Quotations for March, 2009
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Feast of David, Bishop of Menevia, Patron of Wales, c.601
Arguments for the existence of God are very restricted; some of them are more restricted and limited than others. They do not prove beyond all question the existence of the God of the Bible. Furthermore, it must be remembered that man’s mind, his thinking process, has been affected by his fall into sin. This means that there are definite limitations to God’s revelation in nature. The problem is not in the revelation but in the receiver of the revelation.
... Robert P. Lightner (b. 1931), The God of the Bible , Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1978, formerly published as The First Fundamental: God, p. 21
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 13:12; more at Bible)
Monday, March 2, 2009
Feast of Chad, Abbot of Lastingham, Bishop of Lichfield, Missionary, 672
Come, Holy Ghost (for moved by theeThe prophets wrote and spoke);Unlock the truth, thyself the key,Unseal the sacred book.
... Charles Wesley (1707-1788), , The Poetical Works of John and Charles Wesley, v. I, John Wesley, London: Wesleyan-Methodist Conference Office, 1868, p. 239
(see the book; see also Acts 1:8; more at Holy Spirit)
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Our starting point is Scripture, which we accept as God’s unique and trustworthy revelation. Yet, in seeking with loyalty to conserve this truth from God, we attribute no infallibility to our own evangelical traditions. We desire, rather, to re-examine them radically, that is to say, with a thoroughness which digs down even to their roots. If we seem to the reader to be always sure about the truthfulness of Scripture but sometimes less than sure in our understanding of how to apply it to complex contemporary questions, then he has accurately grasped our mood.
... John R. W. Stott (1921-2011), general introduction to The Lord Christ , John Stott, ed., vol. 1 of Obeying Christ in a Changing World, John Stott, gen. ed., 3 vol., London: Fountain, 1977, p. 7
(see the book; see also 2 Pet. 3:2; Jude 1:3; more at Bible)
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Commemoration of Felix, Bishop, Apostle to the East Angles, 647
God the Father is the giver of Holy Scripture; God the Son is the theme of Holy Scripture; and God the Spirit ... is the author, authenticator, and interpreter of Holy Scripture.
... James I. Packer (b. 1926), God has Spoken: revelation and the Bible, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1965, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979, p. 97
(see the book; see also Matt. 21:42; 22:43; Rom. 15:4; 2 Tim. 3:15,16; 2 Pet. 1:19-21; more at Bible)
Thursday, March 5, 2009
A man who is well-grounded in the testimonies of the Scripture is the bulwark of the Church.
... St. Jerome, Commentary on Isaiah, 54:12 in loc. [Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina 73A, 612]
(see also Gal. 3:22; more at Bible)
Friday, March 6, 2009
Scripture nowhere condemns the acquisition of knowledge. It is the wisdom of this world, not its knowledge, that is foolishness with God... The history of philosophy is a story of contradictory, discarded hypotheses... Many of them have failed to avail themselves of that which would unravel every knot and solve every problem, namely, the revelation of God in Christ as given in the Holy Scriptures.
... Harry A. Ironside (1876-1951), Philippians and Colossians, [reprint] Kregel Publications, 2007, p. 147-148
(see the book; see also Matt. 16:17; 1 Cor. 1:19-27; Col. 2:8-10; Rev. 1:10,11; more at Bible)
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Feast of Perpetua, Felicity & their Companions, Martyrs at Carthage, 203
The popular craving [for an English Bible] could not be stifled, and the sixteenth century saw the pioneering works of Tyndale and Coverdale; then, two years after Coverdale, the real “authorized version” appeared in 1537, when a mysterious translator called “Thomas Matthew” had his works not only dedicated to but licensed by Henry VIII. In the long run, what put the Bible into the hands of the common people was the influence exerted on public opinion and authority by the reformation of the church.
... James Moffatt (1870-1944), A New Translation of the Bible: Containing the Old and New Testaments, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1935, New York: Harper, 1935, Introduction, p. xxxviii
(see the book; see also Rev. 5:9,10; more at Bible)
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Commemoration of Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy, Priest, Poet, 1929
He that hath seen Christ has seen the Father, and Christ not only died, but conquered death and rose again. God the Father is suffering, striving, crucified, but unconquerable. We see His triumph now in Nature’s glory, and we hear Him calling to us to join Him in the task of conquering the evils which arise from the necessities of creation. He calls us to combat floods and famine and pestilence and disease. He hates them, and wills with us to overcome them, and they shall be overcome. The Doctor, the Pioneer, the Scientist, are workers with God like the Priest. All good work is God’s work, and all good workers do God’s will. They are labouring to make a world.
... G. A. Studdert Kennedy (1883-1929), The Hardest Part, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1919, p. 28-29
(see the book; see also Gen. 1:28; more at Obedience)
Monday, March 9, 2009
Resolution is no strange and extraordinary thing; it is one of the most common acts that belong to us as we are men; but we do not ordinarily apply it to the best purposes. It is not so ordinary for men to resolve to be good, as to be rich and great; not so common for men to resolve against sin, as to resolve against poverty and suffering. It is not so usual for men to resolve to keep a good conscience, as to keep a good place.
... John Tillotson (1630-1694), Works of Dr. John Tillotson, v. VII, London: J. F. Dove, for R. Priestley, 1820, Sermon CLXVII, p. 422
(see the book; see also Job 34:31-32; 2 Tim. 2:3; 4:5; Heb. 12:3; more at Attitudes)
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
If... you are ever tempted to think that we modern Western Europeans cannot really be so very bad because we are, comparatively speaking, humane—if, in other words, you think God might be content with us on that ground—ask yourself whether you think God ought to have been content with the cruelty of past ages because they excelled in courage or chastity. You will see at once that this is an impossibility. From considering how the cruelty of our ancestors looks to us, you may get some inkling of how our softness, worldliness, and timidity would have looked to them, and hence how both must look to God.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), The Problem of Pain, New York: Macmillan, 1944, p. 52
(see the book; see also Gen. 3:21; Isa. 64:5,6; more at Contentment, God, Historical, Humane, Temptation)
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Since the life of Christ is every way most bitter to nature and the Self and the Me (for in the true life of Christ, the Self and the Me and nature must be forsaken and lost and die altogether), therefore in each of us, nature hath a deep horror of it.
... Theologia Germanica , Anonymous, ascribed to Johannes de Francfordia, (1380?-1440) & Susanna Winkworth, tr., published anonymously by Martin Luther, ch. XX
(see the book; see also Rom. 6:5-7,11; Col. 3:9,10; more at Attitudes)
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Grant that I may never rack a Scripture simile beyond the true intent thereof, lest, instead of sucking milk, I squeeze blood out of it.
... Thomas Fuller (1608-1661), Good Thoughts in Bad Times , Chicago: United Society of Christian Endeavor, Boston, 1898, “Scripture Observations,” I
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 3:1,2; more at Bible)
Friday, March 13, 2009
God has not cared that we should anywhere have assurance of His very words; and that not merely, perhaps, because of the tendency in His children to word-worship, false logic, and corruption of the truth, but because He would not have them oppressed by words, seeing that words, being human, and therefore but partially capable, could not absolutely contain or express what the Lord meant, and that even He must depend for being understood upon the spirit of His disciple. Seeing that it could not give life, the letter should not be throned with power to kill.
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), “The Knowing of the Son”, in Unspoken Sermons, Third Series, London: Longmans, Green, 1889, p. 26-27
(see the book; see also 2 Cor. 3:6; more at Legalism)
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Each of these foregoing states has its time, its variety of workings, its trials, temptations, and purifications, which can only be known by experience in the passage through them. The one only and infallible way to go safely through all the difficulties, trials, temptations, dryness, or opposition, of our own evil tempers, is this: it is to expect nothing from ourselves, to trust to nothing in ourselves, but in everything to expect, and depend upon God for relief. Keep fast hold of this thread, and then let your way be what it will, darkness, temptation, or the rebellion of nature, you will be led through it all, to an union with God: for nothing hurts us in any state, but an expectation of something in it, and from it, which we should only expect from God. [Continued tomorrow]
... William Law (1686-1761), The Spirit of Prayer , London: E. Justins for Ogles, Duncan, and Cochran, 1816, p. 147
(see the book; see also Ps. 108:12,13; more at Darkness, Self, Temptation, Trial, Trust, Weakness)
Sunday, March 15, 2009
[Continued from yesterday]We are looking for our own virtue, our own piety, our own goodness, and so live on and in our own poverty and weakness, today pleased and comforted with the seeming firmness and strength of our own pious tempers, and fancying ourselves to be somewhat. Tomorrow, fallen into our own mire, we are dejected, but not humbled; we grieve, but it is only the grief of pride at the seeing our perfection not to be such as we had vainly imagined. And thus it will be, till the whole turn of our minds is so changed that we as fully see and know our inability to have any goodness of our own, as to have a life of our own.
... William Law (1686-1761), The Spirit of Prayer , London: E. Justins for Ogles, Duncan, and Cochran, 1816, p. 147-148
(see the book; see also Rom. 10:3; more at Goodness, Humility, Poverty, Pride, Vanity, Weakness)
Monday, March 16, 2009
We have observed that in at least two cases the sayings of our Lord imply an appeal behind the Law of Moses to the order of creation. While, therefore, the Law of Moses is from one aspect the first stage of revelation, leading up to the Law of Christ, in another aspect it is a temporary expedient on the way from the Law of Nature to the Law of Christ, serving certain limited purposes, which fulfilled, it may be set aside, leaving mankind in Christ confronted by the original law of his creation.
... C. Harold Dodd (1884-1973), New Testament Studies, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1953, p. 141
(see the book; see also Jer. 31:31-34; Rom. 2:14,15; 2 Cor. 3:3; Gal. 3:15-22; more at Jesus)
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Feast of Patrick, Bishop of Armagh, Missionary, Patron of Ireland, c.460
For the Scriptures then, the existence of God is both a historical truth (God acted into history), and an existential truth (God reveals himself to every soul). His existence is both objectively and subjectively evident. It is necessary logically because our assumption of order, design, and rationality rests upon it. It is necessary morally because there is no explanation for the shape of morality apart from it. It is necessary emotionally because the human experience requires an immediate and ultimate environment. It is necessary personally because the exhaustion of all material possibilities still cannot give satisfaction to the heart. The deepest proof for God’s existence, apart from history, is just life itself. God has created man in his image, and men cannot elude the implications of this fact. Everywhere their identity pursues them. Ultimately, there is no escape.
... Clark H. Pinnock (1937-2010), Set Forth Your Case, Chicago: Moody Press, 1971, p. 111
(see the book; see also Ps. 139:7,8; more at Apologetics)
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
The demand that the Atonement shall be exhibited in vital relation to a new life in which sin is overcome... is entirely legitimate, and it touches a weak point in the traditional Protestant doctrine. Dr. [Thomas] Chalmers tells us that he was brought up—such was the effect of the current orthodoxy upon him—in a certain distrust of good works. Some were certainly wanted, but not as being themselves salvation, only, as he puts it, as tokens of justification. It was a distinct stage in his religious progress when he realised that true justification sanctifies, and that the soul can and ought to abandon itself spontaneously and joyfully to do the good that it delights in... An atonement that does not regenerate... is not an atonement in which men can be asked to believe.
... James Denney (1856-1917), The Atonement and the Modern Mind, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1903, p. 40-41
(see the book; see also 2 Cor. 5:17; more at Atonement, Forgiveness, Good works, Regeneration)
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Feast of Joseph of Nazareth
O Lord our God,Who has called us to serve You,In the midst of the world’s affairs,When we stumble, hold us;When we fall, lift us up;When we are hard pressed with evil, deliver us;When we turn from what is good, turn us back;And bring us at last to Your glory.
... St. Alcuin (c. 735-804)
(see the book; see also Isa. 8:14; Matt. 21:42; Mark 12:10; 1 Cor. 8:13; more at Prayers)
Friday, March 20, 2009
Feast of Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne, Missionary, 687
The humblest and the most unseen activity in the world can be the true worship of God... Work and worship literally become one. Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him for ever; and man carries out that function when he does what God sent him into the world to do... Work well done rises like a hymn of praise to eternal God. This means that the doctor on his rounds, the scientist in his laboratory, the teacher in his classroom, the musician at his music, the artist at his canvas, the shop assistant at his counter, the typist at her typewriter, the housewife in her kitchen—all who are doing the work of the world, as it should be done, are joining in a great act of worship.
... William Barclay (1907-1978), The Revelation of John, v. I, Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1961, reprint, Saint Andrew Press, 1965, p. 201-202
(see the book; see also Rev. 4:8; more at Art, God, Health, Music, Science, Teach, Woman, Work, Worship)
Saturday, March 21, 2009
We [must not] underestimate the enormity of the claim [made by the Jews]. Again and again in the Pentateuch, the psalms, the prophets, and the subsequent writings which derive from them, the claim is made that the creator of the entire universe has chosen to live uniquely on a small ridge called Mount Zion, near the eastern edge of the Judean hill-country. The sheer absurdity of this claim, from the standpoint of any other worldview (not least that of Enlightenment philosophy), is staggering. The fact that Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Egypt again, Syria and now Rome had made explicit mockery of the idea did not shake this conviction, but only intensified it. This was what Jewish monotheism looked like on the ground.
... N. T. Wright (b. 1948), The New Testament and the People of God, London: SPCK, 1992, p. 247
(see the book; see also Ps. 132:13,14; more at Historical)
Sunday, March 22, 2009
It would be the height of absurdity to label ignorance tempered by humility “faith;” for faith consists in the knowledge of God and Christ, not in reverence for the Church.
... John Calvin (1509-1564), The Institutes of the Christian Religion, v. I , tr. John Allen, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1921, III.ii.3, p. 491
(see the book; see also Prov. 2:6; John 17:3; Rom. 3:22; Eph. 1:15-23; Jude 1:3; more at Faith)
Monday, March 23, 2009
No man safely goeth abroad who loveth not to rest at home. No man safely talketh but he who loveth to hold his peace. No man safely ruleth but he who loveth to be subject. No man safely commandeth but he who loveth to obey.
... Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471), Of the Imitation of Christ , Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1877, I.xx.2, p. 60
(see the book; see also Ps. 143:5,6; more at Attitudes)
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Feast of Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, Martyr, 1980
Commemoration of Paul Couturier, Priest, Ecumenist, 1953
In this state of things I saw no remedy but faith and patience. The passage of Scripture which subdued and controlled my mind was this, “The servant of the Lord must not strive.” It was painful indeed to see the church, with the exception of the aisles, almost forsaken; but I thought that if God would only give a double blessing to the congregation that did attend, there would on the whole be as much good done, as if the congregation were doubled and the blessing limited to only half the amount. This comforted me many, many times, when, without such a reflection, I should have sunk under my burden.
... Charles Simeon (1759-1836), Memoirs of the Life of the Rev. Charles Simeon, Pittsburgh: R. Carter, 1847, p. 26
(see the book; see also 2 Tim. 2:24-26; more at Faith)
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Feast of the Annunciation of our Lord to the Virgin Mary
As out of Jesus’ affliction came a new sense of God’s love and a new basis for love between men, so out of our affliction we may grasp the splendour of God’s love and how to love one another. Thus the consummation of the two commandments was on Golgotha; and the Cross is, at once, their image and their fulfillment.
... Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990), Jesus: the Man who Lives, London: Collins, 1975, p. 133
(see the book; see also Matt. 22:36-40; more at Love)
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Feast of Harriet Monsell of Clewer, Religious, 1883
There is no situation so chaotic that God cannot from that situation create something that is surpassingly good. He did it at the creation. He did it at the cross. He is doing it today.
... Handley Moule (1841-1920)
(see the book; see also Gen. 1:31; Rom. 8:28; Phil. 2:5-11; more at Creation, Cross, God, Goodness, Gospel, Today)
Friday, March 27, 2009
If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me.
... Robert Murray M’Cheyne (1813-1843), The Life and Remains, Letters, Lectures, and Poems of the Rev. Robert Murray McCheyne, Andrew Alexander Bonar, New York: R. Carter, 1866, p. 138
(see the book; see also John 14:16-20; more at Prayer)
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Jesus invites His saintsTo meet around His board;Here pardon’d rebels sit and holdCommunion with their Lord. For food He give His flesh,He bids us drink His blood;Amazing favor! matchless grace—Of our descending God! This holy bread and wineMaintain our fainting breath,By union with our living LordAnd interest in His death. Let all our pow’rs be join’dHis glorious name to raise;Pleasure and love fill ev’ry mind,And ev’ry voice be praise.
... Isaac Watts (1674-1748), Hymns and Spiritual Songs , in Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, ed. Samuel Melanchthon Worcester, Boston: Crocker & Brewster, 1834, book III, hymn 2, p. 475
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 10:16,17; more at Church, Communion)
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Commemoration of Jack Winslow, Missionary, Evangelist, 1974
Who was it that set up the Cross? Not fiends incarnate, but plain flesh and blood like us; quite ordinary men, decent and kindly souls enough, some of whom, no doubt, went to their homes that day from Calvary and took their children on their knees and loved them very genuinely. Only, they were a bit old fashioned in the make-up of their minds, had grown stiff and inelastic in their thinking, inhospitable to new notions—surely a very minor sin at worst; and some feared for their vested interests; and one, poor Pilate, had lost his temper with these impossible Jews in days gone by, and had received a curt warning from Rome that there must be no further bloodshed in Jerusalem, and here was a new trouble at the very worst of times in the whole year, with fanatics in tens of thousands come up for the Feast; and one wanted to save the world by quick-running machinery, and so put Christ into a situation where He could no longer dilly-dally but must do something vivid, dramatic, revolutionary. And the people? No need for us to bother being there at the decision between Jesus and Barabbas. He had the lined streets cheering for Him yesterday. And we have relatives to see, and messages from neighbours to deliver to their kindred. He’ll be all right; we needn’t worry to be there. Such simple and plebian sins—minds grown a trifle out of date, a little selfishness, some temper and its consequences, a bit of worldly wisdom, and an indifference that did nothing at all—these brought about the shame of mankind, and the tragedy of history, and the blot upon our annals that will not rub out. And they are all of them within your heart, and mine.
... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), Experience Worketh Hope, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1945, p. 176
(see the book; see also Mark 15:9-13; more at Calvary, Cross, Easter, Fear, Heart, Historical, Indifference, Kindness, Selfish, Sin, Tragedy, Wisdom, Worldly)
Monday, March 30, 2009
If I ask to be delivered from trial rather than for deliverance out of it, to the praise of His glory; if I forget that the way of the Cross leads to the Cross and not to a bank of flowers; if I regulate my life on these lines, or even unconsciously my thinking, so that I am surprised when the way is rough and think it strange, “Think it not strange, Count it all joy,” then I know nothing of Calvary love.
... Amy Carmichael (1867-1951), If , London: SPCK, 1961, p. 66
(see the book; see also Jas. 1:2,3, 1 Pet. 4:12; more at Weakness)
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Commemoration of John Donne, Priest, Poet, 1631
God who is Almighty, Alpha and Omega, First and Last, that God is also love itself; and therefore this love is Alpha and Omega, first and last too. Consider Christ’s proceeding with Peter in the ship, in the storm; first he suffered him to be in some danger in the storm, but then he visits him with that strong assurance, “Be not afraid, It is I”, any testimony of his presence rectifies all. This puts Peter into that spiritual confidence and courage, “Lord bid me come to thee;” he hath a desire to be with Christ, but yet stays his bidding: he puts not himself into an unnecessary danger, without commandment: Christ bids him, and Peter comes: but yet, though Christ were in his sight, and even in the actual exercise of his love to him, so soon as he saw a gust, a storm, “He was afraid,” and Christ lets him fear, and lets him sink, and lets him cry, but he directs his fear and his cry to the right end, “Lord, save me;” and thereupon he stretched forth his hand and saved him...God puts his children into good ways, and he directs and protects them in those ways; for this is the constancy and perseverance of the love of Jesus Christ to us, as he is called in this text (Matt. 21:44), a stone.
... John Donne (1573-1631), Works of John Donne, vol. V, London: John W. Parker, 1839, “Sermon preached to the nobility” , p. 31-32
(see the book; see also Matt. 14:24-33; 21:44; Mark 6:47-51; John 6:18-21; Rev. 1:8; 21:6; 22:13; more at Providence)
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