Saturday, May 12, 2012

3 Reason I Appreciate My Mom

There are many, many that I appreciate my mom. Too many to count. But on this Mother's Day, I'd like to share three of them with you.

1. Her care for people.

I naturally ask "why?". My dad taught me to ask "what?". But my mom taught me to ask "who?". I love my mom's tender heart which touches everything she does. Even little things like listening to people come from her desire to serve others. Without making airs or stirring up commotion, my mom makes an impact on everyone she gets to know. Her quiet spirit can penetrate hearts and silence storms. She cares for people like a bird flies. It's just a part of who she is. It's a marvelous gift and I'm so thankful for it.

2. Her faithful service.

My mom has an unassuming nature about her and thus much of what she does goes unnoticed. But that doesn't seem to bother her. Though I'm sure she's had her down moments, I'm so very grateful for the faithful, consistent service of my mother. She gladly performs the little things that no would notice unless she didn't do them. She's never felt the need to grab the spotlight. Rather, for the past twenty years I've seen her cheerfully serve everyone around her.

3. Her love for God.

But above all I'm thankful that my mom's highest priority is glorifying God. I know that everything else I appreciate in my mom - her openness, her sincerity, her compassion, her faithfulness - all stem from her love for God. I'm so very grateful that she saw fit to instill that in me.

For all that you are and all that you've done, thank you mom! Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

In Defense of Magic

Most of you know that I'm a bit of a fantasy nerd. I have an entire bookshelf dedicated to Lewis and Tolkien. One of the reasons I'm so fond of fantasy is that I believe it to be the most inherently spiritual genre. It deals with the supernatural almost by definition. This is both it's biggest strength and weakness. When done correctly it can powerfully portray biblical truths in a way that no lecture could. The imagination helps to link the mind and the heart. As I've written about before, I believe that good Christian fantasy is essentially theology in 3D. It's no coincidence that the founders of the genre (Bunyan, MacDonald, Lewis, Tolkien, Williams, ect.) were all Christians. However, when it's done wrong, the genre can be very pagan and almost satanic.

For this reason, many Christians have rejected the genre and "magic" altogether. Now, there's certainly a concern that needs to be raised about the misuse of magic. J.R.R. Tolkien himself disapproved of his friend Charles William's use of occult imagery. However, I feel that it's an overreaction to dismiss all stories that deal with the supernatural. I'm not trying to molest anyone conscience. If your conscience doesn't all you to read about Gandalf the White than don't read about Gandalf the White. However, I would like to explain why my conscience not only allows me to read about "magic" but rejoices in it.

Or rather, I'm going to allow a couple of men a lot smarter than I explain it. The following is a couple of videos done by theologian Doug Wilson and his son, novelist Nate Wilson. The first one lays the ground work and talks about (among other things) the difference between "Gandalf wizards" and "Harry Potter wizards". The second one is a follow up video that answers some objections raised to the first interview.

I found them well worth my time and I hope you too enjoy them.

Friday, May 4, 2012

G.K. Chesterton: Misplaced Modesty

Aside from being incredibly handsome (*cough*), G.K. Chesterton was very good as articulating distinctions. In his book Orthodoxy, Chesterton makes an observation about the misplacement of our "modesty":

"But what we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himeslf, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed. Nowadays, the part of man that a man does assert is exactly the part he ought not to assert - himself. The part he doubts is exactly the part he ought not to doubt - the Divine Reason."