embracing “the life that is truly life…”

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” – (John 11:25-26)

Men sharing faith stories at DOC retreat in Virginia

DOC Men sharing faith stories in Virginia

The conversation at my Wednesday evening “Men’s Room” small group this week was – and we’ve come to expect this – deep and meaningful. The men I meet with are faithful, they are thoughtful, and they are spiritually astute.

However – and I’ve come to expect this too – our conversation is never a re-hash of the “same old same old.” The idea is to move forward in our spiritual understanding and our practice of faith in day-to-day life. Consequently, and this is a result of a combination of pre-class reading, scripture, prayer, and the individual stories we all bring to the table, there are usually several “ah-ha” moments before we’re done.

For me, this week’s “ah-ha” was about the resurrection. Interestingly, it was a level of understanding I’ve talked about before, and even introduced in one of my books, but this particular time the truth of it hit home and I found myself excited, animated, and full with renewed passion.

Of course, that’s exactly the point of meeting together to encourage one another in faith.

NEW LIFE! The catalyst for our conversation was a segment from the C.S. Lewis essay “What are we to make of Jesus Christ,” from God in the Dock. Christ’s resurrection was not about survival after death, Lewis argued, but “a totally new mode of being [had] arisen in the Universe… as new as the first coming of organic life.”

So I asked my friends this question: “How, then, was the resurrection of Jesus different from the time (just a short while earlier) that Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from death?”

And of course the answer is that for Lazarus the healing was a kind of reversal, a restoration of life he already had. Then, later, Lazarus died again… because that is the nature of our life. But the resurrection of Jesus was different, it was the beginning point of something brand new!

And that is what we are born into when we begin to put our trust in Jesus and make the decision to follow him. It’s know as “A New and Living Way” because that’s exactly what it is. It’s life charged with more life; life charged with new life; it’s The Life-Charged Life!

BACK AT THE MEN’S ROOM: That’s what got me animated, and excited, and impassioned at the men’s meeting Wednesday evening. We’re talking about what it means to be participants in the New Creation!

"still" from video-post

“still” from video-post

I don’t know how God’s going to sort things out in the end. I certainly respect and understand the convictions of those who earnestly seek to know God via religious traditions other than Christianity. But this I do know, I know that the invitation of Jesus to be reconciled to God via his “New and Living Way,” is unique, and I know that the invitation of Jesus (“I am the gate”) is the entry point to this “New mode of being” – as C.S. Lewis describes it.

This is the life charged with more life. This is, as the writer of First Timothy (6:19) puts it, “The life that is truly life.”

Don’t forget to enjoy his week’s “video-post” (2-mins) about the life-charged life!

– DEREK

  • Comment Policy: (borrowed almost exactly from the most excellent blog of fellow commentator Rachel Held Evans). I’m implementing this as of today: “Please stay positive with your comments. If your comment is rude, it gets deleted. If it is critical, please make it constructive. If you are constantly negative or a general [rear-end], troll, or hater, you will get banned. The definition of terms is left solely up to us.”


Categories: Live Like You Mean It, Men's ministry, The Life-Charged Life, The Story, Video Post

Tags: , , , ,

10 replies

  1. Figures
    …another word is censored.
    …another phrase is “Comments and opinions are welcome as long as it agrees with mine”.

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    • “Figures”?
      Tim, you have constantly and consistently ignored any creative or possible helpful and always respectful responses I’ve made to your stream of negativity. Don’t cry censorship when you’re held to account. That’s just churlish – DEREK

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      • Churlish? I really am laughing at that one…you do know the entomology of the word, right?

        Try this…

        Derek –
        You write the most wonderful blog. You are so insightful. I hang everyday on your next word. I am truly a member of the Derek Admiration Society. I like milk and cookies and hiding from the real world. I cannot wait for the next opportunity to suspend my most basic common sense and rationality to be on your band wagon.
        Blahh Blah BORING!

        You set it up…cant you defend it?
        I know, I know the Bible doesn’t need defending, but that’s just more of the same “don’t think too much, just have faith”.
        That’s just more basking in ignorance.

        Plenty of your posts go by without me ever uttering a word. But, some just catch me off and I wonder how you got to the conclusion you drew. Ive commented on less than 1% of your posts. I have asked legitimate, insightful, hard-nosed questions to which you’ve given stock answers, or danced around completely.

        By the way…there was nothing negative about pointing out the historical FACT that there was a god named Mythras who had nearly every Jesus detail. It is a historical FACT that the Jesus story is nothing brand new but a re-casting of much older and similar tales. Now, your extremely well read, And I believe you know of/about Mythras, and I wonder how you can say Jesus is a brand new idea?

        Nothing hateful about asking where you gleaned the presumption Lazarus died twice.

        I did notice that you and your band of followers were the first to inject words like “hate” and “negative”: politically correct terms usually employed to fend off a perceived threat to a group ideology.

        I’m kinda thinking you may perceive me as a threat in your otherwise well-stocked pond.

        I guess the position presented to me that the church appreciates a “thinking-christian” is more like “don’t think too much – be like sheeple”.

        …Because, Sheeple, If you start picking at the details…if you study the Bible from a historical-critical position, not just devotional, you might find that it makes no sense…

        Thinking…and asking tough questions, or otherwise not drinking the kool-aid, is threatening to the cause of the church, and we cant have that – so lets silence the source…Stalinist, I think…

        Before all you good folks get offended at the Stalin reference, let me point out that more people have been killed in the name of God and Jesus than Uncle Joe Stalin could have ever hoped for…another historical FACT…so don’t run away. Truth is truth. Just because it’s uncomfortable, or don’t like it…don’t hide from it in the pretty pretty flower bed.

        Having been thorn enough in your side for you to invoke your comment policy…having been chastised a public forum…does not make me cringe or cause me shame. I’m delighted

        I write this with a bit of a grin…Be consistent, ye Christians. Christians can be and are, just as two-faced and one-sided as anybody else. Live the whole Bible if your going to practice at all. Not just the feel-good parts. Stop picking and choosing, ye gullible wanna-be’s.

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      • Not “a threat in my well stocked pond…,” good grief, no. However, comments such as “I have asked legitimate, insightful, hard-nosed questions to which you’ve given stock answers, or danced around completely.” are simply un-truths. As you know, I’m miles away from “stock answers.” Most of your observations and questions would be 100% OK if presented with more grace. Honestly, I simply don’t enjoy the repartee anymore.

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  2. This is fascinating. Last week I started a short ‘Easter theology’ course at St Mary’s Battersea, an Anglian church in London. I am not a member of that church, but I did the Alpha course there some years ago and I have friends who are parishioners. The theology course looks at the resurrection. At our first session I was astounded to hear several members of the church, lovely elderly ladies full of humility and kindness, reveal that they didn’t actually believe in the resurrection. In other words they are Christians who can’t accept the central tenet of Christianity! So the words of CS Lewis you quote are very interesting to me, and I shall offer them up for discussion at the next session of the course. Thank you!

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