Sunday reading

bikeboy

Saving Knowledge

I have often used the example of riding a bicycle as an image of knowing God. There’s no difficulty learning how to ride if you don’t mind falling off for a while. But no matter how many years you have ridden, you cannot describe for someone else how you know […]

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A Vertical Coordinate

Man is a being with an upright spine. He cannot change the natural position of his body without losing his dignity. A man on all fours is not quite a man. He’s like the prodigal son, who tormented by hunger desired to feed from the pig trough. There is no […]

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Flying By The Instruments

I was told once that it is possible when flying an airplane to lose track of whether you are flying rightside-up or upside-down—presumably because when you can’t see the ground or are flying through clouds or fog, you lose track of everything. It was then, I was further told, that […]

Liberty is sick

When America Got Sick

It was in the years following the Civil War, America was hard on the path to “becoming great.” The industrial revolution had moved into full swing, railroads criss-crossed the country, immigration was gaining speed, and wealth was accumulating at a rate never seen before. We were slowly moving from our […]

To Live Within The Tradition

To Live Within The Tradition

For a period of about three years in my late teens and early 20’s, I was deeply involved in a charismatic house church. It was a deeply committed group of people (some of us lived in a commune together). Our services could run for hours with very intensive Bible teaching. […]

Hierarchy

The Trouble With Hierarchy

It is fair to say that many people react negatively to the word “hierarchy”. The allergic reaction to the word has deep roots, going back to the Reformation and the secularism of the Enlightenment. Protestants of the sixteenth century tended to identify hierarchs with the distant and pompous prelates of […]

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This Is My Body

The most fundamental experience of being human is biological. We enter the world in a state of biological dependence, having left an utterly symbiotic existence in the womb. Parents’ first thoughts about a child are consumed with biological issues. Nursing, digestion, sleep, and various discomforts rightly occupy the often sleep-deprived […]

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Knocking Down The Gates Of Hell

The Swedish Lutheran theologian, Gustav Aulen, published a seminal work on the types of atonement theory in 1930 (Christus Victor). Though time and critical studies have suggested many subtler treatments of the question, no one has really improved on his insight. Especially valuable was his description of the “Classic View” […]

Tolkien and Lewis

The Mythic Character Of Reality

The friendship between CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien is well-known, as is Tolkien’s role in bringing Lewis to Christ. Less well-known (unless you dig a bit further) is Tolkien’s role in bringing Lewis out of a rigid and flat understanding of the world and into the rich possibilities afforded by […]