The Necessity of Ecstasy and Delight for Godliness

"Ecstasy and delight are essential to the believer's soul and they promote sanctification. We were not meant to live without spiritual exhilaration, and the Christian who goes for a long time without the experience of heart-warming will soon find himself tempted to have his emotions satisfied from earthly things and not, as he ought, from … Continue reading The Necessity of Ecstasy and Delight for Godliness

The Uninhabitable Terror of Christmas I have always found this short Christmas reflection/parable from the late Frederick Buechner so arresting that, despite me disagreeing with much of what he writes elsewhere, I can't help but love this: The lovely old carols played and replayed till their effect is like a dentist's drill or a jackhammer, the bathetic banalities of the pulpit and … Continue reading The Uninhabitable Terror of Christmas

Bacchus Baptized: How Can Christians Drink Wisely? In a portion of C.S. Lewis' Prince Caspian, Aslan awakens the Ancient Greek god of wine and feasting, Bacchus (Dionysius, to the Romans). There is a great romp and feast of the finest grapes, leaving all with "sticky and stained fingers...and, though mouths were full, the laughter never ceased." After all are satiated and satisfied, Susan turns to … Continue reading Bacchus Baptized: How Can Christians Drink Wisely?

The Deadly Danger of Drunkenness

As those who bear God's name, who are filled with the Spirit, drunkenness should never be something we make peace with or make light of. We want to rightly enjoy God's good gifts, feasting and celebrating with what Calvin called an "honest and moderate liberality." But drunkenness perverts God's good gift into debauchery, danger, and destruction.

Bilbo’s Bravery and Christian Courage

In my sermon from two weeks ago, I reminded our church of the critical role courage plays in the Christian life. We currently live in a culture of "safetyism" that promotes safety as the highest good, and risk/danger as an unequivocal evil. I was reminded of the wonderful character transformation of Bilbo Baggins from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. Bilbo is a typical … Continue reading Bilbo’s Bravery and Christian Courage