30 Aug 2005
Aslan and God
George Sayer from “Jack,” the excellent Lewis biography:
“The figure of Aslan tells us more of how Lewis understood the nature of God than anything else he wrote. It has all the hidden power and majesty and awesomeness which Lewis associated with God, but also all the glory and the tenderness and even the humor which he believed belonged to him, so that children could run up to him and throw their arms around him and kiss him.” No wonder that my little stepdaughter, after she had read all the Narnia stories, cried bitterly, saying, “I don’t want to go on living in this world. I want to live in Narnia– with Aslan.”
Darling, one day you will.
20 Aug 2005
The idol of indulgence
When I was growing up, teen sex movies were all the rage. Often there was a “repressed,” self-righteous character who eventually learned that he was just as horny as everyone else. By the end of the film, he was joining in all the fun. That’s the Hugh Hefner way: Indulge your desires.
But is that what we really want? Scratch deeper and you find that we have conflicting desires. A married man may fantasize about an illicit relationship, but he also desires to be faithful and expects the same from his wife. Gossip is tasty but we would like ourselves better if we were above such cattiness. The alcoholic feels peace when drunk, but would he not be happier if he gave up that miserable lifestyle altogether? By indulging he quenches the desire for a bit, only to see it roar back stronger the next time, and a form of slavery is the result.
Self-indulgence begets emptiness. Suppressing evil desires fulfills a deep, God-given instinct for self-control. More importantly, it proclaims that we trust God when He says that He is our greatest possible source of happiness (eternal happiness!). Isaiah 55:2: “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.”
17 Aug 2005
All the denoms
15 Aug 2005
Luther on your miserable works
What is it about your own miserable works and doings that you think you could please God more than the sacrifice of His own Son? -Martin Luther
13 Aug 2005
A Glimpse of Heaven in Vladimir
As always in life, the best moments are unplanned. On the way to see the lovely Russian church shown in a previous post, we stopped with our guide in Vladimir. We stepped into the medieval Assumption Cathedral, perhaps around noon, by happenstance toward the end of Liturgy. Long candles were the only illumination inside the stone edifice, which was plain white on the outside, but ornate with gilding, paintings and icons in the cool, mostly dark interior. We walked amid the standing congregation but stayed respectfully toward the rear. The female-heavy choir filled the air with sweet and exalted chants. Congregants lit the votive candles. Amid the flickering paintings and gilding, in the candlelit darkness, the effect was overpowering, so ancient but eternally alive. At the end of the Eucharist, the Father proclaimed something, perhaps forgiveness. And how forcefully so!
Scripture says: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” Indeed. What a promise.
13 Aug 2005
Couple of interesting message boards:
08 Aug 2005
“…The whole earth is full of His glory.” Is. 6:3
07 Aug 2005
Piper: ESV, not NIV
John Piper has an opinion on Bible translations. More information here.
02 Aug 2005
Epistles, then Gospel
Bend your mind around this one and its implications:
A most astonishing misconception has long dominated the modern mind on the subject of St Paul. It is to this effect: that Jesus preached a kindly and simple religion (found in the Gospels) and that St Paul afterwards corrupted it into a cruel and complicated religion (found in the Epistles). This is really quite untenable. All the most terrifying texts came from the mouth of Our Lord: all the texts on which we can base such warrant as we have for hoping that all men will be saved come from St Paul. If it could be proved that St Paul altered the teaching of his Master in any way, he altered it in exactly the opposite way to that which is popularly supposed. But there is no real evidence for a pre-Pauline doctrine different from St Paul’s. The Epistles are, for the most part, the earliest Christian documents we possess. The Gospels come later. They are not ‘the Gospel’, the statement of the Christian belief. They were written for those who had already been converted, who had already accepted ‘the Gospel’. They leave out many of the ‘complications’ (that is, the theology) because they are intended for readers who have already been instructed in it. In that sense the Epistles are more primitive and more central than the Gospels — though not, of course, than the great events which the Gospels recount. God’s act (the Incarnation, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection) comes first: the earliest theological analysis of it comes in the Epistles: then, when the generation who had known the Lord was dying out, the Gospels were composed to provide for believers a record of the great Act and of some of the Lord’s sayings. -CS Lewis from “Modern Translations of the Bible”