Sometimes we think the way to engage people in mission is to make sure we get the right information to them.
If we just preach the Bible, people will evangelize.
If we show people the commands in Scripture to care for the poor, people will develop a heart for mercy ministry.
If we make people aware of our need for more volunteers, people will sign up.
In other words, we perceive a knowledge problem. People need to know how to apply the Scriptures better, and once they know what they need to do, they’ll do it.
Not So Fast
But this isn’t the way long-term change takes place. Most of the time, when we are marked by missional apathy, it’s not that we don’t know what we ought to be doing; it’s…
For many years my conviction has been that Christian unity and Christian truth are served best not by removing fences, but by loving across them and having welcoming gates. I don’t claim to do it well. I want to do it better.
The point is that minimizing truth, or filing down its clear edges, or blending it all into one indistinguishable mass, or focusing on prayer, service, and mission, rather than truth — none of these produces unity that honors truth, creates robust communities, or endures for generations.
That happens best when we live well in our communities of conviction, and love well across convictional lines.
Would Lewis Agree?
Would C.S. Lewis agree with this? Didn’t he write M…
Tim Keller has written one of the year’s most important books (a line I seem to recite annually). His newest — Walking with God through Pain and Suffering — is a wise, Christ-centered, comforting book for readers who hurt, and offers counsel to readers who anticipate future suffering. It’s a book for everyone, and it releases tomorrow from Dutton.
To mark its arrival, I pulled my favorite quotes from the book and narrowed the list down to my top 20.
“No matter what precautions we take, no matter how well we have put together a good life, no matter how hard we have worked to be healthy, wealthy, comfortable with friends and family, and successful with our career — something will inevitably …
This is a story of discovery. C.S. Lewis was my guide. It all happened because of one late afternoon in the Spring of Minnesota when I heard these words:
Now this is a story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down. And I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there, I’ll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel-Air.
The Unusual Study
The story actually starts in the morning of that Spring day when I packed up my books and drove to a quaint coffee shop in downtown Minneapolis. I went there to study and indeed that’s what I did. I spent several hours there of hard thinking and reflection and prayer on the end for which God created the world, along with musings ab…
Thankfully you never saw our big mistake in the C.S. Lewis conference trailer.
For the video we hired an actor to play Lewis, to walk through a garden, to look into the sky, and to read a book in a high-back chair.
But one scene nobody saw was Lewis at his typewriter, not because we didn’t accidentally film the scene (and delete it later), but because such a scene never happened. Lewis detested typewriters.
At first this was merely a curious footnote in the brilliant and fascinating life of Lewis. But it led me to ask why? Why didn’t Lewis use a typewriter? After all, a typewriter was a common machine for any twentieth century writer (Pulitzer Prize winning historian David McCullough s…
Ink is the great cure for all human ills.
So wrote a young C.S. Lewis to a childhood friend. Lewis was only seventeen years old when he penned such a claim, but he has proved wise beyond his years. Here’s the full statement from his letter of May 30, 1916:
Whenever you are fed up with life, start writing: ink is the great cure for all human ills.
Whether we think of ourselves as writers or not — and we are all writers to some extent, even if it’s just email and social media — we should acknowledge that the adolescent Lewis is onto something profound here about the discipline of writing, even if “all human ills” is an overstatement.
Writing is a help for a great many ailments, both in our…
At long last, we gather this weekend in Minneapolis for the Desiring God 2013 National Conference.
The fullest experience will be on the ground in Minnie, but we’re kicking the doors wide open across the Worldwide Web for all to stream in. Whosoever wills may come with the free-of-cost conference live-stream.
Note the schedule below is Eastern Daylight Time.
Friday, September 27
2:00 - 2:45 PM N.D. Wilson
Myth Wars: C.S. Lewis vs. Scientism (audio a…
We all have sin-infected weaknesses that are intractable. They are deeply woven into the fabric of who we are and are frequently exacerbated by our sinful responses to them.
Inherent weaknesses are different from indwelling sin. Indwelling sin is evil that is waging war against God in our very members (Romans 7:21–23). Inherent weaknesses are our bodily experience of God’s curse of futility that is affecting all of creation (Romans 8:20). Sin is moral corruption resulting in real guilt. Weakness is a constitutional corruption — a disease or disorder or disability — resulting in sometimes anguishing struggle.
When we’re young, we tend to underestimate our weaknesses. We think they’ll change…
Clyde Kilby was born September 26, 1902. He may have been my most influential teacher when I was in college. But then again it may have been Stuart Hackett. Kilby was a romantic — like C. S. Lewis. Hackett was a rationalist — like C. S. Lewis. One taught literature, the other taught philosophy. One taught me to see with the eyes of a poet. The other taught me the ubiquitous relevance of the law of non-contradiction.
I thank God for both of them. I believe what they saw was right and wise. But Kilby went deeper, I think. That’s not a criticism of the philosopher. It’s a statement about who we are as human beings. We are meant to reason because God is rational. And we are meant to rejoice bec…
What comes to mind when you think of the word “financial debt?” College loans? Low-budget TV commercials? Interminable stress and prolonged discouragement?
These are all possible, and understandable, responses. Here’s another one: Jesus Christ.
Jesus Came to Crush Our Debt
What do I mean by this rather odd statement? To begin with, on the cross Jesus paid for all of our sin. We were terribly, tremendously in the wrong before a holy God. We all heaped up an unpayable amount of sin. You think $100,000 is a large amount of debt? Try offending an infinite God.
This is why the cross is so precious to us: there was no spiritual bankruptcy to declare. There was no bank loan that could rescue us…