The Great Distractions

screwtape 4 In his book, The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis describes a person who had just arrived in hell saying,

““… “I now see that I spent most of my life in doing neither what I ought nor what I liked”. The Christians describe the Enemy as one “without whom Nothing is strong”. And Nothing is very strong: strong enough to steal away a man’s best years not in sweet sins but in a dreary flickering of the mind over it knows not what and knows not why, in the gratification of curiosities so feeble that the man is only half aware of them …”

We have a lot of feeble curiosities these days.  I know because I have a lot of them myself.  Why did Biblica stop publishing the 1984 edition of the NIV Bible when it was my favorite translation?  Why am I upset about this anyway?  Am I really concerned about the accuracy of the new translation or do I just miss the old one like I missed real Coke when they tried to replace it with something new?

In the latest edition of Christianity Today, writer Matthew Lee Anderson wrote an interesting and unsettling article on “The New Radicals” lumping Francis Chan, David Platt and Shane Claiborne together as fomenters of a new breed of Christians too focused on “intensifying” the Christian experience.  While there are always excesses to be critiqued in any new evangelical movement, this seems like an odd criticism.  Are there not more significant problems in the church these days than writers who are suggesting that status quo Christianity and complacent faith may not be optimal?  No wonder we are criticized for being the only army that shoots its own soldiers.

While this is all going on in our corner of the world, lots of young people are asking questions like:

Is Christianity really going to crumble in the face of scientific discovery?  Can’t you be both a brilliant scientist and an orthodox believer?  What happened to all the scientists that saw new discoveries as more proof of an amazing deity?   Do believers really have to ignore facts and do all scientists really lack faith?

If Christians are so focused on marriage as the foundation of the family, why are so many Christian marriages ending in divorce?  Does Christianity really make any difference at all in my relationships?

Most telling of all is that devastating question from the pit of hell: “Did God really say that?”

As we enter into this Holy Week, may we all be reminded that God came to earth as a human being to die in our place to answer that most basic question.  God had promised us a redeemer and He sent one to take care of all our sin – every last bit of it.

May I be a person that learns to ask the questions that really matter and trust in a God who longs to open my eyes to the truth that He sent his son to reveal.   In a world that lacks hope, we have the enduring knowledge that Jesus conquered sin and death once and for all.    We serve a Risen Savior!

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