Harry Lee Poe:
How Lewis came to be recruited and by whom remains a secret. The records of the Secret Intelligence Service, known popularly as MI6, remain closed. Perhaps one of his former pupils at Oxford recommended him for his mission. It was an unusual mission for which few people were suited. J. R. R. Tolkien had the knowledge base for the job, even beyond that of Lewis, but Tolkien lacked other skills that Lewis possessed. Perhaps someone had heard Lewis lecture on his favorite subject in one of the two great lecture halls in the Examination Schools building of Oxford University. At a time when Oxford fellows were notorious for the poor quality of their public lectures, Lewis packed the hall with an audience of students who were not required to attend lectures. In the 1930s, Lewis was the best show in town. Somehow Lewis had developed the skill to speak to an audience and hold them in rapt attention, in spite of his academic training rather than because of it.
What began as a foray into my Christian liberties became my slavery. You see, I knew none of the activities or interests I engaged in were sinful in and of themselves, but I was naive about the power of my sinful heart when coming in contact with those activities. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:12: “‘All things are lawful for me,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful for me,’ but I will not be dominated by anything.” Paul knew human desires are tainted with sin, which is why our desires can master us so easily.
Be sure to check out the new prints in Tim Challies’ Visual Theology store.
How does unbelief express itself—and can doubt bear fruit?
Two good videos featuring Barnabas Piper:
Today, with a watch, a calendar, and a minute-by-minute schedule of activities synced on our phones, we live under the dual illusion of controlled individuality. We govern the output, and few outside influences can stop us. It now seems possible to depend on nobody, to need nobody, to be vulnerable to nobody. We’ve taken complete control of our destinies. So the “buffered self” can voluntarily choose to opt out—out of marriage, out of childbearing, out of community, out of traditions, even out of the divine—in a way unfathomable to most previous centuries. And for the buffered self, the physical forces at work outside of us don’t have much bearing on our thinking. We can anesthetize ourselves from the horrors of the world by simply ignoring the famines, crimes, massacres, and natural disasters that ravage it.
One of the issues that comes up most often frequently when I am discipling others in the church is the struggle to do daily Bible reading. And it doesn’t necessarily get easier for those of us who are in ministry or study the Bible in an academic context—in fact, I think many pastors face the temptation of their teaching ministry from the Bible to crowd out, or altogether replace, their own personal devotional reading of Scripture. But if Christ claims that daily Bible reading is more important to us than daily food, we can’t neglect our own nourishment, even while seeking to feed others.