Signals of Transcendence with Os Guinness
May 4 2023
I had the privilege again to talk with Os Guinness. This time we talk about his new book Signals of Transcendence which uses an idea from Peter Berger (Os’ teacher) to tell the stories of the way God is calling out to people helping them find new meaning and purpose in life. This was a delightful conversation with one of the most significant Christian intellectuals of our time.
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Signals of Transcendence -
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Welcome to the more to story, Podcast. I'm so glad that you have come along. We have a great show for you today the second time that this guest has been with me. It's truly an honor for me to have him. But before I do, I want to make sure you know that this podcast is brought to you by Wesley Biblical Seminary, where I work and serve as Vice President for academic affairs and teaching theology and preaching.
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We are developing trusted leaders to serve faithful churches, and we are so excited to announce that the Global Methodist Church, the group that's emerging from United Methodism has just recommended us as one an approved institution for that nomination, and we are starting a course of study program for people who are working through ordination to build Methodist Church, and we would love for you to think about our seminary, which is fully available online, but also has an in person function that's available for people
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Andy Miller III: in the Jackson Mississippi area. So we are training trusted leaders to serve those faithful churches all around the world, and they'd love to be engaged with you in that process, so you can find out more about Wesley Biblical Seminary, I. Wbs. Edu and I'm. Also thankful to Bill Roberts, who's a sponsor of this podcast his financial planning firm works with people to help them develop a plan to get to retirement, and he's particularly gifted with helping people who are in ministry who are thinking about housing allowances, and maybe people who don't think about the stock
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Andy Miller III: market very much. So I encourage you to check him email@example.com. You can find a link to him in my show notes. And finally, I have a resource available that I would love for you to have. It is called Contender.
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Andy Miller III: and it's a a going deeper into the little book of Jude. It's 6 sessions, 30 min sessions for a Sunday school class, or a small group
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to work through the 25 verses in that little book of the Bible which I think are incredibly powerful for our time. And so this is a kind of online. Course it's available for people with discussion guides. I'd love for you to check that firstname.lastname@example.org all right. Well, I am so glad to welcome into the podcast Dr. Oz. Dennis, who's an author of more than 30 people.
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Os Guinness: and he is celebrating this fiftieth anniversary of a books that have come out with Ivp. And i'm so thankful to Ivp for sending me a copy of his recent book, Signals of Transcendence. Oz: Welcome to the podcast again. Well, thanks, Andy for having me back.
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Andy Miller III: Well, but i'll just highlight. One thing I've I've re shared one little clip From the last time when we talk we were talking about the Magna Carta of Humanity. That was a a great conversation that influence my life. I'm just thankful that I have that conversation, much less to share with other people. But I've shared this story many times, and some people know where i'm going, I said to you. Well, as you know, in this time, like where we are, with a variety of things related to sexual revolution.
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Andy Miller III: Some people have said, Well, you know faithful Christians disagree.
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Andy Miller III: And before I could finish saying that statement you said to me something that has, I, I don't think it'll ever leave me, you said Faithful, to whom.
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Os Guinness: and it was a key moment. So thank thank you for that. That. That's a part of my preaching in in my preaching bag at all times. Now to tell that story of you.
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Os Guinness: Well, thank you. That's a key issue, and not today's world
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Andy Miller III: isn't it. Well, I i'm really thankful for this book. Now I've right to arrive your books through the years, and of course, as I said, we talked about the magnet card of humanity.
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Andy Miller III: But this book is a little different, and I I encourage people to pick it up from Ivp. It is it's shorter, but it's also something, I think, that people could use in a devotional capacity, but signals of transcendence listening to the promptings of life
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Andy Miller III: as what's led you to take this a slightly different approach with this book.
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Os Guinness: Well, I actually have 2 books that are rather like this together. You know I got the idea of the signals of transcendence from my mentor. And then friend Peter Berger. He wrote a book in the 19 sixties, where he had a chapter on this.
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Os Guinness: and he was arguing that almost everybody has profound experiences in life.
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Os Guinness: and what they do is 2 things: First, they puncture
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Os Guinness: whatever people believed up to that point.
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Os Guinness: and 2, they point
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Os Guinness: to something which, if true, would make all the difference. So people are so profoundly touched by these experiences that they become searchers. They want to see where the signal leads to.
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Os Guinness: I've got 10 stories and no arguments in the book. 10 stories of people who all became searchers and seekers
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Os Guinness: and eventually find us too. But because of the signals it struck into their life, and when beep, beep, beep. and they listened and followed.
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Andy Miller III: Yes.
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Andy Miller III: and in to me, the those of my audience will will are often connected to the evangelical Wesleyan denominations. Like the Salvation Army evangelical, Methodist nomination. Like Free Methodist Church, we often speak in the language of a we use, or what John Wesley called provenient grace. Of course he didn't invent that term. But there's like this idea that God is at work moving ahead of us, and sometimes called the grace that goes before.
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Os Guinness: And I love how you find these little traces like you said, these be beat these pieces that are out there in front of people do you have? Is that a concept of pervenient grace or common grace? One that you you had in the backdrop of this book. Well, obviously, that's the Biblical roots of it, and you have notions like, say.
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Os Guinness: eternity in our hearts is the Bible
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Os Guinness: all the negative side. Paul says in Romans one, you know the creation speaks to everybody, but people hold the truth in unrighteousness, or they suppress the truth. In other words, the signals are there, but many people simply don't listen.
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Os Guinness: So these are the stories of 10 people who listened and followed the signal.
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Andy Miller III: Yeah, All this is is really interesting, and you, you you highlight a few times. There's there's re-occurring themes that come up. But but leibniz's idea of the question, Why is there something rather than nothing? Seems to be something that
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Andy Miller III: it comes up on a regular basis for these folks as their as they're on their search as they're discovering these signals.
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Os Guinness: Well, if you think, Andy, you know most of us ask a lot of questions when we're kids and our kids ask us questions, Daddy. Why this mommy? Why, that
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Os Guinness: when we become adults, we stop asking questions. Life is too serious. We don't have the time.
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Os Guinness: and we shut out in effect, wonder and curiosity.
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Os Guinness: And of course, if we're living in cities, as most of us do in the modern world, we're living in a totally man made artificial, surrounding.
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Os Guinness: So we don't even have the glories of nature to speak to us and give us a sense of wonder. So these experiences are all the more important.
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Os Guinness: You know. Again, Peter Burger, my mentor, says: the modern world world of cities, the world of the social media, and so on, is a world
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Os Guinness: without windows. In other words, traditionally, you didn't have to be a you or a Christian.
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Os Guinness: You could be Hindu, Buddhist, all of witchcraft, whatever the unseen was not unreal. Yeah, but it's almost a feature of our modern world. What's unseen? Unreal?
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Os Guinness: So it's what you can touch tasty way calculate measurable outcomes. Right? That's what's real in our modern world. But of course that's not the truth.
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Os Guinness: You think of Elijah and his servant, the 7 panicking because of the enemy army at the gate.
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Os Guinness: Elisha says, Lord, open his eyes, and he sees the
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Os Guinness: the horses and chariots of fire around. And so
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Os Guinness: So a lot of people have a shrunken come from a consciousness. Or, to put it in classical terms, You know, Plato gave that wonderful parable of the cave. Right?
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Os Guinness: And humans are like prisoners in a cave in the darkness.
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Os Guinness: Reality for them is the shadows flickering on the wall caused by a fire behind them.
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Os Guinness: so that when one man escapes the cave
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Os Guinness: and sees my goodness, sunshine yeah, sunlight
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Os Guinness: and comes back, they don't want to listen. They prefer the reality. They know they think he's a madman. and that in a way it's like our modern world, and people need to be woken up.
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Os Guinness: and these signals of transcendence to that. But we should tell the stories because it's the stories that make a difference.
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Andy Miller III: and and how you, you just very clearly connect us to the idea. Like, for instance, when you're talking about Chester 10 you like, have highlight. That was that moment where he comes out, and he gets a glimpse of the sunshine. So I I love the way that you methodically unfold that idea throughout this book.
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Os Guinness: Well, Andy, for a simple reason, you know we we her follows of Jesus. You and I are obviously your seminary is, you know, my esteemed ancestor, Arthur Guinness, came to faith
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Os Guinness: through John Wesley. I think I told you I have his autograph on the wall behind me with the rarer
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Os Guinness: I 20 or so autographs.
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Os Guinness: But you think many modern Christians
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Os Guinness: live like functional atheists. They're almost atheist unawares.
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Os Guinness: So we have words like prayer, the supernatural. But they don't have actually that much reality.
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Os Guinness: whereas our sisters and brothers in Korea are Kenya, and so on. They have a living and awareness, as of course you have in the pages the Bible. our Lord's ministry would be unthinkable
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Os Guinness: without the power of the word, the power of the Spirit
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Os Guinness: in healing
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Os Guinness: deliverances speaking, and you name it. And yet that's missing in much of the modern church
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Andy Miller III: you. You brought up your your
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great great grandfather when we talk last. I was just starting out on some research into the founding
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Andy Miller III: of the Salvation Army on William Booth, and since that time I've come upon a Guinness from who is helping out quite a bit. Your relative as well helped out it. It worked together with the Earl of Shaftesbury, a Lord Shaftesbury. So I was. I bet every time I see that
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Os Guinness: I've I've put in the margins, and I come upon his name quite a bit, who is financially in engaged with William Booth in the early days. I say Oz's great great grandfather, the William Booth, and the other shots free and Dl. Moody.
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Os Guinness: It was my great grandfather who knew all of them personally. Hudson Taylor.
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Andy Miller III: Wow! Interest! And and you think of all those things happening from England in that period. I know it's another subject at the same time, and I hope we could get to talk about not just your great grandfather, but your grandfather, who's mentioned this in in this new book.
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Andy Miller III: Okay, so let's hit the the first one was really interesting. The first story you tell is of Malcolm Mugger, and now I'm.
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Andy Miller III: I'm fascinated by him because it it was really before my time that he was active as a journalist, and I didn't know a lot of. I I knew some of the things that he had done in his research into
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Andy Miller III: communism, and the kind of investigative reporting he had done. That's kind of like a part of history books, but I didn't know the things he did in highlighting Mother Teresa really, until I read your book but you, but you show how he looked throughout his life
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Andy Miller III: for all kinds of ways to find meeting, and he came to a clear point when he had his signal of transcendence. So to tell us a little about that story of Malcolm Mug.
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Os Guinness: Well remember the Margaret first. I mean. He's a lot older than I that was, and I I knew him when he was an old man, and I was a student.
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Os Guinness: you know. He went to Cambridge for 3 years, and considered the worst 3 years of his life. Education didn't interest him.
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Os Guinness: He was the first to go to the Soviet Union and see through Stalin, the New York Times. Most Western intellectuals believe Stalin
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Os Guinness: Margaret saw through it was totally disillusioned with politics.
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Os Guinness: and then he went to India for a number of years in order to pursue, quote religion, and after his experience there he was disillusioned with religion.
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Os Guinness: So when World War 2 broke out, he had nothing to laugh in which to believe. and he was seconded to the Intelligence Service in East Africa, monitoring German shipping.
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Os Guinness: and one night, in total despair. With stale beer and cigarettes all over his bed.
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Os Guinness: he said: I realized there was one death in World War. I I could make sure of my own, so he decided to commit suicide, went down to the beach, took off his clothes, swam out.
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Os Guinness: he thought drowning would at least not embarrass his family.
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Os Guinness: but as he was going out suddenly he looked back over his shoulder and saw the lights of the little town in the little cafe behind him.
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Os Guinness: and for the first time in his life they struck him as home
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Os Guinness: in this crazy, absurd, meaningless universe that was home.
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Os Guinness: So he turned around and swam back. and it was like the light breaking into Plato's cave for him, he says. But then he had to set out on the search. What could be the ground for the meaning of that.
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Os Guinness: and that was decades later that he came to faith. But
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Os Guinness: the signal
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Os Guinness: that since home the universe made all the difference, and turned him round. So the signal is not the finding.
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Os Guinness: but it's the beginning of the search. That is all important.
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Andy Miller III: Yeah, so this that's the that's the key point I picked up from him. It's like sometimes it can be frustrating to not get people to maybe cross the line to realize what the signals point to. But this shows the importance
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Andy Miller III: of these specific moments like, and we do, you know, when God's gonna use us in those moments? But it was several years before he came to to a place where we would call him a Christian. Is that right?
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Os Guinness: That's right? Yeah, it is.
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Andy Miller III: Now tell me I I I didn't realize that you knew him. Did Did you have any? Tell me about your interaction with him? Did you engage him much, or the i'm sure there's some interesting
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Os Guinness: I a third book and a a wonderful man One of
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Andy Miller III: was he teaching at the time, or is he still doing reporting? Now it's he's the one who is able to highlight the work of Mother Teresa through a documentary I I don't know if you will know much about that I mean I that's not something that's familiar with me. I didn't know. Honestly, I thought maybe this through some of her journals, or just an awareness. Was it his work that brought her into prominence?
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Os Guinness: It was his documentary, something beautiful for God that' be busy? They put her on the map, I mean. She was known only in Catholic circles before that.
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Os Guinness: But you know he was an expert on television.
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Os Guinness: He was a television personality, but he said that that the the faith fits the radio. Well.
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Os Guinness: it doesn't fit television Well.
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Os Guinness: The great exception were the people who are really saintly like Mother Teresa, because something about it
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Os Guinness: came across unmistakably even on television. No, it's television's appear in space image based, and radio is word based.
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Os Guinness: The faith comes across much more easily on the radio than the television.
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Andy Miller III: Interesting. I've never heard that, Never heard that. That that was his insight particularly
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Andy Miller III: interesting. You also highlight your mentor, Peter Berger. So what was, what was his signal, and how did he respond to that?
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Os Guinness: Well, he has one chapter in his book on about 6 or 7 or 8 signals. but the first one is the one that means so much so many people. He takes the
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Os Guinness: simple, almost universal cry of a mother in the night baby wakes up crying distress for whatever reason mother picks it up and consoles it, and come and says, says in 70 words.
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Os Guinness: it's all right.
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Os Guinness: Everything's going to be all right. Everything's okay.
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Os Guinness: Now, Burger points out. Nothing could be more quintessentially human.
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Andy Miller III: Hmm.
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Os Guinness: But if you think about it for a minute. is it true or is it a lie, even a well-meaning one?
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Os Guinness: In other words, the universe is not all right.
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Os Guinness: Yeah, at the end of life
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Os Guinness: the child will die, and before that the mother will die and many others will die. In the meantime the universe is not okay to human beings. It's not going to be all right. But what does that mean?
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Os Guinness: Why can we? How can we say that in the face of the real reality of what life is about? And he exposed that, and people have follow that through. Start thinking.
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Os Guinness: Why do we implicitly say that
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Os Guinness: those meaning and order in the universe? And it's not random, absurd, and so on.
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Andy Miller III: It's it's not something for us to to create or to like, you know. Shape ourself, but there's something out there there that again, like there's something coming from outside of us
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Os Guinness: that your access and leads us to this.
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Os Guinness: You know. I, for instance, grew up my first 10 years, as you know, Andy in China, with war literally millions killed around us, and then a terrible famine, 5 million killed in 3 months, including my brothers, and we were there 2 years under the Reign of Terror, the beginning of the Maoist revolution.
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Os Guinness: But never once in those 10 years, as I grew up, did I see either of my parents, despite the loss of my brothers, ever waver in their faith in the Lord.
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Os Guinness: Why. well, you could boil down my father's attitude like this God is greater than all
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Os Guinness: the Lord can be trusted in. All situations. Have no fear.
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Os Guinness: Have faith in God.
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Os Guinness: Now, of course, that's the Christian assumption. The Christian claim the Christian belief.
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Os Guinness: But when someone says yes.
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Os Guinness: it's gonna be okay. They're assuming something. What are they assuming and pointing to? Hmm. Hmm wouldn't be so If If Richard Dawkins is right, the universe is quote a stroke of dumb luck.
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Os Guinness: Who are you?
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Os Guinness: Come for the baby in the night with stuff like that. No.
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Andy Miller III: yeah, it's like you can't, can't see a mother saying, there, maybe you're just a cosmic accident. Good luck. Yeah.
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Andy Miller III: no. There something more.
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Os Guinness: Okay, I want Also, I wasn't plan to talk about this chapter, but I I you said, this is one that most people been interested in. It's titled heart cracking. Goodness! What's behind this? It's actually well that one, too, but it's the one before that with Wh. Orden, the English per one of the great poets of the twentieth century.
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Os Guinness: So when Allen left Oxford University he was a hero To many young people he was an atheist.
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Os Guinness: and he was gay in the time when that was not fashionable. and he was a Radical left wing on. and he fought against Franco in the Spanish Civil War. But then, when World War Ii was looming, he came across to the Us with his gay lover.
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Os Guinness: And you know, in those days no television.
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Os Guinness: So how did you follow the news? You went week apart from the radio and the newspaper. You went to the path, a documentary in your local cinema.
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Os Guinness: and he was in the upper East side of New York. Now this 1939. So America is neutral. the breads for fighting the Germans and the Germans. The brits Americans were neutral.
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Os Guinness: So the Germans in America supported Germany and the English in America supported the breads. Well, he went to a cinema, and one night the documentary was on the siege of Poland
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Os Guinness: and Nazi. Stormtroopers were bayoneting women and children brutally.
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Os Guinness: The German crowd, right through the evening, cried out, Kill them! Kill them! Hanging on their own side.
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Os Guinness: An olden in 5 min, he said, sitting in the dog and said his whole world view was turned upside down.
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Andy Miller III: Good.
00:22:30.910 --> 00:22:37.510
Os Guinness: He knew we humans had evil in our house. You know it's so. We're basically good.
00:22:37.560 --> 00:22:43.320
Os Guinness: little better politics, education, psychology, if you need it. We were basically No.
00:22:43.830 --> 00:22:48.830
Os Guinness: we, and he said himself included. It was evil in the hot. But then
00:22:48.940 --> 00:22:52.910
Os Guinness: the real problem. if he wanted to say Hitler
00:22:53.080 --> 00:22:56.290
Os Guinness: was absolutely wrong. Evil.
00:22:56.740 --> 00:22:58.200
Os Guinness: Where was the absolute.
00:22:59.060 --> 00:23:04.700
Os Guinness: because European intellectuals are thrown all absolute out. That's for old fogies.
00:23:04.870 --> 00:23:09.890
Os Guinness: But this wasn't relatively wrong. because he was English as opposed to a German.
00:23:10.120 --> 00:23:19.630
Os Guinness: This was absolutely wrong, and he said Later he left the cinema a seeker after an unconditional absolute.
00:23:19.750 --> 00:23:29.230
Os Guinness: I did Jesus. as you see there, that it punctured, his old views pointed to something which you have to be true if it was meaningful.
00:23:29.250 --> 00:23:40.070
Os Guinness: So he became a seeker, and in his case it wasn't very many weeks or months before he came to face, now that some of them Cs. Lewis, for instance, it was more than 10 years between the 6
00:23:40.390 --> 00:23:41.850
Os Guinness: and the discovery.
00:23:43.310 --> 00:23:52.100
Andy Miller III: So you have this. Yeah. But the puncture, the signal discovery, these the the and the the puncture and the signal come together right it.
00:23:52.520 --> 00:23:59.430
Os Guinness: The exactly the signal punctures the Old World view. And in our world today that was the first step
00:23:59.650 --> 00:24:07.900
Os Guinness: in the search is always a question. a time for questions. Yeah, sure, that's what constitutes a Sika.
00:24:08.240 --> 00:24:13.180
Os Guinness: People are satisfied, complacent, convicted, or whatever they're not searches.
00:24:13.560 --> 00:24:22.520
Os Guinness: But when a question strikes in, and in this case it strikes in through signals. Then they become seekers not only the beginning of the search.
00:24:22.580 --> 00:24:29.540
Os Guinness: but it's the important beginning, and with many people to day They don't even get that far because they don't have any questions.
00:24:30.120 --> 00:24:49.040
Andy Miller III: It's it's interesting. One of my mentors tells the story of the this like puncturing sort of moment, and and trusting Holy Spirit is leading people on on these paths. He he was talking about being an airplane one time, and finally he was in his conversation
00:24:49.040 --> 00:25:03.020
Andy Miller III: with a a man who was had just intellectual questions about God, and he was really getting that place where he felt like he was going to have a breakthrough. And then, just about the place where he was leading to a point of decision.
00:25:03.990 --> 00:25:15.660
Andy Miller III: the airplane stopped, and, like they landed, and they were going to be done. And the my Mentor, this is said, this is Dr. Dennis Kimball, a lot of people's mentors. By the way, he said
00:25:15.910 --> 00:25:20.100
Andy Miller III: he prayed in that moment. God, I was just about to convert this man.
00:25:20.270 --> 00:25:26.610
Andy Miller III: and he felt the Holy Spirit say to him, I thought I was doing a pretty good job until you showed up.
00:25:27.080 --> 00:25:32.020
Os Guinness: We are always the junior partners
00:25:32.180 --> 00:25:46.990
Os Guinness: in witnessing the Holy Spirit is the is the great One. When we were with people who might be with them. 5 min, 5 h, 5 days, 5 years. We're only responsible to take them as far as that time will allow.
00:25:47.070 --> 00:26:01.550
Os Guinness: So the idea you've got to get from a to Z in 5 min. It's ridiculous. and the trouble with that is, you often leave people as burnt over. People have tried to get them through the on 2 3 4 laws, or whatever
00:26:01.600 --> 00:26:13.820
Os Guinness: in 10 min, and they brush it off, and it's not genuine. They're burnt over. Far better to be true and witness to them to the level that the time with them that you have allows.
00:26:14.630 --> 00:26:16.140
Andy Miller III: Yeah, absolutely.
00:26:16.220 --> 00:26:23.980
Andy Miller III: What what else happened in Auden's life. Where did this? Where did his? You know it? Actualizing the signal and receiving it? Where did it take him?
00:26:24.420 --> 00:26:35.990
Os Guinness: Well, he became a well known Christian. All I have to say, he kept on being a gay, and he admitted he was extremely inconsistent in that all his life
00:26:36.240 --> 00:26:42.000
Os Guinness: so Many Christians have huge flaws like David's adultery.
00:26:42.050 --> 00:26:48.040
Os Guinness: W. Horden. you know, kept K. Lovers even after that, knowing that it was wrong.
00:26:48.150 --> 00:26:51.460
But he was decidedly and very clearly a Christian.
00:26:53.330 --> 00:27:07.700
Andy Miller III: I loved your chapter on Gk. Chesterton, and I've been on my own journey with Chesterton. I had yeah. I read novels in college. The detective novels, particularly the man who was Thursday, you know, really made a deep impression on me.
00:27:07.700 --> 00:27:18.870
Andy Miller III: and then read orthodoxy early on, and then, just a few years ago got into the short essays that he has, and I. I found this interesting connection to but
00:27:18.870 --> 00:27:39.740
Andy Miller III: one of the things about him that always draws me in is his ability to look at the smallest details, and again try to find wonder, and you describe his moment, his time of of being punctured in the the signals that he received. Tell Tell us about that, and i'll let you talk about the the chapter title too.
00:27:39.740 --> 00:27:48.730
Os Guinness: Well, I have chested and Zortic off behind me on the wall, too, you can see the signature has a flourish.
00:27:49.190 --> 00:28:03.510
Os Guinness: as his writing does, as his clothes do. He was an artist, and what a character he was! A volcano of words Now Ordin grew up in a very comfortable world. Upper middle class in West London
00:28:03.880 --> 00:28:16.480
Os Guinness: in the late nineteenth century, and when he got to college age all his friends around him went to Oxford and Cambridge, but he was artistic, so he chose to go to the Slate School of Art in London.
00:28:17.200 --> 00:28:21.930
Os Guinness: but you can only say it was rather like so post modern climate today.
00:28:22.330 --> 00:28:26.680
Os Guinness: debunking, cynical, nihilistic, negative
00:28:27.140 --> 00:28:36.800
Os Guinness: and ordinance. He was really flirting with a lot of dark thoughts, including the occult. and he had drawings and sketches. So we're very much down that line.
00:28:37.220 --> 00:28:47.080
Os Guinness: But he says later, what's stopped him in his tracks was a dandelion. That's extraordinary. In other words.
00:28:47.160 --> 00:28:55.680
Os Guinness: weed but a beautiful little weed, the dandelion. his point being that the world he saw was broken.
00:28:55.860 --> 00:28:57.790
Os Guinness: Doc
00:28:57.880 --> 00:28:59.150
Os Guinness: pessimistic.
00:28:59.580 --> 00:29:01.450
Os Guinness: but there was beauty.
00:29:02.930 --> 00:29:06.150
Os Guinness: and he had to explain not one or the other, but both.
00:29:06.230 --> 00:29:09.910
Os Guinness: How come there's brokenness. How come there's beauty!
00:29:10.530 --> 00:29:19.310
Os Guinness: And as he was searching, and it was some time he describes his orthodox, as you know, his intense excitement, and it's rather like
00:29:19.560 --> 00:29:24.460
Os Guinness: Archimedes, crying Eureka! And leaping out of the is excitement.
00:29:24.500 --> 00:29:29.860
Os Guinness: Chester's excitement as he sees the Christian faith is uniquely
00:29:30.070 --> 00:29:31.170
Os Guinness: by focal.
00:29:31.720 --> 00:29:37.400
Os Guinness: It explains the good and the bad. the beauty because of God's creation.
00:29:37.430 --> 00:29:45.400
Os Guinness: and all the brokenness because of sin. And then he says, it's as if all the nuts and bolts begin to fit in and click on, to click on to click.
00:29:45.860 --> 00:29:56.060
Os Guinness: He sees it's true, and that signal stopped in his tracks by dandelion is what leads him on later to his profound Christian faith
00:29:56.540 --> 00:30:00.260
in in the idea of a dandelion. Of course
00:30:00.450 --> 00:30:22.370
Andy Miller III: you could think your first view of a dandelion as a child like is how regular it is like for my kids to pick a dandelion and take it to their to my wife and say, here's a flower for you, but not realizing that it's also a weed like it's. It's both these things, and that's what Chesterton has such capacity for describing and elucidating paradox.
00:30:22.370 --> 00:30:28.950
Andy Miller III: And so in that moment he found that paradox like something beautiful, but something
00:30:29.060 --> 00:30:44.110
Andy Miller III: wrong, but yet finding order. I think it's interesting to i'm it. I I to read in in that my Chester 10 journey, so to speak, in a in my twenties. I tried to read the everlasting man, and honestly, I I just.
00:30:44.110 --> 00:31:04.540
Andy Miller III: I was lost. I just couldn't do it, and i'm trying to read it again now, and I think i'm doing a little bit better. I'm making my way through. But you describe how this moment for him that you use it will. He describes it in the last chapter of his autobiography as the God with the Golden key. And just earlier this week I read in the everlasting Man.
00:31:04.710 --> 00:31:19.930
Andy Miller III: He talks about how the the the church is built on the image given to Peter of being the in the rock, but also there is the idea that the church holds the keys to the church, to the the the keys to church into orthodoxy.
00:31:19.930 --> 00:31:44.530
Andy Miller III: and he uses the image of a key regularly. So I thought this was really int. I hadn't read his autobiography. I didn't know, hadn't known this, but he describes like the key is so important because it's a strange shape. It doesn't do anything you'd never guess what it would be, except for it brings everything together. And I think that this was interesting, like connecting to your book is like in this moment. And in this idea, in these paradoxes he sees how everything comes together.
00:31:45.240 --> 00:31:53.410
Os Guinness: It would mainly the faith is the key, and I was You're thinking of the meaning of life. How do you put this incredible universe together?
00:31:53.630 --> 00:32:02.400
Os Guinness: So here we, as human beings, we created the cathedrals on mozart's, incredible sonatas, and we produce death cans
00:32:02.450 --> 00:32:09.650
Os Guinness: same human beings. and some of the guards at Auschwitz went home and listened to Beethoven in the lunch hour.
00:32:09.680 --> 00:32:14.020
Os Guinness: Wow! What explains this incredible paradox of our greatness?
00:32:14.160 --> 00:32:21.650
Os Guinness: And our loners, anyway, is saying in all these questions about life Faith gives a key that fits the log.
00:32:21.670 --> 00:32:23.460
Os Guinness: So you want to open the door.
00:32:23.650 --> 00:32:27.790
Os Guinness: but put in the other keys. Atheism, Hinduism, Buddhism, whatever
00:32:28.040 --> 00:32:31.740
Os Guinness: they don't open the door, they're not the right key. They're the wrong key.
00:32:32.160 --> 00:32:36.320
Os Guinness: But the faith that the Bible gives us, opens the door.
00:32:36.750 --> 00:32:54.760
Andy Miller III: Yes, oh, I love it. I love to some of the quotes that you bring in at the end of that chapter, not not him mentioning the the direction of thanksgiving that thanksgiving needs be directed someplace. So you say you quote him, saying: the chief idea of my life, he wrote.
00:32:54.950 --> 00:33:03.340
Andy Miller III: is the practice of taking things with gratitude and not taking things for granted.
00:33:03.590 --> 00:33:16.650
Os Guinness: I love it again because he was so aware of the simple things, and how wonderful it was. I can't remember the exact quote. I think he said something like if I want my children to be grateful for putting things in their stockings on
00:33:16.760 --> 00:33:20.580
Os Guinness: Christmas Eve. Am I not grateful, though, the Lord
00:33:20.700 --> 00:33:36.080
Andy Miller III: for putting my feet in my socks daily, or something like that? That's right. Yeah, I got it right here. You, if my children wake up on Christmas morning and have somebody to thank for putting candy into their stockings, have I no one to thank for putting 2 feet into mine.
00:33:36.400 --> 00:33:40.350
Os Guinness: He was so well. The gratitude and wonderful simple things
00:33:40.830 --> 00:33:58.720
Andy Miller III: most of the time I find myself as i'm. You know, reading him like having to go back and read paragraphs 3 or 4 times, but then also laughing, and then I love the endings I love. How I I just know as I'm getting to the end. There's gonna be something clever and fun like that statement that you just highlighted.
00:33:59.250 --> 00:34:18.560
Andy Miller III: Now, there's other chapters here. I'm gonna just tell people to go by the book, right? And these these are chapters that you could probably read in a, in a, in a sitting each for a devotional period. I I really recommend it, and of course, one of the great things Ivp. Does. They have a great it's just a beautiful book, too. It looks great on the page.
00:34:19.600 --> 00:34:32.690
Andy Miller III: I was glad I got to the chapter about your grandfather, and I, hearing a bit of of your story last time we talked about the Magna Carta of of of the magnitude of of humanity. Sorry I couldn't think of the end of it
00:34:32.780 --> 00:34:34.290
Andy Miller III: hearing about China.
00:34:34.409 --> 00:34:43.000
Andy Miller III: Tell us about your grandfather, and this is a great way that you're able to lead us to think about love as one of the these transcendent signals.
00:34:43.120 --> 00:34:47.159
Os Guinness: Well, I think love is one of the most powerful, deep, and rich ones of all.
00:34:47.239 --> 00:34:51.790
Os Guinness: Now the last that chapter, my grandfather, he was not a seeker.
00:34:51.980 --> 00:35:11.380
Os Guinness: He was actually a missionary. He survived the most horrendous dangers in the Boxer Rebellion in China, when 2,000 Christians were killed in a couple of weeks, including many, many of his friends. And that's the story in his cell phone. I tell the story in the book, as you know.
00:35:11.650 --> 00:35:17.260
Os Guinness: but it was at the end of it he met my grandmother, who is a beautiful young Swedish aristocrat.
00:35:17.330 --> 00:35:31.930
Os Guinness: Of course you think your grandparents you know them when they're gray hairs, or gray, or whatever. When they were young. 1819, 2028. They were beautiful and strong in their time. And My grandmother was quite a beauty. But anyway, we have on another wall
00:35:31.940 --> 00:35:34.490
Os Guinness: not so many feed from me.
00:35:34.830 --> 00:35:42.600
Os Guinness: The Christmas card that my grandfather gave to my grandmother the first year of their marriage
00:35:43.090 --> 00:35:55.410
Os Guinness: to one who is dearer than life. with a love that is stronger than death. because they had been through that extraordinary experience of the box of rides.
00:35:55.480 --> 00:36:02.690
Os Guinness: and survived by the skin of their teeth when people died all around them. and they realize what love meant
00:36:02.700 --> 00:36:09.450
Os Guinness: in the face of death. Now that's not the experience of most people today, but here we are in our Western world in America.
00:36:09.930 --> 00:36:15.850
Os Guinness: On the one hand, we've cheap in love with endless cliches in hallmark cards, and so on.
00:36:16.410 --> 00:36:23.020
Os Guinness: and even worse. On the other hand, we have cheapened it and degraded it with things like the hook up culture.
00:36:23.310 --> 00:36:32.720
Os Guinness: so love and love making, and all that is still surrounded with so much that's tortured today. And yet and yet
00:36:32.890 --> 00:36:35.660
Os Guinness: no one who's been in love
00:36:35.990 --> 00:36:39.520
Os Guinness: cannot be moved by what love says.
00:36:40.310 --> 00:36:53.920
Os Guinness: And so I quote the pop song. You know, if love is not forever what's forever for? Hmm. There's something about love that knows it's transients, but knows it longs for eternity.
00:36:53.930 --> 00:37:00.480
Os Guinness: Now you follow the sort of questions that love raises, and I raised a lot more on the chap than i'm doing now.
00:37:01.430 --> 00:37:11.970
Os Guinness: Where is it grounded? Yeah, is it a sheer accident. Richard Dawkins style? There's no answer to love in Buddhism or Hinduism
00:37:12.140 --> 00:37:18.960
Os Guinness: freedom for the individual, and Hinduism is freedom from individuality, not freedom to be an individual.
00:37:19.390 --> 00:37:23.170
Os Guinness: Where is it? There's no greater, deeper, richer grounding
00:37:23.540 --> 00:37:29.110
Os Guinness: than the Jewish and Christian understanding of the God of the Bible, who is love
00:37:29.140 --> 00:37:30.020
Andy Miller III: right?
00:37:30.030 --> 00:37:40.980
Os Guinness: And of course the members of the Godhead love each other before the world began. and so on. You have the deepest grounding. But of course any one and people don't when they're in love as
00:37:41.280 --> 00:37:43.790
listen to the signal of love.
00:37:44.230 --> 00:37:45.640
Os Guinness: It points
00:37:46.000 --> 00:37:50.350
Os Guinness: punctures all the cheap views today, and points to something
00:37:50.830 --> 00:37:56.200
Os Guinness: which you've true with Him. Incredible! But how do we know it's true? What we do when we meet Jesus.
00:37:57.290 --> 00:38:04.760
Andy Miller III: and another point is connected to. and the everlasting man sorry. I can't get it out of my head. It he!
00:38:04.870 --> 00:38:23.360
Andy Miller III: And talks about this moment where so often people will like the side of Christian faith that is love. So this is oh, well, God is love God, His love is that's what I, but not any of this, you know. Terrible stuff that come, you know, comes from Scripture or the Christian tradition, and he says, Well.
00:38:23.550 --> 00:38:24.970
we are saying that
00:38:25.010 --> 00:38:27.700
Andy Miller III: we're pointing to something else.
00:38:27.700 --> 00:38:55.160
Andy Miller III: Right? This is that God is love Neat necessarily means that that love is directed towards somebody, and then then he points to the the personhood of the Trinity and the 3 distinct persons undivided in their essence, and like the this in itself, like even that characteristic even that we experience in this life, then, is something that is a signal in itself that we even long for this. It's part of how we're created.
00:38:55.170 --> 00:38:56.160
Os Guinness: That's right.
00:38:57.130 --> 00:39:02.400
Andy Miller III: Well as what. What do you hope happens from this book? What what do you want it to do?
00:39:03.200 --> 00:39:18.890
Os Guinness: Well, it's a book. I hope that Christians will read to understand how this happens, but a book for Christians to give to their non Christian friends to challenge them. Don't say that, but to challenge them basically to start thinking and searching.
00:39:18.930 --> 00:39:23.410
Os Guinness: You know, we Haven't talked about the chapter on Kenneth Clark.
00:39:23.550 --> 00:39:25.490
Os Guinness: the great art historian.
00:39:25.670 --> 00:39:37.980
Os Guinness: and it describes a number of experiences of a signal, and the main one being when he is in Florence. Looking at paintings, he was overwhelmed with a sense. The finger of God had touched him
00:39:38.000 --> 00:39:41.990
Os Guinness: his wood fine. and it stayed with him for 3 months.
00:39:43.170 --> 00:39:49.370
Os Guinness: and then he brushed it off because he went back to London and owned up to that people think he'd gone crazy.
00:39:49.610 --> 00:40:04.340
Os Guinness: or we now know. Through his biography he had a mistress of the time would have been a little embarrassing. Anyway, he brushed it off, although he came back to the Faith later in his life. But here's the point. That story of his experience in Florence.
00:40:04.490 --> 00:40:18.710
Os Guinness: A number of my friends have picked it up. One shared it with a group of Ceos. and he he just asked him: Any of you had experiences like this? Hmm. he thought maybe one or 2 would out of a group, I think 25 or 30,
00:40:18.720 --> 00:40:24.110
Os Guinness: all but one or 2, and has similar experiences. But of course.
00:40:24.190 --> 00:40:27.330
Os Guinness: people don't have the categories to start thinking it through.
00:40:27.700 --> 00:40:35.340
Os Guinness: so I hope the book will just launch people out to thinking and caring and searching, so it's about to give it. It is.
00:40:35.460 --> 00:40:47.440
Os Guinness: you know, there are books that you read a chapter or you read a book. They're all an argument, and you either accept it or not accept it at the end. No, that's not my book. Mine is a description of the journey.
00:40:47.810 --> 00:40:51.580
Os Guinness: People have to get the point and start the journey
00:40:51.600 --> 00:40:53.310
Os Guinness: for themselves.
00:40:53.520 --> 00:41:01.660
Os Guinness: It's not an argument in the book. It's a series of stories of people who heard the signal and followed it until they found.
00:41:02.120 --> 00:41:03.070
Andy Miller III: I love it.
00:41:03.470 --> 00:41:20.860
Andy Miller III: We I saw this is a another subject away from the book, but I think it might. It is connected, and it's a way that. I think maybe some of us who saw some online activity that you had with a a group of people talking about the exodus around around table, right. The
00:41:20.860 --> 00:41:34.900
Andy Miller III: the Daily Wire and Jordan Peterson is leading a conversation, and I think probably a lot of us who have have heard a bit of the type of things, he said. You know, hope that it he it's many times. It sounds like he is like
00:41:34.900 --> 00:41:46.200
Andy Miller III: this. This man is not far from the Kingdom of God. I I i'm curious about that conversation you had, and and I was so glad to see you around that table. Can you tell me a little bit about it.
00:41:46.440 --> 00:41:51.460
Os Guinness: Well, he invited me to join because he'd someone told him i'd written on. He exodus.
00:41:51.740 --> 00:41:59.980
Os Guinness: and I was glad to 2 separate weeks. It was enormous fun, very stimulating. Some wild ideas came out.
00:42:00.100 --> 00:42:13.160
Os Guinness: and they were atheists and Jews and various types of Christians. It was a fascinating time, and Jordan is definitely moving. Yeah, he's a dear friend. He's definitely moving.
00:42:13.520 --> 00:42:24.690
Os Guinness: So it's an almost fine, as you know. I think exodus is the muster narrative of Western freedom, and we Christians don't understand the greatness of this book.
00:42:25.950 --> 00:42:43.930
Andy Miller III: right? I and I really appreciate it. You. You pointed me several years ago. I I sent you an email trying to figure out you alluded to something, and it was a a lazy or a laser. I may not say his name right. But you you wrote me an email right back, and I couldn't believe it actually came from you. And and I think I've been
00:42:43.930 --> 00:43:01.290
Os Guinness: really influenced by this idea of the democratic realities that we experience being based in Covenant theology is Daniel Ellis. Oh, oh, no! If you think we're all caught up with the Greek categories, monarchy.
00:43:01.320 --> 00:43:04.820
Os Guinness: aristocracy, democracy. But that's governments.
00:43:05.000 --> 00:43:15.830
Os Guinness: Now look at societies. You have different 3. Some are organic. They're related by blood and kinship like an African tribe or a Scottish clan.
00:43:15.910 --> 00:43:29.120
Os Guinness: Most societies are hierarchical, like say, China today that was based on power, a kingdom and Empire structure. Hierarchy. The third type is the rarest Covenantal
00:43:29.330 --> 00:43:33.800
Os Guinness: based on a common binding agreement of the people. We, the people.
00:43:34.120 --> 00:43:37.100
Os Guinness: and of course, the first great one, are the Jews
00:43:37.530 --> 00:43:57.480
Os Guinness: Exodus, 19. The Covenant at Mount Sinai, and then the Swiss, and then the Americans. So the Jewish notion of Covenant became the American notion of constitution. Sadly people don't understand it. We're now almost at a broken government or something that's so shriveled.
00:43:57.520 --> 00:44:02.470
Os Guinness: It's very easy for people to neglect. But we as follows: the Jesus need to
00:44:02.480 --> 00:44:13.050
Os Guinness: explore the biblical roots of these things, because they are the secrets of proper freedom he name. and we should be the guardians and champions of freedom.
00:44:13.790 --> 00:44:14.850
Andy Miller III: Absolutely
00:44:15.320 --> 00:44:29.200
Andy Miller III: well us Thank you so much for your time. It means a lot to me. The come on, and I just encourage people to check out this book from Ivp signals of transcendence, and you can find links to that and to the information about Oz in the show notes. Thanks so much for coming us.
00:44:29.210 --> 00:44:30.960
Os Guinness: Thanks, Andy my pleasure.