Mostly stuff on Christianity by an Anglican priest who reads a lot of C. S. Lewis. Please note: all my posts about Lewis' book How To Pray are on the cslewis.org site, under Social Media/blog.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

A Doer vs. A Hero

"I learned that he that will be a hero will barely be a man, that he that will be nothing but a doer of his work, is sure of his manhood.  In nothing was my ideal lowered, or dimmed, or grown less precious; I only saw it too plainly, to set myself for a moment beside it.  Indeed, my ideal soon became my life, whereas, formerly, my life had consisted in a vain attempt to behold, if not my ideal in myself, at least myself in my ideal."  Anodos, Phantastes.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Wilson comment today

From Doug Wilson’s Blog and Mablog e-mail today:
“Far from providing a true spiritual counterculture, we have adopted the demented view that there isn’t anything the world can do that will not result in an evangelical knock-off.”

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Death Cannot Be Escaped


Dr. Hampton in English class today had the students meditating upon their mortality and how in all probability everything that they ever write will be forgotten.  Most authors are.  "Death wins every time."  The gloom was palpable.

I responded by agreeing with him on a Solomonic-Ecclesiastes level.  We know as historians that nearly all of what has been said and done in antiquity is gone.  However, if the New Testament is true, our works can be remembered; God will not forget them.  And their is a rumor (using Lewis' language here) that there is another world to come and what is said and done here will be manifest there and, if it is worthy, it will be part of the glory to come.

Hampton spoke of how we all desire to be remembered, even to have glory.  Mankind seeks glory because mankind was made for glory.  A few out of all humanity are remembered and given glory by their peers, but that glory will also be swallowed up by death.  Lasting glory is only that glory shared with the One who is worthy of all glory and will receive that glory on the last day: Jesus Christ.

The students needed to be made to face the reality of the vanity of their lives "under the sun."  I was glad I was able to at least mention that there is a glimmer of hope, of another destiny, if the New Testament is true.  I pray they will seek out this hope.

[image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yorick#/media/File:Eug%C3%A8ne_Ferdinand_Victor_Delacroix_018.jpg]

From Tennyson’s Ulysses

Something that’s been on my heart for a while:

Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with the Gods.


Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Wilson on Protestant and Roman Differences

I think Doug does a great job here, explaining the nature of the differences between Protestants and Roman Catholics.  I am interested in the reaction of Roman Catholics to this; I would like to know if they think Doug accurately represents their view of justification - at least the Tridentine view.

Do notice, however, that Benedict agrees that we are justified by faith alone.  His concern is that we recognize the particular quality of the faith that receives the grace of justification.  There is certainly nothing wrong with his concern.  It is the concern of St. James in his epistle.  It is the place at which we argue that Paul and James agree. 

Pope Benedict:
"Being just simply means being with Christ and in Christ. And this suffices. Further observances are no longer necessary. For this reason Luther's phrase: "faith alone" is true, if it is not opposed to faith in charity, in love. Faith is looking at Christ, entrusting oneself to Christ, being united to Christ, conformed to Christ, to his life. And the form, the life of Christ, is love; hence to believe is to conform to Christ and to enter into his love. So it is that in the Letter to the Galatians in which he primarily developed his teaching on justification St Paul speaks of faith that works through love (cf. Gal 5: 14)."  From http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/audiences/2008/documents/hf_ben-xvi_aud_20081119.html.

I would be interested in Doug's opinion of the JOINT DECLARATION ON THE DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION, by the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church, 1999, in which we find these juxtaposed paragraphs.  Both churches acknowledged that, based on their agreement, the 16th century anathemas of each other no longer apply (though they do state that certain reservations do persist regarding other details not covered here).

"26.According to Lutheran understanding, God justifies sinners in faith alone (sola fide). In faith they place their trust wholly in their Creator and Redeemer and thus live in communion with him. God himself effects faith as he brings forth such trust by his creative word. Because God's act is a new creation, it affects all dimensions of the person and leads to a life in hope and love. In the doctrine of "justification by faith alone," a distinction but not a separation is made between justification itself and the renewal of one's way of life that necessarily follows from justification and without which faith does not exist. Thereby the basis is indicated from which the renewal of life proceeds, for it comes forth from the love of God imparted to the person in justification. Justification and renewal are joined in Christ, who is present in faith.

27.The Catholic understanding also sees faith as fundamental in justification. For without faith, no justification can take place. Persons are justified through baptism as hearers of the word and believers in it. The justification of sinners is forgiveness of sins and being made righteous by justifying grace, which makes us children of God. In justification the righteous receive from Christ faith, hope, and love and are thereby taken into communion with him.[14] This new personal relation to God is grounded totally on God's graciousness and remains constantly dependent on the salvific and creative working of this gracious God, who remains true to himself, so that one can rely upon him. Thus justifying grace never becomes a human possession to which one could appeal over against God. While Catholic teaching emphasizes the renewal of life by justifying grace, this renewal in faith, hope, and love is always dependent on God's unfathomable grace and contributes nothing to justification about which one could boast before God (Rom 3:27). [See Sources for section 4.3]."

Based on the above, it is evident that reunion is at work - thank God.

Here's Doug:



Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Living Integrated Lives in a Fragmented World

I summarize and comment on the recent address by Dick Keyes at the Friends of L'Abri Conference at Lipscomb University this past weekend.  However, I do start with a few brief comments about the order in which the Narnia books can be read - I refer, btw, to a previous video I recorded for my Patreon supporters.


Monday, July 1, 2019

C. S. Lewis on Holy Communion

This is an excerpt from Session 7 of my course on C. S. Lewis and prayer, filmed in Lewis's home church in Oxford.