Wednesday, January 24, 2007

This is a hard teaching...

LSU's Anglican chapel, St. Alban's, has a weekly "Lunch with C. S. Lewis" event on Wednesdays; this is supplemented by daily readings in the Lewis anthology The Business of Heaven, which we discuss over lunch at the meetings.
Today's lunch saw a focus on a selection taken from a piece of his called Christian Apologetics wherein Lewis is concerned with the debate of the truthfulness of the faith.
One of the great difficulties is to keep before the audience's mind the question of Truth. They always think you are recommending Christianity not because it is true but because it is good. And in the discussion they will at every moment try to escape from the issue 'True - or False'...

This lead us to consider how we are to present these truths. 'Speak the truth in love', yes. But what of the 'hard teachings' that 'no one can understand', to bring to mind Jesus's own audiences?
One of my fellow lunch-goers suggested that there is a mind in American Christianity to see converts now(another influence of the microwave?), and I agree. There is also, I'm afraid, an aversion to the prospect of speaking a truth that is not well received. This aversion seems at odds with the Great Commission and, I believe, would have wiped out the vast majority of the history of the church, were it present then.
My conclusion: the hard teachings must be taught. We can't hold back the more demanding or less enticing details of the call of Christ, i.e. to take up our crosses and follow Him, for the sake of a happy audience. No, we must learn to accept that there will be times when they turn away from us grumbling "who can understand it", and the only other result is that a seed was planted. But, to quote Kevin Whitfield, since when has planting seeds been a failure?

-N

1 comment:

Daniel McLain Hixon said...

Right on, man - he says "make disciples" not "make converts." And discipleship is about cross-bearing love, not really about feeling good (despite what Joel Osteen and some of the leaders at a local un-named Methodist mega-church may say)