Category Archives: Christianity

CLXXVIII  

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

The great period of English hymnody was the Eighteenth Century during the First Great Awakening.  The four greatest hymn writers were Isaac Watts, John Newton, William Cowper, and Charles Wesley.  The people trying to write worship music today could learn a few things from those guys.  Think about the fact that Watts was also the author of a widely used logic textbook and Cowper an accomplished poet who would show up in English literature even if he had not written a single hymn.  That might tell you something about our current difficulties.

Isaac Watts

Isaac Watts

QUARTET

Newton, Cowper, Wesley, Watts

Worked within their garden plots;

Domesticated by their toil

Exotic plants in English soil:

Pungent spices, soothing balms,

Cadences of David’s psalms;

Parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme,

Words of God in English rhyme.

Charles Wesley

Charles Wesley

Weeded, hoed, the Garden bears

But few of thistles, thorns, or tares–

Rather, carrots, beans, and maize,

Solid sustenance of praise;

Waving grain and curling vine,

Wheat for bread and grapes for wine;

‘Most every plant beneath the sun–

But leeks and garlic grew they none.

John Newton

John Newton

Much sand now through the glass has spilled;

They lie beneath the ground they tilled.

But still the seeds they sowed abide

And thrive, transplanted far and wide:

Where e’er a congregation sings,

Anew from earth their produce springs.

Such honor still their Lord allots

To Newton, Cowper, Wesley, Watts.

William Cowper

William Cowper

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest book, Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis, from Square Halo Books!

Donald T. Williams, PhD

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CLXXIV

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

 Salvation.  Not by our attainments; not by our merit; not by our performance.  By grace.  The unmerited favor of God, purchased by Christ on the Cross at a cost unimaginable.  Salvation.  By grace.  By grace.  By grace supremely.  By grace alone.

Crucifixion-Glass

THE BENEFICIARIES

 

But few of wealth or power,

Not very many wise

Will in the final hour

Rise up to claim the prize.

 

So what of those elected

To gaze upon the Face?

Not perfect, but perfected:

The trophies of his Grace.

 

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest book, Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis, from Square Halo Books!

Donald T. Williams, PhD

Book-CSLTheology-Cover

CLXXIV

 Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

If you have never been betrayed—stabbed in the back, coldly and deliberately, by someone you thought was a friend, someone you were sure you could trust—you have missed a most instructive experience.  But don’t worry.  If you live long enough, it is coming.  The blessed benefit I got from this most painful of lessons was a deeper identification with Christ in His sufferings.  “Oh,” I gasped.  “Now I understand.  You did that for me!”

“Judas . . . with a kiss?”

 THE TRYST

Did their eyes meet before he turned away?

Although the Lord had prophesied the gist,

He seemed affected by that final twist.

So much a simple gesture could convey:

A friendship you would think could last the day

Evaporating like the morning mist.

And he was not the first to be so kissed;

The question echoes still, “Et tu, Brute?

So much a simple gesture can convey.

 

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest book, Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis, from Square Halo Books!

Donald T. Williams, PhD

Book-CSLTheology-Cover

CLXXI

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

There are a lot of reasons why we believe in Christ as the Son of God and Savior of the world.  What are some of them, and how do they work together to lead us to Him?

Portrait-Jesus3

APOLOGIA

Structured steps within the Dance,

Things which could not be by chance:

Architecture of belief?

Arch of bole and vein of leaf.

Crystal’s angles; raindrop’s curves;

Bone and sinew knit with nerves.

Flick of wrist, fly-toss, and then,

Break of bubble, flash of fin.

Beyond these sure and certain hints,

A clearer class of evidence:

Broken fever; opened eyes;

Dove descending from the skies.

Footstep firm on slope of wave;

Stone rolled back from Jesus’ grave.

Glory growing out of grief?

Architecture of belief;

Things which could not be by chance:

Structured steps within the Dance.

"Lord, teach us to pray."

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest book, Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis, due out Dec. 1, 2016, from Square Halo Books!

Donald T. Williams, PhD

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Merry Christmas!

 Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

Painting-Annunciation-FraAngelico

Oh Sight beyond all Seeing

(Christmas, 1980)

Oh Sight beyond all seeing,

Light in the dark of the sun,

Fact behind the face of Being,

Second of Three in the One:

What motive could have moved you hither thus?

The Life that was ever begotten, never begun,

Began to be born, to mourn.  For us

The daring deed was done.

BethlehemStar2

Burned by angel-light,

The shepherds’ eyes were blind

To everything except the sight

That they went forth to find.

It was a Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes,

Laid in a manger: such had been the sign.

The sign they saw by then still shows

The perilous paths that wind

Traditional Site of the Manger, marked by a Star in Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity

Traditional Site of the Manger, marked by a Star in Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity

Between the Tree and the Tree

This much the sign makes clear:

The Light invisible we see,

The silent Word we hear.

What motive could have moved Him hither thus?

We hear pegs pounded, see the thrusted spear,

We hear, “Forgive them!”  Now for us

The day of doom draws near.

Crucifixion-Glass

Merry Christmas!

Donald T. Williams, PhD

For more poetry like this, go to the Lantern Hollow Press estore and order Stars Through The Clouds: The Collected Poetry of Donald T. Williams (Lynchburg: Lantern Hollow Press, 2011).  And check our Dr. Williams’s latest book, Deeper Magic: The Theology Behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Baltimore: Square Halo Books, 2016)–order from the publisher or Amazon.

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