Sunday, September 9, 2012

Finally started...

In my first post, I talked about wanting to create an Android app. But, to create an Android app first you have to learn how to create Android apps, right? Well, today I finally took the time to sit down and go through my first Android app tutorial. I created a simple "Hello World" app, and then added a text field with a simple button. It felt great. I've been meaning to read through a book that my good friend Jeff lent me about a month ago, but it just wasn't happening. I think I might get a book in the future for reference, but I wonder how useful that will be, given that Android keeps changing with every new API release.

Anyway, I got excited after finishing that tutorial, and wanted to tell the world about it.

Here's the link to said tutorial:

And this is the book that Jeff lent me, in case you're curious:

I hope I'll be able to post with more progress very soon. I can't wait to get started working on my app!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

King Cyrus... the messiah?!

I recently had an interesting conversation with a person that claimed that Cyrus was the real Christ.

Interested? I was.

This person started by saying that Isaiah 45:1 is the one verse that everyone ignores. I looked it up. In the ESV translation, the verse reads:

Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus,
     whose right hand I have grasped,
to subdue nations before him
    and to loose the belts of kings,
to open doors before him
    that gates may not be closed:
I was confused at first. I inquired further. He explained that in Hebrew (and whatever translation he uses) the word that is used to talk about Cyrus is "messiah". My first reaction was one of shock, because up until then, I'd never heard of such a claim.I don't know Hebrew, and I don't really have a formal background in theology, so the first thing that came to mind was to finish reading the chapter. It talks about how God will "subdue nations before [Cyrus]" and "will go before [Cyrus] and level the exalted places". But then we see in verse 4:
...I call you by your name,
     I name you, though you do not know me.
And again in verse 5
     ...I equip you, though you do not know me,
Would The Messiah, the Chosen One, not know God? We know that this is not true, as Isaiah himself writes elsewhere, and the Gospels mention how Jesus, the one true Messiah, knew God (indeed, he is God). 

After doing some research, it turns out that at the time of Isaiah, the title "anointed" (Hebrew "mashiah") was not a messianic one. As you can recall, many people in the Old Testament were anointed by God for different purposes. 1 Samuel 10 says that God anointed Saul "to be prince over his people Israel". 2 Samuel 12:7 says that God anointed David as king over Israel. On and on we could go.

In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul reminds us that "Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures". If Cyrus is the Christ, where is he? He is dead. Jesus Christ is the one true Messiah who was sent by God to live a perfect life, die a sinner's death on the cross, and come back to life on the third day for our justification. Jesus is God, whereas Cyrus was a mere man (albeit a powerful one) that God used to carry out His purposes.

However, there is something to be said about Cyrus, the king of Persia. He was the ruler of the Persian empire - the greatest empire of the time (greater than the Babylonian empire), and he was a man who respected culture and had mercy on his enemies. God used him to fulfill the prophecy that the Lord's temple would be rebuilt, and God's people would return from their exile to Babylon. In closing, I will quote Cyrus' words from the book of Ezra:

“Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israel— he is the God who is in Jerusalem.  And let each survivor, in whatever place he sojourns, be assisted by the men of his place with silver and gold, with goods and with beasts, besides freewill offerings for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.”

Cyrus the Great - Wikipedia
Cyrus: God's Anointed
ESV Study Bible

For reference, I recommend the ESV Study Bible. It's an awesome Bible which includes all kinds of useful information for each book of the Bible. It also includes a great section near the end (which I just found this morning) which explains in great detail many different topics related to Christianity, from what we believe to how we should share our faith.

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Another blog?!

Yep. I created another blog. It seems like ever since I started blogging, I've had a blog for different stages of my life. When I was single, living in Dallas, just living life, I created just wired. Then, as I felt God lead me to do overseas missions work, I created Pedro in Vietnam. While in Vietnam I met my now wife, Audrey, and we created The Borgeses. I'm now in Dallas again, except I'm married now, and going to a different church. Still same job as before, though.

So why this blog? Well, there are three ("new") major things that have been occupying my thoughts (and time) lately:

  • Being a dad. As I posted in The Borgeses, we are pregnant. Six months pregnant today, as a matter of fact! We're very excited to welcome our daughter to our family in November.
  • Theology. I've grown fond of reading all kinds of books on Christianity, but recently I've grown very interested in Christian theology. Along with that, God has been leading me to a greater love for Jesus and for people.
  • Android programming. For a while now I've thought I wanted to develop my own Android app, but it hasn't been until recently that I've actually gotten the ball rolling in this regard.

In this blog I'll be writing mainly about these three topics as I grow in each of them, but I probably will write about other things as/if they come to mind.