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I realise this is stating the obvious, but C.S. Lewis really was brilliant.

I’ve just been listening to the dramatisation of ‘The Silver Chair’ on BBC 7, and its very good – almost word for word. Which means that some great little conversations are included that could easily be missed out in a larger ‘edit’.

One such passage goes as follows. The brave band have managed to find prince Rillian and broken the spell that has bound him in the underworld. However the evil witch has returned and is once more casting spells – this time convincing the group that there is no such place as Narnia that that the ‘overworld’ is just made up…

[The children are trying to describe Aslan, by saying he’s like a large cat, with a mane like a judge’s wig] “I see,” said the witch, “that we should do no better with your ‘lion’ as you call it, than we did with your ‘sun’. You have seen lamps, and so you imagine a bigger and better lamp and called it the ‘sun’. You’ve seen cats, and now you want a bigger and better cat, and its to be called a ‘lion’. Well, ’tis a pretty make-believe, though it would suit you all better if you were younger…”

She leads the children to the conclusion that there is no Narnia, there is no ‘Aslan’ and there is no sun. All these are figments of their imaginations – conjured up because they see reality and want something bigger and better.

I don’t think it’d take a Christian rocket scientist to work out what he’s alluding to. I’ve certainly had people argue that God is simply a figment of our imagination because its clear he’s a collection of things we know, just made bigger.

What Lewis does here is show up what a weak argument that is.

But as I ponder it there’s another reason that this is a weak argument. Its that God is not just a bigger version of us, but he is so different to us. In his character, and in his call to his people he goes above and beyond what we would expect and perhaps even desire. That’s why so many don’t like the idea of following him. Its not that he’s just a better version of us – he’s something beyond us, and yet by his grace, as his Spirit works in us he changes to be like him – Holy as God is Holy.

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Reading Tim Keller’s book ‘The Prodigal God’ has really awakened me to some errors in my own life.

I was reading chapter 6 ‘Redefining Hope’ and Keller starts talking about home. He notes how we often have a longing for a ‘moment’ or a memory of something, and we think that in that thing we will find what our hearts long for.

I experienced this for many years as a child with my birthday. My birthday for me was a day I always looked forward to, a special day that was meant to be unlike any other. And so when that day came each year I would want to make the most of every second of every minute of that day. I would live it intensely wanting to soak up every experience.

But it always, ultimately disappointed. Sure the parties were fun as a child, the presents were nice. But it was always over too soon and then I’d have another year to wait for that next glimpse of what I longed would be there.

Perhaps you’ve had similar experiences with other things. Read the rest of this entry »

Check out this review of Tim and Steve’s book ‘Total Church’, by Michael Jensen…

http://your.sydneyanglicans.net/indepth/articles/total_church_critique/

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A Review of Mission after Christendom by David Smith

Society is changing, but so many in Christian missions appear to act as if not much has really changed in the past two hundred years. We still think of the unconverted as ‘over there’. We still talk of ‘crusades’ and ‘conquering’. I read a recent example of this in Exploring the New Testament written by Howard Marshall where he described Paul’s missionary journeys with the militaristic phrase ‘campaign’s’. The West can no longer be thought of as ‘Christendom’. We live in a society that has left modernism and rationalism behind and replaced it with post-modernism, secularisation and globalisation. The centre of Christianity has moved from the Northern hemisphere to the southern. This all presents a challenge to modern missions that David Smith seeks to address in this book. He explains that we could react with one of three responses; Read the rest of this entry »

Edward T. Welch “Depression – A Stubborn Darkness”
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Often we address issues by asking ‘how to’ questions, but Welch in this book is more concerned with starting with the question ‘why?’ Depression is a complex issue, there are many factors to the equation including physical issues that contribute, however we need to look at the root problem if we’re going to find any answers.
Welch describes the feeling of depression with a myriad of words; hell, nothingness, complete absence, mental pain, meaninglessness, inability to make decisions, no certainty except the misery, guilt, shame, worthlessness, flat, grey, cold, lack of interest, numb. He identifies two main definitions of depression; 1. Dysthymic disorder/situational depression which is akin to discontent and 2. Major disorder/clinical depression which is hopelessness.
There is a danger that we reduce depression purely to physical causes, which is our tendency today in the west. The problem with this approach is that it leaves no room to deal with our relationship with God, no room to learn from suffering. However, there is also a danger that we reduce the cause merely to sin. Read the rest of this entry »

Michael Tinker is a professional musician and part of the Crowded House which is a church planting initiative in Sheffield and around the world. He's a follower of Jesus, Husband, Father, member of a Gospel Community, Musician and avid follower of fashion...

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