. Also hanging curtains.

The trick is to try and have in our minds whatever an ancient Hebrew would have in his mind when reading this proverb.

Would he be thinking, "spare the wooden spoon used to spank, and you hate your child", or would he be thinking something more like "spare the staff used to beat away wolves, rescue sheep from peril, and discipline them as well, and you hate your child", or maybe "spare the scepter that signifies oversight, and you hate your child" (or "spare the javelin, and you hate your child...")?

Anyway, both of these are of the genre "proverb", whose intent is general and principle, not commanding and promising.

I am most definitely not categorically against spanking a child on his rear in the right context. I am against using this particular proverb to say that the Bible commands that we spank every child indiscriminate of their personalities or mental states on the butt with a wooden spoon everytime they misbehave.

Friday, December 5, 2008

In the Twinkling of an Eye

I have undergone so much change in the last two weeks that I am tempted to start a new blog in illustration of my personal growth. I have entered an entirely new phase of thoughtlife.

Instead of illustrate however, I stated and decided to go no further.

At a church planting intensive in Seattle a few weeks ago I was inspired. I also heard a guy talk about non-manipulative intentionality. He also spoke about spending two hours or so per week in a coffee shop, learning the names of the baristas, saying hello to them often, and praying for them silently to himself (but sincerely to God).

I have decided to start learning all of the names of the baristas at Java. I know most of them anyway, I might as well go all the way (and I already spend way more than two hours per week there). I have also begun trying to say hi to each of them. Soon I will say hi to each of them by name. Someday I might consider praying for them too ;).

I met a man named William the other day.

I said hello to William today. Then later on I went back to refill my tea cup with hot water when I found myself caught in the conversational crossfire of him and another young man who frequents Java and other downtown venues, whom I happen to know. I inquired into their topic of conversation and William explained it to me. He then described himself as spiritual, but not religious ("could mean anything" I thought).

Later William came and sat down next to me (and Chris), and I learned that he used to be a missionary with YWAM, but had an encounter with God that changed his worldview. We proceeded to have an intelligent, dynamic (meaning two-directional) discussion about grace, inerrancy, and spirituality. I think he is a universalist who denies inerrancy, but he demonstrates a phenomenal amount of knowledge about the text of the Bible and the content of the faith of most evangelicals. He seems to have a view of grace that is just about right (more right than most evangelicals in my estimation), and he puts good works in their proper place. He is passionate and articulate.

We exchanged phone numbers. I chuckled inside because I didn't expect to find a friend so quickly using thing "just learn a guy's name and say hi" method.

We also discussed 1 Cor. 15:52:
in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.
I am not sure of when the concept of verses was applied to this particular letter that the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians, but it sure makes reading a single one awkward.

You start in the middle of a sentence.

Which to me is telling. How can you even begin to understand the message of this, or any, "verse" (whatever that is) devoid of its context?

William seems to think that this verse isn't about a future resurrection from the dead that individual believers will experience. He thinks it is about a "resurrection" from the "dead" that can happen inside each of us during our lifetimes. He talks poetically and philosophically about the "twinkling" part.

William, if you ever read this, know that I am glad we met and I anticipate learning from you, telling you stories, listening to you, exchanging ideas, being sharpened by you, sharpening you, and enjoying a non-manipulative but intentional friendship with you. This is not an excursus on why I am confident that you are wrong, nor is it preparation for an attempt at forcefully converting you to my worldview.

This post is an unorganized reflective story about my day and about this phase of my life. You happen to be a part of it.

Not to say that I don't think I have somethings correct, or that some of those things are very important for you to come to believe.

Anyway it was my stated opinion that "twinkling" in this passage is merely a statement of the time it will take for our resurrection bodies to be transformed. To be honest, to me it seems obvious that Paul was writing to the Corinthians about what will happen when Jesus comes back. Those who will have already been dead at the point of Jesus' return will be raised and transformed. And those humans who are living at the time will also be transformed. This transformation will take place as quickly as one blinks! Check it:
But someone will ask, ​“How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” You foolish person! ​What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

​So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; ​it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, ​“The first man Adam became a living being”; ​the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. ​The first man was from the earth, ​a man of dust; ​the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, ​so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

I tell you this, brothers: ​flesh and blood ​cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. ​We shall not all sleep, ​but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For ​the trumpet will sound, and ​the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.
When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
​“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
​“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and ​the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, ​who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

-1 Cor. 15:35-50 (ESV)
There is a lot going on in this passage, and much of it is no doubt difficult to discern at first, since we don't all understand the historical context in which this letter was written. I want to be sensitive to that.

The MW Collegiate Dictionary (11th Ed.) defines the dative noun "twinkling" as "the time required for a wink", and "the instant’s duration of a wink".

The Strong's entry for the Greek work translated "twinkling" in this passage is
4493 ῥιπή, ῥοπή [rhipe /hree·pay/] n f. From 4496; GK 4846 and 4856; AV translates as “twinkling” once. 1 a throw, stroke, beat. 2 a moment of time.
Wiersbe explains that the Greeks at the time rebutted the early Christians conception of the resurrection by pointing to what happens to a physical body after death - bodies turn to dust, and oftentimes trees or other things use the matter from decomposed bodies to grow. How can all that matter be collected again such that a body can be resurrected? He says that
Paul’s reply to this kind of reasoning was very blunt: “You fool!” Then he made the important point that resurrection is not reconstruction. Nowhere does the Bible teach that, at the resurrection, God will “put together the pieces” and return to us our former bodies. There is continuity (it is our body), but there is not identity (it is not the same body).

Paul knew that such miracles cannot be explained, so he used three analogies to make the doctrine clear.

Seeds (vv. 35–38, 42–48). When you sow seed, you do not expect that same seed to come up at the harvest. The seed dies, but from that death there comes life. (See John 12:23–28 for our Lord’s use of this same analogy.) You may sow a few grains of wheat, but you will have many grains when the plant matures. Are they the same grains that were planted? No, but there is still continuity. You do not sow wheat and harvest barley.

Furthermore, what comes up at the harvest is usually more beautiful than what was planted. This is especially true of tulips. Few things are as ugly as a tulip bulb, yet it produces a beautiful flower. If at the resurrection, all God did was to put us back together again, there would be no improvement. Furthermore, flesh and blood cannot inherit God’s kingdom. The only way we can enjoy the glory of heaven is to have a body suited to that environment.
Paul discussed the details of this marvelous change in 1 Corinthians 15:42–48. The body is sown (in burial) in corruption, because it is going to decay; but it is raised with such a nature that it cannot decay. There is no decay or death in heaven. It is buried in humility (in spite of the cosmetic skill of the mortician); but it is raised in glory. In burial, the body is weak; but in resurrection, the body has power. We shall be like Jesus Christ!

Today, we have a “natural body,” that is, a body suited to an earthly environment. We received this body from our first parent, Adam: he was made of dust, and so are we (Gen. 2:7). But the resurrection body is suited to a spiritual environment. In His resurrection body, Jesus was able to move quickly from place to place, and even walk through locked doors; yet He was also able to eat food, and His disciples were able to touch Him and feel Him (Luke 24:33–43; John 20:19–29).

The point Paul was making was simply this: The resurrection body completes the work of redemption and gives to us the image of the Saviour. We are made in the image of God as far as personality is concerned, but in the image of Adam as far as the body is concerned. One day we shall bear the image of the Saviour when we share in His glory.

First Corinthians 15:46 states an important biblical principle: first the “natural” (earthly), and then the “spiritual” (heavenly). The first birth gives us that which is natural, but the second birth gives us that which is spiritual. God rejects the first birth, the natural, and says, “You must be born again!” He rejected Cain and chose Abel. He rejected Abraham’s firstborn, Ishmael, and chose Isaac, the second-born. He rejected Esau and chose Jacob. If we depend on our first birth, we shall be condemned forever; but if we experience the new birth, we shall be blessed forever...

We must remember that this discussion was not written by Paul merely to satisfy the curiosity of believers. He had some practical points to get across, and he made them very clear in 1 Corinthians 15:29–34. If we really believe in the resurrection of the body, then we will use our bodies today to the glory of God (1 Cor. 6:9–1

-Wiersbe, W. W. (1996, c1989). The Bible exposition commentary (1 Co 15:29). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.
And what's a discussion of the resurrection without commentary from last generation's revolutionary good ol' boys from Dallas Theological Seminary? They help out here by emphasizing the theological symmetry between Adam and Jesus that Paul's writing draws from (as well as adding some free, insightful tidbits):
15:44b-49. Discussion of the contrast between Adam and Christ (mentioned earlier in v. 22) is resumed here. Adam exemplified the earthly (v. 40) natural body (the word trans. being, v. 45, psychē, is related to psychikos, which is trans. natural in v. 44). Adam gave his nature to all who followed him (the man without the Spirit is the natural [psychikos] man; cf. 2:14). The last Adam, Christ, exemplifies the heavenly spiritual body (15:22) which those who belong to Him (v. 23; cf. 2:15) will likewise assume at His coming from heaven (cf. Phil. 3:20-21). The full harvest will be like the firstfruits (1 Cor. 15:23; cf. Col. 1:18). First the seed must die; then the spiritual body will emerge...

The dead in Christ will first be raised, and then the living will be instantaneously transformed. The trumpet, as in the Old Testament, signaled the appearance of God (cf. Ex. 19:16). It is the last blast for the church because this appearance shall never end (cf. 1 Cor. 13:12). (There is no basis for posttribulationists equating this trumpet with the seventh trumpet in Rev. 11:15-19. The trumpets in Rev. pertain to judgments during the Tribulation, whereas the trumpet in 1 Cor. 15:52 is related to the church.)

15:53-54. Like the dead (vv. 42-43), the living will exchange the temporal and imperfect for the eternal and perfect (cf. 13:10). For those who belong to Christ, death’s power will be removed.

15:55. As in the allusion to Isaiah 25:8 (1 Cor. 15:54), Paul again recalled an Old Testament passage which prophesied the cessation of death (Hosea 13:14). (The recollections were adapted by Paul and do not correspond exactly to any of the extant Gr. or Heb. texts.) The apparent victories of Satan, in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:13) and on Golgotha (Mark 15:22-24) were reversed on the cross (Col. 2:15; Heb. 2:14-15) and vindicated in the resurrection of Christ. From the vantage point of the certain resurrection of the saints, Paul voiced his taunt against death and Satan...

15:58. Paul’s doctrinal declarations led to practical directives and this chapter’s conclusion was no exception. The Corinthians were urged to stand firm in the apostles’ teaching (v. 2), unmoved by the denials of false teachers (cf. Eph. 4:14). This certainty, especially concerning the Resurrection, provided an impetus to faithful service (cf. 1 Cor. 3:8; Gal. 6:9) since labor in the resurrected Lord is not futile (kenos, “empty”; cf. 1 Cor. 15:10, 14, 17, 30-32).

-Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-c1985). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (2:545). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
I maintain skepticism concerning some of the points various commentators make regarding this passage, but the majority of commentators whose reputation, credentials, and methodological presuppositions resonate with me seem to be of the consensus that this passage is about Jesus coming back to earth (the way He ascended into heaven: bodily! Cf. Acts 1:11), and about the future resurrection and transformation of those under grace (both dead and alive).

I find it interesting that our resurrection is compared to Jesus' (indeed He is the first of us!), and Jesus Himself made sure that those who saw Him after the Resurrection knew that He had been raised bodily (He ate fish, and insisted that "...a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have..." Luke 20).

The resurrection will be funky.

I hope William and I get to hang out. I don't care if we talk about the resurrection. At least, I don't care if we talk about it right away. I have no agenda. At least, not any manipulative or hidden one. And whatever it is that I do have, it is not without a genuine attraction to his personality.

Um, I have more to ramble about. I don't feel like elaborating on my view of election, but I feel like I owe it to Brandon. I think there are some other explanations I "owe" to people who have commented on this blog.


Sorry guys. I know it disappoints.