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« March 2009 | Main | May 2009 »

April 13, 2009

The Point Radio: Resurrection Hope

Easter changes everything....


Click play above to listen.

April 12, 2009

Easter miracle

Captain Richard Phillips is free. Thanks be to God. (H/T Some Have Hats)

Music for Holy Week (3)

The perfect music video to watch on Easter Sunday! Christ is risen ... He is risen indeed!

Herbert’s ’Easter Wings’

The English poet George Herbert (1593-1633) penned this beautiful "shaped" poem he titled "Easter Wings":  

Lord, who createdst man in wealth and store,
      Though foolishly he lost the same,
            Decaying more and more,
               Till he became
                  Most poor:
                  With thee
               O let me rise
            As larks, harmoniously,
        And sing this day thy victories:
Then shall the fall further the flight in me.

My tender age in sorrow did begin
      And still with sicknesses and shame.
            Thou didst so punish sin,
               That I became
                  Most thin.
                  With thee
               Let me combine,
            And feel thy victory:
      For, if I imp my wing on thine,
Affliction shall advance the flight in me. 

Easter Communion by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Pure fasted faces draw unto this feast:
God comes all sweetness to your Lenten lips.
You striped in secret with breath-taking whips,
Those crooked rough-scored chequers may be pieced
To crosses meant for Jesus; you whom the East
With draught of thin and pursuant cold so nips
Breathe Easter now; you serged fellowships,
You vigil-keepers with low flames decreased,

God shall o'er-brim the measures you have spent
With oil of gladness, for sackcloth and frieze
And the ever-fretting shirt of punishment
Give myrrhy-threaded golden folds of ease.
Your scarce-sheathed bones are weary of being bent:
Lo, God shall strengthen all the feeble knees.

April 10, 2009

Unlimited grace

"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." --Luke 23:34

This statement from Jesus ought to have a dramatic impact on the way we live. Perhaps it loses impact because we assume that Jesus is in a league of His own in the forgiveness game; there's no way we could match His grace. Or perhaps we see this as an example of how God forgives without realizing the implications it has for us. Meanwhile, we forgive those who are sorry for their sins -- which does not describe these crucifiers at all; and we forgive those who haven't hurt us too badly -- which also does not describe these crucifiers. Somehow we've confined our mercy to definitions that Jesus never embraced. We've limited grace.

Think of the drama of Jesus' statement. These aggressors were committing the ultimate crime: an unjust execution of their holy Creator. There has never been a more evil act. And yet, Jesus forgave. Without their asking. Without their even being remotely sorry.

Chris Tiegreen, "Amazing Grace," April 10, The One Year Worship the King Devotional

The Heavens Declare His Glory!

How cool is this picture, especially as we celebrate Easter! Take a few moments and watch the video as it zooms in on this "crown of thorns" galaxy (NCG 7049). 

The Centrality of the Cross

Crucifixion “I went down to the crossroads, fell down on my knees.
Asked the lord above for mercy, ‘Save me if you please.’“
Eric Clapton, “Crossroads”

“Crossroads,” the blues classic by Eric Clapton, is a song about a man seeking escape from his desperate existence. Will he find it in a ride to Rosedale, a drinking binge, a flight from one destination to the next, or in God’s grace? At the song’s end, we are left to wonder. Nevertheless, Clapton’s lyrics, laced with his riveting guitar riffs, grab our attention.

A crossroads is a place where divergent paths meet, forcing us to make choices that can be at once exciting and scary. It can be a place of crisis, where the pain of the past butts up against our hopes for the future; or a place of opportunity, where the road ahead promises brighter prospects in the vast frontier beyond.

In either case, a crossroads is a call to change: from where we’ve been to where we’re going; from what we’re leaving behind to what we’re striving for; from who we are to who we’re becoming.

As free-willed creatures, we are continually leaving one crossroads and entering another. Will we pick up the ball or the doll? Will we eat our food or play with it? Will we wear blue socks or black socks? Will we finish high school or work as a mechanic? Will we propose to Susan or play the field? And on it goes.

Like a string of beads forming a necklace, crossroads connect the past, present, and future of human experience in an unbroken thread of possibility. But the central crossroads, the one through which every life must pass, lies on a hill in Golgotha. Continue reading here.

The Point Radio: Holy Week - Side-Stepping the Cross

How will you spend this Good Friday?...


Click play above to listen.

Read John 19.

April 09, 2009

Daily roundup

Posting will be light tomorrow because of Good Friday. Have a blessed Easter weekend!

Obama hasn’t polarized this country, worldview has

Obama Conservatives spent a lot of time claiming that Barack Obama was going to be a polarizing President. Even back during the primary campaigns, we heard candidates, one after another, claiming that Obama and Hillary Clinton were both radical liberals that were going to drive this nation apart. For what it’s worth, I agreed with them.

Now, the Pew Center has come out with statistical data to support this claim. Obama’s approval ratings separate Republicans from Democrats by 61%. Though I’m not overly surprised, I must recant my previous belief despite the Pew Center’s poll, and say, “It’s not Obama’s fault.”  

We should not blame Obama for the division between the two major political parties. The division between the parties trickles out of their differing worldviews. 

The religious right, as some call it, is a major power in the conservative movement. The worldview differences between conservatives and liberals range from fiscal policy, to the right to life (or death, depending on the ideology), to the role of men and women in the family, to traditional values, and even to whether or not there is a firm set of values and ethics that should be expected of all citizens of this great country.

Continue reading "Obama hasn’t polarized this country, worldview has" »

America’s Sovereignty and Liberty Are Hanging in the Balance

I can't decide which is worse: In an audacious power grab, Obama fires a CEO of a private company, or a hostile foreign power makes a power grab of its own.  

Please let me know which one you think is worse--give me some background material too!

Films for Holy Week

PassionJoanOfArc There are a lot of movies out there that have become Easter traditions -- The Greatest Story Ever Told, King of Kings, even The Ten Commandments -- but here, Thomas Hibbs suggests a couple of lesser known classics that make good Easter viewing as well.

Pairing the two films is especially fitting this week, since they capture the dramatically contrasting moments of Holy Week, the experience of tragic desolation and apparent divine abandonment of Good Friday and the joy of resurrection and reconciliation — an anticipation of the heavenly banquet.

(Image courtesy of Wikipedia)

My Own Prisoner

Suzanne1-W300 I’ve met so many prisoners and ex-prisoners, I hardly blink anymore. As a writer for Prison Fellowship, I’ve interviewed lifers in Louisiana, call girls from Michigan, meth dealers from California, bank robbers from Iowa, and sex offenders from Oregon.

And then I met Suzanne.

Last week I was shipped off to Portland on an unusual story assignment: to shadow a prisoner on her day of release. Thirty-four-year-old Suzanne Johnson was my story subject. Pretty, put-together, and polished, Suzanne didn’t fit the bill. No tattoos (as far as I could see), no missing teeth, no lengthy drug history. She came from an upper-middle class family, a good church home, and a substantial job history. She could have been my childhood babysitter, my dental hygienist, my big sister.

But here I was at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, Oregon, watching Suzanne change out of her prison sweatshirt. It shook me to see someone so much like me marching out the inmate’s rhythm.

A few years earlier, a gambling addiction had sucked the vivaciousness out of Suzanne’s steps. When she was caught stealing from an employer to feed her addiction, everything was ripped away from her—her two children, her reputation, her freedom.

Continue reading "My Own Prisoner" »

CPC Harassment Alert

Gail Tierney, head of the Rockville Pregnancy Center, told me this week that an anti-choice group (that is, a group opposed to giving women any choice except abortion) is planning to picket and harass pro-life pregnancy care centers nationwide on Monday. Please keep these centers in your prayers--that volunteers would respond appropriately (even lovingly) and that God would use the evil they intend for good.

Hey, did you know your client is the Taliban?

It sounds like a Dilbert cartoon. Unfortunately, it's not.

’Sexting’ and Teens

Teen texting “Sexting," sending nude photos of oneself or others by cell phone, continues to be a growing trend among teenagers. If caught, a minor can be charged with child pornography violations and land on the sex offenders list, as in the case of this young man from Florida. Prosecutors probably intend to send a strong message to teenagers about the dangers of “sexting.” But is giving kids a lifelong criminal record and possible jail time as a sex offender an overreaction, or justice served?

In any case, this is a strong reminder that parents must be engaged on this topic and must create a game plan to ensure that teens' use of online and digital communication remains safe and positive. Even more importantly, they must teach teens to value themselves as holy and created in the image of God. 

For help teaching your kids Christian worldview, click here

(Image courtesy of Mom Central)

The Point Radio: Holy Week - A Lost Cause

He's too set in his ways....


Click play above to listen.

Read Luke 23.

April 08, 2009

Daily roundup

Principles mean more than favorability to the Pope? Heaven forbid!

200px-BentoXVI-30-10052007 Pope Benedict XVI has sparked international outrage with his statements regarding his rejection of using condoms to fight the AIDS epidemic. From time to time I see this happen, and I never understand why people suddenly act outraged at teachings the Catholic Church has always held.

The Catholic Church rejects the use of condoms because they create a barrier to life within the marriage that is contrary to the natural order. But condoms distract us from the real problem. The Catholic Church doesn’t say an unmarried couple shouldn’t use condoms. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, because the Church teaches abstinence as the only legitimate way of protecting the physical and spiritual life of the persons in question.

Just like the economic crisis, the AIDS epidemic materialized from a moral problem. Whether a lack of control in spending, or a lack of control in sexual behavior, eventually the consequences of our actions surface.

Rebecca Hodes, head of policy, communication and research for the Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa, doesn’t understand the problem. In a recent statement made to the Huffington Post she demonstrated the very ignorance that brought about this problem and the weight it bears, when she separated our actions from their moral consequences. Her misplaced frustrations were exposed when she said, “[Pope Benedict’s] opposition to condoms conveys that religious dogma is more important to him than the lives of Africans.”

The Pope holds so firmly to religious dogma BECAUSE of his love for the lives, both physical and spiritual, of those in Africa.

Continue reading "Principles mean more than favorability to the Pope? Heaven forbid!" »

Who, me?

Perhaps you saw this video of an altercation between Rep. Barney Frank and a Harvard Law student on the news recently. (A partial transcript can be found here.) I find it pretty discouraging to see a government official fly into a rage at the mere suggestion that what he does in his position might give him some responsibility for the state of affairs in the nation. Lord knows, "Everyone is responsible but me" is the last attitude we need in our leaders right now.

The Economics of Reconciliation

Rsz_coffeeshop__017 The other night I had the privilege to speak on a panel at the Center for American Progress. The event, titled "15 Years Later: The State of Rwandan Reconciliation," was sponsored by Indego Africa and the Rwanda International Network Association, a group of Rwandans living in the United States. Its intent was to mark the 15th anniversary of the genocide and to present an in-depth look at the state of political and ethnic reconciliation in Rwanda. 

Jackson Mvunganyi, co-host of Up Front on Voice of America radio moderated the panel, which aside from me included:

  • Matthew Mitro, Founder and CEO of Indego Africa
  • Karol Boudreaux, Professor of Law at George Mason University; Lead Researcher at Enterprise Africa! a project of the Mercatus Center
  • Augustin Mutemberize, International Trade Specialist, Africa Trade Office; formerly of the Rwandan Ministry of Finance
  • Andrew Jones, Director of Policy Analysis, CARE USA; former Program Director, CARE Rwanda.

When I wasn't speaking, I was listening intently! There's a lot of fascinating research happening today in the intersection of social entrepreneurship, economics and reconciliation.

Continue reading "The Economics of Reconciliation" »

Aliens, Yes. But Strangers?

Immigration, as an issue, reminds me a lot of capital punishment. There's a number of poor, sentimental arguments on either side, and a few genuinely good arguments on both sides.

Oddly or not, the best immigration arguments seem to exist in the space where free market economics and Christian love intersect. In general, I think that increased immigration is a good thing, so long as (1) we control our borders, (2) we encourage a Melting Pot more than the Cultural Mosaic (including strict enforcement to address gang problems), and (3) we take a minimalist approach to entitlements. Of course, we quite unfortunately do none of those things today, except perhaps address the gang problems.

Anyhow, this NRO post -- in which Richard Nadler takes on John Derbyshire (and his third degree blackbelt in TaeKwonEeyore) -- is one of the better commentaries I've read on the topic in a while.

Remembering death

Smoldering_wick For those of us, like me, who were raised as evangelicals, this is a very celebratory time of year. Last Sunday, many Christians celebrated the Triumphal Entry, the symbolic and prophecy-fulfilling time when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey to the shouts of his people and a road paved with palm fronds. This coming Sunday, we will stand in church and sing hymns and choruses announcing the risen Christ. Jesus seems to float effortlessly from triumph to triumph.

We evangelicals sometimes miss what our more liturgical brethren experience in the week between these two celebrations. The church that used to be on the campus of my alma mater holds a Tenebrae service each year. This service of "darkness" follows the path of our Lord to the cross. While different churches follow different patterns for this service, most follow the traditional symbolism of gradually darkening the lights in the church as the service progresses until, at the end of the service, the entire sanctuary is plunged into darkness. In our campus church, after a few minutes of darkness, someone would light a solitary candle to symbolize the hope of the resurrection.

What I discovered as an evangelical was that allowing myself to experience the grief and sorrow of Christ's betrayal and death made Easter Sunday exponentially more celebratory. Remembering for a short time that the world was dark, that the Hope of Ages had been crucified and lay dead and buried in a stone tomb made the wonder and joy of that empty tomb a few days later burst out of my heart in a way that Palm Sunday had never done.

Continue reading "Remembering death" »

The Point Radio: Holy Week - A Time to Serve

In difficult days, how often do you think of serving others?...


Click play above to listen.

Read John 13.

April 07, 2009

Daily roundup

They’re only words

Obama in Turkey That must have been what President Obama thought when he decided to renege on yet another campaign promise. Ironically, his campaign promise would have addressed just that line of thinking.  

In January, when he was still just a candidate for the presidency, Obama declared, "America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian Genocide." Fine sounding words. Trouble is, once he set foot in Turkey, the land where this genocide occurred nearly a century ago, Mr. Obama seemed to forget all about the atrocities that once stained the streets and countryside of that nation. 

Lest you think the label we use for an event that took place almost 100 years ago is trivial, modern-day Turkey is still waging this war of words. Journalists and novelists, among others, have been tried, imprisoned and even murdered for calling the systematic annihilation of Armenians a genocide. You can read more about the genocide and some of those who have been persecuted for using this term in an article I wrote for BreakPoint WorldView a few years ago.

It's too bad the man who represents the land of the free and the home of the brave couldn't find the words to denounce tyranny and cowardice. That's a campaign promise that deserved to be kept.

(Image © UPI/Pete Souza/White House)

Breaking: D.C. and Vermont move toward gay marriage recognition

Mariam Bell sends along this news item:

The D.C. Council Tuesday overwhelmingly voted in favor of legislation recognizing same-sex marriages from other states as marriage in the District -- a move lauded by lawmakers as a step toward legalizing gay marriage in the city.

The 13-member council voted on the same day Vermont became the fourth state to legalize same-sex unions.

Read more.

From Whence Morality?

From days of old, mankind has wrestled with the question of ethics. In ancient Israel, after 50 years of Babylonian captivity had all but erased God’s providence and law from memory, the Jewish community wondered aloud, “How now shall we live?”

The very question presupposes a standard and a purpose. Even the early Greeks, influenced by Plato and Aristotle, believed in a purpose-driven ethic—a universal ideal of “goodness” that could be known and to which all men should strive.

...A while back, I discussed this very issue with a fellow named Bob in an online exchange. Bob is a rising star in the Brights’ movement—a network of free thinkers who embrace a worldview “free of supernatural and mystical elements.” Notable luminaries in the movement include the likes of Michael Shermer, Richard Dawkins, and Daniel Dennett.

Our dialog began after Bob read an article I wrote expressing cynicism about the moral “wholesomeness”—a term the Brights fondly use to describe their worldview—of philosophical naturalism. Continue reading here.

Update on the porn film at U-Md.

So I guess it's supposed to be okay if you only show excerpts of the film . . . ?

Music for Holy Week (2)

If you liked their song "In Christ Alone," check out another video by the Gettys, this time performing "The Power of the Cross."

The right to a conscience

As you may have heard, President Obama is planning to get rid of the Bush administration's regulations protecting the conscience rights of health care workers. HHS is accepting comments from the public about this proposal. The deadline is April 9, so if you want to make your opinion heard, make sure you do it as soon as possible. You can go directly here, or send your comments through Family Research Council using some or all of their suggested language.

The Point Radio: Holy Week - The Way

Talk about an inconvenient truth....


Click play above to listen.

Read John 14.

April 06, 2009

Daily roundup

n Couples + (2 x Kids) = World - z Quality Environment

...where "n" equals current number of couples worldwide and "z" equals an unspecified but somehow measurable "amount" of environmental quality.

From Chuck Colson's BreakPoint on Friday:

In February, Jonathan Porritt, the chairman of the UK’s Sustainable Development Commission, said that couples with more than two children were placing an “‘irresponsible’ burden of the environment.”

...[S]ix weeks later, he upped the ante: he declared that the UK must cut its population from its current 61 million to 30 million “if it is to build a sustainable society.”

Really? It's that simple? Huh, who knew? It sounds so certain and data-based, doesn't it?

Continue reading "n Couples + (2 x Kids) = World - z Quality Environment" »

An Audacious Invitation

Tea2 Female Pointers and Pointificators who live in the Washington, D.C., area are invited to attend the inaugural event of The Audacity of Tea Society on April 19 in Fairfax, Virginia. For more information, visit the Society's website.

Hope amidst the Bones

Rwanda_slah This week's Newsweek features the Chairman of Prison Fellowship Rwanda, Bishop John Rucyahana, who returned to his Rwandan homeland after the genocide to help rebuild the broken nation. Ellis Cose documents some of his experiences in this week's piece:

When Rucyahana got back to Uganda in mid-July, he rented a minibus, hired a driver and took to the road with 10 other pastors. They crossed into Rwanda and made their way to Nyamata, near Kigali, the capital. The violence had died down but death was everywhere: "We saw mass graves; we saw dead bodies. In one home, we found 27 dead bodies. . . ."

Rucyahana had to act. Initially, he ran seminars, urging people to repent and rebuild. But that wasn't enough. So in 1996, he packed up his family and returned to the land of his birth to preach hope standing on "a pile of bones," as he puts it. One of his first tasks was to build a boarding school for orphans: "Having lost a million people, lots of babies were left behind." The school in Musanze, near the Volcanoes National Park, opened in 2001. It is now one of the best schools in the country. It is called Sonrise, which, Rucyahana explains, "means the Son of God rises into the misery, into our darkness."

I share part of Bishop John's story, and one of the stories of a student at the Sonrise School/Orphanage, in As We Forgive. To read his full memoir, take a look at his own The Bishop of Rwanda. I'm so glad that the wider world is being introduced to Bishop John, the recipient of BreakPoint's 2009 Wilberforce Award, and to the amazing things God has been doing in the aftermath of this tragedy.

By the way, on this day, 15 years ago, Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana's plane plummeted from the sky after being hit by a missile. It became the albatross around the neck of the Tutsi people when Hutu claimed that the RPF shot it down. The sudden streak of a missile and the fiery light of a falling plane were a diabolical kind of fireworks that night--evil's unseemly opening ceremonies to a hundred days of slaughter that would consume the country.

(Image © Newsweek)

’Why me?’

... is the great existential question of all time. When the “subway of life” dumps its refuse in our lap, we shake our head in wonder. After all, we reason, we haven’t hit the wife, neglected the kids, lied to the boss, or kicked the dog—least wise, not today.

Life’s unfairness is troubling. When the church member slanders us, our job is “surplused,” the diagnosis of cancer comes, or our neighbor is killed in a car accident, we are stupefied by the injustice of it all. Centuries ago, the wisest man in the world was likewise confounded, declaring it meaningless that the righteous get what the wicked deserve, and the wicked get what the righteous deserve. Continue reading here.

The Point Radio: Holy Week - A Kernel of Truth

If you knew you were going to die, what kind of conversations would you have?...


Click play above to listen.

Read John 12:20-36.

Music for Holy Week (1)

This is a wonderful video of Kristyn Getty singing "In Christ Alone." Her husband and accompanist, Keith, is one of the writers of this incredible contemporary hymn. I hope you will watch, listen, and be blessed. 

April 03, 2009

What would Jesus walk on?

Ecopalm_247 The green movement has hit the second greenest Christian celebration, Palm Sunday, when fronds of green palm branches are waved by children and adults in church services only a few months after all the Christmas (or Chrismon) trees were taken down. This year, in a move that might make the Sleeths happy, a number of churches have gone free-trade with their palm fronds. Spending a few more dollars, they are buying palm fronds through a university project that promises sustainable farming and fair wages.

Gina's post on the Sleeths' book has generated a lot of discussion about the green movement and how (or if) it should intersect with our faith. What do you all think? Is the idea of free trade palms one you'd like to see in your church?

(Image courtesy of UMCOR/Lutheran World Relief)

Good news and bad news

The good news is that the University of Maryland has decided not to show a porn film to its students. (It seems they didn't like the idea of having their funding pulled.)

The bad news is WHAT THE HECK WERE THEY THINKING IN THE FIRST PLACE??

And the winner is . . .

Today's Captain Louis Renault Award goes to the President of the United States, for the following:

Obama has said, "I think it's important to engage your critics ... because not only will you occasionally change their mind but, more importantly, sometimes they will change your mind," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs recounted to The Post's Lois Romano in an interview Wednesday. 

But while the online question portion of the White House town hall was open to any member of the public with an Internet connection, the five fully identified questioners called on randomly by the president in the East Room were anything but a diverse lot. They included: a member of the pro-Obama Service Employees International Union, a member of the Democratic National Committee who campaigned for Obama among Hispanics during the primary; a former Democratic candidate for Virginia state delegate who endorsed Obama last fall in an op-ed in the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star; and a Virginia businessman who was a donor to Obama's campaign in 2008.

Twitter Friday

Here are some relevant tweets this week relating to @BreakPointPFM.

Captoe: Designer Babies "The idea of designing a master race has been tried in the past-with horrific results."
JeffCookSeven: he has been huge in my life and in my marriage!
LauraGrempel: The Faith by Chuck Colson is making me tear up with every page. I'm blown away at where our society and culture is today.
Salinastchurch: a little reminder re: the importance of doctrine from chuck colson. not normally a huge fan but worth a minute.
http://tinyurl.com/dl9yd8
friar_don: Yea. I read Chuck Colson's book "Being the Body" and there was a great section on transparency, prayer, and accountability.
IAMeteorologist: Dave Ramsey has some pretty good advice on managing money. Wish Congress would listen to him.
Guy_Peters: Minority biblical worldview is directly related to yesterday's message re our need to rediscover core teachings.
Guy_Peters: Go Chuck! A renewed emphasis on a true "orthodoxy" core is needed, beginning w/ the inerrancy and authority of Scripture.
JanisMiller: RT @Guy_Peters RT @justin_hart: Traditional parenting 'leads to well-adjusted children'
http://ow.ly/1IoM
israel1319: Chuck Colson's Breakpoint-The economic crisis is causing peope to re-priortize & causing to ask bigger ?'s, we Christians need to be avail.
MaxHMaxwell: Christianity In the Films of Alfred Hitchcock
http://tinyurl.com/cetfuavery interesting perspective on one the greatest filmmakers ever.

Consensual Living: A New Fad Harmful to Children

Lord of the Flies There's a new fad being promoted for parents who want to shirk the responsibility of inculcating their children with character. 

The fad is called "Consensual Living," and it's being touted as a "progressive" philosophy. The website says that the program will bring "harmony" to the whole family and even to the community.  

According to this group, "Everyone's wants and needs are valid," and "punishment and rewards are really just tools of manipulation."  

But before you subscribes to this philosophy, I'd recommend reading a classic novel by William Golding, Lord of the Fliesor simply watch the news. Obviously, whoever came up with this hair-brained scheme has never actually taken the time or effort to raise kids. 

Conversation between mother and son at a "Consensual Living" home:

"Bobby, quit hitting your little brother!"
"No, Mommy, I want to hit him, and my wants are as valid as yours!"
(After she gets back from the hospital with bludgeoned little brother...)
"Bobby, clean your room."
"No Mommy, I don't want to...but Mommy, I want a larger allowance to entice Sally to...well you know.  She's 8 years old and has this silly notion about waiting until she's 11..." 

(Image © Perigree Books)

Narnia: Darkness in disguise?

Wardrobe

Writer Laura Miller had a book-length attack of the vapors over the discovery that C. S. Lewis, author of her beloved Narnia books, was a Christian. For her, Christianity is "a black hole, sucking all the beauty and wonder out of Narnia."

Dr. Devin Brown of Asbury College takes Miller on in an article at the C. S. Lewis blog:

Although she devotes most of her book to describing her rocky relationship with the Narnia books, she is never able to articulate exactly why learning that they represent C. S. Lewis’s attempt to put his most foundational beliefs into story form “horrified” her.

Would she have felt so horrified had she discovered Lewis was a Buddhist?

What would be said about a Christian who first loved a book but then became angry and rejected it after discovering its author was, for example, Jewish or Muslim and that the story reflected his or her underlying beliefs? My guess is that such a reader would be labeled as narrow or bigoted, and rightly so.

Miller states that in Narnia we find a “better” world, a world “fresher, more brightly colored, more exhilarating, and more fully felt,” a world that is “merry, enchanted, and boundless.” She then goes on to maintain that the Chronicles of Narnia are “really just the doctrines of the Church in disguise,” an institution which she asserts is characterized by “endless proscriptions and requirements,” by “guilt-mongering” and “tedious rituals.”

One of these claims must be false.

Read more.

(Image courtesy of the C. S. Lewis Blog)

The Exodus for the twenty-first century

Pharaoh Please stand well back from the computer as you read this. If someone's going to get struck by lightning over it, I'd rather it be me than you guys. (Thanks for the link, Allen!)

The Point Radio: Unplug

IPods, Blackberries, laptops: How has technology affected your relationships?...


Click play above to listen.

Want some more ideas for unplugging?

Continue reading "The Point Radio: Unplug" »

April 02, 2009

Same-sex marriage decision in Iowa tomorrow

Shane Vander Hart has details.

Update: The ban has been overturned.

Daily roundup