How to Get Desire in Religion

A good friend of mine recently shared with me that he is having a hard time "wanting" to grow deeper in his Christian walk. This friend is by all accounts a very earnest individual, someone who has walked with God for some time; someone who has seen God at work in his life. The question is a question of desire. How do we get ourselves to actually want more of God? When does this whole thing stop becoming a drudgery and actually start becoming a delight?

Any Christian reading this will likely sympathize and relate with this frustration. My introverted self frequently finds itself in hollow lulls where my emotions and desires are just not cooperating with what I am called to think and to do. How do we bring them up to speed? Can we actually expect the privilege of having our desires working in tandem with our duty?

Two Extremes:

There is the Pragmatist: grit your teeth and "do it, just do it" in blunt force fashion, irrespective of where year heart may be in the moment…

Book in Review: Heretics

I am becoming quite the G. K. Chesterton fanboy of late. Heretics is another well known work of his that I have put under my belt. Short review below:

Energetic and Fun

Heretics is a scattered assortment of short verbal critiques of writers, philosophers, politicians of Chesterton’s day. Throughout, Chesterton is as paradoxical as ever, reversing every commonly accepted position and creed with the sardonic wit characteristic of him. Those who are familiar with his other works will likely enjoy the energetic pugnacity, while I could equally see how others newer to him could see it as overkill.

Heretics is not as timeless as his seminal work Orthodoxy because, though philosophies never fully vanish, we are over 100 years removed from the characters Chesterton is calling out in Heretics. Because of this, many of the chapters are just not as engaging because we lack the background information regarding each of the heretics described. Chesterton does try to get the reader up to speed on what …

Is the Law a Positive Good?

I checked out a book from my Uncle’s library a few months ago. He has a little study in his laundry room with books stacked to the ceiling, and every time I am over there I will return what I borrowed last and check out something new. 
One thing I have been looking to get a better understanding of is “law and gospel”; primarily what is the role of the law for the Christian today? This is an important question to ask. With antinomianism on the rise, and at least one prominent evanglelical recently calling to entirely ignore the teachings and commandments of the Old Testament (in light of the vibrancy of the New Covenant, in his words), I wanted to better formulate what the law’s proper place is.
The book I looked at was by C.F.W Walther’s entitled The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel, written in 1885, and it actually led me down a different direction than I was looking.
Is the law a good thing?
Walther is a gifted theologian from the Lutheran school. He classifies the law as every…

Being a Created Thing

Here is a brief excerpt from That Hideous Strength depicting one of the main characters as she is about to experience what is the equivalent of a “conversions experience”. I think it is quite good.
“Jane had gone into the garden to think. She accepted what the Director had said, yet it seemed to her nonsensical. His comparison between Mark’s love and God’s (since apparently there was a God) had struck her nascent Spirituality as indecent and irreverent. “Religion” ought to mean a realm in which the haunting female fear of being treated as a thing, an object of barter and desire and possession, would be set permanently at rest and what she called her true self would soar upwards and expand in some freer and purer world. “Religion” was a kind of exhalation or a cloud of incense, something steaming up from specially gifted souls toward a receptive heaven. Then, quite sharply, it occurred to her that the Director never talked about religion; nor did the Dimbles nor Camilla. They talked ab…

Book in Review: "That Hideous Strength"

As many of you know, I love C. S. Lewis. My dad read me The Chronicles of Narnia in my formative years, and they will always have a special place in my heart. I enjoyed Mere Christianity. I loved The Screwtape Letters. I am amazed at the analysis of the human psyche in ‘Till We have Faces and The Great Divorce. Even compilations of various essays such as The Weight of Glory and The Problem of Pain I found simply riveting—even in the areas I disagree with Lewis.

Then there is this Space Trilogy. I read Out of Silent Planet several years ago and found it, well, interesting. I enjoy Lewis’s prose and style of writing, but it was unlike the others. I read Perelandra soon after, and I enjoyed it a bit more than the first, but it seemed to drag in the endless back and forth dialogue. The series seemed just so different from everything I had previously read from Lewis. Upon finishing That Hideous Strength (the third in the series) and, after thinking about it, and after some added internal di…

Book in Review: Eschatological Discipleship

What time is it? Where are we going? What is the vision of the future that gives us purpose to live in our present time and place? These questions are some of the few Trevin Wax addresses in his recent book entitled Eschatological Discipleship.

Eschatology is a theological term often associated with the topic of the end times among Christians. Wax chooses to use this word in a “broader sense” as “encompassing the Christian vision of time and the destiny of the world.” Wax is correct in his concern that many Christians are living with a “shrunken view of eschatology” which “fails to impact discipleship” and leaves Christians without the necessary tools to read the signs of the times and navigate its darkness. Unfortunately it is not uncommon to see Christianity viewed as a truncated list of rules or doctrines detached from any future vision of the Kingdom of Heaven. In this book, Wax gives a call for Christians today to live in the present as people of the future.

After defining his term…

Failing Our Boys

Some scattered thoughts I wrote a couple of months ago about how our society is failing a certain demographic:
How are we failing our boys? I read this article that Russell Moore shared on twitter that claimed that men need a movement similar to feminism to start a conversation about what is true masculinity. Clearly what we have currently in place is missing the mark. Young males are the ones doing these mass shootings, but more than that--it is quite plain to see that this demographic of younger men are falling through the cracks. The author of the article thinks that a lack of vulnerability and "real men don't cry" mantra has calloused these boys and given them no outlet for their emotions. I agree somewhat. I am sure it has contributed.
I remember reading a different article from a writer of a different persuasion almost a year ago who claimed the opposite. He said that the eradication of everything traditionally manly--of hard work, of fighting, of books about killin…