Forgiveness

 C. S. Lewis, one of my favorite authors, wrote a copious amount of essays on the Christian life. One, I think, needs to be read by any believer every so often. It is on forgiveness. You see, I don’t “do” forgiveness well. This probably sounds like a complete “Un-Christian” thing to say, yet I fully mean it. 

But the trouble is that what we call “asking God’s forgiveness” very often really consists in asking God to accept our excuses. What leads us into this mistake is the fact that there usually is some amount of excuse, some “extenuating circumstances.” We are so very anxious to point these things out to God (and to ourselves) that we are apt to forget the very important thing; that is, the bit left over, the bit which excuses don’t cover, the bit which is inexcusable but not, thank God, unforgivable. And if we forget this, we shall go away imagining that we have repented and been forgiven when all that has really happened is that we have satisfied ourselves without own excuses. They may be very bad excuses; we are all too easily satisfied about ourselves.

So, forgiveness is harder for us to ask for and give than we think. We very flippantly, as a natural reaction, proclaim forgiveness over someone without thinking what we offer, or when we receive forgiveness. (I hate this thing) we say, like any good Christian should, “You know, I have forgiven them in my heart already.” Ehhhh, you sure there shooter? It is a cop-out, most of the time, because we the next minute flip out on the hearer about what the person did. The reality of forgiveness is that forgiveness takes account on how much it is being forgiven. Forgiveness is hard, but God counted the cost and forgave us of much more than we know. 

So, here’s the thought, anytime we come before God, let us just bring ourselves dirty and messed up—no excuses and long winded prayers. God knows, and he is not shocked. He has healed us in Jesus Christ, and He will heal us because of His Son, when we bring ourselves before Him. He is faithful.

Favorite Podcast

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So, since I graduated, I have really been into podcasts for a multitude of reasons—some noble and some selfish. One of my favorite podcasts is from Brant and Sherri, who are two Christians that I respect because they are hitting evangelical culture with the reality of the Gospel. Yet, I love them, not because they are talking about Jesus, it is because they are just real about life and grace.

They have a radio show, and it is conjunction with CURE International. You should check it out and see what they are doing. 

http://branthansen.com/category/podcast/

Also,
You should go read his blog….and really…Check out CURE.

https://cure.org

The Creation Debate?

The god particle is a recent post from Jesse Carey, who contributes to RELEVANT, on the ongoing Creation debate. For some, the debate is not over the reality of Creation, like some evangelicals…it is really about the authority and inspiration of Scripture. While on the side of many people is the reality of what science has been leading us to believe is “HOW” the cosmos was formed.

The debate on whether God did or did not create the world in six literal 24 hour days is a hot button issue for many conservatives. This is part of my “night cap” section for the specific reason of directing you to a place, where I think it was well-written and thoughtful. If you fall on either side of the line, congrats…I really don’t care.

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/worldview/god-particle

My view is still out, because I think there are certain things, other than the context of Genesis 1-3, within Scripture making this debate and conversation nulled and void, yet I understand articulating it is critically important. In other words what I am saying is: I’m still thinking about it, and it is okay for me to say that.

C.S. Lewis on Originality

“No man who values originality will ever be original. But try to tell the truth as you see it, try to do any bit of work as well as it can be done for the work’s sake, and what men call originality will come unsought.” 
                                                                                     —C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis is one of the apologetical and Christian thinking giants of the past 70+ years. This one quote from Lewis hit me in the face while re-re-reading through one of the many of his essays entitled, “Members” . From a young age, I hated being compared with other people. If you ever wanted to see me blow a fuse, all you had to do was mention myself in the same sentence with someone else. As I have grown older, I realized, it is natural for people to compare and contrast other people with people who are familiar, and they do not understand explicitly what they are doing. So, in reaction to that, I was always seeking (confession: I still am) to be original.

I do not want to build on people’s work. I want all the glory; I never want to share it. You think I probably should use a past tense, but it is not in the past…it is a present issue. It has always been my thing to make a name for myself, I mean it is part of the American Dream. When I read these lines from C.S. Lewis, God sucker punched me in the face*. Most of my life, I have been uber focused on being original, different from everyone else. Because I have been so focused on it, I take my whole identity to be wrapped up in my originality. Now, I am already different from everyone else: the parents God gave me, the education, my genetic makeup, and a laundry list of other things. Yet, the Christian Life is not about being original from everything else.

My obsession for originality, thus having other ascribe a high value to me is completely and utterly a perversion of my identity; it is absolutely based upon what I or you think I should do or be. God is nowhere to be found in it. It is sin, let us not be coy about it. Sin is a perversion, a twisting, of what is good into something for what it was never intended to be. Yet, here is the great, amazing news. Jesus knows. It is the whole reason why the Son of God came. Jesus is my originality. I do not have to be original, God has already done it. I can, now, be a simple guy, doing my work.

 

*(Sidenote: I believe God speaks through many things other than just or only the Holy Scripture, yet normatively, authoritatively only through Scripture. All the other speech are pointers back to Scripture where the Word of God is revealed, i.e. Jesus Christ. There is loads more to say about it…and I’m still working it out.) 

(Some of the thoughts in this post will be updated, teased out more, or otherwise corrected. Blogging is an ongoing process.)