2010, A Dream Home & Pseudo Glory

It’s the first day of the new year, 2010, and I am watching HGTV’s “Dream Home Giveaway” and at the back of my mind I am thinking of Arthur C. Clark’s novel 2010: Odyssey Two, which I have not read, but I remember the movie version where at the end Jupiter becomes a star, a new Sun in our solar system, named Lucifer, which is a cool name, even if I can’t purge it of the negative connotations it has in the Christian Tradition. I mean, literally the name means “light bearer,” but in the Christian faith it is said that Lucifer fell, lost his light, and became The Evil One, Satan, who still presents himself as an angel of light to deceive the whole world with his pseudo glory.

Perhaps glory and pseudo-glory will be my theme for the new year. Amidst the temptation to make new year’s resolutions, so that I can have a better life and be a better me, I will instead pray for God to show me all the ways I buy into false glory, so that I can pursue the only real glory that comes through faith and following him who made himself nothing to give everything to others.

6 Responses to “2010, A Dream Home & Pseudo Glory”

  1. Roger Green  

    OK, your Lucifer reference got me to thinking. The Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate Christmas OR Easter because of the pagan tradition in which each developed; they don’t celebrate Halloween for the same reason, but that’s not really on point. Should something evolving from co-opting the winter and spring festivals of the Gentiles be celebrated? I say YES, just like God can use the imperfect people like David (and us) to glorify.


  2. K.L.B.  

    I never have made New Year’s resolutions.

    HGTV, by the way, is based in Knoxville, TN.

    The glory we have – yes, humans have glory – is derived from the Almighty. What’s “pseudo” about that?

    The self-centeredness of Lucifer was his his downfall. Recall the five “I will…” phrases he uttered as recorded in Isaiah 14, which was his own undoing.

    All glory (which is a good and perfect gift) comes from God, whom has in turn graciously shared it with us.

    At the point when we lose sight of our gifted nature and believe that our glory is our own, rather than the gift which He gave us, is when we become like Lucifer, and begin the process of our own downfall.

  3. Anthony Velez  

    Roger – To embrace the practices of other cultures and turn them toward praise and celebration of God is central to the nature of Christianity. One of the critical beliefs of Christianity is that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, which is to say that God fully entered into the human condition and met us where we are to lift us into communion with him. Related to this is the conviction that God endowed us to be makers of culture, a reality implied in that we are made in God’s image, and in the call to exercise dominion. The deal is, the cultures we create express the sin that blights humanity. So, when missionaries go into cultures to bring the Gospel, hopefully they are mindful of two basic pitfalls. On the one hand they should be careful to not use the Gospel to export their culture, and thereby be open to how the Gospel might incarnate itself in the new culture (contextualization). On the other hand, they should be careful to not just embrace all practices present in a culture, as all cultures, in different ways, need redemption and transformation. This all means that discernment is always needed.

  4. Anthony Velez  

    Kevin – I think I am connecting with you insofar as pseudo-glory is any other way humans try to establish some kind of dignity or worth apart from the glory that God freely gives us.

  5. K.L.B.  

    All glory is from God. Remember “all things come from Thee O LORD, and of Thine own have we given Thee”? ref: 1 Chronicles 29:14

    There is no glory apart from God’s glory. It is His, it came from Him, it will return to Him.

    When humanity forgets that, they become like Lucifer – who said, “I will… I will… I will… I will… I will….” The so-called “big I and little you.”

    Me, me, me… self-centeredness, as opposed to God-centeredness.

    We cannot “establish some kind of dignity or worth apart from the glory that God freely gives us.

    We can, however, utilize it selfishly for our purposes. And that is the wrong doing. That is the perversion. That is the sin. That is the fall.

    The New Testament is replete – particularly in Romans – with examples of changing God’s glory into human glory, that is, glory apart from acknowledgment of its origin.

    What gift, skill or talent, for example, did you give to yourself?

    “But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?” ref: Luke 12:20 KJV

    The “dignity or worth” – as you now call it – is God’s and God’s alone. It came from Him, it will return to Him.

    There is nothing “apart from the glory that God freely gives us.”

    We cannot give ourselves anything.

    Did we give ourselves life?

  6. Anthony Velez  

    Kevin – Your point is well said, as it is absolutely true that all that we have is given to us from God. I think, however, what you are trying to correct in my post is really a matter of semantics. When I speak of establishing some kind of dignity or worth apart from God, I am not saying that we generate such things from nothing. Rather, I am saying that the world offers its own ways and means, as well as measures by which people attempt to distinguish themselves, and we can either seek to distinguish ourselves, construct an identity, through these means, or we can seek the face of God and his approval, and thereby partake of the glory the Messiah died to share with us.

    Think about the Garden narrative. Eve bought into the Serpent’s lie that God was holding out on her, and that God effectively did not want her to have a knowledge by which she would be like God. So, under the sway of temptation, and in an act of mistrust and rebellion, Eve partakes of the fruit believing that it was a path to glory, a glory she believed she could have on her own terms. This is what I am getting at.