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My heart’s desires – the logical approach

17 Mar

Consider this argument: 

P1 – Designers who manufacture products know best how they should operate

P2 – God designed and made human beings

C – Therefore, God knows best how they should operate


Psalm 33:15 refers to God as He who fashions the hearts of them all (the children of man)

Given our topsy-turvy contemporary culture, I’ve been thinking about the desires that pour out of our hearts and incline us to move in different directions.  Society’s icons counsel:

  • Be true to your heart
  • Follow your heart
  • Look within
  • Trust your heart
  • Go after your passion

But that assumes that what the human heart wants is optimal for humans.  This ‘wisdom’ also presupposes that in our reasoning, we know when we should yield to the heart and when we should hold back. (Or worse yet – that the mere existence of a desire MEANS an automatic seeking to fulfill it!)

Imagine a car, fresh off the dealer’s lot.  Having written a very large check for your vehicle that should work well since it’s new, you cautiously ease onto the road, headed home.  You don’t have to drive very far until you notice a distinct tug by the steering wheel to the left. The wheels seem to have a mind of their own, wanting to veer into oncoming traffic.

The way this car operates at the moment is what happens to be natural for it. It ‘desires’ to pull left.

But you, the operator, know better.  And in fact, the car manufacturer knows better.

Yet if your car could talk, he might even argue, ‘THIS makes me feel good, to favor the left!”

Are we any different, from the point of view of being something designed and made?  We human beings have bodies, hearts, and minds purposefully planned and fashioned by our creator God.  Only when we align ourselves according to His Word, the Scriptures, do we ‘operate’ or ‘function’ correctly.

To assume that all desires are GOOD and beneficial for not only us but society is dangerous and misleading.  Yes, people will argue, “That’s just the way God made me.  If he hadn’t wanted me to feel a certain way, he would have designed me differently.”

There happens to be one detail that throws that argument out the window!  Given the fall of one man and woman (thanks, Aunt Eve and Uncle Adam!), all of creation has been disordered.  AND God alone both knows and has the manufacturer’s right to prescribe how we should function to optimize LIFE.


Logical Gal learns the power of a metaphor:

17 Jun

Metaphor 1

The debate centered on the gender of God.  Listening, I learned how to distinguish metaphor from analogy, a very useful distinction.

Those arguing that God should be considered just as much a ‘She’ as a ‘He’ used Jesus’ heart-felt lament as recorded by Luke in 13:34:

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.

Clearly Jesus is using a mother-image to communicate His love for His fellow Jews.  So what about God as Father?

Here’s a representative verse from the Old Testament out of Isaiah (63:16): For you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us, and Israel does not acknowledge us; you, O Lord, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name.

And from the New Testament, I offer one of many verses, this one from 1 Cor 8:6 – Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

So which is a stronger description of God?  Jesus’ own words using a mother hen’s longings for her chicks to describe His occasional maternally affectionate feelings? Or Paul’s words that God is the Father?  To help us think through the differences, we should ask:

  • Does Jesus always feel regret toward the inhabitants of Jerusalem?
  • Does God ever stop being Father?

It turns out that metaphor is weightier than analogy because it makes a statement of identity by claiming that X is Y.  To be fair, the proposition that X is Y can be false.  But we must at least understand the intent of the one making the claim before we take issue with the truthfulness of it.

The analogy of X being like Y is partial; it is NOT making an identity claim.  Do you remember Forrest Gump’s line that “Life is like a box of chocolates”?   Our question to him the first time would be to ask, “Forrest, how so? in what way(s) is life LIKE a box of chocolates?”

Box of Chocolates

Had Forrest chosen to describe life with a metaphor, he might have said:

  • Life is a journey
  • Life is war
  • Life is a tragedy
  • Life is a party
  • Life is a roller coaster
  • Life is a French movie

Or to be a bit more literary, who hasn’t been moved by Shakespeare’s use of metaphor in his monologue describing the 7 phases of life in ‘All the world is a stage’ ?

In these cases, the one making the claim has to work harder and more thoroughly to prove through multiple examples that his metaphor is accurate. He has to address any counterexamples his audience might offer.

So back to the initial debate about whether God intends us to regard Him as He/She, as Mother/Father God:

I am convinced that He describes Himself to BE Father who at times acts tenderly which is more often associated with moms.  That shouldn’t be too difficult to swallow.  My husband never stops being father to our sons AND he has shown tender affection for them at different times.  Just as I, their mom, have shown father-like decision-making, when putting my foot down with resolve.

Understanding and using language properly helps us think clearly!