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Showing posts from October, 2015

Following Job's Example - Job 42

My sermon from this past Sunday at Hamilton Anglican Fellowship:     Among people who are familiar with the stories of the Bible, the expression "the patience of Job" will occasionally pop up.  Job is one of the most famous of all people for the trouble they had - not, I'm sure, something that anyone would like to be famous for!  Our Old Testament lesson today is about the end of Job's troubles.  Thankfully Job's life had a happy ending!  It's a part of the Bible we like to read!  We all like happy endings.  I would not be surprised if there are not some here who are waiting to see if the Downton Abbey series is going to have a happy ending or not.     Part of Job's happy ending was to finally hear from God, after all that time when God seemed to be ignoring him while he suffered.  It was, of course, a mixed blessing.  To hear from God meant coming face to face with that awesome Being, which is an experience indeed desirable, but at the same time, shal

Debriefing Session 3: Discussing Mere Christianity

This session is on the first two chapters of Book II.  I decided on a different tack this time, and it seemed to have worked well.  The video is only about 19 minutes long.  I spent about half an hour walking us through the two chapters, being sure we understood the flow of Lewis' arguments.  We then watched the video and ended with a discussion of what the "take aways" were for the evening.  Once people had a few minutes to think about that, the "take away" comments were interesting and helpful. The McGrath discussion was quite good.  True to the objective of the course, he did not simply cover the material in the two chapters.  Picking up on how Lewis introduces the problem of good and evil, he refers to Lewis' experience of suffering during WWI and later with the death of Joy.  Lewis' complaint about atheism being too simple an answer for the difficulties we face in life was emphasised, and we learned again of how Lewis was attracted to Christianity

Debriefing Session 2: Discussing Mere Christianity

In this session, we finished up Book I.  I did a quick overview of chapters 1-3 and then we watched the video.  Eric's parts were just fine (hate it that I never got to get into Univ), and Jerry Root's session is very good - one of the best I think.  He was to cover ch. 4 (ch. 5 is to be done as a personal study) and hit the main points well.  His stories were great examples of using Lewis' apologetic. For discussion afterwards, I used Brown's questions from the companion book.  I didn't use all of them; just the ones that seemed to fit the way our discussion was going.  There were many comments about our attitude and approach in dealing with the world.  We talked about the prevelance of materialism in our culture, one person advocating that most people here are unaware of their syncretism of shallow materialism and sentimentality. We had Kohlberg's stages of moral development brought up, which I thought was a very interesting reference.  It got me thinking

Bp. Moule: All Things are Yours

The Dent du Midi area; photo source: I've seen some comments of late ( e.g., from my friend Sheridan Voysey - item no. 6 ) about the need to be able to enjoy things without feeling you have to own them.  The concept is increasingly important to me.  Here is Bishop Moule writing a poem about it: "All Things are Yours." Written near Les Avants, Switzerland. 'All things are yours.' 'Ye are not your own.' 'All things are yours!' Then here I own The glories of this Alpine hour; Mine is the Lake, the gleaming Rhone, And sombre Chillon's famous tower; And mine yon vast aerial hill,* Yon white Sierra, Leman's queen, Height above height, and loftier still O'er woods and clouds transcendant seen; And mine these pastoral wilds around, Their chalet-roofs and tufts of fir; And mine the life-wind's tide profound, To which the inmost pulses stir. Yes, all i

Debriefing Session One: Discussing Mere Christianity

All of the response from our attendees about the first session of Discussing Mere Christianity has been positive.  There is no question that the video quality is excellent and the content is very good.  Eric's survey of Lewis' life is interesting.  McGrath's review of Lewis' approach to the common man to explain the Christian faith was - as expected - brilliant.   He does get Lewis farther along than Lewis actually wanted to go in those chapters.  Lewis' goal in the Broadcast Talks is to help people to recognize the bad news of the gospel so they will appreciate the good news it contains.  There's no use telling people they need to repent when they have no sense of guilt.  Thus Lewis argues for the existence of a "Law of Human Nature" that we have broken.  He does not want to bring in the Christian God or the gospel at all at this point.  McGrath does, however.  He wants to go beyond the material immediately in the first two chapters and help peop

Debriefing "Discussing Mere Christianity" DVD

Tomorrow night, I am going to start leading a discussion group using the new Zondervan DVD series entitled "Discussing Mere Christianity ."  I plan to post here a weekly debriefing of each of the eight sessions as we go through them.  We'll see how it goes. I will say initially that the production is top notch.  It's so much fun seeing all the scenes - mostly from Oxford.  Eric does a great job, as usual, going through the life of C. S. Lewis.  The lectures themselves, by the various scholars, are generally good and helpful.  The result is that the series is a study both of Lewis' book and also his life.  It seems the main motivation behind this is to help people realize something of how the book fits into Lewis' life story.  The series is a study of major themes in the book.  Obviously, they are not going to be able to cover the whole book in eight sessions. Tally hoe, what, and all that!

Poem by Bp. H.C.G. Moule: On the Picture of St. Augustine and his Mother

St. Monica and St. Augustine by Ary Scheffer (d. 1858) - I assume this is the painting to which the Bishop refers, because it is 19th century and it is similar to his depiction. Together, 'neath the Italian heaven, They rest, the Mother and the Son; He once from her by errors riven, Now both in Jesus one: The dear consenting hands are knit; And either face as there they sit Is lifted as to something seen Beyond the blue serene. Bright as a noon without one cloud The Mother's countenance smiles and shines; The life-long knowledge of her God In all its happier lines; The untroubled gladness of a soul Where He has long possessed the whole, Only now stirred to livelier bliss Because her child is His. Dark is the younger brow, and worn With inward strife beyond its years; There looks a soul that late was torn With torturing pride and fears; A mind that spent its weary strength To span the doleful depth and length - The Bythos-fount and Aeon-stream - Tha