Saturday, December 17, 2011
Friday, December 16, 2011
But our tendency is to fall into one of two traps. Either we accept the idea of discipleship through Narnia and rush to the moral or allegorical meaning of the stories prematurely, short-circuiting the actual breathing of Narnian air, or we dispense with the notion that the stories can be a component of Christian discipleship at all. “It’s just a story,” we think. And a children’s story at that.I found this fascenating. Having just been in the Holy Land with a group of people of diverse religious backgrounds, I think the child/adolescent/adult background really does kind of describe the Protestant/Catholic divide. If I may be so bold, the Protestants, especially Evangelicals, exhibited a bit of that stuck in adolescence stuff.
In response to those who regard adult lovers of fairy tales as childish and suffering from arrested development, Lewis turns the tables and reminds us that the obsession with being “grown-up” is the mark of adolescence, not adulthood. “When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up” (On Stories). Growing up doesn’t mean replacing old loves as much as it means adding new ones. Thus, a love of Aslan and Narnia ought not be limited to children, as though it were beneath adults. In fact, adults ought to be able to find more to love in the stories.
This group could not take joy in a thing for its own right, they had to analyze it. This group was always "outgrowing" stuff - alcohol, tobacco, laughter. It really is an apt description to say they were thrashing about trying to look like an adult instead of just being comfortable in their own skin as an adult.
This very much fit with my concern that we seem to be always saved, but rarely move forward from there.
I truly, honest prefer evangelical protestant theology to Catholic theology, but do seem to enjoy the company of Catholics.
What does that say about us? What does it say that a very protestant website had to publish such a warning?
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Hearing From God
Maybe, but I don't think so. See here is the real lesson God us trying to teach us - we are not the enter of everything, and sometimes He has more important things to do than deal with ME.I cry to you for help and you do not answer me; I stand, and you only look at me. You have turned cruel to me (Job 30:20-21).[...]
Can you identify with Job? You cry out to God in your affliction and you see nothing change. It seems like he’s just standing there watching you writhe. It feels cruel.
But this is not, in fact, true. What is true is that God is doing far more in our affliction than we know.
But we do know this: God was answering Job when it seemed he wasn’t. And God was remembering David when David cried, “Will you forget me forever?” (Psalm 13:1). And when Jesus cried, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46), God had turned his face away from our sin, only to raise his Son from the dead to undying, unsurpassed, and eternal glory.
Your suffering may be inscrutable today. But in reality it is preparing for you “an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17). Take heart and hold on.
OK, pick on my words and the lack of omniscience and omnipotence in the way I phrased that if you like, but the message is not "God will make everything alright for you." The message is "Even Christ suffered because that was what mattered most in the big Godeye scheme of things." See, your suffering is not always about you!
He is God for crying out loud and you, or me, are just one tiny speck of like in a universe full of life. There is a lot more at stake than just your, or my, individual situation. The lesson we need to learn is that we do not matter that much.
Think about it, kind of takes your mind off the perceived suffering, doesn't it?
In this day and age there is no more important lesson than to get over oneself.
Related Tags: Illuminated Scripture
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
When does a pastor tainted by scandal deserve forgiveness?They look at the case involving some black mega-churches around Atlanta but from Jim Bakker to Ted Haggard to this pastor that bled the budget I know - this is an important question.
Sadly, the discussion is not about forgiveness, really, its about allowing the pastor to hold their position, which is a different question.
Let's say you are my pastor and I give you a donation check for thousands of dollars that you cash and deposit to your personal account. You get caught. You come to me and ask for forgiveness - will I forgive you? Sure, I'll make things right between you and I, buit if I am on the ruling board of the church, at a minimum I am going to change the system so you never handle money again, might even vote you out of a job.
Fact of the matter is I am sick and tired of pastors claiming "forgiveness" as a means of holding their positions. It's political bull&*^* and has nothing whatsoever to do with God's concept of forgiveness.
God forgives us so we can change our lives - not keep them the same. This kind of stuff is the ultimate cheap grace. It shames God, it shames he church, it's just wrong!
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
How Would Jesus FaceBook?
It’s not a Technology Issue, It’s a Relationship IssueBut then the series sort of defies that wisdom. It gets very analytical about relationships - ordering them, shepherding them, categorizing them. Struck me as very "inauthentic" to borrow a pop word.
Relationships are spontaneous. Nothing that analytical is spontaneous. But more, genuine relationship requires self-revelation. When one is that strategic in relationship, how much genuine self- revelation is going on?
Monday, December 12, 2011
If you are not familiar with Timothy Willard and Jason Locy, you should be. Not only are they two of the most articulate, creative and thoughtful guys you’ll ever meet, they are unpretentious, unassuming and quite brilliant. Their new book, Veneer: Living Deeply in a Surface Society, should be required reading for everyone who has wrestled with the tension of living the life you want and living the life you live.Haven't read the book yet, so my comments here are not review - rather they are springboarded by the idea.
Perhaps the thing I most have a problem with in a media driven society is that we care more about appearance than reality. What is really interesting is that even "behind the scenes" and "realty TV" is heavily produced, staged, and if not scripted, at least plotted. In other words there is nothing real about it.
People have always worked to "put up a front," but it seems more pronounced to this observer in this age. Actually, that's a wrong way to state it, people no longer put up a front - they are simply becoming only front. No longer do we scratch the surface and find ugliness, now we scratch the surface and find nil - and frankly that is ugly.
Jesus Christ died on a cross and was resurrected so that we could do more than fix our appearance - He did so in order to fix what lay beneath. If we deny that we deny Christ's work.