August Rector's Update

In the western world during the late 20th Century it became fashionable to deride supernaturalists.  Indeed, philosophical naturalism or materialism was celebrated as the only intellectually respectable world view.  But in recent decades supernaturalism is increasingly in vogue – especially among college and university students.  One effect of postmodernism with its celebration of diversity and inclusivity is a growing interest in spirituality, eastern mysticism and religions other than traditional Christianity and Judaism.  G. K. Chesterton’s observation of early 20th Century  English culture is quite applicable to American culture today: “Our problem is not that people today believe nothing – it is that they believe anything.”  Such confusion, Chesterton recognized, leads to destructive moral and spiritual relativism.  

Americans today manifest a deep longing for “something other” or “something more” than what they can see, hear, taste, touch, and smell.  They articulate a faith in a spiritual reality and seek to know it.  Most young and middle age people are not secular.  On the contrary, they express spiritual curiosity and alertness.  There is a growing cultural conviction that there is “Someone” or “Some Reality” out there that is greater than we are.  Over thirty years ago, I was a similarly confused young man with a growing conviction that God exists and that I had a need to know Him.  One evening while skimming a biography of Peter Marshall, the illustrious pastor of New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., I was deeply touched by one of his sermons where he maintained that many of our burdens and inner confusion come from lack of trust in God and “misunderstanding of what God is like. We are dismally ignorant of the of the love and power of God.  No wonder we do not trust Him!”  Peter Marshall went on to say that “if you want to know what God is like, look at Christ.  Study what Christ said.  Notice what Christ did.” After reading this sermon,  I began to prayerfully read the Gospels.  I gradually began to learn the truth of Jesus Christ’s words: “And this is eternal life,  that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”  (John 17:3) 

Let’s all devote time to reading the Holy Scriptures daily – praying to know God through Jesus Christ because knowing Him is urgent and important.  This truth is revealed in the words from the Apostle Peter’s testimony: “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

Let’s also pray to know Jesus Christ better and to love Him more.

Blessings in Him,

Pastor Lyle