C.S. Lewis’ “Secret Society”

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C.S. Lewis once referred to the Church as “a sort of secret society to undermine the devil.” Instead of exploding onto the scene of a lost, dying and sinful world, he saw the people of God rather emerging somewhat stealthily, subtly and surprisingly amidst a failing culture. Amidst a World War 2 ravaged world, Lewis questioned why the work of God did not land as did the Allies on the Beaches of Normandy: “Why is God landing in this enemy-occupied world in disguise and starting a sort of secret society to undermine the devil? Why is He not landing in force, invading it? Is it that He is not str … [Read more...]

Pentecostal Ecumenism? – Dispatches from Converge21/SPS (Part One)

Converge

Who said “revivals” all have to lead to the creation of new “movements” or even denominations? It just may be that the best revivals are those that bring people back, back home, back to their roots, back to their senses (cf. Lk. 15:17), and in some cases even back to the churches of their youth or even to breaking bread with the same.I recently attended Converge21 (C21), an event that brought together a selected group of leaders, pastors, educators and next-geners to collaborate on “the future direction of the Spirit-empowered (a.k.a. – Pentecostal or Charismatic) movement in the United Sta … [Read more...]

How Good is “Good Enough”?

overcoming feelings of inadequacy

 “I’m sick of your religion, religion, religion…” - Isaiah 1:14 The Message “It will be an ill day for us if what most humans mean by ‘religion’ ever vanishes from the Earth. It can still send us the truly delicious sins. The fine flower of unholiness can grow only in the close neighborhood of the Holy. Nowhere do we tempt so successfully as on the very steps of the altar.” - Senior “devil” Screwtape in a speech at the “Annual Dinner of the Tempter’s Training College for Young Devils” (from C.S. Lewis’ popular parody, The Screwtape Letters) One of my favorite stories is about a big … [Read more...]

Was Jesus Religious?

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“I’m after mercy, not religion.” Hosea 6:6 The Message “Christ came when all things were growing old. He made them new.” AugustineWould Jesus be comfortable attending an average church service today? I’m not so sure. You have to wonder at least, don’t you? First, I’m not so sure he would sit still for that long.Second, in some churches, if Jesus showed up as a visitor, he would be ignored. In others, just plain bored. Even though in our church architecture we have certainly succeeded in stamping him onto our stain glass windows, I’m not so sure we could get him to stay seat … [Read more...]

The God I DON’T Believe In.

Christian Atheist

There are many people in the world today who don’t believe in God. Even though I now believe in God, when I talk with some of these people I find I agree with them. The kind of God they don’t believe in, I don’t believe in either. Writer Brian McLaren described the God he doesn’t believe in:An uptight God who is about black-and-white easy answers and brittle, rigid logic and law, rather than about profound and many-faceted truth, self-sacrificing love, compassionate justice, and profound relationships. … [Read more...]

Jesus Didn’t Come to Start A New Religion.

RvR

How many more minutes before the church service would be over? That’s all I could think about. Every agenda item on the scheduled liturgy was just something else I would have to endure. My mind worked hard to calculate and estimate how much time each of these “perfunctories” would demand: Invocation – two minutes. Reading from Psalms – five minutes. Hymn #124 – three to five minutes. Hymn #291 – another three to five minutes. Sermon – twenty-five minutes, if I was lucky. And on and on it went until the mental calculator registered fifty-five minutes. Fifty-five minutes?! Fifty-five minutes to g … [Read more...]

Martin Luther called this verse “the Gospel in miniature…”

Martin Luther

Take some time in prayer today to consider the incredible lengths that Jesus Christ has gone to in order to forge a friendship with you. Carefully consider the one verse of Scripture which the church reformer, Martin Luther, called “the heart of the Bible, the Gospel in miniature”:“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life(John 3:16).”Told differently: “God”……………………………………….……………………………..….The greatest Lover “so loved”……………………………………………………………………The greatest Degree “the world”…………………………………………… … [Read more...]


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