Words

Ecclesiastes: A Tonic in Troubling Times

July 18 2018

I love the wisdom of Ecclesiastes, especially in times of emotional difficulty. It provides in some ways a contrast to the wisdom of Proverbs, with a somewhat more cynical, jaded perspective. This tone is cathartic to a throbbing soul, at least for me. Rather than focusing on simple cause and effect formulas for living a life blessed by wisdom, it considers the unpredictable and unexpected, the situations beyond our control and hard to explain. However, it does so rather stoically and philosophically, compared the emotional and conceptual grandeur of Job. It helps us to mentally transcend the vanity of emotion and earthly pursuits, while at the same time remembering to relish every gift of pleasure and fulfilment we are afforded, appreciating every moment simply for what it is.

The Law of Spiritual Dynamics

April 26 2018

Newton's "third law" has a spiritual parallel, that I am calling the "law of spiritual dynamics." Romans 7:21 says "So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand."

Whenever I endeavor to do good, whenever I draw close to righteousness, there will be a resistance and opposition. It comes both from within, from my evil flesh, and from the spiritual forces of evil at work in the world. It will often manifest with intensity directly proportionate to the fervor with which I seek to do good.

Thankfully, unlike Newton's third law, which says that in physical matters the reaction will be "equal and opposite," I am comforted in knowing that He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). Nevertheless we must be watchful, aware, and prepared for this reactive opposition.

Developmental Factors Regarding Legal Consideration of Minors

October 12 2012

Children under the age of seven are not held responsible for crimes in America because they are said to be unable to form criminal intent. As evident in the story of a six year old from Michigan, the legal view of children and criminality can have a significant impact on people’s lives and the outcome of major criminal court cases. The scientific support for such must therefore be observable and convincing enough to uphold this legal stance. Moral development, emotional development, social learning and brain development are all relevant factors in situations leading to crime. To understand the legality of child crimes one must thereby consider the prevailing psychological concepts relating to such developmental components.