Lyrics, Worldviews, and the Glory of God

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I caught myself examining the theology of Ed Sheeran songs the other day. Granted, I’m pretty sure he’s not writing songs with God in mind; he seems to say as much. Even so, some of his lyrics reflect imagery and ideas found in Christianity, and I like trying to figure out what he might believe based on what he sings (for instance, I’m pretty sure he’s not a Gnostic based on “Shape of You”). Continue reading

The Signpost of the Imperfect

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C. S. Lewis penned something that has long confused me. In Mere Christianity, one of his most influential works, he wrote,

If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.
– C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

While I don’t disagree with him, I’ve never truly understood what he was getting at. I always wrestled with his point here, trying to accept it without truly comprehending it. But recently, I think it’s begun to dawn on me. Continue reading

Bible Drill and a Disciplined Life

A photo by Samantha Sophia. unsplash.com/photos/NaWKMlp3tVs

I spent my fourth through twelfth grade years participating in Bible Drill. Bible Drill is a program teaches kids to know the Bible in a competitive format. We memorized numerous verses, both individually and as tied to key themes in Scripture, and we practiced looking up the passages in under ten seconds (or eight seconds in high school). The program was great, and not just because it got us familiar with Shakespearean-era English before we took college literature classes. Continue reading

Missing the Point

In college, I hung out with a pretty tame crew. We were all heavily involved in the Baptist Collegiate Ministry. We knew the party scene existed, but none of us had much experience in that realm. Alcohol was a foreign concept, with the only shots we ever took being administered by nurses during doctor’s appointments. Some of us, according to a spiritual gifts survey, even had the spiritual gift of celibacy. A wild night for us consisted of road trips to the city for Buffalo Wild Wings and a movie. We were on the verge of “Christian cliche,” and we loved it.

Continue reading

Be Still and Know

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
Psalm 46:10

I’m not very good at being still. Even as I’m typing this, I’m noticing that I’m always moving: fingers typing as I write, foot tapping as I think, eyes scanning the room as I try to form sentences. I have to make a conscious effort to just be still, or I won’t stop. And this constant movement isn’t confined to fidgeting. My days are filled with tasks stacked upon one another like volumes in a second hand book shop. Between school and work and church, days can feel like mini-marathons.
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The Great Commandment

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.”
Matthew 22:37-38

“Little children, keep yourselves from idols.”
1 John 5:21

Question: Do I love the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind?

Answer: No. I do not. Continue reading

A Small Ring

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As the fellowship makes its way across the pass of Caradhras, their course set for Mordor to destroy the ring of power, Frodo, the ring bearer, loses his footing and rolls backward down the mountain before being caught by another in the party. In the fall, the ring slips out onto the snow where it is picked up by Boromir. As Boromir holds the ring up before his eyes, he wonders, almost to himself, that a tiny ring is the cause of such turmoil among the free peoples of Middle Earth. Boromir, who desires to defend his people against evil, wonders why the ring cannot be used for good, why it must be destroyed if it possesses such power. Continue reading