Quotations for September, 2017
Friday, September 1, 2017
Commemoration of Giles of Provence, Hermit, c.710
Much of the present dilemma and chaotic condition of both the secular and religious worlds today finds its cause with the setting aside of the “thus saith the Lord” by the clergy. A long series of rejections and subsequent attendant conditions follow the rejections of the Bible as God’s Word. Next to that rejection has come the rejection of the God of the Bible. Next, there usually follows a rejection of the Bible’s presentation of man as a lost rebel against God, [and then] comes the rejection of biblical morality and ethics. [After] all of these, the next step is a short one—the rejection of biblical obedience to the laws of God and man. And, of course, many more items of rejection can be added to the list. But the crucial point here is that all of these can be traced back to the initial rejection of the absolute authority of Holy Writ.
... Robert P. Lightner (1931-2018), The God of the Bible , Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1978, formerly published as The First Fundamental: God, p. 31-32
(see the book; see also Isa. 45:22-23; 55:10-11; 1 Kings 22:8; Isa. 45:19; Jer. 6:16-17; 18:18; Gal. 4:16; 2 Tim. 3:16; 4:3; more at Bible, God, Law, Minister, Morality, Obedience)
Saturday, September 2, 2017
Commemoration of Martyrs of Papua New Guinea, 1942
If all you have found [in Christianity] is advantage, whether it is fun or profit or security, then you haven’t started following Him yet. His way is the way of the Cross. The world can be very hard on those it hates. If it is not hard on you, perhaps it sees nothing in you to hate. But then it doesn’t see Jesus in you, for it hates Jesus with an undying hatred. While your way is still all fun, all easy, all jolly, it is only your way: when you turn from it to follow His way, it will cost. It may cost you everything you have. That is what it cost Him.
... Robert MacColl Adams (1913-1985), “Of Rice and Men”
(see the book; see also John 15:18-21; Matt. 5:11; 10:22; 24:9; Mark 13:13; Luke 6:22; Jas. 4:4; 1 John 3:13; more at Cross, Hatred, Jesus, Religion, Way, World)
Sunday, September 3, 2017
Feast of Gregory the Great, Bishop of Rome, Teacher, 604
Like many of the leaders and teachers [in the church], perhaps I failed to prepare people for the way of suffering. I had not suffered much myself and did not help people to be ready for it.But the fact is: when you follow Jesus, what happened to Him happens to you.
... Todd H. Wetzel (b. 1946), Steadfast Faith, Dallas, Texas: Latimer Press, 1997, p. 76
(see the book; see also John 15:22-25; Ps. 35:19; 69:4; 109:3; Acts 5:41; Rom. 5:3-5; 1 Pet. 4:12-14,16; 2 Tim. 1:11-12; more at Church, Failure, Jesus, Leader, Suffer, Teach, Way, Weakness)
Monday, September 4, 2017
Commemoration of Birinus, Bishop of Dorchester (Oxon), Apostle of Wessex, 650
[The apostles] were moved, not so much by an intellectual apprehension, as by a spiritual illumination. They met men, and the need of those men whom they met cried aloud to them. Their own desire for the revelation of the glory of Jesus in the salvation of men went out towards those whom they met, and was immediately answered by the recognition of the need of those whom they met for Jesus Christ.
... Roland Allen (1869-1947), Pentecost and the World, London: Oxford University Press, 1917, included in The Ministry of the Spirit, David M. Paton, ed., London: World Dominion Press, 1960, p. 46
(see the book; see also Acts 4:9-12; John 3:36; 14:6; Acts 10:42-43; Rom. 11:13-14; 1 Cor. 9:19,22; more at Illumination, Jesus, Man, Mission, Need, Salvation, Understanding)
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
The task is not, in essence, the securing of uniformity, or cooperation, or Church reunion, or any of the external forms, through which nevertheless the unity may be manifested. Within the wide bounds of the Christian Church there is abundant scope for the multiplicity of races, languages, and social conditions; room also for separate organizations with different traditions of faith and order, and much diversity of operation.But there is no room for strife or hostility, for pride or self-assertion, for exclusiveness or unkind judgments, nor for that kind of independence which leads men to ignore their fellowship with the great company of believers, the communion of saints. These things are contrary to the revealed will of God, and should be made at once to cease. As these disappear, the outward manifestation of unity will come in such ways as the Spirit of God shall guide.
... G. T. Manley, Christian Unity, London: Inter-Varsity Fellowship, 1945, p. 86-87
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 1:14-15; Matt. 24:14; 28:19; Acts 2:5; 10:34-35; 1 Cor. 1:11-13; 3:3-5; Phil. 1:15,17; 2:3; 1 Tim. 6:3-5; more at Church, Faith, Fellowship, Holy Spirit, Hostility, Revelation, Strife, Unity, Will of God)
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Commemoration of Allen Gardiner, founder of the South American Missionary Society, 1851
Commemoration of Albert Schweitzer, Teacher, Physician, Missionary, 1965
He that asks me what heaven is, means not to hear me, but to silence me; He knows I cannot tell him; when I meet him there, I shall be able to tell him, and then he will be as able to tell me; yet then we shall be but able to tell one another, this, this that we enjoy is heaven, but the tongues of angels, the tongues of glorified saints, shall not be able to express what that heaven is; for, even in heaven our faculties shall be finite.
... John Donne (1573-1631), Works of John Donne, vol. I, London: John W. Parker, 1839, Sermon XXI, p. 422
(see the book; see also John 14:1-2; 1:18; 1 Cor. 13:12; 2 Cor. 3:18; 5:7; Phil. 3:12; more at Angel, Apologetics, Eternal life, Heaven, Silence)
Thursday, September 7, 2017
Commemoration of Douglas Downes, Founder of the Society of Saint Francis, 1957
There are three lessons I would write,Three words, as with a burning pen,In tracings of eternal light,Upon the hearts of men. Have Hope. Though clouds environ now,And gladness hides her face in scorn,Put off the shadow from thy brow—No night but hath its morn. Have Faith. Where’er thy bark is driven—The calm’s disport, the tempest’s mirth—Know this: God rules the hosts of heaven,The inhabitants of earth. Have Love. Not love alone for one,But man, as man, thy brother call;And scatter, like a circling sun,Thy charities on all. Thus grave these lessons on thy soul—Faith, Hope, and Love—and thou shalt findStrength when life’s surges rudest roll,Light when thou else wert blind.
... Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805), included in Masterpieces of Religious Verse, James Dalton Morrison, ed., New York: Harper & Bros., 1948, p. 366
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 13:13; John 1:4-5; Rom. 8:24-25; Gal. 5:6; Col. 1:27; 1 Thess. 5:8; Heb. 11:1; 1 Pet. 1:21; 1 John 2:10; more at Attitudes, Everlasting, Faith, Gladness, Hope, Light, Love, Strength)
Friday, September 8, 2017
Commemoration of Søren Kierkegaard, Teacher and Philosopher, 1855
Frightful this is in a sense, but it is true, and every one who has merely some little knowledge of the human heart can verify it: there is nothing to which a man holds so desperately fast as to his sin.
... Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), Christian Discourses, tr. Walter Lowrie, New York: Oxford University Press, 1961, p. 385
(see the book; see also Isa. 57:20-21; 9:18; Amos 5:12; John 3:19-20; more at Fall, Heart, Knowledge, Man, Sin, Truth)
Saturday, September 9, 2017
The devil never tempts us with more success than when he tempts us with a sight of our own good actions.
... Thomas Wilson (1663-1755), Maxims of Piety and of Christianity, London: Macmillan, 1898, p. 115
(see the book; see also Luke 18:10-14; 1 Sam. 15:13-23; Isa. 1:13-17; 65:8; Matt. 6:1,5,16; 15:7-9; 19:16-22; Luke 20:47; Eph. 2:8-9; more at Devil, Goodness, Sight, Sin, Success, Temptation)
Sunday, September 10, 2017
Every moment and every situation challenges us to action and to obedience. We have literally no time to sit down and ask ourselves whether so-and-so is our neighbour or not. We must get into action and obey—we must behave like a neighbour to him. But perhaps this shocks you. Perhaps you still think you ought to think out beforehand and know what you ought to do. To that, there is only one answer. You can only know and think about it by actually doing it. It is no use asking questions; for it is only through obedience that you come to learn the truth.
... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), The Cost of Discipleship, Simon and Schuster, 1959, p. 77
(see the book; see also Heb. 5:8; John 14:21; Ps. 62:12; 111:10; 143:10; Matt. 7:24; John 13:17; 14:15; 2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 4:17-18; Jas. 1:22-25; 2 John 1:9; more at Neighbor, Obedience, Truth)
Monday, September 11, 2017
Lord, behold our family here assembled. We thank Thee for this place in which we dwell; for the love that unites us; for the peace accorded us this day; for the hope with which we expect the morrow; for the health, the work, the food, and the bright skies, that make our lives delightful; for our friends in all parts of the earth, and our friendly helpers in this foreign isle [Samoa] ... Give us courage and gaiety and the quiet mind. Spare to us our friends, soften to us our enemies. Bless us, if it may be, in all our innocent endeavours. If it may not, give us the strength to encounter that which is to come, that we be brave in peril, constant in tribulation, temperate in wrath, and in all changes of fortune, and down to the gates of death, loyal and loving one to another.
... Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), from “Prayers Written for Family Use at Vailima”, in The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, v. IV, London: T. & A. Constable for Longmans Green & Co., 1896, p. 381
(see the book; see also Heb. 13:5-8; Ps. 9:13; 118:6; Matt. 10:28; Luke 12:4; Rom. 8:31; 12:20; more at Blessing, Family, Friend, Health, Hope, Love, Loyalty, Peace, Prayers, Work)
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
The union of a sect within it self is a pitiful charity; it’s no concord of Christians, but a conspiracy against Christ; and they that love one another for their opinionative concurrence, love for their own sakes, not their Lord’s.
... Joseph Glanvill (1636-1680), Scepsis Scientifica, London: Kegan Paul, Trench & Co., 1885, p. 199
(see the book; see also 2 Pet. 2:1-2; Rom. 16:17; 1 Cor. 1:10-13; 3:3; 11:18-22; Col. 2:8; 1 John 2:19; Jude 1:19; more at Authenticity, Christ, Church, Love, Sect)
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Feast of John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, Teacher, 407
We assemble not in the church to pass away the time, but to gain some great benefit for our souls. If therefore we depart without profit, our zeal in frequenting the church will prove our condemnation. That so great a judgment come not upon you, when ye go hence, ponder the things ye have heard, and exercise yourselves in confirming our instruction,—friend with friend,—fathers with their children,—masters with their slaves,—so that when ye return hither, and hear from us the same counsels, ye may not be ashamed, but rejoice and be glad in the conviction, that ye have put into practice the greater part of our exhortation. Not only must we meditate upon these things here,—for this short exhortation sufficeth not to eradicate the evil,—but at home let the husband be reminded of them by the wife, and the wife by the husband, and let an emulation obtain in families to the fulfilment of the divine law.
... St. John Chrysostom (345?-407), quoted in The Life of St. Chrysostom, Johann August W. Neander, London: Seeley & Burnside, 1838, p. 135
(see the book; see also Ps. 19:14; Matt. 10:32-33; 1 Cor. 14:34-35; Eph. 5:22-31; more at Church, Condemnation, Judgment, Law, Zeal)
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Feast of the Holy Cross
Before I can have any joy in being alone with God I must have learned not to fear being alone with myself...Shrinking from any deep self-scrutiny is by no means an uncommon thing, and often goes far to explain the feverish restlessness with which a world-loving heart plunges into perpetual rounds of gaieties and dissipations. They serve as an escape from troublesome questions about the soul, and help to get rid of the clamours of conscience.
... G. H. Knight (1835-1917), In the Secret of His Presence, Rock Island, Ill.: Augustana Book Concern, 1934, p. 59
(see the book; see also Acts 24:16; 1 Cor. 4:4; 2 Cor. 4:2; 1 Tim. 1:5; 3:9; Tit. 1:15; Heb. 9:14; 10:22; 1 Pet. 3:21; more at Being alone, Conscience, Heart, Prayer, Question, Soul)
Friday, September 15, 2017
Well, to begin with, you can pray. Pray!, you say scornfully, pray! I knew it would all fizzle out, and come to nothing. I could pray!Yes, you could pray, and, whatever you may think about it, using it as a poor makeshift of a thing much lower than a second-best, not really a best at all, on which men fall back only when they can do nothing effectively, and are too fidgety to be able to do nothing at all, Christ holds that prayer is a tremendous power which achieves what, without it, was a sheer impossibility. And this amazing thing you can set into operation. And the fact that you are not so using it, and simply don’t believe in it and its efficiency and efficacy as our fathers did, and that so many nowadays agree with you, is certainly a major reason why the churches are so cold, and the promises seem so tardy of fulfilment.
... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), Experience Worketh Hope, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1945, p. 58
(see the book; see also John 16:23-24; 1 Sam. 1:15; 1 Tim. 2:8; more at Christ, Church, Power, Prayer, Promise)
Saturday, September 16, 2017
Feast of Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, Martyr, 258
Commemoration of Ninian, Bishop of Galloway, Apostle to the Picts, c. 430
Commemoration of Edward Bouverie Pusey, Priest, tractarian, 1882
“Into God’s hands,” let us now, for the coming year, and for all the years of time, and for eternity, “commend our spirits.” Whether for the Church or for ourselves, let us not take ourselves into our own hands, or choose our own lot. “My times are in Thy hands.” He loveth the Church, which He died to purchase, His Own Body, and all the members of His Own Body, better than we can; He loveth us better and more wisely than we ourselves; He who made us, loveth us better than we who unmade ourselves; He who died for us, better than we who destroy ourselves; He who would sanctify us for a Holy Temple unto Himself, better than we who have defiled what He has hallowed. Fear we not anything which threateneth; shrink we not back from anything which falleth on us. Rather let us, though with trembling, hold up our hearts to Him, to make them His Own, in what way He willeth.
... Edward B. Pusey (1800-1882), Sermons during the season from Advent to Whitsuntide, Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1848, p. 104
(see the book; see also Ps. 31:15-16,5; Luke 23:46; Rom. 8:38-39; 2 Tim. 1:12; Tit. 3:4-7; more at Body of Christ, Church, Faith, Fear, Heart, Love, Sanctification, Year)
Sunday, September 17, 2017
Feast of St. Hildegard, Abbess of Bingen, Visionary, 1179
You must not lose confidence in God because you lost confidence in your pastor... If our confidence in God had to depend upon our confidence in any human person, we would be on shifting sand.
... Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-1984), Letters of Francis A. Schaeffer: Spiritual Reality in the Personal Christian, Good News Publishers, 1986, p. 142
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 3:4-6; Ps. 146:3; Matt. 7:24-27; Luke 6:47-49; Acts 14:11-15; Rom. 8:14; more at Church, Confidence, Dependence, God, Minister)
Monday, September 18, 2017
Commemoration of George MacDonald, Spiritual Writer, 1905
People talk about special providences. I believe in the providences, but not in the speciality. I do not believe that God lets the thread of my affairs go for six days, and on the seventh evening takes it up for a moment.
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood, v. I , London: Strahan & Co., 1873, p. 27
(see the book; see also Ps. 121:5-8; 27:1; 32:7; Isa. 27:3; more at Belief, God, Providence)
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Commemoration of Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury, 690
Do not pray for easy lives; pray to be stronger men! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks! Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle. But you shall be a miracle. Every day you shall wonder at yourself, at the richness of life which has come in you by the grace of God.
... Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), Twenty Sermons, New York: E.P. Dutton, 1887, p. 330
(see the book; see also Isa. 35:10; Isa. 40:31; Acts 20:24; Rom. 8:15; 2 Tim. 1:7-9; more at God, Grace, Life, Miracle, Prayer, Strength, Task)
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Feast of John Coleridge Patteson, First Bishop of Melanesia, & his Companions, Martyrs, 1871
Do not desire crosses, unless you have borne those already laid upon you well—it is an abuse to long after martyrdom while unable to bear an insult patiently.
... François de Sales (1567-1622), Introduction to the Devout Life , London: Rivingtons, 1876, III.xxxvii, p. 269
(see the book; see also Matt. 5:11; 10:38; 16:24; 27:39; Mark 8:34; 10:21; Luke 9:23-24; 14:27; 1 Pet. 2:23; more at Affliction, Bearing, Cross, Obedience, Patience, Persecution)
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Feast of Matthew, Apostle & Evangelist
[Jesus’] life and utterance were the proclamation of this new order of things, of this new force by which man was to be ruled. When, unarmed and defenseless, He said to the Roman power, “My Kingdom is not of this world,” He spoke the word of inauguration. Over the kingdom of the elemental forces, over the kingdom of the animal, over the kingdom of the intellect, He beheld rising, with Himself as prophet and embodiment, that kingdom of the spiritual whose forces should be those of purity and sacrifice, love and trust, obedience and service. It is the last of the kingdoms because it is the highest; it will be the most enduring for there is nothing that can take its place.
... J. Brierley (1843-1914), The Life of the Soul, London: James Clarke & Company, 1912, p. 16
(see the book; see also John 18:36; Isa. 9:6-7; Dan. 2:44; 7:13-14; Zech. 9:9; Luke 1:30-33; Rom. 14:17; more at Jesus, Kingdom, Life, Love, Obedience, Power, Preach, Prophet, Purity, Sacrifice, Service, Trust)
Friday, September 22, 2017
Although prayer has been defined as communion with God, aspiration after the highest things, Stopford Brooke [Irish clergyman, 1832-1916] is right when he insists that prayer, in its plainest meaning, is a petition addressed to God... When Jesus laid the duty of petition upon his disciples, He went on to assert the reasonableness of a man asking and of God answering... Jesus argues along the line of reason that, if an earthly parent ... does the best in his power for his children, will not the Almighty and All-Wise Love, of which human love is only the shadow, do better still for His great family? And therefore our Master teaches that men ought everywhere to pray without fear and without doubt.
... James Hastings (1852-1922), The Christian Doctrine of Prayer, Edinbugh: T. & T. Clark, 1915, p. 38
(see the book; see also Luke 18:1-8; Matt. 7:7-11; Luke 11:9-13; Eph. 6:18; Col. 4:2; 1 Thess. 5:17; 1 Tim. 2:8; Jude 1:20; more at Child, Communion, Doubt, Fear, God, Jesus, Love, Prayer)
Saturday, September 23, 2017
The God of Pharisaism was like the God of the Deists, He stood aloof from the world He had made, and let law take its course. He did not here and now deal with sinful men. Paul lets us see how new and wonderful was the experience when God “flashed on his heart” in personal dealing with him. He had not suspected that God was like that. His theological studies had told him that God was loving and merciful; but he had thought this love and mercy were expressed once and for all in the arrangements He had made for Israel’s blessedness... It was a new thing to be assured by an inward experience admitting of no further question that God loved him, and that the eternal mercy was a Father’s free forgiveness of His erring child. This was the experience that Christ had brought him: he had seen the splendour of God’s own love in the face of “the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” [Continued tomorrow]
... C. Harold Dodd (1884-1973), The Meaning of Paul for Today, London: Swarthmore, 1920, reprint, Fount Paperbacks, 1978, p. 74-75
(see the book; see also Gal. 2:19-20; Rom. 5:6-8; 8:1-2,35-39; II Cor. 4:6; 5:14-15, 18-19; Eph. 1:4-7; 2:4-10; 3:18-19; 5:1-2; Col. 1:13-15; more at Conversion, Experience, Forgiveness, God, Heart, Israel, Law, Love, Mercy, Pharisaism, Theology)
Sunday, September 24, 2017
[Continued from yesterday]What knowledge of Jesus Christ and His teaching lay behind the flash of enlightenment it is now impossible for us to say: but it is clear that the God whom Paul met was the “Father” of Jesus’ own Gospel parables, the Shepherd who goes after the one sheep until He finds it. It was the God, in fact, whom the whole of the life of Jesus set forth, to the astonishment of those among whom He moved. Loving still, He brought God to men in the same unmistakable way. The divine love that through Jesus had found Zacchaeus the publican had now through the risen Jesus found Paul the Pharisee. Henceforward the central facts of life for Paul were that while he was yet a sinner God had found and forgiven him, and that this was the work of Jesus Christ in whose love the love of God had become plain.
... C. Harold Dodd (1884-1973), The Meaning of Paul for Today, London: Swarthmore, 1920, reprint, Fount Paperbacks, 1978, p. 75
(see the book; see also Rom. 5:6-8; Luke 15:4-6; 19:2-9; Rom. 8:35-39; 2 Cor. 5:14-15,18-19; Col. 1:13-15; Eph. 1:4-7; 2:4-10; 3:18-19; 5:1-2; more at Conversion, Forgiveness, Gospel, Jesus, Knowledge, Love, Pharisaism, Sinner)
Monday, September 25, 2017
Feast of Lancelot Andrewes, Bishop of Winchester, Spiritual Writer, 1626
Commemoration of Sergius of Radonezh, Russian Monastic Reformer, Teacher, 1392
It may seem an anachronism to speak of “the relation of the ordained ministry towards the Church” ... when we are only thinking about Paul and his converts. Was there really an ordained ministry as early as that? We need not argue about whether, or how, Paul was ordained, but he certainly considered that he and his fellow workers had a special pastoral relation to their converts... Paul was primarily a missionary, which in itself establishes a link with the Servant of the Lord. As a missionary, he was not working on his own, but was supported by a group of assistants without whose help he could never have carried on his work. We know the names of many of them... But there were many more whose names we do not know, sometimes referred to as “the brethren” (e.g., 1 Cor. 16:11). This missionary group with Paul as its leader is the New Testament equivalent of the ordained ministry of today, and it is significant for us that Paul describes this group as carrying out in some sense the work of servants in the Church.
... Anthony T. Hanson (1916-1991), The Church of the Servant, London: SCM Press, 1962, p. 45-46
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 16:10-11; Acts 15:36; 16:4-5; 2 Cor. 8:23; 3 John 1:5-6; more at Church, Leader, Minister, Missionary, Ordination, Work)
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Commemoration of Wilson Carlile, Priest, Founder of the Church Army, 1942
Christianity is not a religion but a relationship of love expressed toward God and men. The church is committed by its Founder to reach out in love to every movement that upbuilds character and integrity in men, and every gesture that aims to resolve the differences that estrange human beings from each other. The Gospel in its free course goes hand-in-hand with the cup of cold water.
... Sherwood Eliot Wirt (1911-2008), The Social Conscience of the Evangelical, New York: Harper & Row, 1968, p. 150
(see the book; see also Mark 9:41; Matt. 5:9; 10:42; 25:40; Mark 12:42-43; 2 Cor. 8:12; Jas. 3:18; more at Church, Cup, God, Gospel, Love, Man, Reconciliation, Religion, Water)
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Feast of Vincent de Paul, Founder of the Congregation of the Mission (Lazarists), 1660
If you wanted a label for us, would you find a better than a Sadducean Age? We also are not worrying about immortality, hardly believe in it, or at least are not sure; we, too, have limited ourselves to this dust-speck of time, leaving unclaimed the vast inheritance beyond of which Christ told us; we, too, are putting all our zeal and passion and enthusiasm into things of this earth here, quite sure that that is the only road to progress, and that this everlasting chatter about the soul is quite beside the point. And they are all so earnest and so certain, work so hard, are animated often by such lofty motives, are so sure that there is really no manner of need for Christ; that given this, and this, and this, each of them pushing forward his particular panacea—the world will manage very well; that to talk about Christ, and changing people’s hearts, and making us new creatures, is merely to lose precious time and wander from the practical into vague day-dreaming of which nothing comes. And year by year their voices grow a little harder, and they eye Christ more and more askance, feel sourly that He is a bit of a nuisance and a stumbling-block to progress, keeping people quiet who should not be quiet, lulling them with these dim, immaterial, fantastic, spiritual hopes of His which they think have no body, and can not have. Once more the whisper grows, “Were He not far better away?” Meantime we can ignore Him, they say; and they do.
... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), The Galilean Accent, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1926, p. 129
(see the book; see also Isa. 29:13-14; 1 Cor. 2:8; Eph. 4:14; 1 Tim. 6:3-5,20-21; 2 Pet. 2:1-3; more at Authenticity, Immortality, Worldly)
Thursday, September 28, 2017
We instinctively contrast the ministry with the laity, the priesthood with the people, the professional with the amateur. But the New Testament church knew nothing of this. This is perfectly astounding when you recall that every society in the world, including Israel, had had its specialized holy seasons, holy places, and holy people. In Christianity, all three were abolished. The keeping of holy days was a matter of indifference to the early Christians. They had no holy buildings, but met in private houses—the incarnation of God had made the secular sacred. As for holy people, why, all believers were called to be that holy people, that universal priesthood envisioned long ago in the Old Testament but never hitherto realized. The mediation of Jesus has abolished the need for an intermediary caste of priests: all can have access to God in virtue of the sacrifice of Christ; all have the priestly responsibility of interceding for man to God; all have the prophetic task of speaking God’s message to men. There is no priestly body within Christianity. It is a one-class society, though you would never guess as much, so grossly has conformity to pagan and Old-Testament models distorted this unique facet of Christ’s community.
... Michael Green (b. 1930), “Mission and Ministry”, E. M. B. Green, in The People of God, Ian Cundy, ed., vol. 2 of Obeying Christ in a Changing World, John Stott, gen. ed., 3 vol., London: Fountain, 1977, p. 69-70
(see the book; see also Heb. 10:10-12; 1 Tim. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:5; Rev. 1:6; more at Bible, Body of Christ, Church, Community, Holiness, Intercession, Israel, Minister, People, Prophecy, Social)
Friday, September 29, 2017
Feast of Michael & All Angels
The view of evil which regards it as the by-product of circumstances, which circumstances can, therefore, alter and even eliminate, has come to seem to me intolerably shallow, and the contrary view of it as endemic in man, more particularly in its Christian form, the doctrine of original sin, to express a deep and essential insight into human nature.
... C. E. M. Joad (1891-1953), The Recovery of Belief, London: Faber and Faber, 1952, p. 63
(see the book; see also Jas. 1:14-15; Ps. 51:5; 58:3; Rom. 5:12-17; 7:21-23; Eph. 2:3; more at Evil, Insight, Man, Nature, Sin)
Saturday, September 30, 2017
We are living “between the times”—the time of Christ’s resurrection and the new age of the Spirit, and the time of fulfillment in Christ. Life in the Spirit is a pledge, a “down-payment,” on the final kingdom of shalom. In the meantime, we are to be signs of the kingdom which is, and which is coming.
... David Kirk (1935-2007), Quotations from Chairman Jesus, Springfield, Ill.: Templegate Publishers, 1969, p. 69
(see the book; see also Rev. 22:20; 2 Cor. 1:21-22; Gal. 3:14; Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30; more at Christ, Church, Fulfillment, Holy Spirit, Kingdom, Peace, Resurrection, Spirit, Time)
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