Narnia’s Nikabrik, a Parable of Contemporary Evangelicalism? | “We Want Power. And We Want a Power that Will Be on Our Side.”

“All said and done,” he [Nikabrik] muttered, “none of us knows the truth about the ancient days in Narnia. Trumpkin believed none of the stories. I was ready to put them to the trial. We tried first the Horn and it has failed. If there ever was a High King Peter and a Queen Susan and a King Edmund and a Queen Lucy, then either they have not heard us, or they cannot come, or they are our enemies–“

“Or they are on the way,” put in Trufflehunter.

“You can go on saying that till Miraz has fed us all to his dogs. As I was saying, we have tried one link in the chain of old legends, and it has done us no good. Well. But when your sword breaks, you draw your dagger. The stories tell of other powers beside the ancient Kings and Queens. How if we could call them up?” ….

“Who do you mean?” said Caspian at last.

“I mean a power so much greater than Aslan’s that it held Narnia spellbound for years and years, if the stories are true.”

“The White Witch!” cried three voices all at once….

“Yes, said Nikabrik very slowly and distinctly, “I mean the Witch. … We want power: and we want a power that will be on our side. … They say she ruled for a hundred years: a hundred years of winter. There’s power, if you like. There’s something practical.”

—C.S. Lewis, Prince Caspian in The Chronicles of Narnia (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2001), pp. 393-394.


As I read the above section from C.S. Lewis’ Prince Caspian this evening, I couldn’t help but think of how it unfortunately seemed to parabolize much of the current posture of contemporary, American evangelicalism. We’re pragmatic over principled. Over against the “foolish” call to cruciformly, we’re entangled in a love affair with the corrupting influence of power. We want power — who cares if that power happens to be the “White Witch”?

Luckily, Prince Caspian and crew have the wherewithal to see through Nikabrik’s proposal, and they dismantle his plot right then and there. May we have the foresight in this moment to revive our call and do the same.

Using Logos in Pastoral Ministry (September 8th, 2021)

Join us for a special online seminar hosted by yours truly in partnership with Logos Bible Software. The topic is: How to best use Logos in ministry — pastoral and more.

Logos Bible Software is currently used by over 6 million people worldwide. In this free seminar, you will learn how Logos can help you accomplish Bible study and ministry tasks effectively and efficiently.

We’ll be joined by National Presenter for Faithlife and Logos Bible Software, Matt Stack. You’ll be able to ask questions, and together we’ll explore ways to utilize Logos in your ministry.

To access the special 25% discount offer, visit here — available through to Sept. 10, 2021. And email Matt with any questions you might have.

DaddyCast with Jubilee

My daughter, Jubilee (3 years old), starting asking to do podcasts with me. We talk through David Helm’s The Big Picture Story Bible and whatever else Jubilee feels like talking about that day. 😊

If you’re interested, you can find the episodes here.

Most recent episodes:

  1. Birthdays, the Exodus, and Trips to the Park
  2. Thanksgiving & the Hebrews in Egypt
  3. Trick-or-Treating, Joseph in Egypt, and 3-K Adventures
  4. Winnie-the-Pooh, Abraham, & Pink Hearts
  5. Sandcastles, Hospital Trips, and Noah's Ark

Logos Bible Software, Preaching Suite (Review)

Overview

The Preaching Suite is new base package from Logos Bible Software designed with tools and resources specifically with preachers in mind.

Some years back, Logos came out with Denominational Base Packages with resources specifically selected from various traditions (e.g., Reformed, Baptist, Methodist, etc.). You might think of the new Preaching Suite something akin to that, except instead of being a base package designed for a particular denomination, its resources are geared towards preaching.

You can break down the Preaching Suite‘s resources as follows:

  • A sermon scheduling tool (Sermon Manager).
  • Sermon prep and study resources (e.g., commentaries, Bible dictionaries, homiletical resources, Logo’s Factbook, passage guides, preaching workflows, etc.).
  • A sermon composition tool (Sermon Builder).
  • A sermon delivery tool (Preaching Mode).
  • And finally a streamline way to upload and archive your recorded sermons.

The Preaching Suite is available via a monthly subscription; or own it for a one-time fee.

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Known & Loved

Our society prizes authenticity, the desire to be “true to oneself.” And coupled with this is an innate longing for community and to be truly known by others.

However, if we’re honest about our “true selves” — that form of ourselves that only we know, what happens in our “inner life,” those thoughts we’d be ashamed of if others knew, the person we are when no one else is looking — there’s an equally true sense in which we don’t want to be known. We don’t want others to know this self, the true self that lies in the deepest recesses of our hearts, you might say. We only want them to know the “me” I want them to know. And so we curate our self-expression, our public face, our performative self. Know me, but only as I want to be known.

But then here’s the quandary: If that’s the “me” they know, am I really known? Does this satisfy my desire to be known?

We have a deep, deep desire to be loved by others. But when we only show others the parts of ourselves we deem lovable, are we truly loved, or is what they love just a parody of our true selves?

You see, we face a dilemma. We long to be known and to be loved. But given the ugliness that exists in the deepest levels of our human hearts we feel must choose between the two: either I will be known or I will be loved, but not both. For if people truly know me, they most certainly will not love me.

Our society says it wants authenticity. But only a shallow form. It wants authenticity without actual transparency. Actual transparency would be devastating to us.

But what if there was one who truly knew us, all our faults and brokenness, and loved us nonetheless, meeting both our deepest desire to be known and our desire to be loved, with neither coming at the expense of the other? Well, this is exactly who God is. He knows all the worst there is to know about us, in fact far worse than we even know about ourselves. Nothing is hidden before his sight. The scriptures say it’s as if we lie naked before him, entirely exposed. And yet he loves us nonetheless—not because he doesn’t know our deepest faults, but despite knowing them. Not first and foremost because we are lovable, but because he is loving.

And this is possible because of the gospel, the good news that in Christ’s death God satisfies the demands of this absolute knowledge of our wrongs by clearing them away at the cross when Christ dies in our place. And this, fueled by God’s love for us.

And not only so, but then God invites us into a community where others are shaped by this same reality. A “gospel-people,” a church. A place where — albeit imperfectly — we can allow ourselves simultaneously to be known and loved by others. A place where we can be honest about our true selves and own our failings because the gospel has already said as much — we’re all sinners, and we know it. There are no surprises. But place where, despite this sin, we love each other nonetheless because, after all, God, has loved each and every one of us despite our sin; and who are we to argue with that?

A God and a place where we can be known and loved. And this is the gospel.