Quotations for June, 2016
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Feast of Justin, Martyr at Rome, c.165
Commemoration of Angela de Merici, Founder of the Institute of St. Ursula, 1540
It may be possible for each to think too much of his own potential glory hereafter; it is hardly possible for him to think too often or too deeply about that of his neighbour. The load, or weight, or burden, of my neighbour’s glory should be laid daily on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken. It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship—or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), The Weight of Glory, and other addresses, Macmillan Co., 1949, p. 14-15
(see the book; see also 2 Cor. 4:17-18; Rom. 2:7; 8:18; 2 Cor. 3:18; Isa. 64:4; 1 Pet. 5:10; 1 John 3:2; more at Corruption, Glory, Humility, Light, Neighbor, People, Temptation, Weakness, Worship)
Thursday, June 2, 2016
In church government... our primary concern is to reflect the nature of God. Christ became man in order that He might redeem men from their fallen state, from their selfishness and self-isolating divisions from God and from each other; so that, gathered together in one in Him, man may offer to God that likeness to Himself in love for which he was created. Church government is primarily concerned with this: with worship, with the drawing of the whole life of the whole world into this reflection of the nature of God. It is secondly—and only secondly—concerned with the quarrels and peccadilloes of those who are not, as a matter of fact, imitating God’s nature very faithfully.
... Michael Bruce, “The Layman and Church Government”, in Layman’s Church, ed. John A. T. Robinson, London: Lutterworth Press, 1963, p. 64-65
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 1:13; Rom. 8:29; 1 Cor. 1:10; 15:49; 2 Cor. 3:18; more at Christ, Church, God, Love, Offering, Quarrel, Redemption, Worship)
Friday, June 3, 2016
Feast of Edward King, Bishop of Lincoln, Teacher, 1910
Commemoration of Martyrs of Uganda, 1886 & 1978
Jesus calls us not only to repentance, to the “letting go” of the false gods we come to him with; but he goes one more difficult step further: he also calls us to believe in him alone as the decisive, absolutely unique, once-and-for-all, full revelation of God to man. This is extremely difficult for us, because Jesus was careful to give men no external guarantee that he was, in fact, God in the flesh. Otherwise, he realized, we would not be worshipping him, but would only be worshipping or trusting in the guarantee, whatever it might be.
... Robert L. Short (1932-2009), The Parables of Peanuts , New York: HarperCollins, 2002, p. 166
(see the book; see also John 10:37-38; 14:9-11,20; 17:21-23; Acts 2:36-38; Phil. 2:5-7; more at Call, Jesus, Knowing God, Repentance, Revelation, Trust, Worship)
Saturday, June 4, 2016
As St. Cyprian well said, we may judge how ready He is to give us those good things which He Himself solicits us to ask of Him. Let us pray then with faith, and not lose the fruits of our prayers by a wavering uncertainty which, as St. James testifies, hinders the success of them. The same apostle advises us to pray when we are in trouble because thereby we should find consolation; yet we are so wretched that this heavenly employment is often a burden instead of a comfort to us. The lukewarmness of our prayers is the source of all our other infidelities.
... François Fénelon (1651-1715), Pious Reflections for Every Day in the Month, London: H. D. Symonds, 1800, p. 27-28
(see the book; see also Jas. 1:5-8; Ps. 46:1; Matt. 21:22; Mark 11:22-24; Heb. 11:6; Rev. 3:14-16; more at Burden, Comfort, Consolation, Faith, Prayer, Trouble, Uncertainty)
Sunday, June 5, 2016
Feast of Boniface (Wynfrith) of Crediton, Archbishop of Mainz, Apostle of Germany, Martyr, 754
After all, Brethren, the whole end of Theology is love. It seems hard to realize that that is so, but so it is. If your theology does not make you loving, it has not Christianized you and to that extent is not a Christian theology. All ecclesiasticism, and all doctrinalizing, is in order to [form] character, and the soul of character is love. Preach the truth in love, and for the development of love.
... Nathaniel J. Burton (1822-1887), In Pulpit and Parish, Boston: Congregational Sunday School and Publishing Society, 1896, p. 149
(see the book; see also 1 Pet. 4:8; Eph. 4:15; Phil. 1:9-10; 2 Thess. 1:3; 1 Pet. 1:22; more at Love, Preach, Soul, Theology, Truth)
Monday, June 6, 2016
Commemoration of Ini Kopuria, Founder of the Melanesian Brotherhood, 1945
I cannot answer all the curious questions of the brain, concerning Prayer and Law; not half of them, indeed; and I will not attempt it; but ... I will cast my anchor here, in this revealing fact that He, the Holiest of the holy and the Wisest of the wise, He prays: therefore I am assured this anchorage of Divine example will hold the vessel in the tossings of the wildest sea of doubt, and that I shall be safe as He was if the vessel itself is engulfed in the waves of suffering and sorrow. His act is an argument. His prayer is an inspiration. His achievements are the everlasting and all-sufficient vindication of prayer.
... John Clifford (1836-1923), Social Worship, London: James Clarke & Co., 1899, p. 54
(see the book; see also John 17:25-26; Matt. 14:23; 26:36; Mark 6:46; 14:32; Luke 6:12; 9:28; 11:1; more at Doubt, Example, Holiness, Inspiration, Jesus, Prayer, Question, Sorrow, Suffer, Wisdom)
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
If you believe, where are your works? Your faith is something everyone knows, for everyone knows that Christ was [crucified], and that everywhere men pray to Him. The whole world knows that His glory has not been spread by force and weapons, but by poor fishermen. O wise man, do you think the poor fishermen were not clever enough for this? Where they worked, there they made hearts better; where they could not work, there men remained bad; and therefore was the faith true and from God. The signs which the Lord had promised followed their teaching: in His name they drove out the devil; they spoke in new tongues; if they drank any deadly drink, they received therefrom no harm. Even if these wonders had not occurred, there would have been the wonder of wonders, that poor fishermen without any miracle could accomplish so great a work as the faith. It came from God, and so is Christ true, and Christ is thy God, who is in heaven and awaits thee.
... Girolamo Savonarola (1452-1498), The World’s Orators, Guy Carleton Lee, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1900, p. 60
(see the book; see also Jas. 2:14-17; 2 Kings 4:39-41; Acts 4:13; Matt. 17:20; Mark 16:17-18; more at Belief, Christ, Faith, Heaven, Historical, Teach, Truth, Wonder, Work)
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Feast of Thomas Ken, Bishop of Bath & Wells, Hymnographer, 1711
Commemoration of Roland Allen, Mission Strategist, 1947
We must not admit for one moment the truth of a statement often made that the man who devotes himself to the establishment of the church, declining to be involved in all sorts of activities for the improvement of social conditions, is indifferent to, or heedless of, the sufferings and injustices under which men suffer. He is nothing of the kind; he is simply a man who is sure of his foundation, and is convinced that the only way to any true advancement is spiritual, and is Christ, and therefore he persists, in spite of all appearances, in clinging to Christ as the only foundation, and in building all his hopes for the future on the acceptance of Christ. He is not content with attacks upon symptoms of evil: they seem to him superficial: he goes to the roots. He cannot be content with teaching men “Christian principles of conduct,” “Christian ideals of social life,” still less with the establishment of colleges and clubs. Nothing but Christ Himself, faith in Christ, the obedience of Christ, seems to him equal to the need, and nothing else is his work but the establishment of that foundation. In doing this he is not showing indifference to social evils, he is not standing aloof from beneficent movements; he is actively engaged in laying the axe to the roots of the trees which bear the evil. That is not indifference.
... Roland Allen (1869-1947), Mission Activities , included in The Ministry of the Spirit, David M. Paton, ed., London: World Dominion Press, 1960, p. 113
(see the book; see also Heb. 11:10; Isa. 28:16; 1 Cor. 3:10-11; Eph. 2:19-20; 2 Tim. 2:19; more at Christ, Church, Devotion, Evil, Faith, Indifference, Man, Obedience, Social, Teach)
Thursday, June 9, 2016
Feast of Columba, Abbot of Iona, Missionary, 597
Commemoration of Ephrem of Syria, Deacon, Hymnographer, Teacher, 373
It is in vain, O men, that you seek within yourselves the cure for your miseries. All your insight only leads you to the knowledge that it is not in yourselves that you will discover the true and the good. The philosophers promised them to you, and have not been able to keep their promises... Your principal maladies are pride, which cuts you off from God, and sensuality, which binds you to the earth; and they have done nothing but foster at least one of these maladies. If they have given you God for your object, it has only been to pander to your pride; they have made you think that you were like Him and resembled Him by your nature. And those who have grasped the vanity of such a pretension have cast you down into the other abyss by making you believe that your nature was like that of the beasts of the field, and have led you to seek your good in lust, which is the lot of animals.
... Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Pensées (Thoughts) , P.F. Collier & Son, 1910, #430, p. 142
(see the book; see also 1 Tim. 6:3-5; Matt. 21:13; Mark 12:38-40; Rom. 1:21; Col. 2:8; more at God, Nature, Philosophy, Pride, Sin, Vanity)
Friday, June 10, 2016
In the Old Testament, we find the idea that God enters into the sufferings of His people. “In all their afflictions, He was afflicted.” The relation of God to the woes of the world is not that of a mere spectator. The New Testament goes further, and says that God is love. But that is not love which, in the presence of acute suffering, can stand outside and aloof. The doctrine that Christ is the image of the unseen God means that God does not stand outside.
... B. H. Streeter (1874-1937), The Buddha And the Christ, New York: Macmillan Co., 1933, p. 224-225
(see the book; see also Isa. 63:8-9; Col. 1:15; Heb. 2:18; 4:15; 1 John 4:8; more at Affliction, God, Jesus, Love, Suffer)
Saturday, June 11, 2016
Feast of Barnabas the Apostle
Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone but in every leaf in springtime.
... Martin Luther (1483-1546), Watchwords for the Warfare of Life, Elizabeth Rundle Charles, ed., New York: M. W. Dodd, 1869, p. 317
(see the book; see also Rom. 8:11; Joel 2:23-24; Zech. 10:1; Acts 2:24,32-33; Rom. 4:23-25; Eph. 1:18-20; Heb. 13:20; 1 Pet. 1:21; more at Easter, Promise, Resurrection)
Sunday, June 12, 2016
Then are we the servants of God, then are we the disciples of Christ, when we do what is commanded us, and because it is commanded us.
... John Owen (1616-1683), V.3 in A Discourse Concerning Holy Spirit, bk. I-V , in Works of John Owen, v. III, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1852, p. 605
(see the book; see also John 14:15; Isa. 29:13-14; Luke 14:26-27; John 14:21-24; 15:10-14; 1 Cor. 16:22; 1 John 2:3; 5:2-3; more at Christ, Disciple, God, Obedience, Service)
Monday, June 13, 2016
Commemoration of Gilbert Keith Chesterton, Apologist and Writer, 1936
That Jones shall worship the “god within him” turns out ultimately to mean that Jones shall worship Jones. Let Jones worship the sun or moon, anything rather than the Inner Light; let Jones worship cats or crocodiles, if he can find any in his street, but not the god within. Christianity came into the world firstly in order to assert with violence that a man had not only to look inwards, but to look outwards, to behold with astonishment and enthusiasm a divine company and a divine captain. The only fun of being a Christian was that a man was not left alone with the Inner Light, but definitely recognized an outer light, fair as the sun, clear as the moon, terrible as an army with banners.
... Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), Orthodoxy, London, New York: John Lane Company, 1909, p. 138-139
(see the book; see also Isa. 64:6; Luke 18:9-14; 2 Cor. 10:17,18; Gal. 6:3; more at Apologetics, God, Light, Man, Worship)
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Commemoration of Richard Baxter, Priest, Hymnographer, Teacher, 1691
As the enjoyment of God is the heaven of the saints, so the loss of God is the hell of the ungodly. And, as the enjoying of God is the enjoying of all, so the loss of God is the loss of all.
... Richard Baxter (1615-1691), The Saint’s Everlasting Rest, in The Practical Works of Richard Baxter, v. XXII, ed. William Orme, London: J. Duncan, 1830, p. 368
(see the book; see also 2 Thess. 1:8-10; Ps. 4:6; 21:6; 30:5; 63:3; Matt. 7:22-23; Phil. 1:23; 1 John 3:2; more at Heaven, Hell, Joy, Knowing God, Saint)
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Feast of Evelyn Underhill, Mystical Writer, 1941
If we do not at least try to manifest something of Creative Charity in our dealings with life, whether by action, thought, or prayer, and do it at our own cost—if we roll up the talent of love in the nice white napkin of piety and put it safely out of the way, sorry that the world is so hungry and thirsty, so sick and so fettered, and leave it at that: then, even that little talent may be taken from us. We may discover at the crucial moment that we are spiritually bankrupt.
... Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941), The School of Charity, New York: Longmans, Green, 1934, reprinted, Morehouse Publishing, 1991, p. 106
(see the book; see also Matt. 25:14-29; Isa. 57:12; John 6:63; 12:42-43; 1 Cor. 13:1-3; Jas. 2:14-17; more at Action, Charity, Life, Prayer, Safety, Thought, Weakness)
Thursday, June 16, 2016
Feast of Richard of Chichester, Bishop, 1253
Commemoration of Joseph Butler, Bishop of Durham, Moral Philosopher, 1752
Only the one who has been hurt can bring healing. The other person cannot. It is the one who has been hurt who has to be willing to be hurt again to show love, if there is to be hope that healing will come.
... Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-1984), Letters of Francis A. Schaeffer: Spiritual Reality in the Personal Christian, Good News Publishers, 1986, p. 226
(see the book; see also Rom. 15:1; Isa. 35:3-4; 40:29-31; 53:7; Rom. 14:1; 1 Cor. 1:25; 9:22; 2 Cor. 12:9; Gal. 6:2; Eph. 3:16; Heb. 2:18; more at Hope, Love, Weakness)
Friday, June 17, 2016
Commemoration of Samuel & Henrietta Barnett, Social Reformers, 1913 & 1936
I have a capacity in my soul for taking in God entirely. I am as sure as I live that nothing is so near to me as God. God is nearer to me than I am to myself; my existence depends on the nearness and the presence of God.
... Meister Eckhart (1260?-1327?), Meister Eckhart’s Sermons, tr., Claud Field, H. R. Allenson, London, 1909, p. 19-20
(see the book; see also 1 John 4:12-13; Luke 17:20-21; Rom. 8:9-17; Gal. 4:6; 1 John 3:24; more at Dependence, Existence, Life, Presence of God, Soul)
Saturday, June 18, 2016
The Christian message is not an exhortation—“try hard to be good.” Good advice, but there is no saving gospel in that.
... Halford E. Luccock (1885-1960), Marching Off the Map, NY: Harper & Bros., 1952, p. 110
(see the book; see also Rom. 9:31-33; Eph. 2:8,9; 2 Tim. 1:9; Tit. 3:4-7; Jas. 2:10; more at Goodness, Gospel, Salvation)
Sunday, June 19, 2016
Commemoration of Sundar Singh of India, Sadhu, Evangelist, Teacher, 1929
For the first two or three years after my conversion, I used to ask for specific things. Now I ask for God. Supposing there is a tree full of fruits, you will have to go and buy or beg the fruits from the owner of the tree. Every day you would have to go for one or two fruits. But if you can make the tree your own property, then all the fruits will be your own. In the same way, if God is your own, then all things in Heaven and on earth will be your own, because He is your Father and is everything to you; otherwise you will have to go and ask like a beggar for certain things. When they are used up, you will have to ask again. So ask not for gifts, but for the Giver of Gifts: not for life but for the Giver of Life—then life and the things needed for life will be added unto you.
... Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929), quoted in The Message of Sadhu Sundar Singh, B. H. Streeter & A. J. Appasamy, New York: The Macmillan Company, 1922, p. 74
(see the book; see also Matt. 6:33; Luke 12:31; John 6:27-29; Gal. 5:6; Phil. 2:12-13; more at Father, Gifts, Giving, Life, Prayer)
Monday, June 20, 2016
We cannot understand the depth of the Christian doctrine of sin if we give to it only a moral connotation. To break the basic laws of justice and decency is sin indeed. Man’s freedom to honor principles is the moral dimension in his nature, and sin often appears as lawlessness. But sin has its roots in something which is more than the will to break the law. The core of sin is our making ourselves the center of life, rather than accepting the holy God as the center. Lack of trust, self-love, pride, these are three ways in which Christians have expressed the real meaning of sin. But what sin does is to make the struggle with evil meaningless. When we refuse to hold our freedom in trust and reverence for God’s will, there is nothing which can make the risk of life worth the pain of it.
... Daniel Day Williams (1910-1973), Interpreting Theology, 1918-1952, Daniel Day Williams, London: SCM Press, 1953, ed. 3, under alternative title, New York: Harper, 1959, p. 23
(see the book; see also Rom. 12:3; 7:7; Eph. 4:7; Jas. 5:15; 1 John 3:4,8-9; more at Antinomianism, Holiness, Justice, Law, Pride, Sin)
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
We may all be inclined to think of man’s countless foolish and selfish intentions, his twisted and mischievous words and deeds. From all these, sin can be known, as a tree can be known from its fruits. Yet these outward signs are not sin itself, the wages of which are death. Sin is not confined to the evil things we do. It is the evil within us, the evil which we are. Shall we call it our pride or our laziness, or shall we call it the deceit of our life? Let us call it for once the great defiance which turns us again and again into the enemies of God and of our fellowmen, even of our own selves.
... Karl Barth (1886-1968), Deliverance to the Captives, Harper, 1961, p. 146
(see the book; see also Rom. 5:8-11; Isa. 53:6; Rom. 8:6-7; 2 Cor. 5:18-21; Col. 1:19-23; 1 Pet. 3:18-19; more at Deed, Enemy, Evil, Folly, God, Intention, Pride, Self, Selfish, Sin, Sloth)
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Feast of Alban, first Martyr of Britain, c.209
It is an abuse to confess any kind of sin, mortal or venial, without a will to be delivered from it, since confession was instituted for no other end.
... François de Sales (1567-1622), Introduction to the Devout Life , London: Rivingtons, 1876, II.xix, p. 112
(see the book; see also Jas. 5:16; Ps. 41:4; Matt. 18:15; Acts 19:18; 1 John 1:8-10; more at Confession, Deliverance, Repentance, Sin)
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Feast of Etheldreda, Abbess of Ely, c.678
God desires and is pleased to communicate with us through the avenues of our minds, our wills, and our emotions. The continuous and unembarrassed interchange of love and thought between God and the souls of the redeemed men and women is the throbbing heart of the New Testament.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), Whatever Happened to Worship?, Christian Publications, 1985, p. 25
(see the book; see also Heb. 4:16; Isa. 55:6; Matt. 7:7-11; 2 Cor. 12:8-10; Phil. 4:6-7; 1 Thess. 5:17; more at Bible, God, Heart, Knowing God, Love, Pleasure, Thought)
Friday, June 24, 2016
Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist
Pray Him to give you what Scripture calls “an honest and good heart,” or “a perfect heart;” and, without waiting, begin at once to obey Him with the best heart you have. Any obedience is better than none. ... You have to seek His face; obedience is the only way of seeking Him. All your duties are obediences. ... To do what He bids is to obey Him, and to obey Him is to approach Him. Every act of obedience is an approach—an approach to Him who is not far off, though He seems so, but close behind this visible screen of things which hides Him from us.
... John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890), Parochial Sermons, v. IV, J. G. & F. Rivington, 1839, p. 379
(see the book; see also Ps. 101:1-2; 24:3-4; 51:10; Eze. 36:26-27; Luke 6:45; 8:15; 11:28; John 14:15,23; 15:10; Eph. 2:8; more at Duty, Goodness, Heart, Obedience, Perfection, Prayer)
Saturday, June 25, 2016
God’s own work must be done by God’s own ways. Otherwise, we can take no comfort in obtaining the end, if we cannot justify the means used thereunto.
... Thomas Fuller (1608-1661), The Cause and Cure of a Wounded Conscience , “Historical Applications”, VIII
(see the book; see also 2 Cor. 4:1-2; Matt. 10:37-38; 16:24; 2 Cor. 5:11; Eph. 4:14; 1 Thess. 2:3-5; more at Comfort, God, Justification, Providence, Work)
Sunday, June 26, 2016
Theologically, we have been discovering anew that the Church is not an appendage to the Gospel: it is itself a part of the Gospel. The Gospel cannot be separated from that new people of God in which its nature is to be made manifest.
... Stephen Neill (1900-1984), Christian Faith and Other Faiths, London: Oxford U.P., 1970, p. 208
(see the book; see also Eph. 3:8-10; Matt. 16:17-18; 1 Cor. 12:28; 14:12,26; Eph. 1:22-23; more at Church, God, Gospel, People, Theology)
Monday, June 27, 2016
For the Christian, heaven is where Jesus is. We do not need to speculate on what heaven will be like. It is enough to know that we will be forever with Him. When we love anyone with our whole hearts, life begins when we are with that person; it is only in their company that we are really and truly alive. It is so with Christ. In this world our contact with Him is shadowy, for we can only see through a glass darkly. It is spasmodic, for we are poor creatures and cannot live always on the heights. But the best definition of it is to say that heaven is that state where we will always be with Jesus, and where nothing will separate us from Him any more.
... William Barclay (1907-1978), The Gospel of John, v. 2, Westminster John Knox Press, 2001, p. 181-182
(see the book; see also John 14:2-3; 13:33-36; Rom. 8:17; 2 Cor. 5:1; 1 Thess. 4:14-17; Heb. 11:13-16; 13:14; Rev. 3:12,21; 21:2; more at Christ, Darkness, Heaven, Jesus, Knowledge, Life, Love, Sight, World)
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Feast of Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, Teacher, Martyr, c.200
We need not despair of any man, so long as he lives. For God deemed it better to bring good out of evil than not to permit evil at all.
... St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), Expositions on the Book of Psalms, v. II, Oxford: Parker, 1848, Ps. 37, sermon 1, vs. 19, p. 27
(see the book; see also Ps. 37:19; Matt. 7:11; Rom. 3:19; 2 Cor. 4:7-10; Gal. 3:22; Eph. 2:1-3; more at Despair, Evil, God, Goodness, Life, Man, Sin)
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Feast of Peter & Paul, Apostles
No man can be without his god. If he have not the true God to bless and sustain him, he will have some false god to delude and to betray him. The Psalmist knew this, and therefore he joined so closely the forgetting the name of our God, and holding up our hands to some strange god. For every man has something in which he hopes, on which he leans, to which he retreats and retires, with which he fills up his thoughts in empty spaces of time, when he is alone, when he lies sleepless on his bed, when he is not pressed with other thoughts; to which he betakes himself in sorrow or trouble, as that from which he shall draw comfort and strength—his fortress, his citadel, his defence; and has not this a good right to be called his god? Man was made to lean on the Creator; but if not on Him, then he leans on the creature in one shape or another. The ivy cannot grow alone: it must twine round some support or other; if not the goodly oak, then the ragged thorn; round any dead stick whatever, rather than have no stay or support at all. It is even so with the heart and affections of man; if they do not twine around God, they must twine around some meaner thing.
... Richard Chenevix Trench (1807-1886), Sermons Preached in Westminster Abbey, New York: W. J. Widdleton, 1860, p. 252
(see the book; see also Ps. 44:20-21; Ex. 9:29; Josh. 24:23; Ps. 81:8-9; Jer. 5:19; more at Betrayal, Comfort, Emptiness, God, Heart, Hope, Sorrow, Strength, Thought, Trouble, Weakness)
Thursday, June 30, 2016
Paul’s argument in First Corinthians 1:18-25 is equally relevant when we come to ask why men cannot understand the Bible. Any attempts to hide behind the excuse that it is too difficult, when what we mean is that its word is too hard for us to bear, meets the just remark of a pastor from Communist Germany: “How can they say that the Bible is difficult, when young Communists are poring over much more difficult and much more technical literature to discover what Communism is all about?”Sometimes the Biblical teaching is crystal-clear, but we dare not understand it. The Christian Church has a vested interest in its present forms, and Christian people, like others, have their pleasant prejudices. This unwillingness to hear some new thing, except in times of great disturbance, plays a bigger part in weakening the voice of God through the Bible than we are prepared to admit.
... E. H. Robertson (1912-2007), The Recovery of Confidence, London: S. C. M. Press, 1960, p. 60
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 1:18-25; Job 5:12-13; Isa. 29:14; 53:1; Jer. 8:9; Matt. 11:25; Luke 10:21; Acts 17:18-21; Rom. 1:20-22,28; 1 Cor. 3:19-20; more at Bible, Church, God, Man, Minister, Prejudice, Understanding)
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