Saturday, July 24, 2010

Now we are into the Problem of Pain by CS Lewis

Now we are into the Problem of Pain by CS Lewis a far more nuanced, whatever that means, I am not sure but I am sure I heard it once on a Radio 4 art farty programme, who am I trying to impress? Anyway this nuanced book is addressing far more pressing problems than the Art of Learning. I have read the introduction and all ready I see this is going to be an illuminating read. A great piece from page 13:

"The fourth strand or element is a historical event. There was a man born among these Jews or claimed to be, or to be the son of, or to be 'one with', the Something which is at once the awful haunter of nature and the giver of the moral law. The claim is so shocking-a paradox, and even a horror, which we may easily be lulled into taking too lightly-that only two views of this man are possible. Either he was a raving lunatic of an unusually abominable type, or else He was, and is, precisely what He said. There is no middle way. If the records make the first hypothesis unacceptable, you must submit to the second."

We now have Chapter two Divine Omnipotence. This will be as interesting to my atheist friends as to those who believe in God, both the God of the Bible, Allah and the other smaller gods many of my friends worship. I will keep you updated as we go one chapter at a time.....

Chapter 3 Divine Goodness. Love can forebear, and Love can forgive...but Love can never be reconciled to an unlovely object....He can never therefore be reconciled to your sin, because sin itself is incapable of being altered; but he may be reconciled to your person, because that may be restored. Traherne, Centuries of Meditation, 11,30

Chapter 4 Human Wickedness. We are wicked to the core. Our occasional inclination to virtues is exceptional when our every thought and motive infected, if not infested with sin, usually pride. Even in writing this blog I have to guard against using it to glorify me, give me credit and credibility for what purpose would that serve other than to justify myself, which is a terrific sin. Hear oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one, You are to love the Lord with all your heart soul and strength, these commandments are to be upon your hearts, impress them upon your children, remember them when you are walking, resting and having community.

So how do I tell when I am staying connected to God, holding Jesus.s hand and living with and in the Holy Spirit? Being joyful. If I can view adversity, pain, grievances, annoyances, trials and troubles as joyful opportunities to serve Jesus, rest in Him and depend on him I am on mission, on track and walking in the light.

Of course I don't want to deter my agnostic, pagan, atheistic and Roman Catholic friends and family from entering into a personal relationship with their creator by being a freaky, wacky and screwy Christian who they fear to talk to at the risk of being tempted to buy a pair of gym shoes and drink the cool aid. So if you have any ideas to allow me to maintain a healthy relationship with you, while still loving you with truth by pointing you to a humble Galilean carpenter, who grew up climbing trees, playing hide and seek with the neighbours in his small village, learnt a trade from his step dad Joe and lived a normal obscure life up to about the age of 12 when it is first noted that he had unexpected gifts then please leave a note.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


On the face of it was a harmless question, "was he queer?", however when you stop to think about it this was a terrible thing to ask in the company of an attentive eighteen year old man and revealed so much about the mindset of the questioner, the cultural context of our day and the careless way as parents, friends and family we use words.

We were having lunch with my father, I told him about the sad passing of our dear friend Luder Ahmels. I told him a little about Luder's life which included the detail that he was single and this prompted the question about Luder's sexual behaviour. The question for this blog is why the interest in Luder's sex life, why associate singleness with homosexuality, why a willingness to ask a question of such an intimate personal nature and why not consider the subliminal messages this sends to all those with whom you are sharing lunch?

I am reading a book called the Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin. The first half of the book is all about his path to success as a chess-master. It is peppered generously with references to spirituality, flow and ancient Chinese philosophy. It is a classic tale of someone's voyage of discovery and how the twentieth century existentialist mindset has such a strong influence on our attitudes. It is self orientated, looking at the world through a lens of self discovery as if inside every human being there is this calm, insightful inner person accessible who is going to fulfill his or her potential. Needless to say the author is clearly missing the big E on the eye chart as to why the relationship with his girlfriend is so volatile and he has this continued appetite to discover his inner self. More to follow.........