Tag Archives: book

Time to buy a new book

“The Church is like the fat guy at the gym talking about healthy living.”

You might want to look into getting a copy too!

 

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In that day – judgment

I have been an avid CS Lewis reader for many years. My Mom introduced me to The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe during Junior High and I at once learned to love the insight and magic of Lewis’ writings. His strong vision of good and evil, the ability to take fantasy and anchor it into reality have kept me reading. In his book the Problem with Pain, he touches on the subject of Hell. He refers to it as doctrine, as so it is, and at the same time it is a reality which Jesus speaks of many times.

I leave it to you to read….

On hell

There is no doctrine which I would more willingly remove from Christianity than this, if it lay in my power. But it has the full support of Scripture and, specially, of Our Lord’s own words; it has always been held by Christendom; and it has the support of reason. If a game is played, it must be possible to lose it. If the happiness of a creature lies in self-surrender, no one can make that surrender but himself (though many can help him to make it) and he may refuse. I would pay any price to be able to say truthfully “All will be saved.” But my reason retorts, “Without their will, or with it?” If I say “Without their will” I at once perceive a contra- diction; how can the supreme voluntary act of self-surrender be involuntary? If I say “With their will,” my reason replies “How if they will not give in?”. . .

The doors of Hell are locked on the inside. I do not mean that the ghosts may not wish to come out of Hell, in the vague fashion wherein an envious man “wishes” to be happy: but they certainly do not will even the first preliminary stages of that self-abandonment through which alone the soul can reach any good. They enjoy forever the horrible freedom they have demanded, and are therefore self-enslaved: just as the blessed, forever submitting to obedience, become through all eternity more and more free.

Walter Brueggemann

I’m not sure why I did not come across the writings of Walter Brueggemann as a younger man. His gift to me, and I suspect the church, is a way of phrasing things that connect not only with my head causing me to nod in agreement even as I am reading, but he causes my heart to agree. Not what on earth do we mean by referring to the heart as agreeing?

It’s a strange phrase, and yet I suspect that some of you will know exactly what I mean. It is as if our spirit finds agreement with the spirit of the writer. We sense that it is not just our minds that agree but something deeper within us is in agreement. As my heart I agrees I find myself thinking there is a great truth here.

I suppose that’s why I’ve been a reader of CS Lewis such a long time. He reflects the Gospel story clearly in the Narnia tales. He leaves me with no argument against God’s love and grace in Mere Christianity. So it is with Brueggemann.

Here’s one of his prayers for your head and heart.

The Other Side of The Street

Just when we imagined that we have you figured out
you show up working the other side of the street
in your frightening freedom.
You meet us behind and before
as promise and as threat,
and we are overmatched whenever we sit to deal with you.
So we bid you to pay less vigorous attention to us
and we bid you give us the freedom and courage
that we may withstand you
in ways that are proper to you and to us.
We pray in the name of the utterly humble One
whom you therefore exalted.
Give us wisdom and freedom
that we may sense the ways in which we may best live in this world
where the last become first and the first become last. Amen.