Martin Luther: The Great Work of the Christian

14 03 2013

Challenging words from the good doctor:

A truly Christian work is it that we descend and get mixed up in the mire of the sinner as deeply as he sticks there himself, taking his sin upon ourselves and floundering out of it with him, not acting otherwise than as if his sin were our own.  We should rebuke and deal with him in earnest; yet we are not to despise but sincerely love him.  If you are proud toward the sinner and despise him, you are utterly damned.

-Martin Luther, Church Postil 2.261

 





What are the essential elements of a revival?

20 12 2011

I’m not sure to be honest, although I think I could take a stab at it.  Nevertheless, below are the four essentials of the great Welsh revival of the 18th century.  I found number two particularly convicting as the Gospel that does not include regeneration (the new birth, new creation, etc.) is really only half the Gospel (if that!).  Perhaps the only thing I would ask to this list is prayer.  Would you add anything?

  1. A bold forward spirit, which dared to oppose untruth and extravagance in a determined and public manner.
  2. A clear proclamation of evangelical truths from war, passionate hearts.  In particular, the necessity of regeneration and of the work of the Holy Spirit were emphasized.
  3. The ministry of unordained men, if they possessed preaching skills.
  4. A loving care for the converted, particularly by means of the societies (i.e. small groups)

taken from Jones and Morgan’s The Calvinistic Methodist Fathers of Wales Vol I. pg 17





Santa, Fairy Tales, C.S. Lewis, and Pre-Evangelism

19 12 2011

 The author’s logic is the type that makes me squirm while simultaneously perking my interest.  At the end of the day, I like it…I think

I suspect that fairy tales and Santa Claus do prepare us to embrace the ultimate Fairy Tale, the one Lewis believed was ingrained in our being. New research from the Université de Montréal and the University of Ottawa indicates that children aren’t overly troubled upon learning that Santa is a myth. But the researchers remained puzzled because while children eventually abandon Santa, they keep believing in God. Lewis would say this is because God is real, but Mr. Dawkins fears it is the lasting damage of fairy tales. While Mr. Dawkins stands ironically alongside Puritans in his readiness to ban fairy tales, Christian apologists like Lewis and Chesterton embraced them, precisely because to embrace Christian dogma is to embrace the extrarational.

Today’s Christian apologists, by contrast, seek to reason their way to God by means of archaeological finds, anthropological examinations and scientific argumentation. That’s all well and good, but it seems to miss a fundamental point illuminated by Chesterton, which is that, ultimately, belief in God is belief in mystery.

read it all here