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EPISODE 43: Tools to Grow Your Faith

Want to go deeper in your walk with the Lord? Could you benefit from trusted resources on discipleship, apologetics, evangelism, and the Christian life?

The C.S. Lewis Institute recently released a new website offering 46 years worth of content from top Christian speakers, pastors, and scholars. With courses for individuals and small groups, multi-media workshops, videos, articles, and more, there’s something for everyone.

On today’s podcast we’ll explore the CSLI website and share tools designed to help you grow in your faith and equip you to reach others for Christ.

Transcript


 

Welcome to Questions That Matter, a podcast of the C.S. Lewis Institute. I'm your host, Randy Newman, and today I'm joined by four good friends, and we're going to be talking about our newly revamped and revitalized cslewisinstitute.org website. And the question that matters is, what are all these resources that we have and how can we get people to access them? Now, I know what some of you are thinking. Some of you are thinking, “Really? This is a podcast about a website? This has got to be the most technologically nerdy thing ever.”  But you just watch us. Well, no, you just listen to us. And we've got some really great things to share.

Let me introduce my guests. So, Crystal Sarno is our designer and oversaw the artistic side of the redesign of our website. And Gordon Babcock served more on the technological side and making sure all of the coding was coded exactly the way they should be. We're going to have Gordon share a whole lot about coding. It's going to be the most exciting… No, I'm sorry. I'm just kidding. We're not going to do that. Darren Heater also is a developer and designer, and Dave Chaves works in our office and connected us with our team, actually, in Kenya and other parts of the world. So, this is a website that is connecting all over the world.

I think in some ways this podcast has a dual purpose. One is it's a long commercial for all of these great resources that we have, and we really do mean it, but it's also a confession of the fact that we've had these resources for so many years and yet they weren't really easily accessible to people. I mean, I hope I didn't just insult the people on my team here, but I know that I, who… I serve with the C.S. Lewis Institute, I know the resources we have, and I couldn't find things. And this was really bad for my ego, which is very important to me, because I would look for things of me, of articles I wrote for the C.S. Lewis Institute. I couldn't find my articles. And I can't tell you the long periods of depression that that brought about.

So I'm really excited that we've revamped this. It's really a whole brand-new website, and it looks great. So while you're listening to this, if you're at your computer…. Well, no, we don't want you to go to the website now. We want you to listen. But eventually, please check out C.S. Lewis Institute.

Let me start with Crystal. So what was it that prompted this whole redesign? I think I've alluded to some of it. But why were you so excited about having this new website developed? 

Crystal: Well, our goal, as you know, is discipleship of heart and mind, and nobody could get there with the old website. It was just one giant bucket of information, and it was just overwhelming for viewers to come to the website, but now it's all set up for however you want to think about your faith, your faith journey, wherever you are, whatever you want to study about God. It’s all there at your fingertips in easy to follow formats.

Great. Yeah. So, Darren, let me have you chime in on the same question. Why do you think we needed a new website? And what is it about the new site that is most appealing to you?

Darren: Well, I’d say there's two aspects. The first aspect: I was new about two years ago, came as an outsider to help, kind of as a subcontractor, and saw the website for the first time. So unlike the C.S. Lewis team, like you, that had been suffering, say, with the old website, it was new to me, but not the organization. And we had a huge task because what we started to realize pretty quickly was that the old website, the technology, had gotten so old that you couldn't update it. And so then, as you know, the internet is a living, breathing thing. Nothing stays the same on the internet. Every day the internet kind of goes to the next 2.0, 3.0 version. It was starting to break, and we were starting to lose resources from up to 40, 50 years ago. And so it actually became kind of like this urgent, massive undertaking to kind of…. What we say was we're all on a ship, a boat out in the middle of the water, and it's falling apart, and we're having to build the new ship while we're on the sinking ship. And that would kind of heighten the stakes.

So, any project like that, especially with an organization like the C.S. Lewis Institute, fires me right up, because really seeing this information and this content get lost, which is basically what was happening slowly. Like you said, things were breaking, they're disappearing. Flash players are not working. We can't hear sermons. To me, the stakes were too high to let it all fall away and not do anything about it. So, we had to immediately put a rescue plan to rescue this content. Otherwise if the C.S. Lewis Institute wasn't going to preserve it and save it, it would just be lost. And in today's day and age, we need this truth more than ever. So, it's kind of a calling almost, beyond just the practical project to get done. And I loved every minute of it.

Nice, nice. I didn't go so far as to say it was a sinking ship. 

Darren: Not the institute! I want to be clear, the institute is amazing. It's Drupal, for all the nerds out there. Drupal 6 is the sinking ship. That's what was falling apart. And we had to save the amazing content of the C.S. Lewis Institute.

Drupal 6. There'll be a tutorial for that down in the show notes after we're all done.

Darren: Yes, yes.

But you know, I think, for me, I’ve thought about… At the Institute, we have hosted some really, really amazing events and speakers. We've had speakers at annual banquets. We've had special events, and they were great events. But then that was it. It was done. It was gone. And if you didn't attend the event, you missed out. So, then it was, “Well, no, no, we have these things. We have them recorded. Or you can read them.” Except that you couldn't find them, so it was just as lost. So now it's 46 years’ worth of video and audio and articles and short articles, longer length ones. Gordon, you've been involved with a whole lot of very technological projects in the corporate world, government organizations. What was it that was motivating you for this project?

Gordon: So, Randy, I was in the Fellows Program down in Annapolis, and I grew so much in my walk with Jesus and was so impressed. I had thought of myself as being a fairly mature believer, and I probably was in a lot of ways, but I grew so much more during the Fellows Program, and I said to myself, I said, “How can the Institute extend these resources more broadly to build up the kingdom of God, which is all of our goal, is to build his kingdom and bring Jesus Christ known to all men. So, I volunteered to become a full-time staff person when I retired, which is what I do. And I don't always work 40 hours a week, sometimes 80, sometimes 20, but I pretty much focus on helping C.S. Lewis become better at technology, particularly the website over the last four years. And the website is so critical in enabling everyone who has an interest in a deeper walk with Jesus. This was the first project that Tom Simmons asked me to take on when I came to the institute as a staff member.

Got it. Okay, well, Dave, can you give us a little tour? Not of everything, because that'll take too long, but give us an overview. What are the resources that are available? And maybe throw in a few favorites that you're particularly wanting people to check out.

Dave: Absolutely. Well, there's tons of wonderful material there, and really, it's for anyone who wants to grow deeper in their walk with the Lord and become a wholehearted disciple of Jesus Christ. So if your audience is interested in experiencing God's love and power and presence in their lives, they can really dive into the website and are in for a treat. Just to give you an example, one of our popular resources is called Discovering God's Purpose for Your Life. And actually, if you search for that in Google, it'll come up as the first result now, and it simply reflects a very practical way of trying to understand our identity and calling in Christ and what the Bible teaches about that.

But there are thousands of articles like that. You'll find hundreds of videos and audio messages from world class speakers, recognized Christian leaders. There’re 25 different study courses that can be done individually or in groups. There's podcast series featuring former atheists and top Christian speakers, even guys like Randy Newman. So, there's a lot of really great content on there, and I think the audience will be thrilled to check it out.

All right, I want to come back to what you mentioned about the study courses, but not quite yet. Crystal, tell us a little bit more about who are some of these speakers? Dave already mentioned that guy, Randy Newman, okay. There may even be people with more recognition of the name.

Crystal: Yep. Billy Graham.

I've heard of him.

Crystal: Randy Alcorn, Nancy Guthrie, John Stott, J.I. Packer. We have more than 500 authors on there. It's just a total wealth of information.

Dave, tell us a little bit more about the international reach, because people in other countries were involved in the thinking through of this and also the reach. Tell us a little bit about the international scope of this.

Dave: Yeah, this turned out to be a much bigger project than we anticipated. And we needed a lot of help, so it involved players from all over the globe. We had a team in India that was helping with some of the technical aspects of the site. But one of my joys in being involved in this was working alongside a group of young Kenyans who came alongside us and actually did a lot of the content building for the site. They helped to build over 4000 pages of this website, and they started out just as… got connected to the institute. I had served as a missionary in east Africa for a number of years, and so when I came on with the C.S. Lewis Institute, I had a number of friends who were looking for work and didn't necessarily have a lot of background in website development. So, of course, that sounded like the perfect solution. We've got this massive project. Why don’t we get some guys who haven't had a lot of experience and give them that opportunity, and that's what we did. And they did an amazing job, starting without a lot of background, but really with an eagerness to learn and to serve, just plugging away week after week. We’ve been working together, connecting over Zoom, having meetings to go through what does it look like to build a page and to do it well?  And then let's do that 4000 times, and let's get all this great content and organize it in such a way that it can be easily accessible to people around the world and make a difference in people's lives.

So it's been a real privilege to work with that group, and it meant a lot to them as well, coming from a difficult economic background. This is an area just on the outskirts of Nairobi, where they had their headquarters set up, with a website development office, but it's a very low-income community, and now there's this center of commerce and website development that's made a big difference for them and for their families, as well as in the community. So that's something we're excited about, just being able to equip and to serve the global church with resource, with tools, with skills to extend God's kingdom.

Gordon: Hey, Randy, can I augment a little bit about what Dave just said?

Sure. Yes. Gordon, go ahead.

Gordon: So, just a little bit more about process. Dave talked about the Kenyan team, and they were amazing. I've been on many projects where this kind of thing, you bring in inexperienced people, you train them, and then they die off, didn't happen here. They got trained and were productive far faster than I have ever seen happen. And I've been involved in hundreds of projects. But I'd like to talk just a bit about the process overall. We had an amazing team of people for this website. And like I said, I've been involved in hundreds of projects, large and small, some huge, some small, and many in between. And I've never worked with a group of people so dedicated in performing their roles to accomplish a project before. We had nobody who was a problem, which is very unusual. But the Lord just brought the right team together for us, and everyone performed their role, I would say joyfully, but also with precision. And everybody wanted to make it work. We had volunteers, the followers of Jesus in Kenya, as Dave has just talked about, and we had local technical resources, so we just had a full complement of everything that we needed. And we were able to build 4,500 pages of content in what I would consider a relatively short period of time. And the bottom line is it's the smoothest run project I've ever been involved in and at a fraction of the expected cost. So, the team that we were able to put together, I'm very proud of everybody's participation in that project.

You know, I subscribe to a number of different newsletters, and I read about what God is doing around the world. And frequently, repeatedly, I see and hear pleas for the need for discipleship all around the world. That is the crying need of our time, and that is the specific focus that God has placed on the C.S. Lewis Institute. So, we're so very grateful to be involved, and have been for decades, in something that could very well be the greatest need of our world today. So please consider becoming a financial partner with us. It would be at the very core and centrality of what God is doing in our world today.

That’s so good to hear. So, so very good. I'm guessing that the majority of our listeners are here in America. I may be wrong about that, but I think so. And I think, in America, we have such a wealth, in so many areas but particularly Christian resources. Books, podcasts, websites, articles. I mean, it's amazing. It's almost embarrassing. And we don't realize how, in some parts of the world, our riches are almost an embarrassment. I remember, years ago, I was part of a teaching team. It was when I was with Campus Crusade, now called Cru, and we were training our staff in how to study the Bible and basic how to read the Bible, how to study it, and we were training our staff, and at the end of the four weeks of classes, we had a banquet celebrating our time. And there was a woman from Australia. Now, Australia is not a primitive country, if I can say it that way, but she stood up and she was in tears. She was crying about what incredible resources and wealth of riches we had for training people that she was so excited about bringing back to Melbourne, Australia. And if that's true in Melbourne, Australia, there are so many places, and so I think one of the things our whole team is excited about is this stuff that we've been sort of sitting on for a while is now accessible all over the world. That's not an overstatement, and it's very exciting to us.

Darren: Yeah, I'd love to make a comment on that. Yeah, actually, thank you. One of the things as an outsider that I really impressed with is really in the vein of C.S. Lewis, the man himself, one of the things I think all of us appreciate about him in his writings was how he would not shy away from wrestle with deep theological things but also would do it in a way where it was accessible to all. Like, you could be an atheist, you could be on the fence and have questions, and there was nothing that was shameful, right? He was just his writings, his work, and I didn't know him personally, obviously, but I would imagine in my imagination, he was like this if you got a beer with him.

And so, I think what's happened with the team, which I've been really impressed with, led by Crystal and looking at the design, but honestly everybody, even us nerds, really cared for the user experience in using this website. So, you hear 4,500 pages and you immediately want to put chloroform over your face and fall asleep because it's overwhelming. But what happened is that there was a conscious effort. Since the ship was sinking, we said, “Well, let's just not get everything on a new site. Let's really think through the design, the user experience. How are we taking all this wealth of knowledge and putting it into ways where, if I am an atheist, I want to check out this podcast, the Side B Podcast. Amazing! And look at all these articles right here that wrestle with it. And they're not cheap. Not cheap faith. This is really authentically written authors, written by some of the world's best minds and several former atheists.

Or maybe I'm a new Christian, and I really want to grow in my walk. I'm in, but I don't even know where to start, and literally, I mean, annual Spiritual Checkup. Everybody, whether you're young or old, young in your faith or old in your faith. Amazing content there. And so it was really a conscious effort to make the website accessible. Visually, it's got a huge upgrade, so our whole world is visual now, with everything on phones and all. But beyond that, it's really thinking through the user experience, and how do you curate 4,500 pieces of content and, nerd stat, 78,399 links associated with all that? How do you make that and turn into something where I can look at it on a desktop or I can literally put it… it also looks amazing on an iPhone and literally can hopefully not just consume the content but grow in my faith while using this tool. It's a phenomenal resource, and a ton of time was put into the design of it and to really get it into people's hands, regardless of where you're at in your faith journey.

All right, so let's talk a little bit more about this user experience. Crystal, give us some different ways people can go searching for things. What are ways they can find stuff?

Crystal: Well, if you go to the website, the drop-down menu has an offering of everything that we have there. There are publications. There are things that are quick reads and things that you can really take some time to wade your way through. If you want to talk about a topic, like what topic are you studying? Are you studying the Holy Spirit? Are you studying calling? Are you studying Jesus? The Fatherhood of God?  What are you thinking about or studying for now? You can go to topics, and you can find everything that we have there, and we even have it broken out further with must reads, which would be the most popular of those resources, so you can go there, and you can follow your way through. If you really want to be in a small group or a study program with other people in your church or in your neighborhood, or if you just want to go by yourself, you can go at your own pace through the study courses. You can go to the tools. You can do daily Bible reading. There's no pressure. If you can't read for three days, it's no big deal. You just pick up where you left off. The whole point is to encourage you and support you in your faith walk.

All right, so maybe I'm putting you all on the spot, but that's what I do. So, can you think of one resource that you would want to share with a non-Christian that can be found on this website? And I'm going to ask…. Well, who wants to go first? But I'm going to put all of you on the spot.

Gordon: I can say that I think one of the resources that's relevant today and also really authentic…. There’re many writings about it, but what I've really appreciated is the Side B Podcast. It's about people sharing their faith journey, former atheists, many of them. And I just feel like there's an authenticity to it that you don't often see in Christian circles, where sometimes it's like, “Hey, I'm really struggling with this.” “Well, take two Bible verses and call me in the morning,” kind of thing. It's all good. God is good.

And there's a rawness to life that I think a lot of us, especially coming out of this pandemic, especially seeing the divisions in our society these days, they don't shy away from the truth, and they are talking about real things that people that are struggling with their faith are on, but also then with hope and what their story is. And story is so powerful. Obviously, the life-transforming power of Jesus is why the C.S. Lewis Institute is here to talk about. And I think that resource is a really powerful one for people that are really in a hard time, but also atheists struggling with things, but even believers who are just having a hard time in life right now.

So, I want to underline that in case people are not familiar, we have a podcast called the Side B Podcast. Side B an old term of the other side of the story, so to speak. Jana Harmon is the host. Jana did a doctoral dissertation where she interviewed over 50 former atheists who have become Christians to hear their story about how they went from extreme unbelief to saving faith. And she interviews them for a good length of time. And, yeah, I agree with you, that is something to share with people we know who are atheists or who are considering atheism. It's one thing to read a book written by an atheist about how religion poisoned everything and here the reasons why you shouldn't believe in God. It's another thing to hear someone telling in their voice, “Here's how I became an atheist,” and, “Here's why I didn't stay one.” So great. Some other resources that you might send a link to a thoughtful non-Christian you might know. Anybody got one?

Dave: Well, there's a whole section of the website, Randy, on the life and works of C.S. Lewis. And of course, a lot of people come to the institute because of their interest in Lewis, the author. They may have read the Narnia books or his other works, and they're interested in learning more. And I think that is a great starting point for people who may be exploring the faith, to look at Lewis's own journey. And we actually have a whole study course on the spiritual pilgrimage of C.S. Lewis and the journey that he went through, from an atheist professor eventually to an apologist for the Christian faith.

That's great. Any others come to mind?

Darren: Crystal, I think you should talk about your passion for families and grandparents who are trying to raise another generation with the Keeping the Faith section of the website, because that's a humongous powerful resource.

Crystal: Thank you for that. We have a whole area on the website called Keeping the Faith, and it's to help families disciple their children in the faith, because you might go to church on Sunday, which is great, but what are you going to do every day of the week? And so we have videos and articles and social media posts, and we're putting together a newsletter that we're going to have sent out on a regular basis. You have a lot of tools for people to go to. If you have a family and you want encouragement and support, it's for you, as grown-ups. It's sort of under the theme of, if you're in an airplane and you put the oxygen mask on yourself first, and then you put it on the other people. So, we're feeding the parents first and helping them to do things with their children. We're also encouraging grandparents to be intentional in their grand-parenting, that God has given us the gift of wisdom as we get older, and how can we use that as we're in our families with other people?

Wonderful. All right, we've mentioned these study courses a few times. There's lots of, in a sense, standalone articles or standalone videos or audio messages, but then we've also put together some entire courses. Who wants to talk about this? Who wants to tell us about these study courses?

Dave: I can say a bit about that, Randy.

Great.

Dave: The study courses are really open to anyone who fits in any of these groups, people who are interested in C.S. Lewis and his writings, because a lot of the study courses are about Lewis or about his books. They're also for people who are interested in learning more or exploring the Christian faith, especially for those who are already followers of Jesus, and they want to go deeper in their faith to be equipped to share and serve others. So these courses are self-paced. They’re free. They can be used by individuals and book clubs, small groups, or church Bible studies. As I mentioned, there are lots of courses on C.S. Lewis’s books, so you can find a course on Mere Christianity or Letters to Malcolm, and there are new ones coming all the time. So, we're continuing to add to this as the institute.

One of the courses that's been very popular is the Basic Apologetics course. This is 20 different lessons with video sessions with Dr. Art Lindsley, discussion questions that people can talk about in small groups, and study guides. And it's presenting reasons for and objections to the Christian faith. And really, it's designed to help people know how they can reach nonbelievers with respect, with gentleness, and engage in some difficult conversations, and articulate their faith in a meaningful way.

There's also the Heart and Mind discipleship course. This is a great ten-week program. It's designed really for new believers. There's also something called, The Adventure of Joining God course. So, anyone who wants to recognize where God is at work around them and experience His presence and activity in their day-to-day life, this would be something great to jump into.

And all of these courses are taught by respected Christian leaders, pastors, professors. There's a lot of material here. And let me also mention…. Crystal alluded to this, but there's this whole section, Keeping the Faith, which is designed to equip parents and grandparents with tools to disciple their kids and their grand kids or their nieces and nephews. So that's something that can be found there.

Last one I'll mention is on Mentor Training. You can learn about how to build quality mentoring relationships, equip yourself and others to grow in spiritual maturity. So these are perfect for small group leaders, ministry leaders, pastors, those who are looking to disciple or mentor others. We've got a whole set of mentorship training courses that are available, again all free, and you can take them at your own pace.

Great! Man, that’s good stuff! I was looking around the website and was looking at some of those courses, and I noticed that, Dave, you mentioned the classes are free, but I noticed that you need to register or you need to log in or something like that. Crystal, why do people need to log in for these courses?

Crystal: We want you to log in because we want to get your name, so we can pray for you. So, we have more people now than we can name individually, but we honestly do pray for everybody every day who is going through the study courses.

Darren: I want to say, I think that's something that also really impressed me about working with the C.S. Lewis Institute is that it would have been a lot easier for them to just let a lot of this content go away, right? I mean, this was a massive undertaking and I just thought that their heart, because a lot of this stuff from 40, 50 years, it's timeless, right? Truth is timeless. And there was such a passion for them to want to preserve it, reorganize it so it's easier and more accessible, and then after all that, this massive project, then they're like, “And we're going to make sure it's free.” And I mean, everything on the website is free. And then, on top of that, then they're praying for you. It's just an amazing organization. And the fact that it's out there and free for all is just a really cool thing, as of today. And I think there's one other aspect to the website that maybe Gordon could speak to. Another thing I love about it, like we said earlier, is we got something like the Side B Podcast for atheists all the way up to one of the best programs, the Fellows Program, that I've ever seen, which is like all in. It's a super serious college level, in my opinion, kind of a program to really grow disciples in 17 different cities across the planet. And Gordon maybe could speak to that, as he's a fellow himself. What do you call previous fellows? Do you call them fellow fellows, Gordon?

Gordon: I think we're called alumni.

Darren: Alumni? That’s not as fun. That’s not as fun.

Gordon: Or something like that. But we are Fellows. In fact, at the end of my signature on my emails, I'm very proud, hopefully in a good way, of being a fellow of the institute. And I like to let other people know that that kind of thing is available to them. So I used that as my sign off on many of my emails.

Yeah. And one of the funny things is we had somebody in our class, in the fellows, who, despite all of the interviews and everything like that, probably came to be a believer through the Fellows Program. It's designed for people who are Christians to go deeper in their faith, but I was just very impressed with the ability to communicate to people who are just extremely young in the faith, all the way up through people who are mature in the faith. And you get something out of it no matter where you are in your Christian walk. The Fellows Program, I'm talking about now. And we use the website to support the Fellows Program.

Now, Randy, I don't know if you want me to go on, but just another quick information about the Fellows Program, it is a year-long program, and you do have to sign up for it in your local city. So it's not something that you can join at any time, but if you follow along on the website, you'll be invited in January or February to sign up to join the Fellows Program.

Crystal: To apply. You’re invited to apply.

Right. You apply for it, and then… yes. Yeah. There’s lots of good information there.

Are you a fisher of men? Do you want to be a fisher of men? Do you struggle with this call that Jesus places on us to be fishers of men? Discipling others is also a significant part of that whole enterprise, and it's a way to abide in Christ. It's a way for us to know Christ more fully, become more like Him, and participate in His work of building His kingdom. So as we disciple, we become coworkers with Jesus. As He helps us mature, He allows us to help him mature others and nurture them towards reproduction and expanding of his kingdom. And so we have many free small-group resources on our website, many different things to help you in this discipleship process, both to grow as a disciple and to disciple others. So please check out Study Courses.

We're coming toward the end of our time, so I'm going to give each of you one final little thing. So consider what you want to add that maybe has not been said yet. But, as I'm thinking about this, I keep coming back to…. Walter Hooper was a very, very close friend and coworker with C.S. Lewis, and he called Lewis the most thoroughly converted man he had ever met.

And that's what we're hoping for, that's what we're working for. There's an incredible, horrible shallowness in the church today, especially in America, but in other places, and people are not able to handle the objections that they're getting hit with, because the objections to the Christian faith today are quite substantial, and they're not just little things of, “Well, if I just memorize these three points, I'll be able to answer someone.” We're being attacked about very questions of identity and gender and sexuality, and these are very powerful forces. And if we're going to stand firm, as Ephesians 6 tells us, we need depth of answers and depth of appreciation for what our faith is. And so that's a big motivation for all that we do at the institute, of helping people get beyond that mile wide and inch deep problem of a very shallow Christianity. So in wrapping up, last thoughts, last comments. Anybody want to share anything they haven't had a chance to say yet or underline something that has been said?

Gordon: Yeah, I'd like to hop in here, Randy. So one subject that we haven't covered yet is what are the venues that are good for using the website? I have been able to extensively use the website in training leaders in our church. We have almost 50 people, 60 people now, who have gone through a program that is based on the content of the website, and many have gone on to go into the Fellows program based on that. But it's also good for one-on-one discipleship. You have somebody comes to you and say, “Hey, would you help me?” You're maybe an older woman, and a younger woman comes and says, “Can you help me?” Well, there's resources there to help with that sort of thing. Individual study. Suppose you're a seaman, and you're out the sea for six months. You can download massive amounts of content and take it with you for your study while you're there. Small groups. Many churches, especially larger ones, emphasize small groups, and I've used a number of our resources in our small groups in our church. So what I just want to say is there's so many different ways that this can be exploited by churches and by individuals.

Great! Yeah, thanks. Anybody else?

Darren: I would also say the formats, which we've alluded to. There are different kinds of ways to then digest the content, so to speak. Some people love to read. They just want to do their quiet time or whatever, have that there. There's printer-friendly versions of articles and things. But then other people—I always tease one of my friends who always says, “Yeah, I just read this book.” I'm like, “No, you didn't. You listened to it on tape.” He’ll go, “Yeah, that still counts as reading when you hear it read to you in the car.” And I'm like, “Oh, you're cheating.” I feel like reading is reading. But anyhow, there's podcasts, there's tons of videos, lots of different ways and from lots of different angles to search and find it, but then also to take in the content and just really like a Swiss Army knife of truth.

A Swiss Army knife of truth. That's what this website… why didn’t we say that earlier? We need to put that in. Crystal or Dave, any other things you want to add in?

Crystal: I guess for me, I would say that, the more you spend time knowing about God, the better you know God, and the more you love God, the more you will be able to share your faith, and you can have any aspect of that readily available to you on the website.

Great. Dave, any final thought?

Dave: Yeah, for me, I can say I really benefited just from being able to go through the materials on the website, and I'm really looking forward to continuing to do that. I ended up signing up for the C.S. Lewis Institute Fellows Program this year and really excited about just diving deeper into some of the materials there and committing this season to grow in my own walk with the Lord. And I believe this is a tool that God’s going to use to help do that.

All right. Well, I think it's only appropriate for us to allow the last word to go to C.S. Lewis. This is one of my favorite quotes and favorite stories. It's recorded in the book God in the Dock. It's a little bit long, but I hope you'll stick with me. There was a transcript of when C.S. Lewis had finished speaking, and there was a Q&A time, and someone asked Lewis which of the religions of the world gives to its followers the greatest happiness? Lewis responded, “Which of the religions of the world gives to its followers the greatest happiness? While it lasts, the religion of worshiping oneself is the best. I have an elderly acquaintance of about 80 who has lived a life of unbroken selfishness and self admiration from the earliest years and is more or less, I regret to say, one of the happiest men I know. From the moral point of view, it is very difficult. I'm not approaching the question from that angle. As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity. I'm certain there must be a patent American article on the market which will suit you far better, but I can't give any advice on that.”

And that last statement about some patent American article for shallow simplistic, I just want to be happy Christianity is exactly what we're trying to work against. This is a faith with incredible depth and so many different dimensions, and ultimately, it does bring a kind of joy. Certainly, Lewis would say that, but not the shallow typical, “I just want to be happy.” And so we're really grateful to God that He enabled us to put together these resources and make them so much more accessible to people.

So we hope you'll go visit the website, you'll download things, you'll sign up for courses, and that God will use it in ways that will help you grow in dynamic ways to love Him with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind. Thanks for listening.

Brought to you by the C.S. Lewis Institute and the Questions That Matter Podcast with Randy Newman.

COPYRIGHT: This publication is published by C.S. Lewis Institute; 8001 Braddock Road, Suite 301; Springfield, VA 22151. Portions of the publication may be reproduced for noncommercial, local church or ministry use without prior permission. Electronic copies of the PDF files may be duplicated and transmitted via e-mail for personal and church use. Articles may not be modified without prior written permission of the Institute. For questions, contact the Institute: 703.914.5602 or email us.

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