“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death...Death is swallowed up in victory.” – 1 Corinthians 15:26, 54
"The greater the sin, the greater the mercy, the deeper the death and the brighter the rebirth.” - C. S. Lewis
"This story...has the very taste of primary truth." - J. R. R. Tolkien

Friday, November 26, 2010

About This Blog

Why hello, dear reader. My name is Elliot. I am a graduate student in physics at Penn State, and in my spare time, an amateur philosopher and theologian and an avid reader and writer. I enjoy climbing trees, playing the legendary game of pooh sticks, and looking (hitherto without success) for hidden doors to other worlds.

But your interest, I suspect, is primarily in the content of this blog. Whether you found this site while on some intriguing theological internet quest or stumbled upon it in sheer boredom, I’m glad you are here. This blog is the necessary overflow of the thoughts in my brain - thoughts that I feel compelled to share with others.

I've posted a list of topics on the left side of the blog; this functions as a sort of index for everything I've written. Each link there takes you to a page of links to individual posts. As I publish more writing to this blog (in no particular order), I will do my best to categorize it through these pages.

As the subtitle indicates, these writings are my "exploration of Christianity." Christianity, as I see it, is the true story of the world we are in, so what is it all about? Can it shed any light on this strange world in which we find ourselves? How does it address the problem of evil and suffering, or our perceptions of beauty and meaning in the world? Is there a deeper beauty in the many apparent paradoxes of Christianity? What is the significance of Christian themes in books and movies? Being a scientist, I also enjoy writing about the relationships between Christianity and science and between God and mathematics. Perhaps most importantly, who is God and how should we think of Him?

As I rational person, I am compelled to ask "why believe Christianity?" There are many reasons. But before we weigh the evidence, we must understand this worldview. We must ask "what is Christianity?" and only when we find the answer to this question will we see how Christianity explains things and why it is true. Responses to some of the most common objections to Christianity made by atheists or agnostics can be found here. More importantly, though, this site as a whole is my explanation of and apology for Christianity - my answer to both "what is it?" and "why believe it?"

You may be wondering what the title "unless a seed dies" means. The words come from Jesus: "unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit" (John 12:24). The meaning of this saying is central to my understanding of Christianity, and to much of what I have written on this site, including these posts on the beautiful theme of death and resurrection. God "empties himself" and is "made nothing," even to the point of human death on a cross, and from his own death God brings a new and greater life. Joy from suffering, beauty from ashes, life from death - this is the secret of Christianity and the beauty of God himself.

These thoughts are all about God - who He is and what He has done to reveal Himself to us. He is the foundation of existence and the fountain and purpose of all life - all reality revolves around God and finds its meaning in Him (Romans 11:36). And when I see His great design for humanity, I exclaim with Paul, "oh the depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!" (Romans 11:33).

I hope this blog will be a blessing to you in one way or another. If you have something to say, do not hesitate to leave a comment or email me at elliot137@gmail.com.

-Elliot


P.S. Some of my own favorite posts...
-He is Himself the Grain of Wheat: The Self-Emptying Nature of God
-The Paradox of God's Love: The Empty Cup Overflowing
-At the Cross, Death is Destroyed by Death
-A Story Reflected: Resurrection

-The 'Foolish' Wisdom of the Cross

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