Unexpected Jesus Sighting

On my birthday not long ago, my wife and I went for an afternoon drive, something we rarely have time to do, and came across a Catholic prayer mountain. We decided to go in an walk around. We were the only people there because, as we found out, this location is always open but only crowded during important holidays and other events. As we walked up and down the mountain, loosely following the stations of the cross, we came across and unexpected sighting of Jesus.  Seeing Jesus wasn’t unexpected–we were in a mountainside Catholic garden, after all–but seeing him like this actually startled me for a moment.  I’ve never seen Jesus like this in all my years in this predominately non-Christian nation. read more

Love stories…

Perhaps what we need in our hyper-media’ed world of hyper-speed change are not more logically reasoned statements of faith and books of doctrine that attempt to address every possible situation is a constantly changing world, but rather a commitment to the two laws that Jesus gave—Love God and love your neighbor—and lots of wonderful stories that speak to our imaginations, showing what that kind of love looks like.

Matthew 28:18–By the authority vested in me…

And one thing is for sure; when Jesus spoke to his eleven disciples there was not a single ordained pastor, Sunday-school teacher, song leader, church board member, televangelist, Christian aid worker, Christian musician, Christian author, or any other sort of "high-profile" Christian worker among them. They were just ordinary guys like you and me. Ordinary, except for the fact that they had learned to walk with Jesus. read more

Recovering a sense of amazement…

 For example, in the Narnia series Aslan is not a fictitious representation of the doctrine of God or an abstract picture of God.  Aslan is Aslan.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Yet, in the character of Aslan shines forth something that reminds us of God—a God who is good, but not safe.  It would be going too far to logically align every word and action of Aslan to the Biblical understanding of God.  That’s not the point.  But through Aslan the imagination is able to circumvent a dry and worn-out familiarity with known doctrinal statements about God and recover the sense of amazement, joy, and wonder that comes with a new, unsuspected realization of a truth about God revealed through an imaginative creature, like Aslan. read more

Rehabilitation of the imagination

Some have concluded that Lewis, in writing the Narnia books, intended to write a clear and direct allegory of the Christian story; to teach or preach the Christian message through story.  This is not exactly true.  One of Lewis’ primary objective was to “rehabilitate the modern imagination.”  We live in an age of rapid change, Lewis observed (and if he throught it true more than half a century ago, we can only imagine what he would say about the current rate of change in our version of the modern world), and “media’ed experience.”  Even in an age before computers, tablets and cell phones Lewis observed that people mostly live in a world created by humanity rather than the natural world.  Great numbers of people have little interaction on any kind of regular basis with the natural world.  This change of environment from past generation and eras has brought with it massive changes in the default settings of thinking, relationship and the delivery of information.