Thursday, May 31, 2012

Richly inclusive and non-dogmatic

[Marilynne Robinson] makes an atheist reader like myself capable of identifying with the sense of a fallen world that is filled with pain and sadness but also suffused with divine grace. Robinson is a Calvinist, but her spiritual sensibility is richly inclusive and non-dogmatic. There’s little talk about sin or damnation in her writing, but a lot about forgiveness and tolerance and kindness. Hers is the sort of Christianity, I suppose, that Christ could probably get behind. I’ll never share her way of seeing and thinking about the world and our place in it, but her writing has shown me the value and beauty of these perspectives.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Because craftsmanship refers to objective standards that do not issue from the self and its desires, it poses a challenge to the ethic of consumerism ... The craftsman is proud of what he has made, and cherishes it, while the consumer discards things that are perfectly serviceable in his restless pursuit of the new.

Matthew B. Crawford
Shop Class as Soulcraft

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The unchildlike child

Would it not be the evil-faced child, because he needed it most? Yes; in God's name, yes. For is not that the divine way? Who that has read of the lost sheep, or the found prodigal, even if he had no spirit bearing witness with his spirit, will dare to say that it is not the divine way? Often, no doubt, it will appear otherwise, for the childlike child is easier to save than the other, and may come first. But the rejoicing in heaven is greatest over the sheep that has wandered the farthest--perhaps was born on the wild hill-side, and not in the fold at all.

George MacDonald, in Unspoken Sermons

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Locked out of Eden

As creatures made from and for the earth, our deepest loves have nowhere else to play themselves out but on this stage, with these props, as these characters who have been locked out of Eden and face certain death. To me, it’s a great mercy that even within this play with its predictable ending, there are infinite potential symbols and meanings. Life is playful, indeed! And among my joys, I would include our halting efforts to cultivate a home that is full not just of stuff, but of love and of all of the good things that sprout from such a foundation, made real in the forms of chairs and rugs, books and baubles.

Kirstin Vander Giessen-Reitsma
"Love seat" in catapult magazine

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Transforming culture

Human culture will someday be transformed.  Does this mean, then, that we must begin that process of transformation here and now?  Are we as Christians called to transform culture in the present age?  Not, I think, in any grandiose or triumphalistic manner.  We are called to await the coming transformation.  But we should wait actively, not passively.  We must seek the City which is to come.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Transforming culture

Christ will transform culture at the end time.  The ships of Tarshish, presently vessels that serve rebellious designs, will someday carry the wealth of the nations into the presence of the Creator.  Political power will be gathered into that City wherein the saints will rule forever.  The peoples and tribes and nations of the earth will sing praises to the Lamb who was slain.  In short, the "filling" of the earth will be harnessed and remolded for the sake of God's glory.