Clyde Kilby’s Resolutions to Staying Alive

Clyde Kilby’s Resolutions to Staying Alive

1. At least once every day I shall look steadily up at the sky and remember that I, a consciousness with a conscience, am on a planet traveling in space with wonderfully mysterious things above and about me.

Interstellar - REIMAGES

Illustration by Marie Bergeron

 

2. Instead of the accustomed idea of a mindless and endless evolutionary change to which we can neither add nor subtract, I shall suppose the universe guided by an intelligence which, as Aristotle said of Greek drama, requires a beginning, middle, and an end. I think this will save me from the cynicism expressed by Bernard Russell before his death, when he said: “there is a darkness without, and when I die there will be a darkness within. There is no splendor, no vastness anywhere, only triviality for a moment, and then nothing.”

3. I shall not fall into the falsehood that this day, or any day, is merely another ambiguous and plodding 24 hours, but rather a unique event, filled, if I so wish, with worthy potentialities. I shall not be fool enough to suppose that trouble and pain are wholly evil parentheses in my existence but, just as likely, ladders to be climbed toward moral and spiritual manhood.

Tree of Life

The Tree of Life

4. I shall not turn my life into a thin straight line which prefers abstractions to reality. I shall know what I am doing when I abstract, which of course I shall often have to do.

5. I shall not demean my own uniqueness by envy of others. I shall stop boring into myself to discover what psychological or social categories I might belong to. Mostly I shall simply forget about myself and do my work.

6. I shall open my eyes and ears. Once every day I shall simply stare at a tree, a flower, a cloud or a person. I shall not then be concerned at all to ask what they are, but simply be glad that they are. I shall joyfully allow them the mystery of what Lewis calls their “divine, magical, terrifying, and ecstatic” existence.

7. I shall follow Darwin’s advice and turn frequently to imaginative things such as good literature and good music, preferably, as Lewis suggests, an old book and timeless music.

Concert - REIMAGES

San Diego, CA

8. I shall not allow the devilish onrush of this century to usurp all my energies but will instead, as Charles Williams suggested, “fulfill the moment as the moment.” I shall try to live well just now because the only time that exists is now.

9. If for nothing more than the sake of a change of view, I shall assume my ancestry to be from the heavens rather than from the caves.

10. Even if I turn out to be wrong, I shall bet my life on the assumption that this world is not idiotic, neither run by an absentee landlord, but that today, this very day, some stroke is being added to the cosmic canvas that in due course I shall understand with joy as a stroke made by the Architect who calls himself Alpha and Omega.

11. I shall sometimes look back at the freshness of vision I had in childhood and try, atleast for a little while, to be, in the words of Lewis Carroll, the ‘child of pure unclouded brow, and dreaming eyes of wonder.’

 

Clyde Samuel Kilby (1902 – 1986) was an American author and English professor, best known for his scholarship on the Inklings, especially J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. A professor at Wheaton College (Illinois) for most of his life, Dr. Kilby founded the Marion E. Wade Center there, making it a center for the study of the Inklings, their friends (such as Dorothy Sayers), and their influences (such as George MacDonald).

One of the tragedies of growing up is that we get used to things.

J. Piper
Push the Envelope

Push the Envelope

What would it be like to travel into space, knowing that those before you had just been killed in the process? The Right Stuff  has a compelling way of asking this question with the engaging wit and historical awareness you would expect from a documentary-type drama. This film is an impressive look at what the world’s space race was like through the lives of supersonic test pilot Chuck Yeager and the astronauts of the Mercury 7 team. These were the first Americans to experience spaceflight.

Here you can find an Oral History of The Right Stuff.

We don’t have to agree with the Logos of a work of art to admire and praise its Poiema. That is, I may believe that the Logos of a work of art is dead wrong, but I can still recognize its artistry and craftsmanship. Being able to recognize that does require study and humility, but it’s an important thing.

Alissa Wilkinson

Empathy Games

“Larson and Ryan Green are Christians developing That Dragon, Cancer, a game that aims to convey Green’s experience raising his son, Joel, who died of cancer last year at age 5. Where a writer might convey that experience with words, Green and Larson are doing so in a video game.

Given the common image of video games—violent, trivial diversions—the idea of creating one about a personal tragedy may seem strange. But Green and Larson are contributing to a growing genre known as “empathy games.” Players don’t attain goals or overcome obstacles as much as empathize with characters on a significant life journey. “

The Avengers: Age of Ultron Goes In

The Avengers: Age of Ultron Goes In

It has been a long time since I have been in a theater where people clap at the beginning and end of the movie, and wildly engage in all of the banter and action along the way. I didn’t realize it at the time, but looking back I now know. Those were not just pumped-up movie folks, they were Marvel people. I’ve come to realize there is a breed of you out there. Not sure if I’ll join, but I like you all.

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Deep

Deep

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

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“Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert first modeled this process for me on television. Even as a 10-year-old, I wanted to understand how two experienced and respected moviegoers could disagree so passionately and glean such varying insights from the same movies. Their heated exchanges made art seem so much more mysterious, so full of possibilities. I began to understand that interpretation, conversation and revelation were what art was all about.

…This was to be a journey.”

Jeffrey Overstreet

Wanderers - a short film by Erik Wernquist from Erik Wernquist on Vimeo.

Endeavor

Breathtaking.

There is something about the reality of outer space that demands mad feels. It puts a person in their place, all the while inviting them to endeavor beyond what is known. It taps into the potential of humanity while making declarations of our frailty and great need.

Outer space is so… other-than. It pushes past the limits of what we think we’ve comprehended, reminding humanity that it is at the mercy of something greater. Yet, that greatness wants to be known. It must be known.

And we keep endeavoring to know. This film charms its viewers with hopefulness. More exploration is on the horizon.

Watch Wanderers.

A Primer on Perspectivalism

“The general concept is simply that because we are not God, because we are finite, not infinite, we cannot know everything at a glance, and therefore our knowledge is limited to one perspective or another.”

And yet, in an age of frenetic and unrelenting busyness, when technology allows us to stay plugged in to the world twenty-four-seven, when entertainment becomes the de facto purpose of so many lives, nothing could be more countercultural, nor bear more eloquent testimony to a Christian’s citizenship in another world, than a well-spent Lord’s Day.

“A Well-Spent Sabbath”
D. Strain

Nighthawks

Nighthawks

“In 1942, the American painter Edward Hopper produced the signature image of urban loneliness. Nighthawks shows four people in a diner at night, cut off from the street outside by a curving glass window: a disquieting scene of disconnection and estrangement. In his art, Hopper was centrally concerned with how humans were handling the environment of the electric city: the way it crowded people together while enclosing them in increasingly small and exposing cells. His paintings establish an architecture of loneliness, reproducing the confining units of office blocks and studio apartments, in which unwitting exhibitionists reveal their private lives in cinematic stills, framed by panes of glass.

More than 70 years have passed since Nighthawks was painted, but its anxieties about connection have lost none of their relevance, though unease about the physical city has been superseded by fears over our new virtual public space, the internet. In the intervening years, we have entered into a world of screens that extends far beyond Hopper’s unsettled vision.”

“The Future of Loneliness” at The Guardian.

How Sufjan Stevens Subverts the Stigma of Christian Music

“Stevens, both a Christian and musician, nevertheless stands in stark contrast to those in this category. Representing a different camp of “Christian art,” with completely different motives and characteristics, he’s distinct among other artists of faith, who tend to produce bad, kitschy work—whether heavy-handed films like Facing the Giants and Fireproof,or the musical travesties on the Wow compilation albums. Instead of dealing directly with religious or biblical matters, Stevens’ music embodies what theologian Francis Schaeffer called the “totality of life,” as opposed some sort of “self-conscious evangelism”—an approach that turns the whole Christian-music stigma on its head.”

It is impossible for any one person to grasp all of what it means to be human.

A. Wilkinson
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

“Life begins when the world doesn’t.”

There is something about Kimmy Schmidt that is contagious. This is a character I am delighted to have had experienced. Her spirit is a familiar vision of what a truly free soul should be. She is also extremely odd, and I appreciate that. I’m always happiest when I’m around people that express their oddities freely. Inspiring, to say the least. I loved this character and hope to see more of her story in the future.

Over at WaPo, Alissa Wilkinson captures the kindred spirit in Kimmy Schmidt that will not easily be forgotten.

​When asked for his favorite cure for writer’s block:
“Typing.”
– David Carr
A Most Important Journey

Six Advantages to Consecutive Expository Preaching:

“…Consecutive expository preaching can inculcate sound habits of personal Bible study. The congregation can absorb the necessary principles of sound interpretation, almost by osmosis, through such repeated forays into relatively obscure passages from week to week in the pulpit.”

 

​A conscience that is bound by the Word of God is a force that no nation, system, or age can withstand.
B. Bickel
HE>I

HE>I

“In the book Cosmos, Dr. Carl Sagan, the late astrophysicist from Cornell University, made the statement that as science seeks to understand the universe, it proceeds on the assumption that the world is cosmos, not chaos. He was saying that if the external universe were ultimately chaos, it would be impossible to know anything about it, because ultimate chaos is irrational and therefore unintelligible. So, the metaphysical assumption of all scientific inquiry is that the universe is inherently knowable and intelligible, and for it to be knowable and intelligible, it must ultimately be ordered. It must be cosmos, not chaos.”

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Those who look to him are radiant.

Psalm 34

She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her.

Wisdom
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