Thursday, April 20, 2006



Lake Superior, Gnostics and Really Bad Theology


I recently went for a trip to the shores of Lake Superior (specifically Duluth, Minnesota, and Superior, Wisconsin. I also came within 100 miles of the Canadian border driving up the shore of Minnesota's Arrowhead/Sawtooth region. It was wonderful. Awe inspiring doesn't begin to touch it. All the more so because it sparked some musing on the current controversies raging within the Church.

While touring one of the Great Lakes Aquariums in Duluth, there was a section devoted to the lake floor. The haunting strains of Gordon Lightfoot's "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" were playing in the background. "The lake it is said never gives up her dead." The old Chippewa legend is actually based on fact. Lake Superior is so cold that bodies tend not to surface. The frigid water retards decomposure and the subsequent gas/bloating that makes a body rise to the surface. While standing on the lakeshore, you could almost feel the thunderous power of the lake under your feet. How could something so beautiful be so deadly? I would really hate being on a ship out in the ocean-like lake with 30 foot waves. No thank you. However, this eerie experience is useful in drawing several analogies. Like the Lake Superior lighthouse in the photo, the Word of God stands the test of time and remains anchored on the rock, no matter how the seas of false teaching and attacks on Christian orthodoxy might rage.

I was reminded of Revelation (specifically the judgment) when the sea gives up her dead. Pondering on the Resurrection led me to think of how that doctrine is under attack these days. So is the substitutionary atonement of Christ. God's omniscience is thrown into question as well as the very authority and reliability of Scripture. By now, this was a domino effect going off in my mind. How to apply it all. Probably not in this brief post. Consider this a "part one."

Those who know me and read my posting know that I have not been a very keen admirer of the Emergent Church because of the shoddy theology some of its adherents advocate. Christianity and postmodernism are incompatible with one another. But the EC kerfuffle is just one of many things at issue in this critical hour of human history. Much to my surprise, I have been in an ongoing dispute for some time on this blog with a couple of Gnostics. A new meaning for the phrase, "A Shadow of the Past." The battle waged by the Apostles and by early church fathers such as Irenaeus is surfacing again to trouble the people of God. Ultimately, whether we're talking about postmodern theology or Gnosticism, in reality it is nothing more than an attack on God's Word by men and women who claim to love Scripture. The enemy's old line "Has God said...." is ringing out through the ether yet again. And many are willing to follow the diabolical Pied Piper to Hell and Hamelin.

I was fairly depressed until viewing the Lake Superior lighthouse on the western shore. It reminded me yet again that these attacks are nothing new. The sea will rage but the Light of God's Word will continue to shine long after those who hold it in contempt are dead and facing their eternal destiny.

More later..hopefully in a more ordered, coherent fashion. This one was shooting from the hip.

5 comments:

Sigurd said...

that's really cool how you were able to tight all of that into that trip.. and the picture as well.. that was really cool.. well done....

Caleb.

P.S. I took that picture woo hoo LOL..

Campisi said...

Glad to hear you enjoyed your trip!

crownring said...

Great analogy, Sola. :)

Hope you're feeling better soon!

crownring said...

BTW, Caleb, I hope you're able to convince your Uncle Sola he needs to quit fretting so much and take better care of himself. Sometimes I think Sola's a modern version of St. Paul, health problems and all.

BTW, you are quite the photographer, Caleb, and I hope to see more of your work soon. :) I happen to be a lighthouse freak too and I've visited quite a few in the Great Lakes area, although not the famous one in your photograph.

SolaMeanie said...

Don't worry. I am not fretting much these days. Just sick. Cough..hack..cough...hack. Things have calmed down around home considerably, thank the Lord.

Caleb is hard to reach these days, LOL. He's managing a Christian band and that takes quite a bit of his time. Pray for them..they've got potential!