Friday, 18 August 2017

The Purity Principle, Randy Alcorn

“Confessing your sins is great, confessing your temptations is even greater" - Randy Alcorn

This article is a summary of the book The Purity Principle by Randy Alcorn. The book discusses sexual purity, why is important to maintain sexual purity and how we can achieve the same. Randy quotes the scripture as and when required in order to authenticate the message he wants to convey to the reader through this book. Nobody is free from temptations. Even pastors are prone to temptations. Throughout the book, Randy shares his own experiences and thus the reader is able to connect with the author.

The book begins with a brief account of the lives of various people such as Eric and Tiffany (fictitious names, probably) who have pursued immoral, impure paths of life and ended up with disastrous results. Although God forgave their mistakes, they had reached a point of no return in their lives. This was because, as Randy asserts, punishment is built into sins we commit. Randy views purity as wise and impurity as stupidity.

Sin can be of various types. However sexual sin is different from other kinds of sin. Sodom and Gomorrah, the cities destroyed by God, had fallen deeply into sexual sin. Paul reiterates this in his letters to the Corinthians (1 Cor 6:18) and the Thessalonians (1 Thess 4: 3-8). An interesting point to note is that sex is more of what you are, rather than what you do. Sex defines us. Thus it is important to purify ourselves by keeping away from sexual sin. Also, by accepting Jesus as the Christ, we were bought at a price and hence, our body belongs to God (1 Cor 6:19-20). As a result, we cannot do anything that we please with our body.

When it comes to temptations, Christians are the most vulnerable because of the constant threat from the devil. It is important to be careful about the mind to maintain purity. Sometimes, it is better to avoid temptation rather than resist temptation. Notice how avoid is different from resist. If we keep resisting, we are subjecting ourselves to the temptation. On the other hand, when we avoid temptations, we are staying away from them altogether.

Randy lists down various aspects of life where it is necessary to maintain a pure mind and body and thereby follow the purity principle. In spite of the wickedness of larger sins such as infidelity, it is important to focus on the lesser ones that feed our minds on a daily basis in the form of media, peers, novels, movies and arts. For example, if we regularly watch a TV programme that shows immoral content then avoid it. We live in an era where media and technology (e.g. Whatsapp, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram) can control our lives immensely. We have to have a prudent approach towards the manner in which we use these resources. Randy contrasts his words with what Jesus instructed in Mathew 5:29. Randy claims that whatever he instructed is nothing radical compared to Jesus’ command.

Randy makes it a point to handle the cases of singles, and married couples differently. Single, unmarried men and women, should prepare themselves for their marriage. Randy explores various issues related to dating, masturbation, and peer pressure. Now for married couples and parents, Randy observes that umpteen marriages have suffered due to dishonesty by either of the partners. Even after entering into marriage, we are not free from sexual temptations. It is necessary for couples to be open with each other about everything, especially sexual temptations, and request prayers from one another.

The book concludes with a discussion on maintaining accountability with others. Randy recalls how on one occasion he underwent temptation and how the temptation vanished after a phone call with his friend. Thus, we are in a constant battle with the devil. However, this is a battle that we can win. It is indeed possible to avoid temptations and thereby maintain sexual purity and holiness.

And that's what The Purity Principle is all about!

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Blogs/Websites that I follow

I share here some of the blogs that I follow. Most of the articles in these blogs are about research, education, PhD, and computer science.
I hope these blogs will be of help to you.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Maps

The map lists various areas of study that come under the aegis of mathematics. It is a Herculean task to enumerate all the disciplines in mathematics. Dominic has done an amazing job here.
  • Foundations - Fundamental Rules, Mathematical Logic, Set Theory, Category Theory, Theory of Computation, Complexity Theory 
  • Pure Mathematics
    • Number Systems - Natural Numbers, Integers, Rational Numbers, Real Numbers, Complex Numbers,
    • Structures - Number Theory, Combinatorics, Algebra, Linear Algebra, Group Theory, Order Theory
    • Spaces - Geometry, Trigonometry, Fractal Geometry, Differential Geometry
    • Changes - Calculus, Vector Calculus, Chaos Theory, Dynamical Systems, Complex Analysis
  • Applied Mathematics - Numerical Analysis, Game Theory, Economics, Engineering, Computer Science, Machine Learning, Probability, Statistics, Cryptography, Optimization, Biomathematics, Mathematical Physics, Mathematical Chemistry

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Vijay Amritraj @ IITM

I had the opportunity to listen to Vijay Amritraj as part of Shaastra '17.

He is a great orator. He has worked as the messenger of peace in United Nations, directly reporting to the then UN general secretary Kofi Annan. The Vijay Amritraj Foundation takes up various social causes.

He is confident of the improvements taking place in the sports scenario of the country. When he was playing tennis in the 70s, cricket was the only sport in India. Now, people in India pursue and follow various other sports such badminton, chess, shooting, kabaddi, and wrestling.

He commented that people in our country like to play everything safe. That is the reason why still not many people pursue sports as a career. He is confident that there is talent in the country.

He remarked that technological advents, such as computer ranking and hawk eye prediction, has impacted tennis in many ways. The average height of players has gone higher. The strength of rackets has increased. The surface has become slower. The ball has become heavier. The quality of the game has improved a lot.