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Showing posts from July, 2009

The Great Escape

His eyebrows furrowed, he bit his lower lip in concentration. Long moments passed, his brain actually felt like it was burning he was thinking so hard. How had he not thought this through before? The questions troubled him, they were upsetting even and they shook beliefs he considered to be fundamental to his identity. Soon his stomach began to twist as the stress spread through his body. He clenched his fists, his shoulders stiffened. Then—then the moment came, and with it bliss and peace. “I guess I just don't know.” He smiled to himself and sighed. The dissonance would fade, the storm would pass overhead. He had successfully ducked another critical moment.

Label Me Christian (Wait, What Does That Mean?)

What above all else characterizes a Christian? The Republican party? Opposition to abortion and gay marriage? Is it creationism vs. evolution(ism)? Is it morality? The 10 commandments? The location of the 10 commandments in public places? Is it boycotts of offensive/immoral movies? Is it 7 steps to how to live life to its fullest? Is it don't drink, don't smoke, don't chew (or go with girls who do)? If one were to take a poll of non-Christians—heck, if a poll were taken of Christians themselves—what would be said to be the defining characteristic of a Christian? What would be that sine qua non of Christianity? Dare I venture to say, it's the Gospel that sets Christians apart? Call me “Captain Obvious” if you want, but this is a point I feel more and more compelled to spread. Christians ultimately are not set apart by their political or moral views or by their personalities, they are set apart by the salvation accomplished on their behalf by the Son of God

Weeping With Those Who Weep

C.S. Lewis wrote A Grief Observed in the midst of grieving the loss of his wife. He reflects on why her death should be causing him not only to mourn, but also to doubt in substantial ways his own faith. In chapter 3, he reminds himself that he had always known that such sorrowful things occur daily in the world. Nothing unexpected or unusual occurred in the passing of his wife. Though this time the unfortunate event had happened to himself, and not someone else. Lewis writes that his faith would not be so shaken if his concern for other people's sorrows had been real concern. He goes on to say, “If I had really cared, as I thought I did, about the sorrows of the world, I should not have been so overwhelmed when my own sorrow came.” I found this comment to be shockingly insightful, at least in regard to my own heart. How much do I actually care about the sorrows that go on in this world, especially when they extend beyond my immediate circle? When a child, whom I hav