Tuesday, June 12, 2012

There are no Thin Places

Mere Christianity
I have just completed my second CS Lewis book of the summer, "Mere Christianity"  Millions of followers of Christ have read this classic.  In fact if you have only read one CS Lewis book, this was probably the one you read in high school or college.  Mere Christianity is a compilation of a series of radio broadcasts given between 1942 and 1944 in England.  They were given in three separate series and then later compiled into the single volume book we now have.

Just as Lewis hoped, the book serves as a great introduction to some of Christianities most broad and agreed upon beliefs.  By broad and agreed upon I mean that the basic concepts and beliefs herein are the most universal of beliefs about God, Jesus, forgiveness of sin, resurrection, trinity, and a handful of other things.  If you had to hand the entire Christian community a standard by which to go by something like the Apostles Creed or Nicene Creed would be appropriate to say, "Yeah, we believe that."  This book is similar in purpose and content.  Lewis does a fair job of admitting his own Anglican biases and claims repeatedly that some topics could be delved into deeper but he is just a "simple layman" and he chooses to leave the deeper theological debates to "priests and bishops."

However, most would agree that Lewis is far from the average layman.  His use of great images and detailed examples are timeless.  My personal favorite image the use of a map.  When he is defending the importance of why all members of the church must go deeper into theological matters and not just settle for the "plain practical religion."  "A map of the ocean" he says "is only a simple sheet of paper but it is based on hundreds and thousands of people have found out by sailing the real Atlantic.  In that way it has behind it masses of experience just as real as the one you could have from the beach; only while yours would be single glimpse, the map fits all those different experiences together. If you want to go anywhere, the map is absolutely necessary." Thus the purpose of theology.  It serves as a map of faith.  This is a great image.

In the end Mere Christianity is just that, a simple guide for early believers and "non-believers" to learn about the Christian faith.  For that purpose it is a great read.  If you desire deeper, more detailed maps, another book might better serve your needs.

Sorry I have failed to post any quality links on my most recent few posts.  Below are some great things you should definitively check out this week.
O God, from whom all good proceeds: Grant that by your inspiration we may think those things that are right, and by your merciful guiding may do them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Young Adults:

Virtually Dependent: An interesting view of how young adults and college students are digitally co-dependent upon their parents.

I found a new website/blog called The Everyday Minimalist.  It tracks a young woman who is seeking to live with fewer material goods while living life more abundantly.  That sounds familiar...  It has some interesting travel tips, fun ways to conserve energy, and most importantly how to live with less stuff and be debt free.  Check it out.

Ever wish your "posse" could have gone with you to college?  Here is a cool program that promotes just that.

Missional Church:

10 Questions to Ask if You're Wondering, "Am I Missional?"  Trevin Wax at the The Gospel Coalition asks ten questions based on Jason Dukes book Live Sent: You are a Letter to help determine of you're living missionally.

How to have a more missional youth group by Adam McLane

Reminding ourselves WHO we serve rather than WHAT we might be serving

There are no Thin Places:  a great video that really points out the flaw of failing to engage in the neighborhood you live in.

Thin Places - Chapter 2: Submerging from The House Studio on Vimeo.

Here is an awesome video that shares some of the basic understandings of salvation from a protestant and an orthodox view.

Ministry Ideas:

BIG ministry impact through small numbers:  Jesus spent most of his ministry effort on a small number of people who in turn changed the world.  Are you investing in the lives of at least a few people or are you trying to save the world on your own?

Other things that the web has to offer:

Looking for a great way to communicate the Scriptures to the world?  Rembrandt was a Dutch artist who lived during the 17th Century.  He was very observant of the world around him and these observations are noted in the detail and subtleties of his masterful works of art.  Especially his Religious Art.

Don't just be thankful for what God has done, be thankful for who God is.

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