The Lion & Phoenix is a place for friends to gather and share their thoughts on theology, arts, society and culture.
It was established in September 2015 by Yarran Johnston, as a space for self-expression through writing, discussion of important issues with friends and where he can occasionally indulge his eccentricities.
If you thought “The Lion and Phoenix” sounds a bit like the name of a British inn or tavern – you’ve hit the mark. It is intended to bring to mind venues like the White Horse Inn and the Castle and Falcon, which played an important role in shaping the course of evangelicalism in the English speaking world. Rather than this site being like a lone bloke sitting at a table mindlessly ranting about whatever he happens to fancy himself an expert at the time, I look forward to people gathering together to discuss some of the issues raised and participate in meaningful, ongoing conversations. I also welcome the opportunity for friends to have some fun together. Thus I like to think of this space as a virtual “godly pub” of sorts, where all sorts of things are discussed, but where the Spirit of Christ guides things rather than the spirits of Bacchus.
The Lion and Phoenix are first and foremost evocative symbols of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah – God’s Promised Messiah who would reign over the Kingdom of his ancestor David, remove all threats from God’s people and usher in an era of peace. The Phoenix has long been used as a symbol of resurrection – new life arising from the flames which brought death. Together they represent Jesus as the risen King – reigning forever as Lord over all, after conquering the grave.
On a secondary level, the lion is very often used as a royal or national symbol – particularly in European cultures, while the phoenix is an important royal and cultural symbol in much of the East. While this nicely ties in with the above symbology to depict Christ as ruling over all peoples and kingdoms from East to West, it also represents interests in history, society, art, royalty and British/European and East Asian cultures, which will manifest themselves in the articles and posts here.