BRILLIANT AND BEAUTIFUL BLOG
Two Roads to Live On
Thoughtful observers are in agreement that our culture is sick. We are morally confused. We are cracked, violated, and vicious. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think we’re much worse than any previous culture. The difference between earlier cultures and ours is not in terms of our lack of virtue, but the lack of knowledge of virtue. As Peter Kreeft so boldly puts it, we are the most freakish culture in the history of the west—because we have loosed our lives from the pursuit of God—and we are the weakest culture in the history of the west—because we no longer act based on objective moral principles, and thus have no objective standard with which to judge and no objective source of power for change.
Man’s Four Hungers
In his famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6). Blessed—happy—satisfied—whole—are those who hunger and thirst for his righteousness, for they will be filled. This sounds like good news to me! Don’t we all want to be blessed, happy, satisfied, and whole? Surely we all long for such a blessed state of affairs. But then why are so many today broken, fragmented, cracked, and potted?
The Blinding Friday Night Lights
We’ve just moved from Middle America to Texas. To say there is a bit of culture shock is an understatement. Things are a bit different down here. Don’t get me wrong. I love Texas. I married a Texan. I’m a Spurs fan. I remember the Alamo. We eat breakfast tacos. I even have a cowboy hat, which I dutifully wear at each commencement at graduation at SWBTS where I teach. (I don’t, however, have cowboy boots – I’ve drawn a line in the sand on that one). It’s just going to take a bit of getting used to, that’s all.
What is the Origin of Religion?
How, or why, did religion originate? More to the point, did religion begin with God or man? It has become commonplace since the Enlightenment to understand the origin and development of religion in naturalistic terms: Religion is man-made. It is a crutch for the weak-minded. It is a feeling of absolute dependence. It is a projection of our father figure. It is the Mysterium Tremendum. It is rooted in universal archetypes of the human subconscious.
What does -God Loves You- mean?
We long to be loved and to love. Yet we love imperfectly, and often disorderedly. But there is one who loves perfectly–God–and widely. In fact, God loves the whole world, Jesus says in the oft-quoted John 3:16. But what does it mean? How does God love man?
Given the great gulf between the Creator and creature, we can only apprehend, according to C. S. Lewis, God’s love of man through various analogies. From the various types of love known among creatures, we can formulate a partial picture of God’s love for us.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind and the God Who Made It
I just finished reading William Kamkwamba’s inspiring book The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. In the autobiography (co-written with Bryan Mealer), Kamkwamba shares his childhood story of growing up in the impoverished country of Malawi, a country where magic rules and modern science is often viewed with suspicion and mystery.
The (Spiritual) Danger of Too Much Technology
In our increasingly technologically driven world, it is easy to settle for the image of something instead of the thing itself. Instead of meeting face-to-face with friends, we interact over Facebook. Instead of going hunting, or fishing, or dancing, or playing baseball or basketball or ping pong, we stand in front of a TV with a remote control and live a virtual life, mediated through high-definition (“real life”) monitors.
Playing God, Power, and the Gospel
In a good book, there will there be one real gem—a new idea, insight, or way of looking at the world—that is both illuminating and profound. In Andy Crouch’s latest, Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power, there is a treasure of new insights related to the notions of power, idolatry, and the gospel story that make this a great book.
Anti-intellectualism: The Trojan Horse Within the Church
We are in trouble. We no longer possess, as a culture, the ability to think well about the things that matter most. When it comes to thinking about the nature or existence of God, the purpose of life, or the morality of war, homosexuality, or abortion, we are guided more by our feelings than reason. When we want to find knowledge, largely, as a culture we look to scientists and not philosophers or theologians. As a result, our culture is fixated on image, celebrities, experience, slogans, and thirty-second sound bites. We no longer possess the ability to think well about things that matter most. And the church is no different than the broader culture it finds itself within.
Death By Living
Life is a story. You are mortal. There was a time when you were not. There will be a time when you exit the stage of this life. The past is the fruit of providence and thousands of personal narratives that led to you. You did not choose where to set your feet. You did not choose when to enter the stage. You choose where to set them next. You choose what to do now that you are on stage. You walk across the wet concrete of time and shape the world with your life. And then you die. Spent. Spend it well.