BIBLE STUFF: First, I have a new “pet peeve” going, vis-a-vis the ongoing foolishness of the “my church is more Christian than your church” rhetoric. This one runs in a similar vein to the previously discussed “We’re a Bible-believing church” and “Your church doesn’t hold to the authority of scripture” nonsense.
I first read the following phrase on a west coast church website; later I saw it referenced in a news feature; then I noticed the idea come up in a couple of conversations. Here it is: “Now I’m in a church that preaches the whole Bible” (code for: “other churches don’t…).
REALLY? You’ve got to be kidding! Unless the minister’s Bible reading starts at Genesis 1:1 and finishes (many, many hours later) at the end of Revelation, then “preaching the whole Bible” is ALWAYS going to be impacted by some element of weekly sampling.
Denominations that tend to follow the lectionary (reading cycle) guidelines are the most likely to cover their biblical bases during a given year. However, no matter how deeply your pastor mines the scriptures, and how convinced your church is that they do the best job when it comes to interpreting God’s Word, preaching and teaching is/are always going to involve choice when it comes to “what to include in today’s message,” and “what to save for another time.”
One of (my wife) Rebekah’s favorite phrases/questions is “What else does the Bible say?” Consequently, we have several church-wide initiatives in place designed to expose people to the epic scope that is the depth, breath, and completeness of scripture. But we (and this is true of every church and congregation) will always need to be more deliberate and more thorough when it comes to our study of God’s transformational Word.
C.S. LEWIS: My Wednesday evening men’s group (The Men’s Room) just launched an overview study of the writings and thought of C.S. Lewis. It was a good beginning, and I’m convinced it’s going to be a thought-provoking journey.
Lewis, for those of you who don’t know much about him, was one of the great theological and philosophical minds of the 20th-Century. He was a scholar, an apologist, and an inspirational writer. His vast collection of work includes Mere Christianity, The Great Divorce, The Problem of Pain, A Grief Observed, Surprised by Joy, and The Chronicles of Narnia.
The point of our study is to introduce ourselves to challenging Christian thinking that will help deepen our spiritual journey, and to better equip ourselves to invite others into faith-based conversation.
FAMILY: The other huge blip on my radar this morning is family. Andrew just finished up his visit with Naomi (and Craig and David) in Connecticut, and he’s on his way back to Italy, via Hartford, Washington DC, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Frankfurt, Venice.
Even though we didn’t see him in person, it was good to have Andrew in the States. What was even better was knowing how well he bonded with his nephew, David. They played together all week and that makes my heart glad.
Today, Naomi sent this picture collage. Craig, David, Andrew. Words can’t say it any better.
Peace, blessings, family joy, deep C.S. Lewis thoughts, and “the whole Bible.” - DEREK