Light And Fellowship In The Darkness -- By: Jason G. Duesing
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Light And Fellowship In The Darkness
Editor, Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Provost and Associate Professor of Historical Theology Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Kansas City, Missouri
There is a moment in J. R. R. Tolkien’s trilogy where his fellowship is faced with the daunting task of traversing the underground mines of Moria. Once a noble and industrious empire of dwarves, Moria now is reduced to something dark and dreadful. Following the leadership of the wizard Gandalf, the company of travelers seek to move quickly and quietly through the darkness— yet without a map. The wisdom of Gandalf, who normally possesses a level of omniscience, manifests itself when he admits he does not know exactly how to proceed. Facing such darkness, he counsels that before “we make up our minds we ought to look about us.” Not seeing many options, the wizard determines that the fellowship should “go towards that light in the north door.”1Following the light, however faint, proves essential to their successful navigation, not only through the mines, but also to the achievement of their overarching quest—to see evil destroyed and the return of their King.
In the real world of the twenty-first century, I liken the Christian’s sojourn through our culture very much to that of the fellowship’s journey through the mines. That our culture trends toward that which is dark and dreadful is no surprise or cause for panic, but knowing how, as Christians, to live
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and move within it, in order to achieve our overarching quest, is often difficult and discouraging. What is needed are regular sources of light—well placed windows shining at the right time and to the right degree. These windows, in turn, allow us who live in the darkness to see, understand, and move more freely in the direction of godliness. Second Peter 1:19 is one of many places in the Bible reminding us that the Word of God functions as a lamp shining in a dark place for the express purpose of illuminating the Christian traveler’s path until “the day dawns and the morning star rises.” As pilgrims on a dangerous quest traveling through a world that is not our own, we have been given regular access to light.
In this illuminating spirit, I welcome you to the most recent issue of the Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Our hope is that the articles contained herein will serve as clarifying commentaries on cultural trends and what the Word of God has to say about them. Christians are not meant to traverse this world alone; we need one another ...
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