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In chapter V of Spiritual Depression,  D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones presses forward  with The Light of the Gospel and its practical implications for liberating the depressed believer who finds himself in a perpetual state of self loathing over the remembrance of some past sin.

(It is this readers opinion that the anointing of God continues to attend the work of Lloyd-Jones and use what was rendered  by him in service to God and His people.  I find it impossible to read This work  in Spiritual Depression and think of it only as it applied to “The people of Lloyd-Jones day” .  No , there is always that sense of  Lloyd -Jones being a minister grabbing my lapels and bringing me mind to mind with biblical doctrine as though he is saying. “This my friend, is a  doctrinal medicine for you, take it  and you will soon experience it’s healing effects upon your soul”   and I do.)

Lloyd-Jones  does take into consideration the interplay of Satan with regard to the  bringing of such accusing thoughts to the child of God but spends little time on that particular aspect of things. Instead, he delivers  sound doctrine to his primary subject, ( the child of God). It is a fully fleshed out doctrine in this chapter and I will not seek to cover the entire fleshing out in one Post.

A very perceptive Lloyd-Jones,  essentially calls such a spiritually depressed person to a new kind of  “wakefulness” ,to a , “standing at attention position”, and to an  “at  the ready” active participation in taking hold of the doctrine of   “Salvation”. Here Lloyd-Jones seeks to bring death to  any “spiritualized passivity”.

He heartily states:

Let me put this plainly and bluntly in order that I may emphasis it even at the risk of being misunderstood. There is a sense in which the one thing that these people who are in this condition must not do is to pray to be delivered from it!  That is what they always do, and that is what hey have invariably been doing when they come seeking help- indeed, it is what they are generally told they must do….but this is one of those points at which the Christian must stop praying for a moment and  begin to think!

At this point I think it is important to think. To think about what is being said here.  If I understand this correctly and take a look at Christian experience  I  can certainly see a very important truth here.  Lloyd -Jones is rightly stating  that fully actively engaging  our minds is as spiritual an act as prayer.  That though prayer is a wonderful privilege and a mighty tool, it is the wrong tool in this case. That the right tool, the most spiritually appropriate tool, in this case is, the mind fully engaged with the doctrinal truth of the gospel  of Salvation.

I think that this is plenty to chew on for a start.

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The Writings of C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia, have been highly publicized through the production of the  movies that have come out over the last few years. (I saw most of them twice and I think I enjoyed them even more than my children, though we all loved them).

But there is no substitute for reading the stories first hand. C.S. Lewis is and will always be one of my favorite authors.

In fact I  distinctly remember reading the stories, (starting with The Magicians Nephew )  to my son. I was jumping around the room speaking with different voices and an English accent. I could see his eyes widen and his expression change as the stories characters were literally leaping  of the page. ( well I was leaping). Several times as my wife was reading to my daughter in the other room or doing night-time prayers, I could hear them saying ” What on earth is going on in there” or  What are they doing in there?”  Chairs were falling over, I was leaping ,I  would knock on the wall to represent the knock on a door and so on, to enhance the story’s imagery. ( I was often reminded that we were to be settling the children down, not winding them up). Sometimes my daughter would want to hear the story I was telling, not mom’s.  She was always welcome but was more on the quiet side and would get up and leave if we were getting out of hand.

Reading both My sons expressions and the book I would heightened the sense of suspense at the appropriate times. Working with the words of Lewis, I made the bad characters sinister and the good characters noble. I made the children in the book wonder filled and Aslan, well there was no doubt who Aslan represented. He was Powerful, Good, Eternal and a Saving Lion, not a tame lion mind you, but a good Lion.

I loved that time.

C.S Lewis  had a way of opening up the gift of imagination in the way he tells a story. He once was a thorough going atheist and I respect him for that because when he came to faith, he came to it in God’s timing through a mind that was willing to engage great truths without backing down. He was willing to accept where  the evidences pointed him, and no doubt God was calling Lewis see Him as He is. He allowed the weight of the crisis ” That God indeed exists and can be known” to settle on him for his good.

Lewis once convinced and committed, then used his gifts to tell  “The Great Story”.

Here is Lewis in His own words speaking about his allegorical writing in the time in which he lived,

“until the theologians and the ordained clergy begin to communicate with ordinary people in the vernacular, in a way that they can understand, I’m going to have to do this sort of thing.”

Today of course the pulpit does communicate to the ordinary people in the vernacular ( at least in the protestant denominations that I know) but C.S Lewis contribution  to the fabric of Philosophical thought ,faith and story telling belongs to the church of believers, he is one of our dear brothers who  I love to read.

If you ever want to get into some serious C.S. Lewis though you have to read his other works.

Here are a few suggestions

Mere Christianity  http://www.amazon.ca/Mere-Christianity-C-S-Lewis/dp/0060652926

Surprised by Joy  http://www.amazon.com/Surprised-Joy-Shape-Early-Life/dp/0156870118

The weight of Glory  http://www.amazon.com/Weight-Glory-C-S-Lewis/dp/0060653205/ref=pd_sim_b2

A grief observed  http://www.amazon.com/Grief-Observed-C-S-Lewis/dp/0060652381/ref=pd_sim_b8

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