LifeWay is a business – I had no misconceptions about that. But LifeWay is also a ministry. And they proved that abundantly. I am deeply grateful for my years with this company, and I want to elaborate on several reasons for this.
Two things I have done (among many, many others) during six months of joblessness: watched all six seasons of Breaking Bad, and the three seasons of The Walking Dead currently available on Netflix. Say what you will about the value of these achievements. I’m a big boy. But I want to offer my two cents as someone who deeply appreciates well-crafted dramatic entertainment of most any kind, and also someone who studied screenwriting in college and has done a fair bit of amateur acting. I genuinely care about how other Christians choose to spend their free time. And I don’t think entertainment is a waste if it has some lasting value.
We believers often hide a form of pride behind a veil of false humility – the sort of pride that isn’t able to take anything from a brother or sister in faith without feeling like we have to give something back.
If you have read Celebration of Discipline, or plan to, and you desire to know how to process Richard Foster’s ideas through a biblical lens, whether or not the disciplines he espouses truly are spiritual in the most Christian sense, I hope you will join me on this journey.
My first course at Temple Baptist Seminary was on spiritual disciplines. The first of our two textbooks for that course was Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard J. Foster. Before this course began I was utterly ignorant of the concept of spiritual formation in Evangelicalism, and beyond. I was about to receive a rapid and unexpected education in it.
I would hate to think that we’ve lost the value of following in Christ’s body, even as we have increasingly referred to ourselves as “Christ followers”. After all, our Lord began His earthly mission by saying “Follow me” to 12 cultural misfits and rejects.
According to Lewis’ theology, God doesn’t “use” people who allegedly stab two men to death and hide crucial bits of evidence “for His glory”. Yet apparently, Lewis having admitted to obstructing justice in the case, God does deem those who commit that crime as worthy of such use.