Quotations for January, 2019
Tuesday, January 1, 2019
Feast of the Naming & Circumcision of Jesus
The now wherein God made the first man, and the now wherein the last man disappears, and the now I speak in, are all the same in God where this is but the now.
... Meister Eckhart (1260?-1327?), Works of Meister Eckhart, London: J. M. Watkins, 1924, p. 37
(see the book; see also John 8:56-58; Ex. 3:14; Ps. 2:7; more at God, Providence, Time)
Wednesday, January 2, 2019
Feast of Basil the Great & Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops, Teachers, 379 & 389
Commemoration of Seraphim, Monk of Sarov, Mystic, Staretz, 1833
We must try to keep the mind in tranquility. For just as the eye which constantly shifts its gaze, now turning to the right or to the left, now incessantly peering up or down, cannot see distinctly what lies before it, but the sight must be fixed firmly on the object in view if one would make his vision of it clear; so too man’s mind when distracted by his countless worldly cares cannot focus itself distinctly on the truth.
... St. Basil the Great (330?-379), Saint Basil, the Letters, tr. Roy Joseph Deferrari, Martin Rawson, Patrick McGuire, London: William Heinemann, 1950, p. 9
(see the book; see also Ps. 39:6-7; Isa. 45:22; Matt. 6:24; 13:22; Mark 4:19; Luke 8:14; John 1:29; 8:56; Phil. 3:20; 1 Tim. 6:9-10; 2 Tim. 2:4; Heb. 12:1-2; 1 John 2:15-17; more at Attitudes, Man, Mind, Sight, Tranquility, Truth, Vision, Worldly)
Thursday, January 3, 2019
Commemoration of Gladys Aylward, Missionary in China, 1970
[Leaders of the anarchist movement in Amsterdam] call their public demonstrations “Happenings.” These paintings, these poems, and these demonstrations... are the expression of men who are struggling with their appalling lostness. Dare we laugh at such things? Dare we feel superior when we view their tortured expressions in their art? Christians should stop laughing and take such men seriously. Then we shall have the right to speak again to our generation. These men are dying while they live, yet where is our compassion for them? There is nothing more ugly than an orthodoxy without understanding or without compassion.
... Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-1984), The God Who is There , in The Francis A. Schaeffer Trilogy, Good News Publishers, 1990, p. 34
(see the book; see also Rom. 6:16; more at Apologetics, Art, Compassion, Laughter)
Friday, January 4, 2019
There is no condition wherein man does not depend on many others, wherein he is not more obliged to follow their fancies than his own. All the commerce of life is a perpetual constraint to the laws of good breeding, and the necessity of humoring others; and besides, our own passions are the worst tyrants: if you obey them but by halves, a perpetual strife and contest exists within; and if you entirely give up yourself to them, it is horrid to think to what extremities they will lead. May God preserve us from that fatal slavery, which the mad presumption of man calls liberty! Liberty is to be found only in Him.
... François Fénelon (1651-1715), Pious Reflections for Every Day in the Month, London: H. D. Symonds, 1800, p. 82-83
(see the book; see also Gal. 5:1; more at Dependence, Freedom, Goodness, Liberty, Slave, Social, Strife, Tyranny)
Saturday, January 5, 2019
The New Testament is uniformly consistent in seeing something as being wrong in man himself... These analyses of man are based on man’s responsibility for his evil actions; they are not saying that it is simply his emotions that have gone astray: it is man’s will which is the central problem.
... Denis Alexander, Beyond Science, Berkhamsted: Lion Pub., 1972, reprint, A. J. Holman Co., 1973, p. 163-164
(see the book; see also Matt. 12:33-34; John 3:19; more at Action, Bible, Evil, Fall, Man, Sin, Wrong)
Sunday, January 6, 2019
Let him who cannot be alone beware of community. He will only do harm to himself and to the community. Alone you stood before God when He called you; alone you had to answer that call; alone you had to struggle and pray; and alone you will die and give an account to God. You cannot escape from yourself; for God has singled you out. If you refuse to be alone, you are rejecting Christ’s call to you, and you can have no part in the community of those who are called... Let him who is not in community beware of being alone. Into the community you were called—the call was not meant for you alone; in the community of the called you bear your cross, you struggle, you pray. You are not alone even in death, and on the Last Day you will be only one member of the great congregation of Jesus Christ. If you scorn the fellowship of the brethren, you reject the call of Jesus Christ.
... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), Life Together , tr. Daniel W. Bloesch & James H. Burtness, Fortress Press, 2004, p. 82
(see the book; see also Matt. 14:22-23; Rom. 9:24-25; more at Bearing, Being alone, Call, Christ, Church, Community, Congregation, Cross, Fellowship, Jesus)
Monday, January 7, 2019
The new age cannot live on naturalism or on secularism. Life becomes sterile and futile without the depth and power which come from participation in eternal realities. But this new age cannot any more successfully live on religious faiths that are out of harmony with known truth, or that hang loose in the air, cut apart from the fundamental intellectual culture of the age. The hour has struck for the serious business of rediscovering the foundations, and of interpenetrating all life and thought with the truths and realities of a victorious religious faith.
... Rufus M. Jones (1863-1948), A Preface to Christian Faith in a New Age, New York: Macmillan Co., 1932, p. 42
(see the book; see also Matt. 13:34-35; more at Apologetics, Culture, Everlasting, Philosophy, Religion)
Tuesday, January 8, 2019
23rd anniversary of CQOD
Commemoration of Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Roger Youderian, Ed McCully, and Pete Fleming, martyrs, Ecuador, 1956
For my generation I must have the oracles of God in fresh terms.
... Jim Elliot (1927-1956), The Journals of Jim Elliot, ed. Elisabeth Elliot, Revell, 1990, p. 166
(see the book; see also Acts 7:37-38; 17:23; Heb. 5:12; 1 Pet. 4:11-13; Jude 3; more at Bible, God, Prophecy, Teach)
Wednesday, January 9, 2019
A conversion is incomplete if it does not leave Jesus Christ in the central place in one’s life. The shortest possible description of a Christian—a description with which the New Testament would fully agree—is that a Christian is a person who can say: “For me Jesus Christ is Lord.”Herbert Butterfield’s words about facing the future are good: “Hold to Christ, and for the rest be totally uncommitted.” Any alleged conversion which does not leave one totally committed solely to Jesus Christ is incomplete and imperfect. [Continued tomorrow]
... William Barclay (1907-1978), In the Hands of God, New York: Harper & Row, 1967, Westminster Press, 1981, p. 40
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 12:3; more at Bible, Commitment, Conversion, Future, Jesus)
Thursday, January 10, 2019
[Continued from yesterday]A conversion is incomplete if it does not leave one integrated into the Church. By this we do not mean any particular part of the Church; what we do mean is that conversion must leave one linked in loving fellowship with one’s fellow believers. Conversion is not something simply between a man and Jesus Christ, with no other person involved. True, it may start in that way; but it cannot end in that way.Conversion is not individualistic. It is in fact the opposite. It joins man to his fellow men, and certainly does not separate him from them. [Continued tomorrow]
... William Barclay (1907-1978), In the Hands of God, New York: Harper & Row, 1967, Westminster Press, 1981, p. 40
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 10:17; more at Church, Conversion, Fellowship, Love)
Friday, January 11, 2019
Commemoration of Mary Slessor, Missionary in West Africa, 1915
[Continued from yesterday]A conversion is incomplete if it does not leave one with an intense social consciousness, if it does not fill one with a sense of overwhelming responsibility for the world. It has been said... truly that the Church exists for those outside of itself.The Church must never be in any sense a little huddle of pious people, shutting their doors against the world, lost in prayer and praise, connoisseurs of preaching and liturgy, busy mutually congratulating themselves on the excellence of their Christian experience.
... William Barclay (1907-1978), In the Hands of God, New York: Harper & Row, 1967, Westminster Press, 1981, p. 41
(see the book; see also Eph. 3:10-11; more at Conversion, Experience, Praise, Prayer, Preach, Responsibility, Social, World)
Saturday, January 12, 2019
Feast of Aelred of Hexham, Abbot of Rievaulx, 1167
Commemoration of Benedict Biscop, Abbot of Wearmouth, Scholar, 689
I think I have never heard a sermon preached on the story of Mary and Martha that did not attempt, somehow, somewhere, to explain away its text. Mary’s, of course, was the better part—the Lord said so, and we must not precisely contradict Him. But we will be careful not to despise Martha. No doubt, He approved of her, too. We could not get on without her, and indeed (having paid lip-service to God’s opinion) we must admit that we greatly prefer her, for Martha was doing a really feminine job, whereas Mary was just behaving like any other disciple; and that is a hard pill to swallow.
... Dorothy Leigh Sayers (1893-1957), Unpopular Opinions, London: Gollancz, 1946, New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1947, p. 148
(see the book; see also Luke 10:41-42; more at Bible, Disciple, Jesus, Sermon)
Sunday, January 13, 2019
Feast of Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers, Teacher, 367
Commemoration of Kentigern (Mungo), Missionary Bishop in Strathclyde & Cumbria, 603
[He said] that our sanctification did not depend upon our changing our works, but upon our doing that for God’s sake which commonly we do for our own. That it was lamentable to see how many people mistook the means for the end, addicting themselves to certain works, which they performed very imperfectly, by reason of their human or selfish regards.
... Brother Lawrence (c.1605-1691), The Practice of the Presence of God, New York, Revell, 1895, Fourth Conversation, p. 16
(see the book; see also Rev. 7:13-14; Rom. 14:6; Col. 3:17,23-24; 1 Pet. 4:11; more at Authenticity, God, People, Sanctification, Selfish, Work)
Monday, January 14, 2019
Commemoration of Richard Meux Benson, Founder of the Society of St John the Evangelist, 1915
I should be very sorry that any man living should outgo me in desires that all who fear God throughout the world, especially in these nations, were of one way as well as of one heart. I know I desire it sincerely; but I do verily believe that when God shall accomplish it, it will be the effect of love, and not the cause of love. It will proceed from love, before it brings forth love.
... John Owen (1616-1683), Works of John Owen, v. IX, New York: R. Carter, 1851, Sermon XXI. “Gospel Charity,”, vol. IX, p. 269
(see the book; see also John 17:11; Col. 3:14; more at Love, Mission, Unity)
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
The final reality, and the ultimate fact of our total situation to which we need to be adjusted, is God. That indeed would be my definition of God: God is He with whom we have ultimately to do, the final reality to which we have to face up, and with whom we have in the last resort to reckon.
... John Baillie (1886-1960), Christian Devotion, Scribner, 1962, p. 67
(see the book; see also Luke 12:38-40; more at God, Knowing God, Ultimate reality)
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Another age may learn to look upon our use of activities much as we look upon the use of the sword by an earlier age. Because in them money takes so prominent a place, ours may one day be known as the age of financial Christianity, just as we look upon that earlier age as the age of military Christianity. As we regard the sword so a later age may regard money. It may learn the wisdom of the Apostle and decline to use such an ambiguous weapon. If the sword was an ambiguous weapon which might easily confuse the issue, money and activities which depend upon money, are not less ambiguous and may as easily confuse the issue. The time is not yet full. We have yet to learn the consequences of our use of money.
... Roland Allen (1869-1947), Mission Activities , included in The Ministry of the Spirit, David M. Paton, ed., London: World Dominion Press, 1960, p. 109
(see the book; see also Matt. 10:5-16; Mark 6:7-12; Luke 10:1-11; 22:35; 1 Cor. 4:10-13; 1 Thess. 2:9; more at Confusion, Dependence, Mission, Money, Sword, Wisdom)
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Feast of Antony of Egypt, Abbot, 356
Commemoration of Charles Gore, Bishop, Teacher, Founder of the Community of the Resurrection, 1932
I suppose these are the three main dangers to which ecclesiastical developments are liable: (1) The danger of undue accommodation to natural religion or to the indolence and superstitious tendencies of human nature, from which result undue and unguarded accretions upon Christian doctrine and perversions of it. (2) There is the danger of one-sidedness by accommodation to the particular tendencies of a particular age. (3) There is the danger of an arrested development, because ecclesiastical authority acting hastily or unguardedly solidifies the one-sidedness or undue accommodation of a particular moment of the Church into a premature and unjustifiable dogma. There is, I venture to think, for all these dangers one remedy, and one remedy only, and that the most old-fashioned; and yet it is with this that is bound up all that is most true, all that is most free, all that is most spiritual in the Church. The remedy to which I refer is ... the continual recurrence to the original pattern, the continual appeal to antiquity and Scripture. Such an appeal limits the dogmatic authority and in a sense the whole authority of the Church. But it is by the maintenance of this appeal, and only so, that you can safeguard what is, after all, the most important thing, that is, the real power of the Church to be true to its own best spirit, to reassert the original teaching in all its freedom and largeness of application, without being trammelled and contracted by the errors and narrownesses of particular periods.
... Charles Gore (1853-1932), in a lecture delivered December 6, 1900
(see the book; see also Jas. 4:8; more at Church, Culture, Danger, Dogma, Error, Freedom, Nature, Religion, Teach)
Friday, January 18, 2019
Commemoration of Amy Carmichael, Founder of the Dohnavur Fellowship, 1951
If souls can suffer alongside, and I hardly know it, because the spirit of discernment is not in me, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
... Amy Carmichael (1867-1951), If , London: SPCK, 1961, p. 47
(see the book; see also Eph. 5:1-2; more at Calvary, Love, Soul, Spirit, Suffer, Weakness)
Saturday, January 19, 2019
Commemoration of Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester, 1095
The [Roman] imperial coinage (which was regularly used as a propaganda medium)... is full of the characteristic motifs of Advent and Epiphany, celebrating the blessings which the manifestation of each successive divine emperor was to bring to a waiting world. Among the adulatory formulas with which the emperor was acclaimed, [Prof. Ethelbert Stauffer] mentions, as going back probably to the first century, “Hail, Victory, Lord of the earth, Invincible, Power, Glory, Honour, Peace, Security, Holy, Blessed, Great, Unequalled, Thou Alone, Worthy art Thou, Worthy is he to inherit the Kingdom, Come, come, do not delay, Come again” (p. 155). [in Christ and the Caesars, Ethelbert Stauffer (1955)]. Indeed, one has only to read Psalm 72, “in Latin, in the official language of the empire, to see that it is largely the same formal language which is used alike in the Forum for the advent of the emperor and in the catacombs for the celebration of the Epiphany of Christ”. Here there could be no compromise. Who was worthy to ascend the throne of the universe and direct the course of history? Caesar, or Jesus?
... F. F. Bruce (1910-1990), The Apostolic Defense of the Gospel, London: Inter-Varsity Press, 1959, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1959, p. 65
(see the book; see also Ps. 72; more at Apologetics, Christmas, Epiphany, Historical, Jesus)
Sunday, January 20, 2019
Commemoration of Richard Rolle of Hampole, Writer, Hermit, Mystic, 1349
O Holy Spirit, Who breathe where you will, come into me and snatch me up to yourself. Fortify the nature you have created, with gifts so flowing with honey that, from intense joy in your sweetness, it may despise and reject all which is in this world, that it may accept spiritual gifts, and through melodious jubilation, it may entirely melt in holy love, reaching out for uncircumscribed Light.
... Richard Rolle (1290?-1349), Concerning the Love of God , tr. Richard Misyn, ch. 11
(see the book; see also 2 Tim. 4:8; John 3:8; 8:12; 2 Cor. 5:8; more at Gifts, Holy Spirit, Joy, Love, Prayers, Strength, World)
Monday, January 21, 2019
Feast of Agnes, Child Martyr at Rome, 304
I shall think it mercy to my soul, if my faith shall out-watch all this winter-night, and not nod or slumber till my Lord’s summer-day dawn upon me.
... Samuel Rutherford (1600-1664), Letters of Samuel Rutherford, Edinburgh: William Whyte & Co., 1848, letter, Jan. 6, 1637. p. 155
(see the book; see also John 9:4; more at Dawn, Faith, God, Historical, Mercy, Sleep)
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
According to Jesus, by far the most important thing about praying is to keep at it... Be importunate, Jesus says—not, one assumes, because you have to beat a path to God’s door before he’ll open it, but because until you beat the path maybe there’s no way of getting to your door.
... Frederick Buechner (b. 1926), Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC, Harper & Row, 1973, revised, HarperCollins, 1993, p. 70
(see the book; see also Luke 11:5-8; more at Door, God, Jesus, Perseverance, Prayer)
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Commemoration of Phillips Brooks, Bishop of Massachusetts, spiritual writer, 1893
Sad will be the day for every man when he becomes absolutely contented with the life that he is living, with the thoughts that he is thinking, with the deeds that he is doing, when there is not forever beating at the doors of his soul some great desire to do something larger, which he knows that he was meant and made to do because he is a child of God.
... Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), Addresses, Philadelphia: Henry Altemus, 1895, p. 67
(see the book; see also Acts 21:12-13; more at Attitudes, Child, Contentment, Deed, Knowledge, Thought)
Thursday, January 24, 2019
Feast of François de Sales, Bishop of Geneva, Teacher, 1622
Be patient, not only with respect to the main trials which beset you, but also under the accidental and accessory annoyances which arise out of them. We often find people who imagine themselves ready to accept a trial in itself who are impatient of its consequences.
... François de Sales (1567-1622), Introduction to the Devout Life , London: Rivingtons, 1876, III.iii, p. 137-138
(see the book; see also Jas. 1:19-20; more at Imagination, Patience, People, Trial, Weakness)
Friday, January 25, 2019
Feast of the Conversion of Paul
Our method in proclaiming salvation is this: to point out to every heart the loving Lamb, who died for us and, although He was the Son of God, offered Himself for our sins... by the preaching of His blood, and of His love unto death, even the death of the cross; never, either in the discourse or in the argument, to digress even for a quarter of an hour from the loving Lamb; to name no virtue, except in Him and from Him and on His account; to preach no commandment except faith in Him; no other justification but that He atoned for us; no other sanctification but the privilege to sin no more; no other happiness but to be near Him, to think of Him and do His pleasure; no other self denial but to be deprived of Him and His blessings; no other calamity but to displease Him; no other life but in Him.
... Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1700-1760), in a letter, 1742, recorded in The Early History of the Church of the United Brethren (Unitas Fratrum) Commonly Called Moravians in North America, A. D. 1734-1748, Levin Theodore Reichel, Nazareth, PA: The Moravian Historical Society, 1888, p. 116-117
(see the book; see also Mark 7:35; Phil. 2:5-11; more at Faith, Justification, Mission, Preach, Salvation, Sanctification)
Saturday, January 26, 2019
Feast of Timothy and Titus, Companions of Paul
Commemoration of Dorothy Kerin, Founder of the Burrswood Healing Community, 1963
The... task of the ministry is, not to undertake some specialist activity from which the rest of the faithful are excluded, but to pioneer in doing that which the whole church must do. And the ministry itself is no originator, but receives its task from Christ. The ordained ministers only exercise the ministry which Christ himself has first exercised, and which he continues to exercise through them, and through their activity in the whole church also.
... Anthony T. Hanson (1916-1991), The Pioneer Church, SCM, 1961, p. 72
(see the book; see also Phil. 1:8; more at Christ, Church, Minister, Ordination, Task)
Sunday, January 27, 2019
I implore you in God’s name, not to think of Him as hard to please, but rather as generous beyond all that you can ask or think.
... Abbé de Tourville (1842-1903), Letters of Direction, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2005, p. 59
(see the book; see also John 10:10; 2 Cor. 4:15; more at Attitudes, Generosity, God, Thought)
Monday, January 28, 2019
Feast of Thomas Aquinas, Priest, Teacher of the Faith, 1274
The end of all my labors has come. All that I have written appears to me as much straw after the things that have been revealed to me.
... Thomas Aquinas (1225?-1274), Butler’s Lives of the Saints , Alban Butler & Michael J. Walsh, Burns & Oates, 1956, reprint, HarperCollins, 1991, p. 29
(see the book; see also Luke 3:21-22; more at Historical, Labor, Revelation)
Tuesday, January 29, 2019
The love I bear Christ is but a faint and feeble spark, but it is an emanation from Himself: He kindled it and He keeps it alive; and because it is His work, I trust many waters shall not quench it.
... John Newton (1725-1807), in a letter, 1776, The Works of the Rev. John Newton, v. I, New York: Williams and Whiting, 1810, p. 606
(see the book; see also Son. 8:7; more at Christ, Holy Spirit, Love, Trust, Work)
Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Commemoration of Lesslie Newbigin, Bishop, Missionary, Teacher, 1998
The conception of the Church which we tend to reproduce as the fruit of our missionary work is so much a replica of our own, so much that of a fundamentally settled body existing for the sake of its own members rather than that of a body of strangers and pilgrims, the sign and instrument of a supernatural and universal salvation to be revealed, that our missionary advance tends to follow the lines of cultural and political expansion, and to falter when that advance stops.
... Lesslie Newbigin (1909-1998), The Household of God, London, SCM Press, 1953, New York: Friendship Press, 1954, p. 166
(see the book; see also Heb. 11:13-14; more at Church, Culture, Missionary, Salvation, Stranger)
Thursday, January 31, 2019
Commemoration of John Bosco, Priest, Founder of the Salesian Teaching Order, 1888
The Abrahamic Covenant is not only totally different from the Mosaic Covenant, but there is no “throw-back” of any feature of the Mosaic period in Genesis. Abraham and Moses not only lived in two uniquely different worlds, but no Old Testament editor tried in any way to soften the glaring contrasts between the two spiritual giants. Abraham had no Tabernacle, with its minute ritual and special clergy. Abraham was given nothing like the detailed code of life demanded by the Sinai Covenant. Abraham was not even furnished with the basic Ten Commandments. And yet, when we turn to the New Testament, it is Abraham who holds the place of honor, and not Moses! Abraham is mentioned over seventy times in the New Testament, and half of these are in the Gospels.
... James Kelso (1892-1978), “Abraham as Archaeology Knows Him” , in Bible and Spade, reprinted in Perspective, v. XIII, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, 1972, p. 16
(see the book; see also Gen. 17:3-8; more at Bible, Commandment, Honor, Spiritual life, Way)
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