Quotations for July, 2007
Sunday, July 1, 2007
Commemoration of John & Henry Venn, Priests, Evangelical Divines, 1813, 1873
A knowledge of the Bible without a college course is more valuable than a college course without the Bible.
... William Lyon Phelps (1865-1943), Human Nature in the Bible, New York: Scribner, 1922, p. ix
(see the book; see also Jer. 8:8-9; John 9:41; John 5:39-40; Rom. 1:22-23; 1 Cor. 1:19-23; 3:18-20; more at Bible, Education, Knowledge)
Monday, July 2, 2007
Wonder not then, that all the true followers of Christ, the saints of every age, have so gloried in the cross of Christ, have imputed such great things to it, have desired nothing so much as to be partakers of it, to live in constant union with it. It is because His sufferings, His death and cross, were the fulness of His victory over all the works of the devil. Not an evil in flesh and blood, not a misery of life, not a chain of death, not a power of hell and darkness, but were all baffled, broken, and overcome by the process of a suffering and dying Christ. Well therefore may the cross of Christ be the glory of Christians.
... William Law (1686-1761), The Spirit of Love [1752-4], in Works of Rev. William Law, v. VIII, London: G. Moreton, 1893, p. 90
(see the book; see also 1 Pet. 2:24; more at Christ, Cross, Death, Devil, Easter, Evil, Saint, Victory)
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Feast of Thomas the Apostle
In the [era] of faith there is room for repentance, since each person can decide freely for Christ; in the era of sight, when the reign of Christ is manifest, only judgment is left for the undecided.
... Otto Betz (1917-2005), What Do We Know About Jesus?, translation of Was wissen wir von Jesus?, 1965, London, S.C.M. Press, 1968, p. 115
(see the book; see also 2 Cor. 5:4-7; Matt. 11:21-23; John 20:29; 1 Cor. 13:12; 2 Cor. 4:18; more at Christ, Faith, Judgment, Repentance, Sight)
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
If the civil magistrates be Christians or members of the church, able to prophesy in the church of Christ, ... they are bound by the command of Christ to suffer opposition to their doctrine, with meekness and gentleness, and to be so far from striving to subdue their opposites with the civil sword, that they are bound with patience and meekness to wait, if God peradventure will please to grant repentance unto their opposites...The sword may make... a whole nation of hypocrites; but to recover a soul from Satan by repentance, and to bring them from anti-Christian doctrine or worship to the doctrine and worship Christian in the least true internal or external submission, [is only worked by] the all-powerful God, by the sword of the Spirit in the hand of His spiritual officers.
... Roger Williams (1603?-1683), The Bloudy Tenent , London: J. Haddon, 1848, p. 106
(see the book; see also 2 Tim. 2:24-26; Matt. 11:29; 1 Cor. 14:39-40; Gal. 6:1; 1 Pet. 3:15-16; more at Attitudes, Church, Gentleness, Holy Spirit, Meekness, Prophet, Repentance, Strife, Sword, Worship)
Thursday, July 5, 2007
If we are prepared to admit, even as a possibility, that Jesus was divine, or even that without being divine he was unique, then we must, as a matter of logic, discard any attempt to discredit the Gospel accounts on the ground that they record abnormal occurrences [i.e. miracles].
... E. L. Mascall (1905-1993), The Secularization of Christianity, London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1966, p. 211-212
(see the book; see also John 3:18,21; 5:19; 6:38; 8:28; 12:49-50; more at Apologetics, Belief, Gospel, Jesus, Logic, Miracle)
Friday, July 6, 2007
Feast of John Huss, Reformer, Martyr, 1415
Feast of Thomas More, Scholar & Martyr, &
John Fisher, Bishop & Martyr, 1535
He would be a brave man who claimed to realize the fallen condition of man more clearly than St Paul. In that very chapter [Romans 7] where he asserts most strongly our inability to keep the moral law he also asserts most confidently that we perceive the Law’s goodness and rejoice in it according to the inward man. Our righteousness may be filthy and ragged; but Christianity gives us no ground for holding that our perceptions of right are in the same condition. They may, no doubt, be impaired; but there is a difference between imperfect sight and blindness. A theology which goes about to represent our practical reason as radically unsound is heading for disaster. If we once admit that what God means by “goodness” is sheerly different from what we judge to be good, there is no difference left between pure religion and devil worship.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), “The Poison of Subjectivism”, in Christian Reflections, ed. Walter Hooper, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1967, p. 79
(see the book; see also Rom. 7:7; more at Apologetics)
Saturday, July 7, 2007
A certain group of scholars, mostly German or influenced by German protestant theology, has rushed to abandon positions before they were attacked, and to demythologize the Gospel message when there was no clear evidence that intelligent minds outside the Church were any more frightened by her mystery than by her morals.
... G. I. Bonner (1926-2013), quoted in The Secularization of Christianity, E. L. Mascall, London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1966, p. 213
(see the book; see also 1 Pet. 1:8-12; John 7:7; 15:18-19; 20:29; 2 Cor. 4:18; 5:7; Heb. 11:1,39-40; more at Apologetics, Church, Gospel, Morality, Theology)
Sunday, July 8, 2007
The philosopher [Immanuel] Kant was right long ago to notice that moral activity implies a religious dimension. The atheist [Friedrich] Nietzsche also saw the point and argued forcefully that the person who gives up belief in God must be consistent and give up Christian morals as well, because the former is the foundation of the latter. He had nothing but contempt for fellow humanists who refused to see that Christian morality cannot survive the loss of its theological moorings, except as habit or as lifeless tradition. As Ayn Rand also sees so clearly, love of the neighbor cannot be rationally justified within the framework of secular humanism. Love for one’s neighbor is an ethical implication of the Christian position. This suggests to me that the world’s deepest problem is not economic or technological, but spiritual and moral. What is missing is the vision of reality that can sustain the neighbor-oriented life style that is so urgently needed in our world today.
... Clark H. Pinnock (1937-2010), Reason Enough, Exeter: Paternoster, 1980, p. 31-32
(see the book; see also John 15:12; Matt. 22:37-40; 23:23; Mark 12:30-31; John 13:34; Rom. 12:10; 1 Thess. 4:9; 1 Pet. 1:22; 4:8; 1 John 2:7-10; more at Apologetics, Belief, Love, Morality, Neighbor, Philosophy, Theology, World)
Monday, July 9, 2007
The critical scholar is not committed, within the area of his research, to accepting the Church’s presuppositions about Jesus, but he should not be committed to accepting naturalistic presuppositions either. If he does accept the latter, then the results of his research will in all probability contradict the beliefs of the Church, but this is because he has begged the question from the start. In examining, for instance, the evidence for the virginal conception [of Jesus], if he begins with the presupposition that such an event is impossible he will end with the same conclusion; if he begins with the presupposition that it is possible he may end with the conclusion that the evidence for it is good or that it is bad or that it is inconclusive. This is as far as scholarship can take him. The Christian will accept the virginal conception as part of the Church’s faith. [Continued tomorrow]
... E. L. Mascall (1905-1993), The Secularization of Christianity, London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1966, p. 276
(see the book; see also Rom. 1:25; Ps. 89:2;Hos. 14:9; Matt. 11:25; more at Apologetics, Belief, Bible, Jesus, Question)
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
[Continued from yesterday]In the rare cases where faith appears to be contradicted by scholarship whose conclusions have not been prescribed from the start, [the critical scholar] may be cast down but will not be destroyed. For he will know how temporary and mutable the conclusions of scholarship essentially are, and he will also be conscious that he himself may not have perfectly comprehended the Church’s faith.
... E. L. Mascall (1905-1993), The Secularization of Christianity, London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1966, p. 276
(see the book; see also Prov. 3:5; Ps. 62:8; 146:3-5; Pr. 22:19; Isa. 40:31; 55:9; Rom. 11:33-36; more at Apologetics, Church, Criticism, Faith, Impermanence, Knowledge)
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Feast of Benedict of Nursia, Father of Western Monasticism, c.550
Naturally, the first emotion of man towards the being he calls God, but of whom he knows so little, is fear.Where it is possible that fear should exist, it is well that it should exist, cause continual uneasiness, and be cast out by nothing less than love... Until love, which is the truth towards God, is able to cast out fear, it is well that fear should hold; it is a bond, however poor, between that which is and that which creates—a bond that must be broken, but a bond that can be broken only by the tightening of an infinitely closer bond. Verily God must be terrible to those that are far from Him: for they fear He will do, yea, He is doing with them what they do not, cannot desire, and can ill endure... While they are such as they are, there is much in Him that cannot but affright them: they ought, they do well, to fear Him... To remove that fear from their hearts, save by letting them know His love with its purifying fire, a love which for ages, it may be, they cannot know, would be to give them up utterly to the power of evil. Persuade men that fear is a vile thing, that it is an insult to God, that He will have none of it—while they are yet in love with their own will, and slaves to every movement of passionate impulse, and what will the consequence be? That they will insult God as a discarded idol, a superstition, a falsehood, as a thing under whose evil influence they have too long groaned, a thing to be cast out and spit upon. After that, how much will they learn of Him?
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), “The Fear of God”, in Unspoken Sermons, Second Series, London: Longmans, Green, 1886, p. 158-160
(see the book; see also 1 John 4:18; Pr. 1:7; Luke 1:68-75; Rom. 8:15; 2 Tim. 1:7; 1 John 4:12; more at Apologetics, Evil, Fear, God, Knowledge, Love, Man, Power, Truth)
Thursday, July 12, 2007
I desire to exercise my faith in the most difficult point; for to credit ordinary and visible objects, is not faith, but persuasion. Some believe the better for seeing Christ’s Sepulchre, and when they have seen the Red Sea, doubt not of the miracle. Now contrarily I bless myself, and am thankful that I lived not in the days of miracles, that I never saw Christ nor His Disciples; I would not have been one of those Israelites that passed the Red Sea, nor one of Christ’s patients on whom He wrought His wonders; then had my faith been thrust upon me; nor should I enjoy that greater blessing pronounced to all that believe and saw not.
... Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682), Religio Medici , W. Murison, ed., Cambridge University Press, 1922, p. 11
(see the book; see also John 20:24-29; Luke 1:45; John 4:48; 1 Cor. 13:12; 2 Cor. 5;7; Heb. 11:1,39; 1 Pet. 1:8; more at Apologetics, Belief, Blessing, Doubt, Faith, Miracle)
Friday, July 13, 2007
We need to forget the imaginary Christ who has been ours too long and to rediscover the real Christ, the Christ of the prophets and the martyrs and the confessors, the Christ who is not only the lover of souls but also master, a monarch with demands to make in industry, in finance, in education, in the arts, in marriage, in the home; the Christ who is teacher of a social ideology which has eternal validity; the Christ who cries aloud with convincing force, “He who would save his life will lose it; only he who is willing to lose his life, can find it.”
... Bernard Iddings Bell (1886-1958), Still Shine the Stars, New York, London: Harper & Brothers, 1941, p. 52-53
(see the book; see also Matt. 16:25; Mark 8:35; Luke 17:33; John 12:25; Rev. 12:11; more at Apologetics, Art, Christ, Education, Industry, King, Life, Marriage, Martyr, Master, Prophet, Social, Teach)
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Feast of John Keble, Priest, Poet, Tractarian, 1866
God gave the prophecies, not to gratify men’s curiosity by enabling them to foreknow things, but that after they were fulfilled they might be interpreted by the event, and His own providence, not the interpreter’s, be thereby manifested to the world.
... Isaac Newton (1642-1727), Commentary on Daniel, Darby and Browne, 1733, p. 101
(see the book; see also Acts 10:43; Isa. 53:11; Joel 2:28-29; Mic. 7:18; Luke 24:25-27,44-45; John 1:45; 5:39-40; Acts 26:22; 2 Pet. 1:19-21; more at Fulfillment, God, Man, Prophecy, Providence, World)
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Commemoration of Swithun, Bishop of Winchester, c.862
Commemoration of Bonaventure, Franciscan Friar, Bishop, Peacemaker, 1274
There is no such thing as a post-Christian society. One generation may reject the Gospel itself, but it cannot reject it for future generations.
... Luis Palau (b. 1934), in a private communication from the Luis Palau Association
(see also Mark 12:10-11; Ps. 22:30-31; Matt. 3:9; Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:26-29; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:9; more at Child, Future, Gospel, Renunciation, Social)
Monday, July 16, 2007
Commemoration of Osmund, Bishop of Salisbury, 1099
The glory of God is a living man; and the life of man consists in beholding God.
... Irenaeus (c.130-c.200), from Adversus Haereses, The Writings of Irenaeus, v. I, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1868, IV.xx.7, p. 444
(see the book; see also John 1:18,14; 14:9-10; 2 Cor. 4:6; Heb. 1:1-4; more at Glory of God, God, Jesus, Life, Man)
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
The discussion of prayer is so great a task that it requires the Father to reveal it, His Firstborn Word to teach it, and the Spirit to enable us to think and speak rightly of so great a subject.
... Origen (185?-254?), Origen, book 4, Rowan A. Greer, tr., Paulist Press, 1979, p. 86
(see the book; see also Rom. 8:26-27; Luke 11:1-4; John 14:12-13, 26; more at Father, Greatness, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Prayer, Revelation, Teach, Thought)
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
[Jesus] is our mouth, through which we speak to the Father; He is our eye, through which we see the Father; He is our right hand through which we offer ourselves to the Father. Unless He intercedes, there is no intercourse with God.
... St. Ambrose of Milan (Aurelius Ambrosius) (339-397), from Lib. de Issac et Anima, quoted in The Institutes of the Christian Religion, v. I , John Calvin & tr. John Allen, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1921, III.xx.21, p. 879
(see the book; see also Heb. 7:25; John 10:30; 17:20-24; Rom. 8:26-27; Heb. 2:17,18; 4:15; 9:24; more at Father, Intercession, Jesus, Offering, Sight)
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Feast of Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa, & his sister Macrina, Teachers, c.394 & c.379
Humility is the root, mother, nurse, foundation, and bond of all virtue.
... St. John Chrysostom (345?-407)
(see the book; see also Rom. 12:3; Pr. 16:18-19; 26:12; Mic. 6:8; 2 Cor. 12:7-9; Gal. 6:3; Phil. 2:3-4; Jas. 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:5; more at Humility, Virtue, Weakness)
Friday, July 20, 2007
Commemoration of Bartolomè de las Casas, Apostle to the Indies, 1566
Of course, it all depends upon for what we are praying. If we are whimpering, and snivelling, and begging to be spared the discipline of life that is sent to knock some smatterings of manhood into us, the answer to that prayer may never come at all. Thank God! Though, indeed, it is not easy to say that, with honesty. Still, it may never come at all, thank God. But if you have attained as far as Epictetus—pagan though you would call him—whose daily prayer was this: “O God, give me what Thou desirest for me, for I know that what Thou choosest for me is far better than what I could choose;” if you are not bleating to get off, but asking to be given grace and strength to see this through with honour, “the very day” you pray that prayer, the answer always comes.
... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), Experience Worketh Hope, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1945, p. 37
(see the book; see also Ps. 30:1-3; more at Discipline, Prayer)
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Prayer is the movement of trust, of gratitude, of adoration, or of sorrow, that places us before God, seeing both Him and ourselves in the light of His infinite truth, and moves us to ask Him for the mercy, the spiritual strength, the material help that we all need. The man whose prayer is so pure that he never asks God for anything does not know who God is, and does not know who he is himself: for he does not know his own need of God.All true prayer somehow confesses our absolute dependence on the Lord of life and death. It is, therefore, a deep and vital contact with Him whom we know not only as Lord but as Father. It is when we pray truly that we really are. Our being is brought to a high perfection by this.
... Thomas Merton (1915-1968), No Man is an Island, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1955; reprint, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002, p. 43
(see the book; see also Ps. 118:5-6; 46:1; 56:11; 146:5-6; Rom. 8:26-27,31; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 6:18; 1 Thess. 5:17; Jude 1:20; more at Confession, Father, God, Gratitude, Mercy, Praise, Prayer, Sorrow, Trust, Truth)
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Feast of Mary Magdalen, Apostle to the Apostles
When our lives are focused on God, awe and wonder lead us to worship Him, filling our inner being with a fullness we would never have thought possible...Awe prepares the way in us for the power of God... to transform us and this transformation of our inner attitudes can only take place when awe leads us in turn to wonder, admiration, reverence, surrender, and obedience toward God.
... James Houston (b. 1922), The Transforming Power of Prayer, Colorado Springs, Colo.: NavPress, 1996, p. 221-222
(see the book; see also Hab. 3:2; Isa. 45:23; Ps. 119:120; Eccl. 5:7; Acts 2:43; Eph. 1:18-19; 3:14-19; Heb. 12:28-29; more at Attitudes, Fullness, God, Life, Obedience, Reverence, Wonder, Worship)
Monday, July 23, 2007
Commemoration of Bridget of Sweden, Abbess of Vadstena, 1373
Christ came, not so much to preach the Gospel, as that there might be a Gospel to preach.
... Robert W. Dale (1829-1895), parapharsed from The Atonement, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1875, p. 46
(see the book; see also John 3:17; 1:17; 14:6; Rom. 3:21-22; 5:20-21; 2 Cor. 1:20; Heb. 9:22; Rev. 5:9-10; more at Gospel, Incarnation, Preach)
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Commemoration of Thomas à Kempis, priest, spiritual writer, 1471
It is no great matter to associate with the good and gentle; for this is a naturally pleasing to all, and everyone willingly enjoyeth peace, and loveth those best that agree with him. But to be able to live peaceably with hard and perverse persons, or with the disorderly, or with such as go contrary to us, is a great grace, and a most commendable thing.
... Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471), Of the Imitation of Christ , Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1877, II.iii.2, p. 88
(see the book; see also Matt. 5:43-48; Luke 6:32-35; Rom. 12:18; 1 Pet. 2:20-23; more at Gentleness, Goodness, Grace, Love, Peace)
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Feast of James the Apostle
When Jesus calls his disciples “brothers” and “friends,” he is contradicting general Jewish usage and breaking through into a new concept of brotherhood which is not tribal, but open to any person.
... David Kirk (1935-2007), Quotations from Chairman Jesus, Springfield, Ill.: Templegate Publishers, 1969, p. 106-107
(see the book; see also Mark 3:31-35; Matt. 12:46-50; Luke 8:19-21; John 15:13-15; 2 Cor. 5:16; more at Brotherhood, Disciple, Friend, Jesus, People)
Thursday, July 26, 2007
The higher the mountains, the more understandable is the glory of Him who made them and who holds them in His hand.
... Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-1984), letterLetters of Francis A. Schaeffer: Spiritual Reality in the Personal Christian, Good News Publishers, 1986, p. 37
(see the book; see also Ps. 97:6; 19:1; 36:5-6; 89:5; Jude 1:24-25; Rev. 4:9-11; more at Creation, Glory, Mountain, Providence)
Friday, July 27, 2007
Commemoration of Brooke Foss Westcott, Bishop of Durham, Teacher, 1901
Commemoration of John R. W. Stott, spiritual writer and teacher, 2011
It may well be that the unknowable name stands for the ultimate mystery of Jesus Christ. His love we can experience; His salvation we can appropriate; His help we can claim; but there remains in Him the divine mystery of the Incarnation, which is beyond our understanding, and before which we can only worship and adore.
... William Barclay (1907-1978), The Revelation of John, v. II, Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1961, p. 232
(see the book; see also Rev. 19:11-13; more at Incarnation, Jesus, Love, Salvation, Worship)
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Commemoration of Johann Sebastian Bach, musician, 1750
Experience makes us see an enormous difference between piety and goodness.
... Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Pensées (Thoughts) , P.F. Collier & Son, 1910, #496, p. 165
(see the book; see also Luke 11:37-41; Matt. 6:1-6; 7:21; 9:10-13; 12:33-35; Luke 16:15; John 12:5-6; Jas. 4:8; more at Attitudes, Experience, Goodness)
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Feast of Mary, Martha & Lazarus, Companions of Our Lord
The greatest proof of Christianity for others is not how far a man can logically analyze his reasons for believing, but how far in practice he will stake his life on his belief.
... T. S. Eliot (1888-1965)
(see the book; see also John 12:26; Matt. 10:39; 16:25; Mark 8:35; Luke 9:23-24; 17:33; John 12:24; 15:13; Rom. 5:7-8; 8:35-37; Heb. 11:35; more at Apologetics, Belief, Life, Man, Obedience, Proof, Reason)
Monday, July 30, 2007
Commemoration of William Wilberforce, Social Reformer, 1833
A just pride, a proper and becoming pride, are terms which we daily hear from Christian lips. To possess a high spirit, to behave with proper spirit when used ill,—by which is meant a quick feeling of injuries, and a promptness in resenting them,—entitles to commendation; and a meek-spirited disposition, the highest Scripture eulogium, expresses ideas of disapprobation and contempt. Vanity and vainglory are suffered without interruption to retain their natural possession of the heart.
... William Wilberforce (1759-1833), A Practical View, Boston: Crocker & Brewster, 1829, p. 175
(see the book; see also Prov. 16:5; Matt. 5:5; 23:12; Luke 1:52; 14:11; Jas. 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:5; more at Attitudes, Contempt, Heart, Pride, Scripture, Vanity)
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Commemoration of Ignatius of Loyola, Founder of the Society of Jesus, 1556
Jesus used the term abba (which means father or “daddy” in his Aramaic mother tongue), as an address in his prayers to God. There are no other examples of this usage in contemporary Judaism, but Jesus always addressed God in this way. The others perhaps regarded it as child’s talk, a form of expression too disrespectful to be so used. But for Jesus, abba expressed the filial intimacy he felt toward his Father. As the divine Son of the Father, Jesus enjoyed a unique relationship with him, and his mission in the world consisted in opening up the blessings of sonship to those who believe.
... Clark H. Pinnock (1937-2010), Reason Enough, Exeter: Paternoster, 1980, p. 82
(see the book; see also Rom. 8:15-16; Matt. 5:48; 6:8-9; Mark 14:36; Gal. 4:6; more at Belief, Blessing, Father, Jesus, Mission, Prayer, Son)
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