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C. S. Lewis on How We Come to Embrace a Thoughtful Christian Worldview

I have written on several occasions about the subject of worldview. I often think the term is used improperly or too broadly. It has even become a way of saying, in a most sectarian manner, that "I have a robust Christian worldview and you do not." I wonder when I hear such a claim if the claimant has a clue what they are talking about or if they are just parroting something they picked up along the way.

Discarded Image One thinker who clearly understood this idea was C. S. Lewis. The last book Lewis wrote was The Discarded Image. It is an introduction to medieval and renaissance literature. In this book he writes (pages 222-23) that:

It is not possible that our own Model [by which he meant what we generally mean by the term worldview] will die a violent death, ruthlessly smashed by an unprovoked assault of new facts—unprovoked as the nova of 1572. But I think it

When People Stop Believing in God

The famous twentieth century Catholic writer G. K. Chesterton once said, "When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing—they believe in anything." This is profoundly true and our time increasingly demonstrates this point in day-to-day life.

There can be no doubt about the fact that we are experiencing a dramatic social and moral upheaval in today's world. This amounts to a seeming breakdown in values and morals altogether. Ours has become a non-stop world. We cannot stop it nor can we find a place to stop in it. Boundaries are less and less important, whether political, cultural or religious. We call this globalization in business but in the West it is causing the disintegration of almost everything we valued in the past as true life. It also increasingly subordinates virtually everything we know and believe to cash flow and maximizing profits. Add to this a growing commitment to individualism and the end result is spiritually and morally deadly. The concept of the good, of what is really proper and proportionate, is being lost. Faithful or unfaithful, it doesn't really matter.

By |January 14th, 2010|Categories: Lordship of Christ|

Are You in the Redemption Business?

0509200502131img_47442_thumbnail1_t I recently read a quote on a Web site recently that struck me as provocative, if not altogether theologically accurate. The owners of a particular agribusiness described their purpose with these words: "We are in the redemption business: healing the land, healing the food, healing the economy, and healing the culture. Writing, speaking and farm tours offer various message venues."

Now I've seen a lot of mission statements, both for congregations and organization, but I've never read one quite like this. This one is unique for several reasons. But is it right?

Redemption is the central category of Christian theology. It explains the Christian proclamation of Jesus as the Christ, as our redeemer and savior. The English word "redemption" literally means a buying back. The term is closely associated, but distinct from, other terms like atonement, and reconciliation. Salvation might be the broadest term to describe all three: redemption, atonement and reconciliation. All of these terms refer to a gracious transition from

By |December 9th, 2009|Categories: Lordship of Christ|

Seek God Obediently

We are regularly urged to seek God in and through the Bible. The problem is that we have turned this "seeking" into a type of passivity that passes for reasonableness and calm. I believe in reasonableness and calm but I do not believe in seeking God in any other way than obediently. John R. W. Stott says it so well: "This is the hardest condition of all to fulfill. In seeking God we have to be prepared not only to revise our ideas but to reform our lives."

Evangelicals seem to have forgotten that the Christian gospel has a moral challenge inherent in it. Since we stress grace alone we forget that grace, if it is real grace, is never alone. If the gospel is true then those who believe it, really and truly believe it, must act upon it. The moral challenges that one finds in following Jesus are not optional, or add-on extras, for those who want to get rewards in heaven.

Stott is again provocative and helpful when he says: "So God

By |March 21st, 2009|Categories: Lordship of Christ|

He is Risen

Without the resurrection Christianity falls apart. With it the Church has a clear word that marks it and equips it to engage the entire world with a message of hope.  I pray that you found today’s celebration of his resurrection a time of incredible joy filled with the gospel of peace. It brings to a close a long phase of the church year and opens up to us a whole new season to follow.

All Christians, East and West, celebrated Easter on the same date this year, which doesn’t happen too often. This fact, in itself, brought a sense of the unity of the church to my own mind today. May the Holy Spirit give all Christians a deeper experience of their inherent unity in the months ahead. Amen.

By |April 8th, 2007|Categories: Lordship of Christ|

Jesus Changes Everything

Bishop William Temple once said, "Christ was not a man, but Man, he was not a god, but God." Pilate, when he looked at Jesus to examine him, concluded "Here (Behold) is the man" (John 19:5). There is more in this confession than perhaps he knew. Pilate recognizes, in ways beyond the ordinary, that this was not just any man, but rather this was: "The Man." He was not a man among many other men, a prophet, a great teacher or a moral leader among others. Jesus was Christos, the messiah, "the man of God’s own choosing" as Luther put it. He was, and is, unique.

E. Stanley Jones, one of my favorite twentieth century writers, once wrote, "In him we see what man is and how far he has fallen, in him we see what God is and how far we may rise. He is the universal meeting us personalized. Since I am a person, the universal must meet me pesonalized." And Jones adds, "Jesus changes everything he touches. Call him a man, and you will have to change your ideas

By |March 21st, 2007|Categories: Lordship of Christ|

Follow Me

The most consistent invitation the Gospel writers attribute to Jesus is found in the plain words: "Follow me." This command is often found in conjunction with references to "taking up the cross" and to "dying" to one’s self. The implications are pretty plain if you know the place of the cross in the ancient world.

It never ceases to amaze me, over the course of decades of ministry in America, that so many preachers and everyday Christians miss this simple, frequently given, exhortation when it comes to inviting people to come to Christ. We have all kinds of formulas for telling people how to come to Christ but almost never do we actually tell people what Jesus plainly says about this matter.

N.T. Wright, in one of his frequent moments of insight into the text of the Gospels, suggests that Jesus’ invitation to faith and discipleship could best be summarized, at least in our culture, in these simple words: "Give up your own agenda and follow me!" I agree. If you would follow Christ now, and in this New Year,

By |January 6th, 2006|Categories: Lordship of Christ|