Archive for the ‘Spirituality’ Category

In my last post I reviewed the classic 1967 movie Cool Hand Luke (http://www.billisley.com/2017/06/cool-hand-luke-reviewing-a-classic/) and highlighted its religious symbolism in which Luke is portrayed as a suffering messiah struggling against oppressive forces.  A little while later, I was preparing a lesson on anger and read an excerpt from Martin Luther King’s Strength to Love.  The contrast between King’s resistance to oppression and Luke’s is extremely important and especially relevant in contemporary America’s disastrous cultural and political divisions. Read the rest of this entry »

During this season when many Christians have been observing Lent, I have been ruminating on Jesus’ Parable of the Prodigal or Lost Son (Luke 15:11-32).  In this, I have been helped by Henri Nouwen’s, The Return of the Prodigal Son.   I have reached the conclusion that contemporary culture grossly, even fatally, has misunderstood the love of others as acceptance without forgiveness. Read the rest of this entry »

The theme of hope has been in the news recently.  In an interview outgoing First Lady Michelle Obama, lamenting what in her view is the loss of hope, said, “Hope is necessary.  It’s a necessary concept.”  Incoming President Donald Trump responded, “I’m telling you, we have tremendous hope.  And we have a tremendous promise and tremendous potential.”

Although both political figures rightly emphasize the importance of hope, they are terribly misguided about its nature.  The Christmas story in the Gospels reveals the true nature of hope and its power. Read the rest of this entry »

Relativism’s denial of truth is clearly undercutting the educational mission of our schools and universities.  However, the English author Charles Williams (1886-1945) portrays in his novels two subtler and interrelated dangers to the scholar who is not properly aligned to the truth.  These dangers are dishonesty with regard to facts in his field and an inadequate motivation for his studies.   Both represent a failure to love.   Read the rest of this entry »

The lion and the lamb are two of the most important biblical images of Christ.  Obviously, the lion depicts Christ’s power and the lamb his loving sacrifice for us sinners.  Nevertheless, we fail to do justice to these images, if we do not see how the Bible relates them to one another.   Two Christian novelists, C. S. Lewis and Charles Williams, can help us to grasp the profundity of the biblical portrayal of Christ as both lion and lamb or better be grasped by it.[1] Read the rest of this entry »

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