Showing posts from April, 2016

Book in Review: Lord of the Flies

Do you ever wonder "what is wrong with the world?" Do you ever ask yourself what drives people to do such heinous crimes? How could you not? The most rudimentary glance at the conditions of things around us will reveal that humanity is a total wreck: Terrorism, crime, genuine bigotry, greed--let's just say are not collectively hurting for time on the news cycle. Everywhere we look it seems there is another atrocity further desensitizing us to its evil, and the recent memory of the bloody 20th century only further adds to the evidence  that things are bad here.

But everyone knows things are bad here. The question is: why is it this way?

William Golding's famous "Lord of the Flies" I believe seeks to answer that question. The story starts very curiously, with a sizeable number of English boys ranging from ages 6-12 are trapped on a coral island. There are no adults, and the island is relatively livable as there is fruit a plenty and pigs for meat. Innocently en…

Guest Post: Do You Have a Moment?

I am a flight instructor at a test pilot school, and I regularly have someone stopping by to ask me, “Do you have a moment?”I am asked this question on a daily basis.Since I feel like “having a moment” is in my job description, I rarely turn anyone down for a moment of my time.Of course depending on the question, a “moment” could be anything from 2-3mins up to a full hour.Unless I have a higher priority event, such as a flight, I will drop everything I am doing and devote my full attention to the student.I am only able to do this because I have determined that the student is very high on my priority list at work.I can get all the grading, paperwork, and planning done around my top priority, the student.
While I am sure my “boss” appreciates my devotion to my work, the real question I want to answer is: “Do I do the same thing when it comes to God?”  Do I make him the priority over everything else I have going on in my life, and have I even left enough space to hear and act when he lea…

Sweat the Small Stuff

When I was younger I hit my sister with a baseball bat. In the head. It was all unintentional of course, but the consequence of my actions were represented by both the immediate screaming that ensued and the multicolored bruise that developed on side of her forehead. I remember feeling devastated for what I had done, but it was an accident and you know what they say about accidents. They happen. Eventually my sister after some tears even came to forgive my lack of peripheral vision. Case closed problem solved.
But one of the following days I remember accompanying my father and sister to the bank. The bruise was in full bloom on my sister's face--a nasty reminder to me of my careless swinging a few days prior. The very nice bank lady looked down over the counter and asked what any human being with a soul would ask when seeing a small, sweet girl with a mammoth wound on her face. "What happened to your sister?!"
Shoot. The question was directed towards me. How could I, as a…

Book in Review: "The Great Divorce"

I have read this classic yet short book several times, and every time there are new insights. Lewis writes (in a way only Lewis could write) of a bus ride transporting residents of hell to heaven; and the reader is surprised to discover that hell is largely preferred to heaven. I may go as far as to say this is my favorite C.S. Lewis book.

Lewis's imagery is brilliant. Heaven is all too real. Painfully so. The residents of hell are "see through" in heaven--they are shadowlike ghosts. The unbending grass pricks the feet of the sojourners like nails, for heaven is made for things that are.

"Reality is harsh to the feet of shadows. But will you come?"

In "The Great Divorce" the reader gets to be a fly on the wall of many conversations. We follow the Moralist--the man who sees himself as an honest man--who only wants his "rights." We follow the post-modern Intellectual who rejects any notion of Truth. We follow the nagging wife who would rather be …

God without Quotation Marks

It can be easy for us who are familiar with Christian settings (churches, seminaries, Christian schools, Christian homes) to talk about a God with quotation marks. What I mean by that is it can become natural for us to talk about God as if He is a text book concept. We like to conjecture about what "God" is like, what He does or does not do, and what are his technical attributes. With light hearts and impressive intellects we speculate and calculate His inner mysteries. It can be fun and it is sure to be safe.
But is it wrong? Dr. Lloyd-Jones says the following:
To discuss the being of God in a causal manner, lounging in an armchair, smoking a pipe or a cigarette or a cigar, is to me something that we should never allow, because God as I say, is not a kind of philosophic X or a concept. We believe in the almighty, the glorious, the living God; and whatever may be true of others we must never put ourselves, or allow ourselves to be put into a position in which we are debating …

Luther's Last Words

Last words are generally significant.Whether it is the parting words given as you leave a friend or your final word spoken as you leave this world, it's true: people often remember most what we say last. Final words against the black backdrop of death often bring clarity to the life that was lived, no doubt revealing what was believed most deeply.Some use their parting words to ask for forgiveness, while others simply confirm the convictions they embodied throughout their life.

I ran across Martin Luther’s last words a few months ago, and I found them very significant: “We are beggars, it is true.

We are beggars.

Martin Luther was a colossus, a true giant; and while to this day he remains a controversial figure, no one doubts the magnitude of his life. Luther’s convictions of "sola fide" (by faith alone) and "sola scriptura" (by Scripture alone) are primarily responsible for renting an irreparable division in the church, one he actually never intended to spark. Li…