“I still prefer to believe that sex is a substitute for religion and that the young man who rings the bell at the brothel is unconsciously looking for God,” Father Smith said.

– Bruce Marshall, The World, the Flesh, and Father Smith.

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What We Were Created For

October 10, 2012

Until we are saved, we spend our lives running from the One for whom we were created. Once He finds us (think lost sheep) we begin to find life.

(HT: Borrowed Light)

Pictures Of God

May 18, 2012

Steve DeWitt says in Eyes Wide Open:

What creation does say, however, is glorious and elicits questions that prime our hearts to receive Christ. Our hearts ask, Who could do this? If God can do all of this, how wonderful and desirable must He be? If God made me, wouldn’t He care for me? The person who asks these questions is on the path toward the One to whom all beauty is intended to lead. Since everything God created is theology (“God-knowledge”), all creation is a treasure hunt in which God has left clues—essentially pictures of Himself. Each picture is intentionally pleasurable so as to increase our desire for more. For someone more.

Make today a treasure hunt! We love treasure. God is the only treasure that really satisfies.

Darwin’s Dismay

May 16, 2012

Here’s what Darwin wrote near the end of his life:

Up to the age of 30 or beyond it, poetry of many kinds . . . gave me great pleasure, and even as a schoolboy I took intense delight in Shakespeare. . . . Formerly pictures gave me considerable, and music very great, delight. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry: I have tried to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me. I have also almost lost any taste for pictures or music. . . . I retain some taste for fine scenery, but it does not cause me the exquisite delight which it formerly did. . . . My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding out general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive. . . . The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.

How tragic it is that there is often this “loss of happiness.” Why go on living if there is no delight? This is the very issue that Christianity is ultimately about. Instead of losing the capacity for joy, it is reclaimed and enhanced. This is because our God gets bigger and bigger. He doesn’t actually grow but rather our understanding and awareness of whom he is grows. Here’s how Lewis talked about it in Prince Caspian. Aslan is speaking with Aslan:

“Welcome, child,” he said. “Aslan,” said Lucy, “you’re bigger.” “That is because you are older, little one,” answered he. “Not because you are?” [Lucy asked.] “I am not,” he said. “But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.”

The longer we live the more we realize that Jesus is bigger than we ever could imagine. This is good news for the thirsty soul.

I’m Hungry Pt. 2

May 15, 2012

Yesterday I wrote about our quest for glory, for an encounter with beauty. All of life is about this search for greatness, glory, and beauty. We look for it in the places we visit, the food we eat, and the entertainment we consume (great music, literature, or films). It is in the presence of greatness that we are most satisfied, and at the same time, least self-aware. Life is best when we are lost in the greatness and glory of something outside ourselves.

This quest for glory, greatness, and beauty is really a quest for God. Even a great place will bore us if we stay there long enough. The exquisite meal can seem like a PBJ if consumed regularly enough. This, of course, is where God comes in. Given that he is infinite, we will never get to the end of his greatness. In eternity we’ll never have a boring day.

John the Apostle is known as the disciple whom Jesus loved. He was very close to Jesus and knew him as well as any human could. He witnessed the transfigured Jesus. In other words, when the curtain veiling his glory was pulled back, John was there in the light brighter than the sun (Mt 17:2). Yet, when John saw Jesus in his vision in the book of Revelation, John “fell at his feet as though dead” (Revelation 1:17). John was ill equipped to encounter Jesus’ glory. This is the all-satisfying glory I’m looking for. This is what your soul craves as well. I can’t wait.