It’s hardly theological novelty or historical oddity to suggest we should be wary of presenting the immaterial God in physical form. This was the point of my recent article on The Shack movie in which I expressed my concern that its portrayal of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit is a violation of the second commandment. I was surprised by the scope and tone of the response. Yet amid many retorts and accusations, I received one thoughtful question from at least a hundred people: What about Narnia? If it is wrong to portray God the Father as the human Papa, isn’t it equally wrong to portray God the Son as the lion Aslan?
Mike Cosper (and for those who like to jump to conclusions: Mike is not endorsing Robbins):
The proper Christian response to Tony Robbins isn’t to dismiss his work or his results, but to point out the reasons his work needs to exist in the first place—to point to the brokenness in all. Christianity offers a bigger story in which his work fits, revealing both a deeper brokenness and a deeper healing. To say we can live meaningful lives is to acknowledge most of us don’t, and we can trace the reasons back to the fallenness of the world.
Despite this, discussion on the importance of discernment doesn’t make its way much to pulpits or small group lessons. We talk quite a bit about knowledge, but we often don’t make the leap, like Paul did, to epignosis. One way we mature as disciples is to continually practice discernment (Heb 5:14).
And if we don’t take the time to do so, we fall into various traps that are difficult to get out of. Here are three particular pitfalls we face if we fail to prioritize discernment in the Christian life.
This is from a larger essay, but there’s a ton worth considering just in the excerpt.
Over the last few hundred years people have planted trees in celebration of Arbor Day. People all over the world plant trees to commemorate the value of trees to the environment and our human experience. Looking back at the Old Testament we find Abraham planting a tree and as he does, he appears to make a statement.
“Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba…” (Gen. 21:33a)
What was Abraham saying and doing here?
I enjoyed this interview with Gaye Clark on The Calling podcast. Check it out.
A favorite from the archives:
In a world without God, time doesn’t really make sense. Or rather, at a minimum, the concept of time doesn’t. Time is always moving, always changing; one second is always becoming the next… As a thing that is always becoming, then, can time self-originate?
If time is self-originating, when did it self-originate?
Thus, the question is: can that which is ever changing spontaneously come into being?