Friday, 12 October 2012

A reason for engaging cultural life

 If you attempted, in either case, to suspend your whole intellectual and aesthetic activity, you would only succeed in substituting a worse cultural life for a better. You are not, in fact, going to read nothing, either in the Church or in the line: if you don't read good books, you will read bad ones. If you don't go on thinking rationally, you will think irrationally. If you reject aesthetic satisfactions, you will fall into sensual satisfactions.
 -- from "Learning in War-time"(p52 of The Weight of Glory by C. S. Lewis)

Engage the culture - enjoy good music, good books, even good movies, but don't let bad music, bad books, or bad movies flood your mind.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Rejecting made-up Jesuses

Why and how would you reject this Jesus?

But I cannot apply to divine matters a method of exegesis which I have already rejected with contempt in my profane studies. Any theory which bases itself on a supposed "historical Jesus" to be dug out of the Gospels and then set up in opposition to Christian teaching is suspect. There have been too many historical Jesuses - a liberal Jesus, a pneumatic Jesus, a Barthian Jesus, a Marxist Jesus. They are the cheap crop of each publisher's list, like the new Napoleons and new Queen Victorias. It is not to such phantoms that I look for my faith and my salvation.
 -- from "Why I am not a Pacifist" by C. S. Lewis (p. 88, The Weight of Glory)

I hope, by this quote, people wouldn't misunderstand and think the historical Jesus is actually to be rejected. It is what we may in our days call, the reconstruction of historical Jesus that we must reject. It is the biblical Jesus, that is also the real historical Jesus we must embrace for our faith and salvation.

As a side note, it is interesting that, while Lewis himself had some theological problems, he doesn't seem to have had much patience for Barth.

Saturday, 6 October 2012


Last time I posted, it was about prayer. It was specifically about Christian prayer. Since then, I was privileged to listen to several wonderful sermons on Christian prayer. Now that I am once again reminded of what prayer is, and how we ought to pray, I want to point out a possible misunderstanding from my previous post.
"Cliche" is not the worst enemy of the prayer. What I think Eugene Peterson was suggesting was that we shouldn't just recite the words and think we prayed. In the similar light, but perhaps a bit more concretely and explicitly, Phillip Jensen points out from Matthew 6:5-15 that it's the sincerity and the content that matter over the length, eloquence, strict style or frequency. And it all has to do with who God is.

There are several other sermons on prayer by Phillip Jensen, but this one maybe a great place to start.

(note: the audio quality isn't so great on this particular sermon, but I don't think you'll find it hard to follow.)