Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Made for... Mediocrity?

I didn’t wake up one morning in my youth and think, “I want to grow up to be a mediocre husband and father, and to fritter away my life on selfish pursuits and unfulfilling drivel.”

But there came a point in which I recognized, as a young man, that was where I was headed. I realized and acknowledged that my life was mediocre and even bad. There was an absence of goodness in my heart, and so in my life. It touched everything around me.

My journey toward badness entailed choices made step by step. The path of mediocrity and moral degeneration is a wide and spacious one, and easy to tread. My own journey will have to be chronicled elsewhere, but to sum it up, basically I bought into the culture's "gospel": "Live for yourself and you will be happy." That is, of course, the sure road to hell. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Eating Humble Duck Pie

Copyright 2013, Used by Permission

God's truth can be found in the most surprising places. Even the infernal mind-jello mould known as television can be used by God to share the wisdom of God.

In my last blog post, Questions that Wake You Up at Night, I offhandedly made reference to people who believe that deep reflection on the meaning of life entails watching episodes of Duck Dynasty. I wasn't criticizing people who watch the show, but those whose theological reflection and inquiry goes no deeper.

While I stand by the point I made with reference to the reality show (which you can find in that post), I am humbled by the following video interview with one of the "stars" of Duck Dynasty. If I had possessed this sort of wisdom when I was this man's age... well...

Watch the brief interview HERE and be schooled by a big-bearded man of God and his bride on the topics of "what really matters in life" and "godly marriage!"

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Questions That Wake You Up at Night

Copyright 2013, Used by Permission

What if this whole Christianity is one big, wish-it-could-be-true sham?

What if we have latched on to some ancient mythology out of a desperate desire for something beautiful, something to allay the deep loneliness of the human heart, which, no matter how superficially connected to others of the species it may seem to be, fears in its depths that it is somehow disconnected and alone? What if Christianity only depicts, like a painting, a beauty that is too good to be true?

What if Jesus of Nazareth has become the mythic man-god of Christian belief, a great man clothed with divinity by man's collective imagination?

These are questions that are especially prevalent in this skeptical age. They are questions that must be faced with courage because they will not go away. They will be asked with more frequency. And they will be asked not only by skeptics outside the Church, but those within.

When I was agnostic, I worked next to a fellow who loved the Lord. He took his Bible with him on his lunch hour for prayer and study with a colleague. He seemed happy and secure.

I asked him once how he could be certain God was real. His answer irritated me. He said, "I just know it in my heart." I wanted more. I wanted him to give me a reason for his certitude, for his hope.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Will the Real Jesus Please Stand up?

Copyright 2013, Used by Permission

It seems to me there are a lot of impostors out there. 

When I was a kid we watched a show called "To Tell the Truth." I am dating myself here, but the way it went, to the best of my memory, was this: A celebrity guest would face three guests claiming to be a certain person. Two were impostors and one was the real deal. The celebrity's challenge was to question all three and figure out who was being truthful. At the inquisitor's questions, the impostors could lie their heads off to trick the guest, but the authentic person had to tell the truth. 

I sometimes get the feeling we are in the position of the celebrity guest, having to discern between various claimants to the role of Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. 

In this case, the question is: Who is the real Jesus Christ among a myriad of impostors?