After many years of diverse career experience, I was excitedly counting down the days until my retirement. I eagerly anticipated being in control of my schedule and time while enjoying a slower pace of life. I envisioned more days devoted to serving in ministry at my church and deepening relationships...
We decided to post a “Book Brief” instead of a Key Connections this week, here’s why: In his Introduction to Athanasius’ On the Incarnation, C. S. Lewis speaks to the importance of reading old books. He said this, not because he disapproved of new writing, but because he wished for readers to be aware of the full conversation. He wrote:
If you join at eleven o’clock a conversation which began at eight you will often not see the real bearing of what is said… [So,] it is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.
In light of this, we’d like to share some quotes from a book that has shaped Pastor Colin’s thinking. Enjoy!
Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Its Cures (D. Martyn Lloyd Jones, Wm. B. Eerdman’s Printing Company, 1965)
Regarding the deceptive nature of spiritual depression:
The forms which this particular condition may take seem to be almost endless. It comes in such different forms and guises that some people stumble at that very fact… of course, their ignorance of the problem in and of itself may lead to the very condition we are considering. The kind of person who thinks that once you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ all your problems are left behind and that the rest of the story will be “they all lived happily ever after” is certain sooner or later to suffer from this spiritual depression. (51)
In response to those who say they can’t have a relationship with Christ because they are not good enough:
They are still thinking in terms of themselves… “I am not good enough.” It sounds very modest, but it is the lie of the devil, it is a denial of fatih. You think that you are being humble. But you will never be good enough. The essence of the Christian salvation is to say that [Christ] is good enough and that I am in him! (34)
On the tendency to differentiate between one sin and another:
We must not think in terms of particular sins but always in terms of our relationship to God. We all tend to go astray at that point. That is why we tend to think that some conversions are more remarkable than others. But they are not. It takes the same grace of God to save the most respectable person in the world as the most lawless person in the world. Nothing but the grace of God can save anybody, and it takes the same grace to save all. (71)
Regarding Christians using “common sense” to solve an issue:
There are some people who seem to think that it is wrong for a Christian ever to use common sense. They seem to think that they must always do everything in an exclusively spiritual manner. Now that seems to me to be very unscriptural… The Christian can not only do everything that the unbeliever does, he can do even more… I am saying all this because I often find that people are in difficulty about this matter and are spending their time in praying about a matter instead of doing something that is perfectly obvious from the standpoint of common sense. (82)