A storm of love

If we want absolute certainty on this planet we must give up freedom, love and hope.
Hope can only exist where there is uncertainty. Absolute certainty means complete hopelessness.. Life must be an uncertain business. That is what makes it worthwhile.
To the ancient Hebrews, who were not particularly good sailors, the place where we meet God is a sea; sometimes a fearful place, but also a place of love.
The prophet Isaiah said he heard God say, “When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you; your troubles will not overwhelm you. for I am the Lord your God, who saves you’’.
If that’s true, divine love floods the universe and every life event is a sacrament in which the divine is present.
Wherever we are, God is behind us, before us, within us, around us and ahead of us.


21 thoughts on “A storm of love

  1. hm. Does this :- “Hope can only exist where there is uncertainty.” mean you’re uncertain about the god-thing, or that you have no hope?


      • I ‘comprehend’ words as well as does anybody else.
        This “Absolute certainty means complete hopelessness..”

        unequivocably measures ‘certainty’ in inverse proportion of ‘hope’.
        It can be ‘comprehended’ in no other way.


      • ?? Perhaps you don’t ‘comprehend’* my words ~ as distinct from my phraseology, expression or (finger-led) body language. etc..
        Or else you reckon the strawman tactic is as good a way as any of avoiding the question?

        This –> “If we want absolute certainty on this planet we must give up freedom, love and hope.” IS unequivocally an either/or proposition.
        There is no scope for miscomprehension. (nor even ms-comprehension for the benefit of the politically-correct.)

        As for :- “Nonsensical statement. It can be I ‘comprehend’ in no other way..”
        …I presume you mean : “It MAY be comprehended……”
        ……(in any number of ways, in fact.)

        * Verb: Comprehend; kom-pri’hend
        1……Get the meaning of something
        2….. To become aware of through the senses
        3…… Include in scope; include as part of something broader;


      • Bryan,
        I’m most intrigued.

        For so long I’ve been assured that Faith is the essential thing. And now I’m being assured that Hope is one of the crucial Christian things.

        Okay, so um, – what do I feel like having faith in? Think I’ll choose to have faith in Aesculapius. Sounds good to me.

        And – ah — what will I hope for? Hope for a pleasant after-life in Valhalla. Yes.

        I guess now that I’ve fulfilled all the requirements..

        Oh yes, and then there are those incredible atheists. According to Christian after Christian, atheists just apparently have to be blessed with the most powerful faith, that Christians maintain would be beyond their capabilities, regardless of the religious convictions that the same Christians maintain. That would just have to be quite admirable. It must surely warrant them a place in heaven!!!

        Yep, I know! I’m deliberately playing with words and concepts. But in arguments Christians just toss those first affirmations around, as though they are self-explanatory. Just look too at that strange verse that I’ve read in this blog so often. It commends the ‘substance of things hoped for’ as depicting the essence of faith. That leaves the non-believer just nonplussed. Does Christianity have some definition of Hope that has never been revealed to the rest of us?

        Tell me, would any Professor of Logic (Christian or not) affirm that these are adequate statements in themselves? I would plead, please clearly always qualify the rationale behind Faith and Hope when you toss these terms at us.



      • Actually Rian,

        It seems that you are deliberately being obtuse about the difference between faith and hope.

        Hope has always been linked to a belief in favourable outcomes despite tragic and/or discouraging circumstances.

        Faith on the other hand is an unmoved belief in a certain outcome without having absolutely all the facts involved in a certain outcome. It is a belief based on the weight of evidence biased towards a certain outcome. And faith is not necessarily tied down to tragic or discouraging circumstances.

        Thus one is based on emotions, the other on facts and evidence.


      • Rian,
        Atheists are blessed with a faith that Christians cannot possibly have.

        Have a look at the legends of Dragons. They appear in every culture and the link between dragons and dinosaurs is so strong that Carl Sagan had to come out with his book Dragons in Eden. What is his explanation? That our legends about dragons are subconscious memories that our mammalian ancestors had imprinted on our psyche back from the days when dinosaurs ruled the earth.

        So without evidence that animals dream, or what they dream of, Sagan has told us that our ancestors somehow had the dragon dreams because the shrew like animal that became our ancestor was hunted by dinosaurs.

        How is this not faith?


      • davinci,
        you ask (June 4, 10.42 am) regarding atheists, – How is this not faith?

        Heavens above, absolutely NOTHING hangs on the suggestion that there is a folk memory of Dinosaurs on the earth. It’s just an hypothetical suggestion. Surely in no conceivable way does anything depend on it. Oh and by the way, our experts maintain that animals do dream.

        i’ve often watched my pussycats going through it, when asleep.

        I guess that sometime I must deal once more with the preposterous claim that atheists have so much ‘faith’. No-one debated me on the matter some 12 months back when I tackled it last.



      • Bryan,
        I am more than a little puzzled by the way you seemed obliged to quote the rest or the whole of that verse about the ‘substance of things hoped for’. My post held just those few words, which I quoted correctly at the time. Of course I am fully familiar with the complete text there, and I’ve no doubt that any Christians on the Blog will also know them. Why bother? Am I missing something there?

        I have to confess that the meaning of the whole verse escapes me. Please (you or anyone else here), don’t go telling me, as I’ve been informed any number of times since I’ve been on the Blog, that I simply don’t know the truths or the crucial details of Christianity. That always sounds to me like Christian One-Upmanship. If the meaning escapes me, then doubtless it will escape any non-believer in our number. So why make such a point of dishing it out like this in debate?

        Is it perhaps, something like the way that verses of Scripture bear some magical power or whatever for the believer, and the mere repetition of them functions like a mantra that transforms everything before it? Let me point out that with my interest and experience within the (un-) hallowed halls of Gnosticism, I could just as readily dig out and post some obscure verse from many of the Gnostic Gospels retrieved from Nag Hammadi. I would then be quite justified in pointing out that no-one on this blog would be qualified to comprehend it.

        Now, I would really like to know just what is conveyed in that verse. And so would you or any other Christian on this blog kindly study it and compose in as BRIEF a form as possible, a meaningful paraphrase of it that would make its meaning and intention crystal clear. Dont please launch into a lecture on its meaning. Just translate its actual existing words into terms that I can understand, and that would satisfy a Professor of Logic or Language or Philosophy.

        Cheers, Rian.


      • But maybe a starting place is in this message a mate sent me today…”There is a supernatural faith imparted to Christians through the Holy Spirit as they yield to the message of the Gospel -The very fact that we have faith, is evidence that what we hope for is real. Why? Because you could not have faith unless God did his work of grace in you, and if God did this work then you know the rest is true.”

        Cheers Bryan


      • Rian, what about
        “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”

        Apparently the translation from Greek depends on whether subjective or objective faith was meant.

        But to me, as I’ve said elsewhere, faith means trust, and hope is like an optimistic wish. Faith enables hope.
        I can trust that all will be well, for instance, and hope that certain events will be part of that.

        Others will see it differently. The Bible speaks differently to each of us, so we really can’t argue about what it “says”.


      • Now Bryan, re yours of June 4, 15.39pm.
        I thank the honourable member for his comments here; and it was a new one to have myself described as ‘Bossy Boots’. Such term is perhaps to be recognized as a big improvement on some of the descriptions that were tossed at me some twelve months back by certain persons who shall remain nameless. I remember with amusement being called ‘Hypocrite’, ‘Wolf in Sheep’s clothing’, ‘False Prophet’ – oh, and of course ‘nasty Person’ among others.

        And then as well, I recall how neither you or anyone else criticized certain of them for dishing out very severe and cynical orders to me at times. They were never ‘Bossy Boots’. There was the occasion when one individual commanded me to post a list of all the things I don’t believe in, put my name at the bottom and then to move away. But as far as the current issue is concerned, the way I worded my suggestion doesn’t seem to me to represent bossiness. What did I say?…. ‘Would you kindly and — please’. Nah, Bryan, you are I fear, misquoting the wording and context of my epistle here. And heaven knows, I’m well used to being misquoted on this blog. So as you have frequently instructed our mate Dabbles, just read exactly what I said!

        Now, as far as the particular text I am querying is concerned. Let me make it clear that I am not asking for an explanation or a lecture on its content. Since the verse is tossed about very frequently here, just whenever queries arise about the vexed question of faith, AND it is clear that everyone appears to take it as a definitive verse in the Christian Testament, – that there must be some obvious meaning to it that most agree on. So I’m NOT wanting to be referred to one of the contemporary Church Fathers of Apologetics for an academic explanation. I’m wanting to know just what you regular devotees understand by it. So surely any of the Christians here can give me a simple paraphrase of the verse, without launching into a lengthy passage.

        Now, our good friend Strewth valiantly offered a rewrite for me, but sadly did not include in it any paraphrase of the key word I’m querying, – which is ‘Hope’. The phrase ‘Things hoped for’ surely does not suitably explain what is intended. Unfortunately we don’t have access to the Scriptural writer who composed the sentence, (commonly taken by most authorities these days, NOT to have been Paul), and therefore cant check out exactly what he intended. As I suggested in one of my postings, our English word Hope tends to suggest ANY sort of vague longing or wish we might carry. I’ve just never understood just how Hope can be linked up equal with Faith and Love as Paul puts it in the famous commentary on Love. (and please don’t quote back to me the original wording, along with Book, chapter and verse. I and everyone else knows just what is and what it’s from.) So, – any suggestions, – If it’s not too much trouble, – Pretty Please???? (that polite enough?)

        Just one other thing, Bryan, it has always intrigued me that the ‘faith’ that the God is taken to provide to Christians appears to vary widely according to the particular theories of the innumerable Christian Communions. Arians, Trinitarians, Gnostics Catholics and Protestants etc all appear to carry similar convictions about the multitude of Faiths that they have had bestowed on, regardless of just how the terms of that faith vary so wildly. I might think of the ones who are just so sure about the Apocalyptic prophecies, or the particular varieties of the ‘hope’ of heaven that is expected. Now if the faith is dished out to ‘all’ Christians, and it takes all sorts of guarantees, then it can leave the non-believing multitudes rather bewildered and sceptical about any real truth that is there.



    • ?? “Faith enables hope.”
      How? That suggests that ‘hope’ can’t exist without ‘faith’ ~ an obvious nonsense, and even BillyBob knows that. 😉


      • Good point, Dabbles,

        Though I think or suspect that Christians demand a somewhat different and non-dictionary definition of Hope… So-o….

        I wonder if, since Hope (or at least the Kosher Christian variety of it) is dependent for its existence on Christian Faith. Am I also to take it that Christian Love (that Paul glorifies) is ALSO dependent for its existence on Christian Faith???

        If by any chance that is so, then the whole setting up or commendation of the holy trinity of Theological Virtues as they are known in tradition as Faith Hope and Love is a bit of a furfey (furphey? furphy?? sorry cant recall there), since the latter two can only exist in the presence and deep-seated existence of Faith. And yet, and yet, Love, he tells us is the greatest. So love is greater than the condition that brings it about. ‘Is a puzzlement!’ as the King of Siam stated.

        Explain to me someone.


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