Monday, November 11, 2013

Daily Links 11-11-13

Giving C. S. Lewis his due, the best time to drink coffee, Saving Mr. Banks, and responding to critics of Strange Fire in today's link roundup.


November 22nd will mark the 50th anniversary of the death of C. S. Lewis. According to Christianity Today, he will finally receive a recognition that is long overdue:

On the anniverary of his death, Lewis will be commemorated with a memorial plaque in Westminster Abbey's Poets' Corner, which honors authors and other cultural figures whose work has shaped English society. A two-day conference on Lewis's works will begin the preceding day.
Alister McGrath, the latest to examine Lewis biographically, believes this anniversary year will solidify Lewis's reputation as an apologist and classicist. At Oxford's recent literary conference, McGrath's sold-out talk on Lewis led to requests for him to give three more. 
"We've minimized Lewis's importance [in the UK], and we have catching up to do [with U.S. evangelicals]," said the author of C.S. Lewis: A Life. "Lewis is here to stay; that debate is over. Now there is this sense of, 'There is more to learn from Lewis, so let's read him again.' "


More on C. S. Lewis: why he is still relevant fifty years after his death.


There's no question that coffee helps you stay alert. But did you know there is a best time to drink coffee, scientifically speaking? (Hat tip: Challies)


John MacArthur answers his critics regarding Strange Fire. For example, why MacArthur chose to emphasize what is essentially a second-level issue of doctrine:

These questions remind me of an article Thabiti Anyabwile wrote during the Strange Fire Conference, in which he explained why this issue is so important. He wrote, “First, we have to admit that there’s a correct and an incorrect position on this issue. Somebody is right and somebody is wrong… . Second, we have to admit that how we view this issue substantially impacts the nature of the Christian life. It matters. It’s not an inconsequential idea. Someone worships God appropriately, someone doesn’t… . Third, we have to admit that this issue practically impacts Christian worship and fellowship. It’s not only a private matter, but a corporate one as well.”
I agree with all of that. This is an issue of critical importance because it affects our view of God as well as our understanding of how to live out the Christian life, both individually and corporately. 
I don’t think, however, that this issue is unclear in Scripture. The fact that Christians disagree on what the Bible teaches does not mean that there is a lack of clarity in Scripture, but rather in Christians. The Word of God is our authoritative rule for faith and practice—meaning that it is perfectly sufficient for teaching sound doctrine and governing right living. Certainly, an orthodox pneumatology fits under that umbrella. 
On the one hand, I would agree that this is a second-level doctrinal issue—meaning that someone can be either a continuationist or a cessationist and still be a genuine follower of Jesus Christ. I have always maintained that position, and I reiterated that point several times during the conference. I have good friends who consider themselves continuationists, and I am confident that these men are fellow brothers in Christ. But that doesn’t excuse the seriousness of the error. In fact, I would appeal to my continuationist brethren to reconsider their views in light of what Scripture teaches. 
On the other hand, I am firmly convinced that this secondary issue has the very real potential to taint a person’s understanding of the gospel itself. In such cases, it becomes a primary issue. For example, charismatic theology does corrupt the gospel when it expresses itself in the form of the prosperity gospel. Moreover, the global charismatic movement happily shelters other heretical movements—such as Catholic Charismatics and Oneness Pentecostals. Taken together, the number of charismatics who hold to a false form of the gospel (whether it is a gospel of health and wealth or a gospel of works righteousness) number in the hundreds of millions, which means they actually represent the majority of the global charismatic movement. That is why we took such a strong stand both at the conference and in the book. 

Be sure to read the whole thing. More to come on this subject.


One of the movies that I am really looking forward to seeing is Saving Mr. Banks which tells the story of how Walt Disney convinced author P. L. Travers to allow him to make a movie version of Mary Poppins. The film focuses in part on the writing of the songs that would make up the memorable soundtrack. The songs were written by Richard and Robert Sherman (portrayed in the movie by B. J. Novak and Jason Schwartzman). Thankfully the duo had the opportunity to work closely with Richard Sherman throughout filming.  

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