Category Archives: Relativism

To drink before the Lion

Another thread of thought on “home”…

“Are you not thirsty?” said the Lion.

“I’m dying of thirst,” said Jill

“Then drink,” said the Lion.

“May I—could I—would you mind going away while I do?” said Jill.

The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience. The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.

“Will you promise not to—do anything to me, if I do come?” said Jill.

“I make no promise,” said the Lion.

“Do you eat girls?” she said.

“I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,” said the Lion. It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.

“I daren’t come and drink,” said Jill.

“Then you will die of thirst,” said the Lion.

“Oh dear!” said Jill, coming another step nearer. “I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.”

“There is no other stream,” said the Lion.

From C.S. Lewis’ The Silver Chair, one of the Chronicles of Narnia

See Home: or a fruit remembered but never tasted for the first post in the series on “home”.

Get out your red pen; “exclusivism” revised

…for the new Redeemer blog

Redeemer Presbyterian is starting a new blog for Seekers, or those who are considering the claims of Christianity (and other world religions).  They have offered me an opportunity to do some writing. I wrongly supposed I could simply take content from inklingz and allow them to post it on the new blog, but they’ve asked me to trim (that is, massively edit) my work.  Here’s an edit below of Exclusivism that welcomes all. I’m curious to hear if you prefer the shorter version to the original post. Get out your red pens and have at it.

An exclusive invitation for all, revised and revisited

Christianity is unique among world religions because of the unique claims of Jesus Christ. No other religious leader (of a major religion) claimed to be God or promised to destroy death; and followers of no other religion claim its leader’s resurrection. Therefore, I contend that Christianity is either “better” or much worse than all other faiths. I use the word “better” simply because Christianity is based on truth claims that supersede all other truth claims. That is, either Jesus was God and was resurrected from the dead; or not. If not, then Christianity is a farce based on lies; I accept that.  But what if?

I recognize the intellectual problem presented by exclusive truth claims particularly for thoughtful modern people (that is, True Truth or truth that is universally true for all all people at all times–The Lens through which all other truth claims must be viewed). The general form of the argument against True truth is often illustrated with a story about blind men trying to understand the full nature of an elephant. One feels its trunk and believes the elephant is snakelike. Another man feels a leg and thinks the elephant much like a tree. A third man feels the tusks and has quite a different interpretation. Each man understands a part of the elephant, but none of them has the full picture. Such is life, the argument suggests. All any of us can hope to offer is the unique understanding we derive from our experiences, but none of us can understand the full elephant, as it were. That is to say, a person’s truth claim will reflect (only) his limited understanding, but it cannot be the complete picture–it cannot be True Truth.

Read more »

Freedom in discipline

In the 30 years I’ve been a runner I’ve run more than 150,000 miles. Still, some of the hardest steps I take are those first few getting out the door for daily runs. –Bill Rodgers, Lifetime Running Plan

Are you drinking enough water? —my Dad, upon your acknowledgement of any feeling of ill health

Are you exercising? —my Dad, upon your acknowledgement of any feeling of ill health (if the above is answered in the affirmative).

A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity liked an armed man. —Proverbs 6:10-11

It’s been a bit of a broken week for me.  On the heels of being out of the office Tuesday to Friday last week, I was in briefly Monday, only to head to the airport in the afternoon—work stacking up  but trumped by more travel.  On top of that, my Chicago Marathon training was scheduled to start this week. Having taken time off after Boston, with the plan to let my body heal and adjust my running form, I’ve lost almost all of my hard earned fitness, am using very different muscles to run and have what amounts to a relatively short period left to prepare.

The net result is that I have learned to dread running again.  I have slowed my pace at times to nearly 2 minutes slower than my goal pace, labored over short runs, walked, blistered and bled.  My legs have hurt in muscles I didn’t know I had, and I am often back to limping down stairs again.  I just saw this morning that I have toe nails that are dying.

It’s so easy to forget how hard it is to get started.  Running 70 miles a week is easier than the first few runs after a break.

About a month ago, I also started a Bible in a Year reading program, which requires that I read 4 chapters per day on average.  I’m behind on this as well, watching my estimated day of completion slip over time and struggling to get caught up.

I realize these don’t seem like major events, and in the grand scheme of things, they are not…not in and of themselves anyway.  But, when my personal disciplines fade, I become grumpy, stressed and disquieted.  And it’s usually a viscous cycle for me. I start to dread runs more and attach too much significance to each run. I procrastinate on my Quiet Time (my Bible reflection and prayer). I sleep later than I should, my diet deteriorates and my alcohol consumption climbs. Then I start rescheduling my week (problem solving at its best), trying to figure out where I’ll make it all up.  Problem is, Wednesday’s run become 8 miles instead of 6, Thursday’s rest day goes away—and the next thing I know I’m in bed sick from late night cookies, dehydrated from one too many beers, trying to figure out if I can even run 8 miles any more!

Then I start beating myself up and/or making excuses.  In this case, I have been almost to the point of quitting on Chicago this year.
Read more »