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C. S. Lewis coined the phrase “chronological snobbery” to be:
“the uncritical acceptance of the intellectual climate common to our own age and the assumption that whatever has gone out of date is on that account discredited.”
J. I. Packer explains it this way:
the newer is the truer,
only what is recent is decent,
every shift of ground is a step forward,
and every latest word must be hailed as the last word on its subject.
As young people (I count myself in this category – I’m not 30 yet), we are particularly tempted to fall into this mindset. Not everything that is old is good, but that doesn’t mean that we should dismiss it all. We need to seek out wisdom from those who have gone before us – both the living ones and the dead ones.
I’ll be posting more on this subject.
I just finished reading Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs and, although I enjoyed the read, I couldn’t help feeling sad for Steve throughout the book. I learned some things from Steve and may post those later, but I’d like to focus on one particular observation from the life of Steve Jobs.
It is impossible to read the book through and miss Steve’s passion to change the world. He wanted Apple to be a company that lasted – his mark on the world. He tried to achieve this through…
- his ruthless intolerance for anyone in the company who was not what he deemed, “Grade A”.
- his rockstar-like performance that he scheduled for Apple product launches.
- his obsession with perfection in the final product.
- his recruitment of other talented individuals to work for Apple (to former PepsiCo president John Sculley he said something like, “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to change the world?”)
I think Steve achieved his goal. He changed the world. But this goal (one that is so often found on the lips of ambitious, young students and entrepreneurs) is empty. In the words of Woody Allen, “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work — I want to achieve it through not dying.” What good is it if people remember you as someone who changed the world? Steve Jobs, now lying in his grave, doesn’t benefit from his legacy. No, the only way to outlive yourself is to lose your life.
“For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
(Mark 8:35-38 ESV)
Here are some great questions to ask yourself to see if you are motivated by the gospel.
1. Are you astonished with the gospel?
Is technology interrupting your communion with God?
2. What consumes your thoughts when you have alone time?
3. When people see how you spend money, do they conclude that God is a priceless treasure, exceedingly valuable above all worldly goods?
4. When people observe your relationship with others, are they alerted to the power of Christ’s forgiveness of you that alone accounts for your forgiveness of them?
5. If you are complimented for some accomplishment, does the way you receive it drive onlookers to give thanks to the Lord?
I grabbed these questions from Andy Naselli’s blog where he references two books.
I hope you’re getting excited for Asian Fusion to start back up this summer. There are a lot of ways that you can serve. Youth leadership will be planning, facilitating, leading worship, leading game-time, serving food, etc. If you’re interested in participating in a leadership role, I’d encourage you to apply here.
Go to dark Gethsemane,
ye that feel the tempter’s power
Your Redeemer’s conflict see,
watch with Him one bitter hour
Turn not from His griefs away;
learn of Jesus Christ to pray
Learn of Jesus Christ to pray
See Him at the judgment hall,
beaten, bound, reviled, arraigned
O the wormwood and the gall!
O the pangs His soul sustained!
Shun not suffering, shame, or loss;
learn of Christ to bear the cross
Learn of Christ to bear the cross
Calvary’s mournful mountain climb;
there, adoring at His feet
Mark that miracle of time,
God’s own sacrifice complete
“It is finished!” hear Him cry;
learn of Jesus Christ to die
Learn of Jesus Christ to die
Early hasten to the tomb
where they laid His breathless clay
All is solitude and gloom.
Who has taken Him away?
Christ is risen! He meets our eyes;
Savior, teach us so to rise
Savior, teach us so to rise
Written by James Montgomery (1771-1854)
Here’s some great book / music suggestions from Matthew Hoskinson, Pastor of The First Baptist Church in NYC. Whatever you read or listen to this week, spend some time meditating on both the horror of the event and the joy that it brings.
If you haven’t heard, Jeremy Lin’s season has ended with a knee injury/surgery. That hasn’t stopped the Linsanity though.
There’s a new book out about Jeremy Lin that covers his attention-getting NBA season. It’s written by Ted Kluck, a sports writer for ESPN. I’ve read several books by Ted Kluck and I’ve found his writing to be engaging, witty and insightful. He’s an avid sports fan, a well-grounded Christian and generally seems to be a fun guy to hang with.
It looks like right now its only available as an e-book. This book is definitely going on my “to buy” list.
This should start your week off with a few laughs.
Many of my posts on this blog will just be links to point you to helpful thoughts written by others. So, I unashamedly point you to David Powlison’s comments on this video here. I’ll do my best to sum it up, but he says it much better than I do.
In this penetrating video, Dove exposes a problem in our culture that Christians agree with – beauty has become an idol. But they don’t quite get to the real problem. It is remarkable that God gives grace to people (believers and unbelievers alike) so they can see that there is a problem. We can agree and rejoice that Dove is pointing out this problem. But we shouldn’t stop there. We need to ask, “Why is the idol of beauty so popular? Why does it sell so many magazines? Why does it sell so much of almost everything?” Because every one of us is gullible. We’re all tricked by the lies of Satan that say, “You would be happier if…” Dove is wrong. We don’t need to affirm our own beauty. We need to look to the beauty of the Creator and be thankful for his good gifts (whether he has loaded us with beauty or not). We need to repent of believing in and spreading Satan’s lies. We should not stop at finding a problem, but look for THE problem.
Yes, I’m a youth pastor and I haven’t read or seen “The Hunger Games” yet. It’s definitely on my list, but I understand many of you have seen it / are planning to see it. Here’s a great blog post from a friend (that has seen the movie) about how the cry of social injustice that we feel expresses our desire to see God’s redemptive story accomplished.