Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Living in Paradox

If you've got a sec, please, please read this post by Doug Wilson:  Our Doctrinal and Liturgical Bramble Bushes.  This is a great short piece that I believe really touches a lot of what I've been meditating on over the last few months in regards to the question of how then shall we live in light of God's Word?  We've also been looking at this same issue as we've been going through Romans in our campus Bible Study. 

Many of us as humans hate paradox.  The questions of God's sovereignty and human will swirl through our heads and which truly exists in this world.  We can reason "If God is sovereign then we are just robots," or "If we are free then God is not totally sovereign."  Our minds hate paradoxes I think largely because we want concrete, tangible and logical answers, yet a paradox is not something that our minds can fit around.  We don't have a category for it, so we relegate these questions to either/or issues.  We make one exist in our worldview at the expense of the other. 

However if God has truly spoken in His Word, and if His Word is united in speaking truth, then we must go with what He says in His Word.  The Scriptures clearly affirm both God's total and complete sovereignty over all of creation and that humans are not automatons but living and breathing creatures with wills and moral responsibility for our actions.

The other great dichotomy that  we see in Romans is grace/faith and works.  Paul clearly calls us to trust in the grace that we have in Christ for our salvation, but also in much of the book of Romans he clearly calls the readers to act out of that faith (or what one could describe as works).  They land together in chapter 8:13 "For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. "  (ESV)  Which is it then?  Does the Spirit work in us (a grace) or do we put to death the deeds of the body (work)?  Clearly it's both, not either/or. 

I will put a plug out there for John Owen's "On the Mortification of Sin in Believers" as we wrestle with this text.  Yet for an answer here I would put forward that we can work to put to death these deeds because the Spirit is working in us to put to death these deeds in us and the Spirit is working through our work too.  Heady stuff huh?  

But back to Douglas Wilson's piece too.  These debates and questions shouldn't simply end in the discussion about the philosophy themselves, but rather true and radical understanding of grace should lead to works in our lives.  Go read his piece, he says it better and is a better writer than me.  Grace should transform us in ways that are mindblowing as we walk this life of paradox between antinomianism and works, living in the tension of a world that is too great for us to fathom this side of eternity. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Why Rock The Bow Tie?

Courtesy of Mountain and Sackett.  Check their ties out!
Those of you who know me know that I more often than not will wear a bow tie for work, events, etc. However, I do seem to be one of the few men out there that still wear these bad boys. So why rock the bow tie?

Here are a few reasons:
  1. They look amazing and my Cutie Pie thinks that I look sexy in them. Your special lady may too. 
  2. Not only are they unique, but when worn correctly they also look professional. 
  3. No long dangling string thing from your neck. This keeps your tie from encountering hazardous things like soup bowls, fires and paper shredders. There's also no need to bring some fancy do-dad clip to keep your tie close to you so that you don't get pulled into a shredder and die or tickle your patient's belly while you're examining them. 
  4. Nice bow ties are cheaper than nice straight neck ties. Seriously how much silk do they waste on those long dangly things that you can't even see most of from underneath your jacket or coat?
Photo originally from paper-cuts.net

But on a more serious note I learned to love the bow tie from my grandfather. Pop Pop, wore bow ties to everything and looked great in them. Even after he retired, he still wore them to most functions and for his many Barber Shop performances. I can think of few people that looked more distinguished yet also approachable than Pop Pop rocking one of his many bow ties. In fact I'm guessing that he had over 100 by the time he passed away almost 9 years ago.

Many of the nicest ones were given to me by my parents and grandmother from Pop Pop's collection as they knew that I liked bow ties, but didn't have any of my own and they were something of Pop Pop's that I could not only treasure and remember him by, but also make good use of.

And indeed I have treasured them and they have done everything from attend weddings, to perform on stage to see patients in the clinic. So on top of the above reasons I also get to wear them because I consider them a special tradition that Pop Pop passed on to me (though I have a few of my own ones now too besides the ones that were given to me from Pop Pop's collection).

Plus as an added tip to fellow medical students, if you can pull off the bow tie well, it will encourage your patients too that you are professional and know what you're doing. You may not and it may be the first time you've ever done that exam that you're seeing them for, but it can go a long way to calm and encourage them that they are being seen by a professional.

Here's a good link to learn how to tie one (it's just like tying your shoes, literally) at Art of Manliness. (Also a good website to read often anyway)

But in any case I love my bow ties and I hope that one day you other men out there will love them too. The world needs more bow tie wearers, so why not rock one sometime soon?

Friday, March 23, 2012

New Directions Too

So as I'm trying to update this blog more I'm also trying to think of what directions it will take. Come July, my life will drastically change with a baby entering our lives as well as my daily life change from mostly book studies to being in the clinic and hospital and doing hands on learning of how to be a physician. So I used to write mostly life updates and then some theological commentary. But I think that as I keep updating the updates will probably get a bit more mushed together in terms of topics, likely shorter too and also there will likely be more thoughts thrown in about caring for people as a physician. I don't know and we'll see how this goes, but I'm thinking that this might be a good place to chronicle what happens during 3rd year and how to be a better physician. Hopefully that will also make it accessible and helpful for other friends from school too. But we'll see.

Anyway I figured before I started changing up the blog, I should write it out first myself to see how the reasoning sounds. But it sounds good so thanks for joining us on the ride!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Small Changes

It was recently brought to my attention how this blog hasn't been updated in a while. Yeah I think about 2 years qualifies as a while. But in my defense life in Athens got pretty busy, like medical school interviews, meeting some cutie-pie chick, hunting for swamp rabbits, getting involved in my awesome church, falling asleep against trees, etc. You know busy.

In any case then things continued to get busy and I went to med school, married said cutie-pie all around amazing chick, hunted for woods (rather than swamp) rabbits (and some pheasant, deer, turkey and grouse too), got involved in another great church, etc. you know, still busy.

And now we're about to finish our book learning years, take our Step 1 exams for licensure as docs (really big deal), having a baby around the end of June, and start my clinical rotations. Life will be changing quite a bit here soon, but it's good and Jesus promises to give us more of himself through it and sustain us.

So that said I've seen a few good blogs of med students/residents and was thinking that maybe with all of life's changes to record some of this it might be a good time to write about this.

No promises though, I'm really not very good at keeping this updated... ;)

But while you wait here's that cutie-pie chick and I: "Pics courtesy of Kipper Bush our amazing photographer and friend"

And how I've been keeping myself busy this Fall (medical school has been a good time to hunt: