Our Real Country

The Last Battle
C.S. Lewis

…it was the Unicorn who summed up what everyone was feeling.  He stamped his right forehoof on the ground and neighed, and then cried:

“I have come home at last!  This is my real country!  I belong here.  This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now.  The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this.  Bree-hee-hee!  Come further up, come further in!”

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Is He Able?

The Contemporary Christian
John Stott

Is God really able to change human nature … to make cruel people kind, selfish people unselfish, immoral people self-controlled, and sour people sweet? Is he able to take people who are dead to spiritual reality, and make them alive in Christ? Yes, he really is!

Grown Up, Indeed

The Last Battle
C.S. Lewis

“Grown-up, indeed,” said the Lady Polly.  “I wish she would grow up.  She wasted all her school time wanting to be the age she is now, and she’ll waste the rest of her life trying to stay that age.  Her whole idea is to race on to the silliest time of one’s life as quick as she can and then stop there as long as she can.”

God Promises the Impossible

The Glory of the Coming Lord
Edmund P. Clowney

Not only is the condition of God’s people so hopeless that only God can remedy it; the promises of God are so great that only God can fulfill them. No one ever disbelieved God because he promised too little. God promises the impossible.

If God were to make reasonable promises: a spiritual high, a technique for relaxation, a tax break, then a secular age might credit the word of the Almighty. But God promises a new nature, physical resurrection, a new heaven and earth, and eternal life. Superlatives burst open as Old Testament prophets describe what God will do in the glorious future. Zechariah foresees a time when every pot in Jerusalem will be like a holy temple vessel, and when “Holiness to the Lord,” once inscribed in gold in the High Priest’s tiara, will be on the bridles of the horses-the ancient equivalent of bumper stickers. In that day the feeblest man in Jerusalem will be like King David, “and the house of David will be like God, like the Angel of the Lord going before them” (Zec 12:8).

Think of the Good We Could Do!

The Last Battle
C.S. Lewis

“You look wonderful, wonderful,” said the Ape.  “If anyone saw you now, they’d think you were Aslan, the Great Lion, himself.”

“That would be dreadful,” said Puzzle.

“No it wouldn’t,” said Shift. “Everyone would do whatever you told them.”

“But I don’t want to tell them anything.”

“But you think of the good we could do!” said Shift.  “You’d have me to advise you, you know.  I’d think of sensible orders for you to give.  And everyone would have to obey us, even the King himself.  We would set everything right in Narnia.”

Attention

T. David Gordon

What we call the “brain” is a complex electronic, biological and chemical organism, that “grows” or “develops” in certain ways.  Susan Greenfield recalled a Harvard experiment in which three groups of adults were tested over a brief period of time (five days).

One group was placed in a room with a piano, and given instruction in it, and actually played certain exercises.  A second group was placed in a similar room with no instructions, and they did not play the piano.  A third group was placed in a similar room, and were instructed to imagine playing the piano.  Brain scans after the test revealed no change for the second group, yet profound structural (empirically verifiable) changes in the brains of the first and third groups.  Physically playing a piano altered the brain’s structures, and even imagining playing the piano altered the brain’s structure.

Results such as these are profoundly unsettling (at least for those still capable of being profoundly unsettled).  That to which I give my attention alters me; and that to which I call the attention of others alters them.

A Second Time in Glory

A Brief and Untechnical Statement of the Reformed Faith
Benjamin B. Warfield

I believe that as Jesus Christ has once come in grace, so also is he to come a second time in glory, to judge the world in righteousness and assign to each his eternal award; and I believe that if I die in Christ, my soul shall be at death made perfect in holiness and go home to the Lord; and when he shall return to his majesty I shall be raised in glory and made perfectly blesses in the full enjoyment of God to all eternity: encouraged by which blessed hope it is required of me willingly to take my part in suffering hardship here as a good soldier of Christ Jesus, being assured that if I die with him I shall also live with him, if I endure, I shall also reign with him. And to Him, my Redeemer, with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, Three Persons, one God, be glory forever, world without end, Amen, and Amen.

God Has Established His Church

A Brief and Untechnical Statement of the Reformed Faith
Benjamin B. Warfield

I believe that God has established his Church in the world and endowed it with the ministry of the Word and the holy ordinances of Baptism, the Lord’s Supper and Prayer; in order that through these as means, the riches of his grace in the gospel may be made known to the world, and, by the blessing of Christ and the working of his Spirit in them that by faith receive them, the benefits of redemption may be communicated to his people; wherefore also it is required of me that I attend on these means of grace with diligence, preparation, and prayer, so that through them I may be instructed and strengthened in faith, and in holiness of life and in love; and that I use my best endeavors to carry this gospel and convey these means of grace to the whole world. 

Trying to Make Yourself Stupider

The Magician’s Nephew
C.S. Lewis

And the longer and more beautiful the Lion sang, the harder Uncle Andrew tried to make himself believe that he could hear nothing but roaring.  Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed.  Uncle Andrew did.  He soon did hear nothing but roaring in Aslan’s song.  Soon he couldn’t have heard anything else even if he wanted to.  And when at last the Lion spoke and said, “Narnia awake,” he didn’t hear any words: he heard only a snarl.