a clown? I’ll have nightmares for a week.
Archive for May, 2008
Jon Barlow points us to the sad testimony of Rebecca Walker, the daughter of the radical feminist, Alice Walker. Her words show why feminism has failed (and always will) — creation and the fall sum it up. Listen to a few of Rebecca’s comments:
[Speaking of her son] “I love the way his head nestles in the crook of my neck. I love the way his face falls into a mask of eager concentration when I help him learn the alphabet. But most of all, I simply love hearing his little voice calling: ‘Mummy, Mummy.’
It reminds me of just how blessed I am. The truth is that I very nearly missed out on becoming a mother – thanks to being brought up by a rabid feminist who thought motherhood was about the worst thing that could happen to a woman.
You see, my mum taught me that children enslave women. I grew up believing that children are millstones around your neck, and the idea that motherhood can make you blissfully happy is a complete fairytale.
In fact, having a child has been the most rewarding experience of my life. Far from ‘enslaving’ me, three-and-a-half-year-old Tenzin has opened my world. My only regret is that I discovered the joys of motherhood so late” (more…)
Today is the anniversary of the death of John Calvin. Theodore Beza, his close friend and successor, describes his death as having come quietly as sleep, and then adds: “Thus withdrew into heaven, at the same time with the setting sun, that most brilliant luminary, which was the lamp of the Church. On the following night and day there was intense grief and lamentation in the whole city; for the Republic had lost its wisest citizen, the Church its faithful shepherd, and the Academy an incomparable teacher.”
Calvin had not only forbidden the erection of any monument over his grave, but also expressly forbade any pomp at his funeral. Philip Schaff says, “He wished to be buried, like Moses, out of reach of idolatry. This was consistent, with his theology, which humbles man and exalts God.”
A few years ago, I met a university student from Geneva. He said he was an agnostic and when I asked him if he had ever heard of John Calvin, he became visibly upset, “Calvin! Calvin! We will never get away from the influence of Calvin!” You know you’ve done something right when unbelievers get upset at the mention of your name 500 years after your death.
Leslie Newbigin in his book The Household of God describes the Church as the visible community of God’s people and repeatedly emphasizes that the Church “is as visible as the Christian man.” This emphasis is a vital one for those of us who have been trained to think of the Church as primarily “invisible.” An “invisible” Church which consists exclusively of the “whole number of the elect” tends to become, over time, the only “real” Church (since only those who are counted in the invisible Church will be infallibly saved). This perfect “invisible” Church makes the imperfect, and sometimes deeply flawed, visible Church on the corner appear as a mere shadow of (if not an outright contradiction to) the real glorious body of Christ. Consequently, we come to view the visible Church is at best a secondary and non-essential element in our salvation (and many even think of the Church as a hindrance to their spirituality). But Newbigin tells us that this is a great mistake. In the Bible, the Church, the body of Christ, is the visible body of men and women who have been called out by God’s grace, marked by baptism, and gathered into worshiping and serving communities. Newbigin observes:
“The whole core of biblical history is the story of the calling of a visible community to be God’s own people. His royal priesthood on earth, the bearer of His light to the nations. . . . There is an actual, visible, earthly company which is addressed as ‘the people of God’, the ‘Body of Christ’. It is surely a fact of inexhaustible significance that what our Lord left behind him was not a book, nor a creed, nor a system of thought, nor a rule of life, but a visible community. . . . He committed the entire work of salvation to that community. It was not that a community gathered round an idea, so that the idea was primary and the community secondary. It was a community called together by the deliberate choice of the Lord Himself, and re-created in Him, gradually sought–and is seeking–to make explicit who He is and what He has done. . . . This actual visible community, a company of men and women with ascertainable names and addresses, is the Church of God.” (more…)