The Christian Soul: Faith

The idea that the Christian life is essentially about relinquishing control may be something you are on board with, but the Bible-believing friend next to you may not be so sure. After all, where is “control” mentioned in the Bible? Did Jesus ever use the word “control”? Technically, no. But Jesus of course had much to say about repentance and uncompromising surrender.

But more importantly, the act of relinquishing control, in the way we are meaning it, goes by a different name in the Bible: It is called faith. Continue reading “The Christian Soul: Faith”

The Christian Soul: Principles

I wish to expand on the idea we introduced in our last post concerning the idea of control in the Christian life and outline five principles pertaining to how control — or rather our surrendering of control — determines our success in the Christian life.

But first, let’s connect some dots and briefly discuss how control relates to the other concepts we have discussed in this series. Simply put, control is the opposite of love. You may say hate is, and that is fine. But in the context of relationship, control is more its opposite than anything else. When we seek control in a relationship, we have ceased to love. Continue reading “The Christian Soul: Principles”

The Christian Soul: Control

It is God working in the soul to make it like unto Himself. Perfection is neither more nor less than the faithful cooperation with this work.
Jean-Pierre de Caussade, Abandonment to Divine Providence

I came to the Lord in a rather unusual way. I was raised Catholic, and though Catholics are not necessarily known for having (or at least professing) a personal relationship with Jesus, this young Catholic stumbled into one quite unexpectedly. Continue reading “The Christian Soul: Control”

The Christian Soul: Love

I run risk at this point in our series on Christian Spirituality of repeating myself. But since it is the New Year — and I have also interrupted our discussion with my most recent piece on divorce — allow me to recap.

The year 2017 (as far as our discussion is concerned) was about tearing down. We closed out 2017 laying waste to the notion of Christian obligation. Before that, we had laid waste to the notion of Christian freedom (that is, that Jesus died that we might do as we please). Continue reading “The Christian Soul: Love”

The Christian Soul: Peace

The cold has been creeping into the early mornings hours where I live these past few days as we inch our way toward Christmas. Which is always a small miracle in Southern California. As I step outside and breathe the crisp air betraying just a hint of the ocean, I am struck by the beauty of it all.

On mornings like this I am reminded why I write. Not just write, but write the way I do: At times with near scientific precision on matters that, to be honest, belong to the domain of awe and wonder, not scientific inquiry.

But I do so because there was a time when I could not find beauty in anything. A soul distracted and encumbered cannot perceive, let alone appreciate, the beauty around it. Continue reading “The Christian Soul: Peace”