1.14.2010

Childlike or Childish?

Sometimes I need to be reminded that my stoic rationalism is unholy. Lest I be decieved that my melancholy should be equated with righteousness or realism, I sometimes need an electric shock to my system reminding me that am to become like a child. I was never much of a fiction or fantasy person. I would much rather sit down with a theoretical work. But in my old age (my thirties), I have been gravitating to more stories, and I think it is because I am finding in them much deeper and more lasting truths than in any exposition I could read. Recently, on a long drive from RI to AZ, I was able to "listen" to several good ded peepl. Here they are as my recommendations to you, who struggle, as I do, with stoicism, with taking yourself to seriously, with being too mature. A little something thing to remind you that becoming childlike might also mean becoming a little more childish.

Manalive G.K. Chesterton. I know! It's like a broken record for me, but I think I can safely say that this book in some way has saved my life. I think this one needs to be a yearly read for me.

The Golden Key George MacDonald. A lesson in yearning from the fairy land, where two children find themselves on a quest to find the land "from whence the shadows fall"

The Shadows George MacDonald. You may never look at a shadow the same.

Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass Lewis Carroll. Refresh the wonder of a world seen through a child's eyes.

1.06.2010

A Reminder of the Blessings of Christian Fellowship

In Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer elaborates upon the joy and grace that God gives us through common life with other Christians. I agree with him, but with reservations. I know that I enjoy fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I have fond memories of church potlucks, college Bible study groups, and lengthy discussions with pastors of mine (including Brett; we miss you here). I do find joy in meeting people at work who share my faith in Christ. But I have also experienced, witnessed, and heard of many instances of Christian cannibalism -- of Christians "eating" their own when they don't get their way in church affairs, when they disagree with other Christians, and when they view other Christians' lifestyles as out of the scope of Christian liberty.

Such disunity and animosity among Christians is, as Francis Schaeffer puts it in The Mark of the Christian, "ugly." It's a festering wound on the bride of Christ; and we must dress it before he returns.

And the cure is love.

Remember to love the unworthy of love. Remember to forgive the unworthy of forgiveness; for such are we before God. Sin makes it hard to get along with church people; but in Christ we can have victory over sin.