30 December 2006

merry christmas

Being the season of the year when people typically celebrate things such as mall sales, family, alcohol, Santa, and the remembrance of the birth of Jesus, it seems appropriate that I share a recent dinner conversation I had with some friends.

I was challenged with the question:

"What does Jesus mean to you?"

Now, I've never been the one to give a Sunday School answer, so when I began to explain my answer (which was demanded on the spot!), my dinner company began to roll their eyes.

There are three steps involved in my answer:
  • an assumption that God exists
  • a second assumption that God is monotheistic
  • a third assumption that of the three main possible options for a system of belief in monotheism (a triad of choice: Judaism, Christianity, Islam), Christianity is correct

Only after these assumptions have been made can the meaning of Jesus be considered.

Using reductionist reasoning, and stating the apparent facts as simply as possible:
  • after the physical body dies, there is an eternity of the soul
  • this eternity of the soul has but two ends: eternity of pain and suffering or eternity of not-pain and not-suffering, but the default is pain and suffering
  • the event of either eternal end is within my ability to choose, and I am responsible for that choice

That choice is Jesus, and the belief in him. To choose to believe in Jesus is to choose an eternity of the soul which is spent in not-pain and not-suffering. To choose to not believe in Jesus is to choose an eternity of pain and suffering. Therefore, to believe in Jesus is to obtain an eternity of not-pain and not-suffering. And that it what Jesus means to me.

This was challenged by my dinner company based on etymology and semantics, so I restated my thesis using his words:

To not believe in Jesus is to spend eternity separated from God. To believe in Jesus to spend eternity with God.

But this is usually viewed as reductio ad absurdum to the average Christian. "It just cannot be that simple....because all my life I was taught that it is more than just a mere belief in Jesus."

However, I would consider the absurdity to be introduced by the many Christians who have added to what is essentially the simplicity of Jesus.

There is nothing simpler than the words of Jesus during a late night conversation with Nicodemus, in which he states not just once but twice, that the only requirement for eternity with not-pain and not-suffering (or rather eternity with God, or even salvation) is a belief in himself:
  • "whoever believes in [Jesus] shall not perish but have eternal life" John 3:16
  • "whoever believes in [Jesus] is not condemned" John 3:18

Then further in the same chapter is John the Baptist's testimony to Jesus:
  • whoever believes in [Jesus] has eternal life" John 3:36

My simple answer did not seem to satisfy my dinner company, they likely have left believing that I am on my way straight to hell. Yet my message is the same: the Gospel message is that simple!

Avoid eternity of pain and suffering = believe in Jesus = enjoy eternity of not-pain and not-suffering.

21 December 2006

check out the NEW michaeljameslewis

Hey all!

Check out the NEW michaeljameslewis.ca !!!

As well, there is a new blog, completely devoted to film!

the Films Blog

12 December 2006


Playing squash sometimes becomes violent.

I got hit in the leg by the ball on a return off of the other guy's racket.

I remember falling down and rolling around while screaming and clutching my leg.

10 December 2006

07 December 2006

Oh Alberta!

You cannot read a paper, watch the news, or even exist in Canada, without stumbling into a story about how fantastic Alberta is!

And you know what? It's all TRUE!

With recent political politicking, financial reports, consumer indexes, and the price of oil, I will take this time to remind my readers that Alberta is the best province in Canada.

Oh Alberta!

....we stand on guard for thee!