Friday, September 24, 2010

Fishing for Men

I used to fish a bit when I was younger, before the slime, the smell and the effort got the best of me. I often wondered if the fish truly understood what was happening when the hook was set and the battle to draw them in began. Probably not, how sensible can one be if a little flash of silver, some wet hair, and a treble hook looked like something good to eat!

Nonetheless, I think that the experience of the fish in fishing parallels the experience of the human in the drawing of the Holy Spirit. Something moving through the ethereal realm of spirit flashes by, the soul craning its neck to look, feels the tug of the hook being set and an inexorable pull toward... something. Soul "flesh" pierced by Spirit hook, it's the way the work of salvation gets done.

What does God's lure look like, I wonder? It seems to me, the working end of the Spirit's wooing or drawing is the word of God coming to us. Words are not stuff, per se, they're ethereal, real but unreal. They can hit one like a ton of bricks, but they don't weigh a thing (even when they are weighty). There is something more to words than meets the eye, especially when those words are from God.

The prophets of old recorded their experience with the Spirit of God as the word of the Lord coming to them. They found the experience unforgettable and compelling. I think that is so for anyone who ends up ultimately standing right with God. His word comes, we find something about it unforgettable and compelling, we're drawn thereby to the Lord's side.

That lure doesn't hook every fish it's dangled before, and some fish, hooked, begin a-flapping and break free. But for those fish landed, the story's always the same--the word, conviction, faith placed in Christ, salvation. Jesus was a fisher of men, who taught others to fish for men. A pole and tackle box is not needed, only the word of God is.


  1. Well said, truly one of your better writings. Loved it.

  2. Words (written or spoken) are triggers for thoughts. Communication is an attempt to generate in another's mind the same thought patterns that we are thinking ourselves. One of the skills required for writing is a sort of dual-track thinking, in which we think the thoughts that we desire to communicate, and simultaneously observe the thoughts being thought and map to words that we use to think those thoughts and trigger those thoughts.

    Total depravity (to me) says that thoughts that would lead one to accept Jesus Christ and be saved are not naturally thought. One can certainly say words that communicate the Gospel, but the natural pattern of thinking does not lead the hearer to a saving belief in Jesus Christ.

    Now, we must understand that even though we may have a soul and a spirit that guides our thinking, they are physically bound to our brains: I.e. our physical brain, operating with neurons passing neurotransmitters between themselves, is the tool by which the human soul/spirit talks, and without it, it cannot independenly think or remember anything. Our thinking is pretty much based on chemicals, on neurotransmitters, and the industry to create and sell chemicals to alter one's thinking patterns are a multi-billion dollar business in which people (quite litterally) kill each other for market share.

    When the Holy Spirit convicts a person, that conviction must express itself as thoughts. Those thoughts are mediated by neurotransmitters emitted in specific patterns. Since such thoughts are not natural due to total depravity, those thought configurations are necessarily un-natural. That is, they are generated by the Holy Spirit directly interacting with billions of a person's neurons to generate those thoughts in the same way that a person presses keys on an organ to generate a musical score. However, like music, the person perceiving the thoughts may agree or disagree with them. Their disagreement and opposition is not to God, but to the thoughts that God the Holy Spirit generates in their heads. After the thoughts are generated, they are processed by the man in the usual fashion, in which he may consider them, accept them, or reject them. (Part of this process is the Holy Spirit temporarily suppressing prejudicial thoughts by causing the secretion of the contrary neurotransmitters.)

    The upshot is that it is conviction, not conversion, that is miraculous, along with any subsequent thoughts from the Spirit intended to lead us to further truth. once you buy into Conviction as the miraculous, then every other miracle is just a matter of scale and not a fundamental contradiction of anything. Like I said to a friend, when you responded to Conviction and got converted, you essentially "took the red pill" and became a rebel to the current world system that tries to "seal the universe" against the miraculous.


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