I’m right in the middle of a book called Surprised by Joy, a theological autobiography by C.S. Lewis that I’m certain was the inspiration for Donald Miller‘s unique approach to Blue Like Jazz. One portion of Lewis’ book describes his struggle with, and against, the philosophies of the Christian worldview. When his Oxford buddies begin to succumb, one by one, to its appeal, Lewis revolts, calling their new found beliefs “positively medieval”. This leads to a self-correction that ought to be at the front of every 21st century mind.
Lewis’ friends respond to his objection by asking him what makes a “medieval” belief any less valid than a modern one. Many people would maintain that, the newer a belief, the more suspect it is, and some (the majority in today’s world) would hold the opposite view. Why would we want to share our beliefs with a long history of barbarians and primitive blockheads? We’ve got to evolve and progress!
This is true, to a point. Hopefully, as a society, we really are learning some things. I can see very clearly what a few of those things are, and since I know you can too, I’ll spare you a detailed list. But is it possible that the list of those truths we have left behind is longer than those we’ve stumbled upon? The fact is that our predecessors were not idiots… and we have no reason to believe we’ve become more intelligent over the past 5,000 years, only more knowledgeable. Certainly knowledge counts for something, but when it comes to the deeper and more eternal things, perhaps it is the older beliefs that carry more of their own weight. Perhaps the ancient path is the only one that really goes anywhere.
Fortunately for us, what’s forgotten is not lost; what’s abandoned is not destroyed. There are a few examples of society re-discovering these ancient paths, and benefiting tremendously. What can we do to recover them entirely; reclaiming what’s full of truth, and ignoring what’s empty?
I hope you can come on the journey with us to answer that question. We’ll spend the next four Sundays at the Front Porch exploring the old ways, in particular by celebrating three of the Jewish Fall Festivals. In other words… we’ll be kickin’ it oldschool.
September 5 – The Old School (introduction)
September 12 – All Things New (Rosh Hoshanah)
September 19 – At One with God (Yom Kippur)
September 26 – Under the Star (Sukkot)
Dates and message titles might change, but we’d love for you to join us at 10:30 on these dates, or even at 10 am for a free brunch. Come as you are!