ScribblePreach Awards 01.21.17

From the Pub: Imagine a Mystical Limpet

“Why are many people prepared in advance to maintain that, whatever else God may be, He is not the concrete, living, willing, and acting God of Christian theology? I think the reason is as follows. Let us suppose a mystical limpet, a sage among limpets, who (rapt in vision) catches a glimpse of what Man is like. In reporting it to his disciples, who have some vision themselves (though less than he) he will have to use many negatives. He will have to tell them that Man has no shell, is not attached to a rock, is not surrounded by water. And his disciples, having a little vision of their own to help them, do get some idea of Man.

But then there come erudite limpets, limpets who write histories of philosophy then give lectures on comparative religion, and who have never had any vision of their own. What they get out of the prophetic limpet’s words is simply and solely the negatives.

From these, uncorrected by any positive insight, they build up a picture of Man as a sort of amorphous jelly (he has no shell) existing nowhere in particular (he is not attached to a rock) and never taking nourishment (there is no water to drift it towards him).

And having a traditional reverence for Man they conclude that to be a famished jelly in a dimensionless void is the supreme mode of existence, and reject as crude, materialistic superstition any doctrine which would attribute to Man a definite shape, a structure, and organs.” – C.S. LEWIS, MIRACLES

Kindle Deal of the Week: Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.

A classic text on persuasive speech, for $1.99.

Apologetics: Film About a PCA Pastor Earns Critical Acclaim.

I love how this film beautifully depicts the way the gospel addresses the questions America is asking right now. We need more of this. Also, if you are in the PCA, you are absolutely obligated to take 35 minutes of this weekend to watch it.

Preaching:  The Whole Christ

“When benefits are seen as abstractable from the Benefactor the issue becomes:

  1. For the preacher: “How can I offer these benefits?” and
  2. For the hearer: “How can I get these benefits into my life?”

But when it is seen that Christ and his benefits are inseparable and that the latter are not abstractable commodities, the primary question becomes:

  1. For the preacher: “How do I preach Christ himself?” and
  2. For the hearer: “How do I get into Christ?”

The difference in orientation of thought, and subsequently in our preaching, may seem incidental – after all, do we not get the same salvation at the end of the day? But this focus on benefits has a profound impact on how we understand and preach the gospel, and, almost imperceptibly, Christ himself ceases to be central and becomes a means to an end.”

Theology: Does the Apostle Paul Really Contradict Jesus?

My BOB (Best Online Buddy) Tim Fall gives us a great illustration of the way an attitude of faith can see something beautiful where an eye of criticism and doubt sees disparity.

A Glimpse of Truth: Tocqueville on How Democracy Shapes Religion.

This is a fascinating and accessible look at the way Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America” predicted the destruction of liberty on the basis of equality…and how the church has exchanged its own mission in the same name.

Books and Lit: Former President Obama on What Books Mean to Him.

Whether you’re glad to see him go or not, I bet you can relate to the way books were a comfort and a guide while Obama was in office. I’ve been in a reading slump, and this got me back on track.

Writing: What Being an Editor Has Taught Me About Writing.

This is fantastic! It gave me a couple of novel tips I hadn’t read in books (get it?).

Christians and Culture: Inherited Faith is Dying. Chosen Faith is Not.

If you’re needing some positive tonic in the midst of a world telling us Christendom is dead and dying, try this.

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Nicholas McDonald is a blogger, pastor, and author of the book "Faker: How to Be Real When You're Tempted to Fake it." He studied creative writing and communication at Oxford University and Olivet Nazerene University, and received his M.Div from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. He currently resides in Lexington, NC, with his wife and two boys, Caleb and Owen.

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