A Very Wise and Useful Discipline pluralism

I wanted to find a similar graphic but with the map of America, thinking of what our new President must feel like as he assumes such an incredible assignment. But perhaps this is closer to reality in that the assignment he has assumed is a global one.

But this is a very special week in the Church’s calendar as well and perhaps that has largely gone unnoticed. This is the annual Week of Christian Unity celebration, January 18-25, that is observed by a large part of the universal christian family around the globe. I hope you will follow the link for RESOURCES  and check out this year’s theme.

The principle of accomodation as applied to citizens of the eternal Kingdom of God while temporarily remaining citizens of this present world is a very helpful and necessary one to learn. I can’t help but sense that evangelical christians especially living in the United States could benefit greatly from becoming more adept at practicing it in this present day of opportunity.

I leave you with a few wise words regarding accomodation in the above context by a master-teacher addressing ministers-to-be 100 years ago.

  • “If we accomodate ourselves to the world in one way we must be exigent in another. Our demands must never be submerged by our sympathies. The more kind we are, the more lofty we must be with our kindness. The goodness of God must never diminish the severity of God. His gifts of love must never obscure the prior claim of holiness. His grace must never abolish His judgment.
  • Fatherhood is not the fatherhood of Christ’s God if it erase from our faith the necessity of an Atonement offered not to man alone but to God. The love by which God’s offspring are called sons of God is not His kindness to His creatures, but it is a special manner of love bestowed upon us with the gift of Christ and not with the gift of existence, by a Redeemer and not a Creator (I John 3).

 P.T.Forsyth, Positive Preaching and The Modern Mind, p.84

The Cry of The Skeptics to the Religious

 

 

I had a wonderful idea sometime after hearing of Elder D.J. Ward’s death and upon reading an amazing post by Mary Louise. I have collected over the years a file in my computer I call “The Saints Gallery”. It is just a small sampling of men like Elder Ward that I have known personally or that during my short lifetime I have been privileged to know something of their influence in the world. The idea has grown that I must share that on my blog as it is such a part of the influence of others on who I am.

 

Mary Louise post is letting us in on who she is, “a Vatican kid”. (see ROOTS)  Here she is quoting from a book, Man the Saint:

 

Those who abandon the one true God very soon become slaves of the most barren dryness of soul. They are simply pagans: and to-day they can be seen all around us straining their sightless eyes, vainly seeking that happiness for which their instincts cry out, groping about in the dark, blindly trying to find the way, the truth and the life. We try to help them. We have told them a thousand times to look to our Christ. They have tried to look but they see nothing. We have shouted at them that Christ is alive, really alive, the same man that He always was and always will be, but the force of our arguments was quenched by their cold indifference. And yet it is easy enough to understand this dryness and bitterness in the souls of these poor pagans when we read the cynical challenge in their eyes: “Show us by your lives that Christ is alive.” Their argument is all too just. We cannot expect them to be won over by treatises on apologetics and theology, some of them too dry and formal. Their argument is fair enough: “Show us by your lives that Christ is alive.”

 

But then the quote takes an unexpected turn and before you can leave off reading, it’s too late; the arrow of truth has been sunk deep within. This in turn introduces the topic of the Saints as commonly understood by the faithful in the Catholic tradition. My “Saint’s Gallery” postings will hopefully answer the challenge from the skeptics and declare there are lives that demonstrate that Christ is alive and walks among us even though they may be far too few. And these lives will demonstrate that even the best of the Saints are all clay vessels with their warts and all, not exactly the common understanding.

 

One final quote from the post of Mary Louise, in hopes you will want to take time to read it all.

 

“ It is a cause for bitter regret to see the insipid and crumbling spectacle we present to the world after twenty centuries of so-called progress. Our world is full of living Christians, but yet it is the lifeless who are in command. We have churches in plenty, but so few good lives. All we lack is lives, lives to inspire the dead, to convince them, to strengthen the wills of poor weak mortals,to enlighten the minds of the diseased, to soften the selfish hearts of greedy materialists –

passionate lives,         

generous lives,                                                 

 So few good lives!”

 

This is also what my earlier post on “The Most Powerful Force on Earth” is about.