Bigger and More Mysterious Than You Can Imagine
by John W. Mahaffy
Young King Tirian, the final king of Narnia in C. S. Lewis’s The Last Battle, is engaged in the conflict reflected in the title of the book. The enemies of Narnia force him into a stable, but as he enters through the door, he finds himself, not in a dingy shed, but in a wonderful, sunshine-filled country. There he meets the kings and queens of Narnia, who are English schoolchildren who have been pulled into Narnia to rule over that land. Tirian, puzzling over the mysterious door connecting the world he has left with the better world he has just entered (friends of Narnia know about those doors between worlds), concludes that the stable he has entered is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.
“Yes,” says Queen Lucy, speaking for the first time in the book. “In our world too, a Stable once had something inside it that was bigger than our whole world” (pp. 140–41). Without adopting the Platonism that sometimes has too much influence on Lewis, grasp the sense of awe he reflects, pointing you to a reality that is far bigger and far more mysterious than you could ever imagine. The magical world of Narnia comes to an end, but Aslan replaces it with a better country. Read more
The Heart of Christmas
by Marianne and William Radius
Every baby comes into the world crying. Doctors tell you, matter-of-factly, that a baby is “programmed” to cry with the first breath he draws, in order to expand his lungs. Psychologists see in those first tears a cry of protest at being torn loose from the warmth and security of his mother’s body the infant forced suddenly for the first time to breathe and to eat for himself.
In any case, the cries are soon quieted. The baby is bathed, wrapped in a warm blanket, held in loving arms, patiently coaxed to suck at his mother’s breast. And his mother, as the Bible tells us, quickly forgets her pain for the joy that a man is born into the world. Read more
The Reformation of the Sacraments
by David C. Noe
As we saw last month, the Reformers sought to restore the proclamation of God’s inerrant and infallible Word to its rightful place of prominence in the church. While Paul teaches us that faith comes by hearing (Rom. 10:17), and our Lord says, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29), God also knows just how weak we are and that we are but dust. Therefore, in his boundless mercy, he also gives us supports and stays that we might rely upon his grace more completely. These are the sacraments—what the Reformers referred to as the visible Word of God.
Because the church that is reformed must always be reforming according to the standard of that same Word, officers and members of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church have an opportunity at this 500th anniversary celebration of the Reformation to examine both our thinking on and our participation in God’s sacraments. Presbyterian doctrine on baptism and the Lord’s Supper rests upon a careful reading of the Scriptures and a number of principles that we derive from them, assisted by learned theologians of the past. Read more