Brains and All

It has been my contention that the Christian ought to be the most thoughtful person in all the world, not only because we are incited to think constantly, but because the objective subject of our thought is so infinitely great that an eternity is necessary to plumb His depths and mine His excellencies.  In reading through John Piper’s Brothers, We Are Not Professionals: A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry, I came across this terrific quote from C.S. Lewis:

God is no fonder of intellectual slackers than of any other slackers.  If you are thinking of becoming a Christian, I warn you that you are embarking on something which is going to take the whole of you, brains and all.  But fortunately, it works the other way around.  Anyone who is honestly trying to be a Christian will soon find his intelligence being sharpened: one of the reasons why it needs no special education to be a Christian is that Christianity is an education itself.

The Goal of Winning Souls

5:15 a.m. came quickly this morning; the internal clock is an awful thing sometimes; nevertheless, I was up for some early morning exercise. So, I trickled my way into the trailblazer and felt blindly for my ipod. I have been working my way through a series of sermons by John Piper on evangelism from the mid-1990’s. This morning’s sermon was from the text, “unless you repent, you will all likewise perish,” from Luke 13:1-5.

And it was quite good and edifying, as he moved upon each word of the text, whereupon he hit upon the relevancy of the text – our passion for seeing souls saved from perishing wherever we are, whenever the opportunity arises and the earnestness with which we ought to contend for them.

To emphasize this he used a quote from C.S. Lewis to emphasize what many of us, myself included, often overlook about Lewis, in short, he had a passion for evangelism! The quote that Piper uses comes from Lewis’ book The Weight of Glory and the focus of the quote is the confrontation of two eternal realities that the Christian must acknowledge preeminently – the view of the human soul through the lens of eternity, through which lens we see two conditions: one, the infinite horror of the immortal soul lost in hell, and the second, the infinite beauty and splendor of the immortal soul saved in glory; the first he points out we would only imagine the sight of in our worst nightmares, while the second, if we saw that glorious soul we would be much inclined to worship it. The consideration of the Christian is the immortality of the humans with which they interact on a moment by moment basis. Lewis argues rightly that the life of nations, and cultures are like that of a gnat in comparison to the immortality of the people surrounding us even now. And yet how much of ourselves do we poor into those gnat-like aspects of reality, all the while neglecting the immortal beings whose destination and eternal makeup depend solely on the very thing that now exists within us by faith in Christ?

When Lewis was criticized for simplifying the Trinity by the use of geometric figure, he retorted with great angst and passion stating that the books that he writes, he writes for the salvation of souls! No other end did he carry in mind or heart but to in every word bring souls to Jesus Christ. And he wondered, to what end did his critic criticize?

At 5:30 in the morning, this was a wonderful word to wake up to – better than any coffee I’ve had recently (my Magic Stars cereal has been lacking too). It awakened my soul to a reevaluation of my goal in all things – to see the soul saved. Human beings are immortal – we will all spend eternity somewhere, either heaven or hell. This consideration alone is sufficient food for spiritual nourishment.

When we study, do we study with the immortal souls of men in mind? When we prepare sermons, do we prepare them in such ways that the souls of men might be saved, or are we more considerate of our contemporary literary style? When we enter conversation do we give thought to the entrances of the immortal soul that we might take opportunity to speak of the Gospel, that Jesus might bust in upon them? When we blog, is salvation in mind? Are we saturated with the mortality of this postmodern culture (which is necessary but only in so far as it is studied for the salvation of immortal souls) or are we saturated with the immortality of every immediate person?

In all that we do we ought to aim at the salvation of men, for it is inseparably linked to the biblical injunction to do all things to the glory of God. Lewis understood this; but more importantly, he shot live ammunition towards this goal of winning souls; and so ought we imitate this passion. God’s grace be upon us in this endeavor. In Jesus’ name. Amen.