Quick Takes – 6/20/2009

Ray Ortlund writes about the importance of those seemingly innocent, little moments of decision in life. “Your danger and mine is not that we become criminals, but rather that we become respectable, decent, commonplace, mediocre Christians. The twentieth-century temptations that really sap our spiritual power are the television, banana cream pie, the easy chair and the credit card. The Christian wins or loses in those seemingly innocent little moments of decision. Lord, make my life a miracle!”

C.S. Lewis offers some advice about giving. “I do not believe one can settle on how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditure excludes them.”

Amy Hall dicusses the phrase, If God were real: “It’s the temptation of some who reject the reality of God’s existence to use the following kind of reasoning as part of their evidence: ‘If the Christian God were real, He would do [X]. However, He does not do [X], therefore He is not real.’ The problem with a person using this kind of reasoning is that he presumes to know what God would do, and often he does this without the proper knowledge of God’s actions in the past, His character, or His overall purposes. The reasoning turns out to really be: ‘If I were God, I would do [X]. The Christian God does not do what I would do (in light of my purposes and goals), therefore He is not real.'”

Tony Woodlief looks at friendship as shared experiences. “My 298 Facebook friends aren’t the ones who remember our dead daughter’s birthday or leave flowers at her grave. Nor among them is the pastor who baptized each of our children and waged a personal holy war to keep our marriage from crumbling years ago. We have these deeper friendships because we’ve tried to build a life in one place. They sprang up because the stuff of life happened to this cluster of us living near one another, and much of it was too joyous or heartbreaking not to share with someone. If friendship is the key to happiness, then maybe this is the key to friendship, to be enmeshed — not just tangentially or voyeuristically, but physically — in the lives of others. That can be hard to swallow in a culture that prizes individualism, mobility and privacy.”

Leave a Reply