Mining Grace

…the more happiness you have, the more I shall count myself glorified

Archive for September 2008

CS Lewis Lecture 4

Brad gave his fourth lecture last night on the works of CS Lewis.  He had planned to go over The Screwtape Letters but decided to call up The Chronicles of Narnia from the bullpen.  I have to say that I was highly impressed with the material he presented.  Of all of CS Lewis’s works I am most familiar with Narnia.  But as this series progresses, Brad is showing me that there is so much more depth to Lewis’s works than I had thought.

The two most interesting questions that Brad tackled in this lecture were:

  1. Why would a famous 50 year old scholar and professor begin writing children’s fairy tales?
  2. Why are there seven books in the Narnia series and what does that have to do with the themes of each?  (hint: it apparently has to do with Medieval Cosmology)

Listen and learn.

{right click to download}

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Written by Joe Holland

September 26, 2008 at 2:30 pm

Posted in haste

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The Sweet Dropper

I recently added The Sweet Dropper to my blog links in my sidebar.  It is the blog of Phillip Palmertree.  Other than being my boss he is the senior minister here at First Presbyterian Church in Kosciusko, MS.  You should check out his blog for astute thoughts on theology, music, and Mr. T.

You can also check out why its called The Sweet Dropper.

Written by Joe Holland

September 24, 2008 at 7:52 am

Raising my kids in Middle Earth

I love reading aloud to my kids.  They love it too.  Of course they love it in different ways.  My 6 year old usually sits right next to me on the floor in rapt attention occasionally asking his loquacious brothers to please be quiet–though the please isn’t always included.  My 4 year old generally chooses reading time to expend all left over energy from the day.  This usually includes covering every square inch of his bedroom with leaps, bounds, and general mayhem.  He is however listening and often proves it by interrupting at key moments to ask questions.  My two year old listens less but snuggles more.  He generally sits in my lap, not so much to listen to the story but to be close to his daddy.  My one year old is more oblivious and spends reading time exploring his brothers’ room with his new found skill–walking.

Each in their own way, my boys love listening to me read and I love reading to them.  We’ve been through the Narnia series and are now almost finished with the Lord of Rings trilogy.  We actually began in The Hobbit and have read straight through.  I love that my boys are growing up in Middle Earth.  I primarily love the times we spend in family worship studying the Bible but our secondary family stories of Aragorn, Ents, and Gandalf are sweet to a father’s soul.

I know I am only becoming vaguely aware of the power of stories in my own life.  I always loved nonfiction and intentionally majored in Chemistry to stay away from literature and history.  But reading to my children has changed my attitude to the whole thing.  I frequently get so caught up in reading that I have to stop for a minute finding my throat choked up with the thrill of plot or the poignant truthfulness of the moment.  My boys take note of daddy’s wavering voice and learn about bravery in battle, virtue towards women, and love for friends–and they’re learning how to feel about these things.

I love reading to my boys.  I hope to make it a long standing family tradition.  For whatever reason Middle Earth has become our staple.  I couldn’t be happier.  I close simply by asking, “Where are you children growing up?”

For further reading

Written by Joe Holland

September 23, 2008 at 9:21 am

Posted in haste

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CS Lewis Lecture 3

Brad did another fantastic job last Thursday night.  He focuses each lecture on a different selection from Lewis’s works.  This past lecture focused in on “Learning in War Time” which is a lecture included in The Weight of Glory.  Brad pointed out that we often miss that Lewis’s life and works were drastically affected by two world wars.

Listen and learn.

{right click to download}

Written by Joe Holland

September 22, 2008 at 2:29 pm

Posted in haste

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Jesus, His Church, and His Mission – Part 1

I preached this past Sunday evening from Matthew 16:13-18.  It was my introductory sermon to a series I’m beginning in October entitled, “Jesus, His Church, and His Mission”.  I’ve been fascinated with the strong lines that are drawn between these three topics–Christology, Eccleisiology, and Missiology. In my series I hope to examine how each of these themes builds on the other.

My main goal in this frist sermon was to give a taste of the series without preaching the whole series in one sermon.  The text I chose tied these themes together well.  First, Jesus receives Peter’s confession that Jesus was indeed “the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  Second, Jesus goes on to describe the church as a group of people that he himself builds.  Third he gives the church the mission of assualting the gates of Hell–a metaphor for death in all its manifestations.

{right click to download}

Written by Joe Holland

September 17, 2008 at 1:13 pm

Posted in haste

Neither Willing Nor Able – Dort 3.3

Therefore, all people are conceived in sin and are born children of wrath, unfit for any saving good, inclined to evil, dead in their sins, and slaves to sin; without the grace of the regenerating Holy Spirit they are neither willing nor able to return to God, to reform their distorted nature, or even to dispose themselves to such reform.

Synod of Dort – 3/4.3

__________

This is a summary of Ephesians 2:1-10.  See in this God’s love.  God seeks out people who are described above.  Those are the only kinds of people he loves and lavishes his blessings upon.  There are no other kind of people.  All have fallen short.  I have fallen short.  What a rescue, what a redemption is Jesus’s triumph over sin!  What a rescue, what a redemption is Jesus’s triumph over my unwilling, unable heart.

Written by Joe Holland

September 14, 2008 at 1:44 pm

CS Lewis Lecture 2

Brad did a great job last night lecturing on CS Lewis’s work, The Weight of Glory.  I’m really enjoying this series.

Brad split his lecture up into two parts examining the prevailing themes of The Weight of Glory: joy and heaven.

CS Lewis Lecture 2

{right click to download}

Written by Joe Holland

September 12, 2008 at 2:09 pm