Saturday, October 31, 2009

Saturdays with C. S. Lewis - Pleasure is the Enemy's Invention

"Some Saturday C. S. Lewis" was introduced and explained here. The following quotation is from The Screwtape Letters, in which Screwtape, a senior demon, advises his nephew Wormwood on the art of tempting humans. From that perspective, the "Enemy" is God and "Our Father" is Satan.

"Never forget that when we are dealing with any pleasure in its healthy and normal and satisfying form, we are, in a sense, on the Enemy's ground. I know we have won many a soul through pleasure. All the same, it is His invention, not ours. He made the pleasures: all our research so far has not enabled us to produce one. All we can do is to encourage the humans to take the pleasures which our Enemy has produced, at times, or in ways, or in degrees, which He has forbidden. Hence we always try to work away from the natural condition of any pleasure to that in which it is least natural, least redolent of its Maker, and least pleasurable. An ever increasing craving for an ever diminishing pleasure is the formula. It is more certain; and it's better style. To get the man's soul and give him nothing in return - that is what really gladdens Our Father's heart. And the troughs are the time for beginnings the process."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Brian Walton Reviews Where the Wild Things Are

Since Jared has us thinking about film today, I should point out my friend Brian Walton's thoughtful review of Where the Wild Things Are, which I've not yet seen. If you haven't seen it either, I suspect you too will want to after you read Brian's review. Here is the final paragraph:
The emotional arcs of the characters drive the film rather than the plot, something almost never done in children’s film. I suspect this is the actual culprit behind the allegations that Jonze’s’ film is only for adults, as if children cannot be engaged by emotional complexity. I’ll admit that they film may be to slow for the attention span of most children’s, but foreign to a child’s psyche it is not. Or do we forget how much of playtime was comprised of endless rule making, and how deep the emotions ran when the rules were broken? If children love Jonze’s remake, they will love it for the same reasons earlier generations loved Sendak’s book, not because it is entertaining but because it is familiar.

Book Review: Faith, Film, and Philosophy

If there was one thing I wish I'd known before reading Faith, Film, and Philosophy, it would have been the fact that it should have been called "Philosophy, Film, and Faith" instead. By sheer quantity of content, there is more philosophy than film or faith, and more film than faith. For you left-brain readers, that would be: philosophy content > film content > faith content.

Faith, Film, and Philosophy is comprised of fourteen chapters, each a different philosophical essay written by a different author. It was certainly made clear that most of these authors' stock in trade is philosophical in nature. Whereas the book dealing with film that I reviewed last month had well over a hundred movies in the Film Appendix, this book had only thirty two films, twelve of those from two chapters dealing broadly with horror and Hong Kong films. The twelve remaining chapters dug deeply and philosophically into just a few movies (one to three at the most). This was enjoyable if you liked the topic or the film (ultimate reality, counterfactuals or The Matrix), but a detriment if you were interested in neither (conciousness, memory or Pretty Woman).

Surprisingly, the chapters I expected to enjoy the most I liked the least. Dallas Willard, one of the few names I recognized among the authors, spent eleven pages summarizing Pleasantville, American Beauty, and Cider House Rules in detail and then only four pages on his topic of "Liberation Through Sensuality". The chapter contrasting the worldviews of U2 in the film Rattle and Hum and Nietzsche seemed both out of place (a live concert video/bio in a list of movies?) and somewhat arbitrary (U2 vs. Nietzsche?).

However, the opposite was also true. The chapters I had the lowest expectations for were a pleasant surprise. Chapters like "Story-Shaped Lives in Big Fish" and "Religion and Science in Contact and 2001: A Space Odyssey" gave me a new appreciation for and a desire to re-view the movies critiqued and analyzed.

Overall Faith, Film and Philosophy was enjoyable and worthwhile though, at times, over my head. This book seems to be best suited for a college-level class to couch philosophy in a more palatable context for the students, or for those looking for an in-depth analysis of one of the few dozen movies used.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

C. S. Lewis on Saturdays - Adoration vs. Gratitude

"The following quotation is from Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, which is Lewis's side of a correspondence between him and his fictional friend, Malcolm, and was published in 1964. And by the way, "C. S. Lewis on Saturdays" rings better than "Some Saturday C. S. Lewis". Sorry for putting you through two weeks of the old title.

"Gratitude exclaims, very properly, 'How good of God to give me this.' Adoration says, 'What must be the quality of that Being whose far-off and momentary coruscations are like this!' One's mind runs back up the sunbeam to the sun.

If I could always be what I am at being, no pleasure would be too ordinary or too usual for such reception; from the first taste of the air when I look out of the window- one's whole cheek becomes a sort of palate- down to one's soft slippers at bed time.

I don't always achieve it. One obstacle is inattention. Another is the wrong kind of attention. One could, if one practised, hear simply a roar and not the roaring-of-the-wind. In the same way, only far too easily, one can concentrate on the pleasure as an event in one's own nervous system- subjectify it- and ignore the smell of Deity that hangs about it. A third obstacle is greed. Instead of saying, 'This also is Thou,' one may say the fatal word Encore. There is also conceit: the dangerous reflection that not everyone can find God in a plain slice of bread and buttter, or that others would condemn as simply 'grey' the sky in which I am delightedly observing such delicacies as pearl and dove and silver."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Natural Limit to Pride?

My good friend Byron draws attention to another distressing indication of what a grand mess of things we enlightened humans have made. Go here for the day-ruin. I'm not very interested in the science, much less the debate over whether this climate change stuff is happening; it does not seem to me in the right of us Christians to try and evade the judgment such grim analysis proffers. Which is simply to suggest I think Christians should already hold themselves accountable to the Creator of creation, regardless the promptings of the politician. O what a royal mess, this world in which we find ourselves. But to the point:

This last paragraph struck me as particularly salient. Christians aligning themselves with the so-called 'sceptical' science of climate change, need to square this maverick position with the theological critique which lies implicit in the way we think about about the world these days. Not just the way, but the axioms on which this 'way' rests. So Mr. Clive Hamilton:
We moderns have been accustomed to the idea that we can modify our environment to suit our needs, and have acted accordingly for some three hundred years. We are now discovering that our intoxicating belief that we can conquer all has come up against a greater force, the Earth itself. We are discovering that humans cannot regulate the climate; the climate regulates us. The prospect of runaway climate change challenges our technological hubris and our Enlightenment faith in reason. The earth may soon demonstrate that, ultimately, it cannot be tamed and that the human urge to master nature has only roused a slumbering beast.
I am not sure 'discovery' is the term he wants; it seems to me most the ancients knew this kind of mastery was not only impossible, but indeed, unhealthy. (Then again, it may be news to the inherently non-teleological way of modern enlightened thinking.) Nor will I go so far to attribute to the earth any kind of metaphorical judicial capacities which fail to draw on the fact of the world being a creation over which reigns a Creator, hence Judge. That's just too pagan for me.

But I will, with all my puny intellectual might, lend a voice of protest against the age wherein the technological scientific mind runs free - free from teleology, free from the so-thought fetters of moral and hence natural authority, to create as it pleases, to manipulate as it deigns desirable. If there is judgment in this as well, it is most particularly leveled against those of us Christians who remain captive to this free-for-fall nonsense. No, no you cannot contain the climate. You cannot stand above the earth. Alas, you cannot even stand above yourself.

Even so. If there is such a thing as a 'natural limit to pride' I suspect it will go unnoticed. The 'new way of knowing and making' which is modern technological science can only mean the point of no return. Moral teleology simply does not permit its unfettered practice. Which means we should expect, not return to more humane ways of life, not the mass recovery of the wisdom of the ancients, but rather more technological proposals on how to escape disaster; and indeed, more pressure on the faithful to wait upon this technological saviour, rather than be transformed by the true Saviour Christ, and start living in the truth, now.

Kevin DeYoung on Reaching the Next Generation

Kevin DeYoung posted part 3 today in a 5-part series of daily posts on how to reach the next generation of non-believers for Christ. Part 1 is called "Grab them with Passion", part 2 is "Win them with Love", and part 3 is called "Hold them with Holiness". I recommend all of them, but I especially appreciated today's.

DeYoung advocates a simple model for this stuff, as you can probably tell from the titles alone. Reaching young people is primarily about Christian living, not church aesthetics.

The call to holiness is a big part of this. After quoting 2 Pet. 1:5-8, DeYoung says:
Did you pick up on the promise in the last verse? If we are growing in faith, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love, we will not be ineffective ministers for Christ. If ever there was a secret to effective ministry, these verses give it to us. Grow in God and you’ll make a difference in people’s lives. If nothing of spiritual significance is happening in your church, your Bible study, your small group, or your family it may be because nothing spiritually significant is happening in your life.
Ouch. That last line stings, which is probably an indication that it is true. I would suggest that DeYoung is on the money here, and what's more, that the rest of the Bible makes that much pretty clear. Here is a theme that has been constant in my life of late: what God wants most from us is daily faithfulness. When we get that right, he'll use us.

In any case, here is DeYoung's conclusion:
The take home from all this is pretty straight forward. The one indispensable requirement for producing godly, mature Christians is godly, mature Christians. Granted, good parents still have wayward children and faithful mentors don’t always get through to their pupils. But in the church as a whole, the promise of 2 Peter 1 is as true as ever. If we are holy, we will be fruitful. Personal connections with growing Christians is what the next generation needs more than ever.
Be sure to read the whole thing.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Limitations of Mapping the Genome

Peter Leithart has a fascinating post about genome mapping and the apparent fact that biology's fundamental principles about genomes and their relationship to the form and diversity of living things have been completely wrong.

Here is the conclusion:
The upshot is that two of the most aggressive and exciting scientific projects of the last half century [i.e. brain science and genome mapping] have revealed that science can’t explain the reality of things, especially of living things. It’s time, [Le Fanu] suggests, to give up the modern notion that science gets at a level of reality that is somehow “more real” than our daily experience of the world.
Read the whole thing.

Some Saturday C. S. Lewis - Limpets and the Rejection of a Personal God

"Some Saturday C. S. Lewis" was introduced and explained here. The following quotation is from Miracles, which was originally published in 1947 and revised in 1960.

    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 and give lectures on comparative religion, and who have never had any vision o 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.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Futility of Apologetics?

Eph. 4:17-18: "So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart."

At least in this passage, futility of mind, darkened understanding, and ignorance that makes it impossible to participate in the life of God all stem not from stupidity or lack of convincing arguments, but from hard hearts. Just ask Pharaoh how difficult it is to change your course of action towards God when you heart is hardened against Him.

But then, there are always means by which God accomplishes His ends. Isn't it possible that rational arguments are God's means at least sometimes of bringing people out of their ignorance?

Or take the more familiar example of Rom. 1:19-20: "...because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." Here is a verse often quoted in support of apologetics because it seems to so obviously point to the intended efficacy of natural revelation.

But then, the whole point of Rom. 1:18-32 is that all humanity alike has sinned and faces the wrath of God. Put another way, despite all the natural revelation in the world (literally), no one gets the point! V. 18 says that men "suppress the truth in unrighteousness" (not "unknowingness"). The condition of man's heart is the problem, which means that the condition of man's mind isn't- or at least not fundamentally.

Paul in Athens in Acts 17 doesn't really help either no matter how often it is quoted in defense of apologetics. Sure, it does support the need to contextualize, but Paul ends up going to the resurrection as the witness of who God really is, not to natural theology.

But then, while it is easy for we theo-nerds to blog about the uselessness of apologetics, what do we say when we're sharing the gospel with someone who gives us their reasons why God cannot exist to begin with, or why Jesus most certainly was not raised from the dead? "I'd tell you why you're wrong about that, friend, but as the infallible Dr. Barth has blessedly taught us, it would do you no good. You need a good dose of special revelation, and until you get it, I cannot help you." Somehow I doubt that would help.

So what is the solution? Frankly, I don't know. On the one hand, I know that all the arguments in the world do nothing for a hard heart. On the other, I know that God does not typically zap people with heart change totally outside of life circumstances, whether they be emotional, moral, intellectual, or otherwise.

And this, dear reader, is why I write this post: to ask you to guide me. I know other CiC writers have wrestled with this as well, and I suspect that they will not only have helpful comments, but that they too will appreciate your input.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Pacifist Offense, Redux

Following commentary on select passages from Paul, with a keen investment in Colossians, John Howard Yoder has this to say:
Let us avoid with great care the two possible misunderstandings of this critical statement about social pressure to which the Apostle Paul has led us. What he says is not, as some conservative religious groups would say, that the gospel deals only with personal ethics and not with social structures. Nor does he say that the only way to change structures is to change the heart of an individual man, preferably the man in power, and then see that he exercises his control of society with more humility and discernment or according to better standards. What needs to be seen is rather that the primary social structure through which the gospel works to change other structures is that of the Christian community. J.H.Y., (1972), The Politics of Jesus, p. 157.
Allow me to unveil my former allegiance to this second perspective. O, how many well-meaning, pure-spirited declarations took this perceived wisdom to heart! That if we only change the heart of every individual, then we may change the world around us. That if we only reach the leader of X, then we will see the culture transform.

What is true in both statements is no doubt that, with every heart finally changed for the good, a special number of theological issues would arise. What happens to a concept of 'the world'? How would we read, say, 1 John? Colossians? Revelation? Indeed the whole New Testament? My purpose is not to be cutesy, but to trace where I think the line is drawn between the second 'misunderstanding' and Yoder's account. The divergence lies in what it means to be the Church. Or put this way: what it means to be wholly claimed by the life, death and resurrection of Christ.

Prior to addressing how Christians 'should' read the Old Testament - which is entirely relevant to discussion of pacifism/just war traditions, and not to be ducked - it seems to me necessary first to treat the political or public witness of the Church. Yoder's brief statement is as good as any for orientating us toward conceiving of Church as an alternative political community, as a polis. She is a body of believers called out of the world and into Kingdom existence; her ethic is that of Jesus Christ, her obedience conformed to the reality of suffering, her humility shaped by the radical self-giving which characterised her Lord and Saviour, the very Son of God.

In this way, the wimpy word 'pacifism' is applied simply to name that contingent aspect of being the Church who belongs to Jesus Christ. The Gospel message is a political message precisely through its formation of a radically non-violent, Christocentric community that refuses to take up the (very natural) drive to control history through violence. It is the 'cost of discipleship' in its most insufferable form. Yet through this discipleship (to borrow from S. Hauerwas), the world learns that it is the world, because the Church enacts what it means to be church.

But let us suppose the two misunderstandings Yoder presents us with do not sum up all the different ways to conceive of a Christian social ethic. Indeed, there appears to be many ways for the Church to understand her mission, which will avoid the pitfalls of the first two yet not sell out to the third. What are these options? And how might they nuance the debate?

Whatever the options, the main thrust is to subject the prevailing or at least popular 'ethic of evangelicalism' to some critical scrutiny. It is not enough to settle for the 'winning of souls' at the expense of performing true discipleship. The Gospel is about more than psychological transformation. It confronts far more forces and structures of evil, far more enemies, than the personal guilt which is nevertheless constitutive of them.

The Gospel is a public witness. In what way? With what means? This draws us into difficult questions. The best place to be.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Some Saturday C. S. Lewis

Seeing as how nobody has mastered the art of the orthodoxy to orthopraxy movement like C. S. Lewis, and since nobody is more quotable, I figured I'd start something new on CiC: Some Saturday C. S. Lewis. We'll see how long it lasts, but for starters, I present you with this quote from Miracles:
    It is always shocking to meet life where we thought we were alone. 'Look out!' we cry, 'it's alive'. And therefore this is the very point at which so many draw back--I would have done so myself if I could--and proceed no further with Christianity. An 'impersonal God'--well and good. A subjective God of beauty, truth and goodness, inside our own heads--better still. A formless life-force surging through us, a vast power which we can tap--best of all. But god Himself, alive, pulling at the other end of the cord, perhaps approaching at an infinite speed, the hunter, king, husband--that is quite another matter. There comes a moment when the children who have been playing burglars hush suddenly: was that a real footstep in the hall? There comes a moment when people who have been dabbling in religion ('Man's search for God!') suddenly draw back. Supposing we really found Him? We never meant it to come to that! Worse still, supposing He had found us?

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Pacifist Offense

It is one of the more haunting and enigmatic 'aspects' of the Gospel. Indeed, it is certainly the case that the Gospel received through the apostolic witness is simply unintelligible without it. I am writing about the humility and radical non-violence of Christ.

That humility which Paul captures in, say, Phil. 2.6-10. That radical non-violence at which the Gospel writers gape in, say, Matt. 26.47-56; Mark 14.43-50; Luke 22.47-53; John 18.3-11.

And I am writing about that humility, that non-violence, under the very real and haunting impression that their significance is far more demanding upon me than previously thought.

Not that its significance has been lost on everyone. But that for too long, perhaps, in theological quarters with which I am the more familiar, the significance of the humility and non-violence of Christ has been too narrowly translated into 'some interesting facts about God' or worse, 'some preliminary actions by God' - to be rectified, of course, when he returns for blood.

I want to resist caricatures. Without a doubt the 'ripped Jesus' billboard is one. Then again, I don't want to overlook what it is caricaturing either. Perhaps it is the result of the unwillingness among large groups of professing Christians to do business with this: that our Saviour and Lord took on human flesh, in humility was captured, tortured, and without a single act of violent resistance, died on a Roman cross. And that is who God is.

Which leads me to ask again about its significance. It cannot simply mean: 'that was God's prerogative to save us,' true as that may be. Nor can it simply be thought to teach us about how to be humble and non-violent in our daily interactions. Plenty of wise teachers could teach us that, did teach us that, from across the many religious traditions of this world. But is there, as John Howard Yoder famously asked, a social, a political ethic enacted by Christ? That is, does the Gospel command of Christians the humility and radical non-violence indispensable to its message?

Electronically thumbing through the CiC archives, I happened upon my good friend Andrew Faris' long-previous post on the subject of pacifism. While prima facie dismissing neither 'just war' or pacifism, Andrew conveyed his disdain for simplistic discussion from both sides - 'well, Jesus didn't kill anybody' or, 'God commanded war in the OT,' etc. To which I heartily agree, of course, and do add my voice to the chorus.

But that does not excuse us (as Andrew most surely does not want to do) from doing business with the Gospel; from thinking through the Gospel; from being transformed by the Gospel; and, of course, from interpreting both OT and NT through the lens of the Gospel.

So the 'pacifist offense' - it is offensive in that it is impinging; it weighs on our hearts, or should weigh on our hearts, indeed should be at the centre of our inevitable discomfort upon re-reading the Sermon on the Mount. But it is also offensive; in that it is really offensive. And frankly I can't get away from that. It offends me. Which I suppose is the more why it compels me.

I just wish, on my end at least, more evangelicals felt so too.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Where's Karl Barth When You Need Him?

What could be a better follow-up to yesterday's post that implied such an unabashedly simplistic view of the authority of Scripture? Why, a post dealing with Karl Barth, of course.

Well, not exactly dealing with him. Just telling you that if you can't find the portion of the Church Dogmatics that you're looking for in your library, Glen Smallman can guide you to some potential online versions (or at least some places to purchase a hard copy). Glen's links to every portion he could find on Google Books is particularly helpful.

As he asks in his post, any other ideas on top of the ones he gives?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

In Defense of Proof-Texting

This will be quick: appealing to a particular passage of Scripture in defense of your position during theological argument is not somehow against the rules. It probably just means you have a conservative, high view of Scripture's authority.

Most times it is easier for your theological dialogue partner ("opponent" is what they used to be called, but now you get accused of being necessarily divisive when you call them that...) to accuse you of proof-texting and carry on with his position than to actually deal with the passage you cited. But if Scripture is really authoritative and a passage really seems to say what you think it does, then appealing to it is perfectly reasonable.

Ok, got that off my chest. As you were.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Romans 7 Debate: How a Believer Who Holds a Non-Believer View Can Still Relate

Romans 7:14-25 is notorious. The much-debated question is this: is Paul describing the internal struggle of his present Christian life, regretting how often he is unsuccessful in fighting sin, or is he using all the first person pronouns and present tense verbs to vividly describe what it was like to always fail to live a holy life before God apart from the Spirit? More simply, is it a believer's struggle or a non-believer's struggle?

It is a non-believer's struggle. More specifically, it is the struggle of a Jew trying to please God through the Law. So as a Jew, Paul could say that he did desire to please God but was unable to do so because he was constrained by his sinful flesh (7:18).

I have no delusions of settling this debate in a blog post and my real purpose is a little further down the page. Still, it may be helpful if I at least lay out some of the most compelling arguments are for my position (though I will not be exhaustive here):
  1. Romans 6 and 8 both characterize the Christian as victorious over sin. "Sold under sin" (7:14) and "I have the desire to do what is right but not the ability to carry it out" (7:18) sure don't sound like "For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus..." (8:2).
  2. Context. 7:7ff seem to clearly be talking about a non-believer, and there is no reason to see a switch when the present section starts.
  3. Christ delivers Paul from the body of death (7:24-25). The "body of death" seems to be shorthand for the struggle described in the preceding verses, which the Christian is then delivered from.
Now, if I am not primarily trying to settle this debate, what am I trying to do? Glad you asked.

Since I began to hold this position, I have also affirmed two other points: (1) Christians do still struggle with sin- I am no perfectionist; (2) Nonetheless, Rom. 8, Jn. 15, and other texts seem to make clear that victory over sin is not only possible, but should increasingly characterize the life of those who are truly Christians.

But still, if Rom. 7 is talking about a non-believer, why is it that so many of us really, honestly feel that internal struggle with sin? Even if we see Christian growth, we agree with John Owen: "Who can say that he had ever anything to do with God or for God, that indwelling sin had not a hand in the corrupting of what he did?" (John Owen, "Of the Mortification of Sin in Believers", In Overcoming Sin and Temptation, Kelly Kapic and Justin Taylor, eds.; Wheaton: Crossway, 2006; 52).

Further, since I began to affirm a non-believer view, I have always asked myself, "Does Rom. 7:14-25 apply in any way to Christians now? Or is my only preaching point here about the non-believers total inability to overcome sin apart from Christ?"

With all this in mind, let me suggest (to myself, I suppose) a third affirmation that a fairly obvious bit of theological interpretation yields: since the reason that Christians still sin despite their victory in Christ is because our victory is the already-but-not-yet, inaugurated-but-not-consummated victory of Christ's kingdom, we can fairly apply Rom. 7 to the believer's struggle with sin in partial measure.

Sin is still a problem precisely because the battle is not done. At the return of our victorious Lord, we will no longer be debating Romans 7- we will be living meditations of Romans 8. Until then, we still feel the struggle, only with more victory than what Paul describes.

It may even be best to stop thinking about it in terms of non-believer vs. believer entirely. Schreiner says, "But the passage does not intend to adjudicate between Christian and pre-Christian experience. It centers on the inherent inability of the law to transform...The law, although good, cannot be the agent of transformation and renewal, for the law itself does not bestow the ability to keep its commands." (Thomas Schreiner, Romans, BECNT; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998; 379).

This seems right: the point is that flesh and law do not produce righteousness; Christ and the Spirit do. That is true whether you are a Christian or not. So long as we abide in Christ and by the Spirit mortify the deeds of the body (Rom. 8:13), then we will overcome sin. That will simply not be complete until our Lord returns.

And that, friends, is how a believer who holds a non-believer view of Romans 7 can still relate.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Win a FREE NLT Mosaic Bible!!!

As promised, here is your chance to win your own free copy of the NLT Mosaic Bible! If you have miss them, be sure to look back a couple days to both the review of Mosaic as well as the guest post from Mosaic contributor, Tom Fuller.

All you'll need to do is sign-up for email updates before midnight, Friday October 9th, and one name will be selected at random to receive a free copy. Also, all of our readers who are currently signed up for email updates will be eligible as well; once you've signed up for email updates, you're in! And rest assured, EMAIL ADDRESSES WILL NEVER BE SHARED OR SPAMMED- its just to have a contact point so we can find out where you want us to send the free book.