Inklings fans, take note: A recent episode of The Art of Manliness podcast featured an interview with Joseph Loconte, author of A Hobbit, A Wardrobe, and a Great War: How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, & Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-18.
The interview with Loconte taught me new things about the way Tolkien and Lewis viewed life and literature. I also was challenged to think more about my deeply held, Western-world belief in the supposedly inevitable outcome called progress.
Speaking of Inklings, you might also be interested in reading Charles Williams’s take on dogma—and watching a short documentary on Owen Barfield.
Posted in C.S. Lewis, Christian Humanism, The Inklings, Tolkien
Tagged Brett McKay, C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams, Inklings, interviews, J.R.R. Tolkien, Joseph Loconte, literature, Owen Barfield, podcast, progress, The Art of Manliness
Author Dan Pink, in an Intelligence Squared podcast (about something completely different from church-related stuff), responded to a question at the end of his presentation with this:
“Power ends up corrupting people’s ability to see another person’s perspective…. The more power someone has, the less acute their perspective-taking skills are. If you look at high-status people in organizations, in general, high-status people in society, they’re not very good at taking other people’s perspective.”
Posted in Christian Humanism, Church, church growth, evangelical
Tagged Church, Dan Pink, evangelicals, high-status, Intelligence Squared, ministry, perspective, perspective-taking skills, podcasts, power
With your donation, my ministry can become God’s will.
The truth is revealed by the numbers.
So let’s work to make God work.
I recently posted “C.S. Lewis Drank Three Pints of Beer in the Morning — A Letter From Tolkien.”
So, to continue with the theme of famous Christians who write letters dealing with alcohol:
Lapham’s Quarterly recently offered this letter by Martin Luther, written to Jerome Weller. Here’s an excerpt dealing with the temptation to be melancholy:
“Whenever the devil harasses you thus, seek the company of men, or drink more, or joke and talk nonsense, or do some other merry thing. Sometimes we must drink more, sport, recreate ourselves, aye, and even sin a little to spite the devil, so that we leave him no place for troubling our consciences with trifles. We are conquered if we try too conscientiously not to sin at all. So when the devil says to you, ‘Do not drink,’ answer him, ‘I will drink, and right freely, just because you tell me not to.’ One must always do what Satan forbids. What other cause do you think that I have for drinking so much strong drink, talking so freely and making merry so often, except that I wish to mock and harass the devil who is wont to mock and harass me. Would that I could contrive some great sin to spite the devil, that he might understand that I would not even then acknowledge it and that I was conscious of no sin whatever. We, whom the devil thus seeks to annoy, should remove the whole Decalogue from our hearts and minds.”
That, Protestant evangelicals, is your great-granddaddy.
Posted in beer, Christian Humanism, epistles, history, letters, Martin Luther
Tagged alcohol, booze, Christian writers, devil, drink, drinking, epistles, fellowship, history, Jerome Weller, Lapham's Quarterly, letters, Martin Luther, sin, temptation
Happy New Year! Does God know the future? Physicist, theologian, and Anglican priest John Polkinghorne thinks He might not. In the following short video excerpt of a longer interview for Closer to the Truth, Polkinghorne talks about the classical Christian view held by Augustine and Aquinas, and then offers his alternative point of view.
While we’re at it, why not listen to Polkinghorne define “time” for a different interview with Closer to the Truth? Here he also touches on theology and God’s knowledge of the future:
Posted in Anglican, Christian Humanism, God, John Polkinghorne, physics, theology
Tagged Aquinas, Augustine, Closer to the Truth, Does God know the future, future, God, Happy New Year, John Polkinghorne, physicists, physics, theologians, theology, time
Two of the most-clicked posts on this blog have been Paul Holmer: How literature functions and Umberto Eco on theory and narrative. The common theme between the two might be that storytelling is not only necessary, but also of greater value than systematized and abstracted knowledge. Granted, the structure of Eco’s quotation seems to give priority to theorizing, but Holmer argues that humans learn more broadly and deeply from stories than from abstract or systematic knowledge.
So a quotation from James K.A. Smith’s book Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism? Taking Derrida, Lyotard, and Foucault to Church, found in this recent review, was a welcome addition to the theme:
“We were created for stories, not propositions; for drama, not bullet points.”
In this context, it’s probably worth remembering that beloved storyteller C.S. Lewis warned against systematizing the Bible.
Posted in Christian Humanism, common grace, literature, philosophy, story, storytelling, theology
Tagged books, bullet points, C.S. Lewis, drama, James K.A. Smith, narrative, Paul Holmer, philosophy, propositions, stories, storytelling, theory, Umberto Eco
“He began crawling toward the dark hallway arch. Ozzie had never taught him or Diana any prayers, so he whispered the words of religious Christmas carols…”
From the novel Last Call (1992) by Tim Powers