Tag Archives: bible


A Day No Pigs Would Die.

Harry Potter.


The Last Battle.

Shadow of the Giant.

– books that have reduced me to weeping for people that were created in someone’s mind.


It’s strange to close my book, wipe my eyes, and look up to realize that no one else is mourning with me. The saddest thing in my life right now is actually not that Julian left a note for his wife before leaving on a spaceship, believe it or not.

I remember distinctly reading the last chapter of A Day No Pigs Would Die during class in 6th grade. Afterwards, the rest of the class walked calmly to Music while I followed with tears streaming down my face, barely able to hold it together through the singing. (I told Greg this story as we went through our books this weekend: I got the “you-were-such-a-sweet-little-girl” smile, mixed with a little bit of laughter.)

Stories have power. Incredible power.

Maybe that’s why God gave us a Scripture of stories. The Bible is not a theology textbook, a scientific paper, or a historical record of events. It’s the epoch-long tale of a King’s rescue of His children, told over and over again in little stories and revealed as the over-arching narrative of all the stories. It’s a story – a true story – that captivates our hearts and minds more than any other.

I think it was the tale Lucy read in the Magician’s book, about which she said, “That is the loveliest story I’ve ever read or ever shall read in my whole life.” For truly, what could be better?

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Beautiful Irony

This afternoon my co-leader and I met to prepare tomorrow’s lesson. With three textbooks already weighing on my back, I had decided to leave my Bible at home, so I whipped out my fancy phone to look up the passage.

But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
-Acts 20:24

I had to stop and laugh. Luke wrote down Paul’s words when the years were two digits on papyrus or animal skins likely by the light of the sun or an oil lamp. Ian and I were reading them in an air-conditioned coffee shop in two thousand ten on a palm-sized device with access to the world wide web. Whoa! Luke had no idea that his words would go to this crazy sci-fi future, but God has known the path of His scripture since before He made the world. And the Scripture is still sharp enough to cut to the heart. How cool!

Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.
-Psalm 119:89

The Word is Alive by Casting Crowns

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Just Do Something

The only books I’ve written about so far on this blog are the Bible and Narnia.
Welp, here’s another.
It’s called “Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will, or, How to make a decision without dreams, visions, fleeces, impressions, open doors, random Bible verses, casting lots, liver shivers, writing in the sky, etc.” by Kevin DeYoung.
I expected it to be thought provoking, but I also expected it to require a grain of salt. People in the Bible did, after all, hear from God through dreams, visions, and the wet skin of a sheep.
But man, it was really good.

From the time I got my Bible at 8 years old until I got to college, really, my spiritual growth consisted almost entirely of me, Jesus, and my Bible. My parents modeled a Christian lifestyle and there were some scattered youth events (good and bad (mostly bad)), but I had very few friends intensely following Christ and no real theological training. I didn’t know what a Calvinist was until Aca Deca my senior year of high school, and I didn’t know that you were supposed to request prayer for your tests and quizzes until small group sophomore year of college. Anyway, I feel very blessed that I got such a deep grounding in the Bible and I know it created my falsity detector.

This book had the ring of deep, Biblical truth. (As my mom would say about having new and different teachers tell the same dancers to again point their toes, “Preach the same old Gospel at them, they just need to hear it from someone else.”) It blasted away a lot of the very Christian-sounding ideas that I’ve heard since coming to a Christian school. Though each point in the book is supported by Bible verses, it’s not the individual verses that give it credence. It’s a faithfulness to the message of the whole Bible.

God’s will? Follow Him.
It’s not the nature of God to have a perfect detailed plan for us that we are expected to discover before we do anything that He then makes difficult to find.
Well, doi! When you put it like that…
God will use you in whatever career you choose, in whatever city you reside, and with whichever partner you choose. Each decision, for grad school or career or spouse, should be made with wisdom and with the intent to honor God, but without agonizing for a specific revelation. That’s it.
The Bible tells us over and over not to worry about our future. So why are we asking God to tell us what will happen in our future?
God’s will is that we become more like him.
The Bible, God’s revealed plan, speaks over and over about gaining wisdom. Just read a Proverb. Why would He tell us to gain wisdom if we are supposed to wait for His specific revelation of an answer to every decision? God guides us and our minds and our circumstances, and gave us brains and wisdom to use them to make decisions.

Part of the book speculates that the reason we’re often paralyzed as we wait for God’s will is that we have so many choices. I actually had a conversation about this with a friend the other day. I watched part of some expert babysitting show a while back in which a mom was having great difficulty getting her daughter dressed and ready. The “expert” told her not to offer the child so many choices: instead of offering her the whole closet, offer her the choice of one of two outfits. It worked. 🙂 [I’ll write more about this idea in another post.]

The end of the book is quite interesting, especially for college kids. He talks about applications of this idea to finding a job and choosing whom to marry. It was good, down-home, just-feels-right kind of advice. He then tells the stories of his two godly grandfathers, who lived through the Great Depression and WWII. They never sat around agonizing about God’s will. They did what work came to them, married and raised families, and followed God’s revealed plan (the Bible) to the best of their abilities.

Sound advice.

Forgive this slightly disorganized post as it’s just after reading the book and it’s rather late. Go pick up a copy if you have a chance.

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Various Thoughts on Language

Language is incredibly important.
It’s how we relate to one another.
It’s how we organize our thoughts. Scientists argue that one of the reasons we cannot remember events from our infancy is that they are not “tagged” with language in our brains. It’s like the memories are in a file, but we can’t find and open the file because it wasn’t labeled.

When we hear the Bible, we hear it in language. A book I’m reading, A Visual History of the English Bible, has some interesting thoughts. The medieval period is when we see the emergence of some strange Christian “doctrines”: indulgences, Purgatory, etc. This is also the same period that the Bible was most removed from the people. The Latin Vulgate was regarded as sacred, and only priests were allowed to read the Scriptures. Many priests didn’t even know any Latin. Thus, what else could medieval Christians do but create theology that answered all of their questions, without the authority of the Bible to challenge these “sensical” answers?
It is also interesting to note that the Protestant Revolution, based on sola scriptura, emerged shortly after the development of the printing press and the first vernacular translations of the Bible.

The heart of this post was scribbled out during my church’s Hebrew class. I have recently discovered that there is a non-negligible group of people who believe that Hebrew is the Holy language spoken before the fall and that will be spoken in the new creation.
I completely disagree.
One, there’s no Biblical backing for it.
Two, how is an All Mighty God tied to a specific (and, well, dead) human language? Though God wrote the ten commandments with His own finger in Hebrew, I believe He would have written them in Russian or Dutch or Brazilian if those were the languages His chosen people spoke. He does not hide His commandments from us.
Yes, Jesus spoke Hebrew. He also spoke Aramaic and Koine Greek.
I do not believe God is tied to one of our languages. Not Hebrew. Not my beloved Greek. Not the King James Version. He is transcendent. He is the λογος incarnate.
When He spoke the universe into being, He didn’t use breath and tongue and teeth to form words. He used meaning, Language itself with a capital “L”. All our languages, Hebrew, Greek, English, German, Spanish, Latin, are but feeble imitations of the true Language.

I like C.S. Lewis’s vision of Old Solar or the Great Tongue: the language spoken by all creation before the fall. No quote can quite capture the idea of the language, but it is a beautiful description throughout the whole Ransom Trilogy.

For Ransom, whose study had been for many years in the realm of words, it was heavenly pleasure. He found himself sitting within the very heart of language, in the white-hot furnace of essential speech.

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The first letter of the Bible is not aleph, but bet.
Bet means Home.

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