Posts and curated content regarding Christian Simplicity.
We moderns and postmoderns are not very good at holiness. This isn’t a statement about morality or purity, but about our world view: at some point long before any of us were born, the western world lost its respect for mystery. We have inherited an intellectual tradition that believes that all of reality can be sensed, measured, or reasoned out based on sense and measure.read more
Most of us have the idea that God is all good and all loving, but we don’t always believe it. For example, we might think that God is good, but live in fear of being punished. We might think that God is love, but spend our energy trying to earn God’s approval. If we believe, deep down, that God isn’t fair, or doesn’t love us, or is waiting for us to make a wrong move, we demonstrate that in what we do, and especially in how we think about others.read more
Ever wonder why you act against your own best interest? Succumb to the pressures of consumerism? Resist spending quality time with God?
Blame the serpent.
It wasn’t willful disobedience that brought down Eden, but instead false beliefs about God. God created us to be in relationship with him, enjoying his presence as he enjoys ours. Our false ideas about God destroy that joyful intimacy.read more
At first I saw God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong, so as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die. He was out there sort of like the President. I recognized His picture when I saw it, but I didn’t really know him.
But later on, when I recognized God, it seemed as though life was rather like a bike ride, but it was a tandem bike, and I noticed God was in the back helping me pedal. I don’t know when it was that He suggested we change places, but life has not been the same since.read more
Misconceptions abound about the simple life. We can clarify simplicity as much by explaining what it isn’t as by delineating what it is.
Easy — Many equate “simple” with “easy” and become disillusioned with simple living when they find out how hard it can be. To bake your own bread or cut your own wood is not always the easiest way to accomplish chores. But doing them yourself allows for an invaluable independence.read more
Simplicity in its essence demands neither a vow of poverty nor a life of rural homesteading. As an ethic of self-conscious material moderation, it can be practiced in cities and suburbs, townhouses and condominiums. It requires neither a log cabin nor a hairshirt but a deliberate ordering of priorities so as to distinguish between the necessary and superfluous, useful and wasteful, beautiful and vulgar.
— David Shi, Historian and Simplicity Scholar
It is impossible to miss God on the mount of transfiguration (Luke 9:28-36) and too easy to miss him as I go about my day. Is every bush really afire with God? Perhaps not. Maybe sometimes a bush is just a bush. But there is no bush absent from his presence. As David wrote, “if I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.” (Ps 139:7-12)read more