SEARCHING FOR SUNDAY

And one can certainly agree the church is not supposed to be a museum for plastic saints, but rather a hospital for sick sinners. But the church should never never become just like an AA meeting (one suggestion in this book). Why not? Because while we need such meetings, the church should not be focusing on our own brokenness and mainly sharing about that. We should be focusing on His brokenness when he hung on the cross, precisely so we will get away from our self-centered fixation with our own flaws and foibles. The church needs to be relentlessly theocentric in its worship, fellowship, and praxis, not anthropocentric.

One of the things I really appreciate about Rachel and her writings is that she is honest, painfully honest about her own doubts, her own struggles. She longs for a church where it is o.k. to have questions and doubts and to discuss them. So do I. We have too little of that in the Evangelical world. The lust for certainty has led some pastors and congregations to simply silence any such meaningful probings and heart to heart honest talks. But let’s be clear— honesty and transparency are good things, but they are not ‘the truth’. One can be completely honest about one’s feelings, thoughts etc. and at the same time be completely wrong not only about Biblical truth, but even about oneself.

TWO TYPES OF STUPIDITY

Hey Christian: We are not off the hook here!

Felipe Cherubin: Given the constant threat of terrorism with which we now live, do you believe we are facing a cultural war? Is Samuel Huntington’s thesis that the world is divided into several civilisations based on religious ideals that can be fault lines for conflict still valid for the 21st century?

Roger Scruton: There is certainly some kind of clash of civilisations occurring. However, Islam seems to have forgotten its civilisation, and it is rare now to meet a Muslim who has ever heard of enlightened Islamic scholars like Ibn Sinna, or Rumi, or Hafiz, or who is even aware that a great civilisation once existed, built upon the revelation of the Koran. Western civilisation, too, is losing the memory of its religious inheritance. I am reminded of Matthew Arnold’s “On Dover Beach” in which he expresses his fear for a future in which “ignorant armies clash by night”. So yes, there is a clash—not of two civilizations but of two competing forms of stupidity: one given to violence and the other to self-indulgence. 

HT: Scot McKnight; emphasis added

WISDOM FROM THOMAS CHALMERS

Love these! (HT: George Grant)

1. “The wider a man’s knowledge becomes, the deeper should be his humility; for the more he knows the more he sees of what remains unknown. The wider the diameter of light, the larger the circumference of darkness.”

2. “Regardless of how large, your vision is too small.”

3. “It is only through faith that we can find our way to love, and only through love that we can find our way to obedience.”

4. “Live with the high aim and purpose of one who is in training for eternity.”

5. “Gargantuanism and the care of souls cannot coexist.”

6. “Repentance is not one act of the mind; it is a course of acting by which we die daily unto sin.”

7. “Obstacles, setbacks, and difficulties are but opportunities for courage and tenacity. Great victories demand fierce resistance. Otherwise, they would not be great.”

8. “I would pray unto watching–and watch unto praying.”

9. “Let us standfast and contend earnestly for the faith once delivered; let us be manly and strenuous in the vindication thereof; and yet, let all our things be done with charity.”

10. “It is not by irregular efforts, however gigantic, that any great practical achievement is overtaken. It is by the constant recurrence and repetition of small efforts directed to a given object, and resolutely sustained and persevered in.”

11. “Let us be neither over-sanguine nor over-melancholy of immediate results. Our perspective of time is only slowly synchronized to the clock of providence.”