Saturday, September 19, 2015

New Blog

I have another blog that I have been posting to every few months for several years now but I have decided to to start fresh. That old blog contained nothing but cynicism, despair, hopelessness, self-pity, and negativity. Apparently I was only motivated to write when I was feeling horrible. My goal for this blog is to be full of hope, joy, love, critical thinking, and positivity.

I thought long and hard about a name for this blog because I plan on being faithful with posting to it and I knew I would have to live with the name I chose. The name "An Abnormal Reaction" comes from a quote by a man named Viktor E. Frankl - an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor. In his book Man's Search for Meaning, Viktor writes, "An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior." There is no shortage of excellent quotes in that book, but I chose this one because I think it will allow me to write about a wide variety of topics while still being relevant. The quote I believe was written from a psychological perspective. Viktor explains that behaviors that might be categorized by some as disorders are really not so strange in light of the person's past experiences. As a Christian I believe that we are living in a fallen world, and are therefore all the products of an abnormal situation. Pain, suffering, disease, hate, and violence are all a consequence of sin entering the world. I recently listened to a podcast in which John Piper describes Satan's hold of this world:
"He is global. I mean, his tail is sweeping down stars. It says in 1 John 5:19, 'The whole world lies in the power of the evil one.' That is just absolutely stunning. The whole world lies under or in the evil one. He was not bluffing when he said to Jesus, 'To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me' (Luke 4:6). This is why Jesus says he is 'the ruler of this world' (John 12:31; 14:30). And Paul calls him 'the god of this world' (2 Corinthians 4:4). It is why this age is called 'the present evil age' or 'the dominion of darkness' (Galatians 1:4; Colossians 1:13)." -- John Piper, A Case for Satan
In light of that, it is surprising that things aren't worse than they are - and our sinful, selfish behavior suddenly seems a little more normal.  What is truly abnormal then is anything but corruption. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (fruits of the Spirit) are not normal reactions to a world "in the power of the evil one", but are possible and even expected from a Christian - someone who has been transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

So I guess the gist of all of this is that I am an abnormal reaction in two senses. One, I am not perfect.  I sin.  I hurt myself and I hurt others.  I am by nature and nurture a flawed, dysfunctional creature.  However, in a second sense I am abnormal because this is no longer my identity and I therefore have the ability to change.

I just really confused myself but I hope some of that made sense.  Anyway, I hope you enjoy the blog.

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