C.S. Lewis is the man. Let me just say that right now. If he had lived 1800 years earlier, he would have had at least one book in the Bible, I have no doubt. Go into a bookstore or your favorite online bookseller and select literally any book he ever wrote—every single one of them are classics. Well, except maybe for Till We Have Faces; unless you’re really really into the whole mythology behind the story of Cupid and Psyche you probably won’t get much out of it. But every other book he wrote is just absolutely chock-full of his classic wit, penetrating insight, and abundant imagination.
I know it’s been quite a bit more than the ‘few weeks’ I said it would be until my next post. Sorry ‘bout that; life kinda got in the way, as I’m sure many of you can relate to.
2010 was for me a terrific year of spiritual growth and maturation…mainly because it was also a year of relentless financial and worldly hardships. When I look back on the year, though, the hardships aren’t what I see. What I see is God sustaining us through every uncertain month, in a different and unexpected way each time. I see more than ever God keeping his promises to my family, not in some theological kind of abstract ‘God is always with you’ way, but in a real, flesh and blood, down-in-the-trenches-with-us manner. (And we would like to give special thanks to all of those people who acted as His hands in helping to sustain us).
I love the phrasing in the New King James version of the story of the homebuilders–it’s epic and vivid and dramatic:
Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”Matthew 7:24-29
I’ll stand here right now and thank Jesus for those words. Boy howdy are they true. There have been a few moments lately where all I could do was just hang on to something and hope not to be blown away.
I’ve always loved Jesus’ teaching of the wise and foolish builders. You know the story—two guys are each getting ready to build their new house. The first guy builds his house on bedrock; the other guy builds his house on sand. I always imagined that 2nd guy being really excited about the awesome beachfront property he got for a steal.
Anyway, as soon as the men get their houses built, the mother of all storms hits. And I’m sure most of you have had your attention called to this fact:
The storm fell upon both men.
One day my wife and I were talking and she suddenly asked me something regarding one of the most well-known stories in the Bible: the Garden of Eden. A story you and I and everyone else have heard hundreds, if not thousands, of times. Here’s the kicker:
In my 35 years of following Jesus I had never even thought of the question she asked me.
In my last post I talked about how God is into redeeming rather than destroying. Whether it’s a life or a situation, He is a master at weaving the black threads of life into a larger tapestry of grace and goodness.
But what about the word ‘Christian’—is that something we should work to reclaim? The word itself has become so overused and abused that it hardly holds any meaning whatsoever anymore. “Christian” is supposed to mean ‘follower of Christ,’ but it’s become like the word ‘love’ or ‘awesome’—used in so many different ways that it doesn’t really mean anything anymore. In fact, I think that when most non-Christians think of that word, they think of Bad Christians.
The weekend of my wedding—it must have been at our rehearsal dinner—one of my family members on my father’s side made an odd suggestion. He said that I should drop our family name and take my wife’s surname instead.
This wasn’t because he disliked me and thought I wasn’t worthy of carrying the name. Rather, it was the opposite: he thought our family name wasn’t worth carrying on. I’m not sure how serious he was about this suggestion, but I know it wasn’t an idle joke. He was at least 50% serious when he made it.
This week could not have been a better example to me of why I can’t watch the opinion-news (or ‘opinutainment’ as I like to call them nowadays) channels.
Welcome to the Skeptical Believer!
I started this blog in tandem with the upcoming publication of my first book, Who’s Got God? Co-written with a colleague, it’s an honest exploration of faith, truth, and finding common ground with those who see the universe differently.
The Skeptical Believer is all about taking an honest look at faith. Let’s face it–all of us have questions and doubts about our worldview no matter what we believe in. My premise is that it’s vital to meet these challenges, confront them head-on, and be able to admit that we don’t have all the answers. And just as importantly, to never settle for pat, skin-deep cop-outs when it comes to the most profound and sometimes troubling issues of life.