Quotations for May, 2020
Friday, May 1, 2020
Feast of Philip & James, Apostles
Not praying is a clear proof that a person is not yet a true Christian. They cannot really feel their sins. They cannot love God. They cannot feel themselves a debtor to Christ. They cannot long after holiness. They cannot desire heaven. They have yet to be born again. They have yet to be made a new creature. They may boast confidently of election, grace, faith, hope and knowledge, and deceive ignorant people. But you may rest assured it is all vain talk if they do not pray.
... J. C. Ryle (1816-1900), A Call to Prayer, published in the 1850’s as a pamphlet, American Tract Society, 1867, sec. II
(see the book; see also Isa. 59:12-13; 1 Kings 18:25-40; Matt. 6:5; Rom. 12:12; Eph. 6:18; 1 Thess. 5:17; 1 Pet. 4:7; more at Authenticity, Christ, Confidence, Debt, Holiness, Love, People, Prayer, Predestination, Proof, Sin)
Saturday, May 2, 2020
Feast of St. Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, Teacher, 373
How many are there not who seem capable of anything for the sake of the church or of Christianity, except the one thing the Lord cares about—that they should do what He tells them! He would deliver them from themselves into the liberty of the sons of God, make them His brothers; they leave Him to vaunt their church.
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), “The Displeasure of Jesus”, in Unspoken Sermons, Third Series, London: Longmans, Green, 1889, p. 188
(see the book; see also John 13:17; Matt. 12:50; Luke 11:28; John 14:15,23; 15:14; Eph. 4:1; 1 Tim. 6:13-16; Jas. 1:22-25; more at Authenticity, Church, God, Liberty, Obedience, Son)
Sunday, May 3, 2020
Once you become aware that the main business that you are here for is to know God, most of life’s problems fall into place of their own accord.
... James I. Packer (1926-2020), Knowing God, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1973, p. 34
(see the book; see also Phil. 3:10-11; Ps. 9:10; Jer. 31:33-34; Hos. 6:3,6; John 17:3; 2 Cor. 4:6; Eph. 1:17-18; 2 Tim. 1:12; Heb. 8:10-12; 1 John 5:20; more at Awareness, God, Knowing God, Life)
Monday, May 4, 2020
Feast of English Saints & Martyrs of the Reformation
“The Future and Christianity” are no casual combination of words like the “future of motoring”, or the “future of Europe”. Christianity is the founder and trustee of the future.
... Eugen R. Huessey (1888-1973), Christian Future, or the Modern Mind Outrun, New York: HarperCollins Publishers Inc, 1966, p. 61
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 15:35-58; Ps. 96:10; Isa. 2:4; Matt. 16:27-28; 26:64; John 14:3,18; 1 Cor. 11:26; more at Future, Kingdom, Predestination, Resurrection, Social)
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
It often happens that one who is not a Christian hath some knowledge, derived from the evidence of his senses, about the earth, about the heavens, about the elements of this world, about the movements and revolutions, or about the size and distance of the stars, about certain eclipses of the sun and moon, about the course of the years and the seasons, about the nature of animals, plants, and minerals... Now it is an unseemly and mischievous thing, and greatly to be avoided, that a Christian man speaking on such matters, as if according to the authority of the Christian Scriptures, should talk so foolishly that the unbeliever on hearing him and observing the extravagance of his error, should hardly be able to refrain from laughter. And the great mischief is not so much that the man himself is laughed at for his errors, but that our authors are believed, by many people without the Church, to have taught such things, and so are condemned as unlearned and cast aside, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we are so much concerned. [Continued tomorrow]
... St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), On Genesis , tr. John Hammond Taylor, Newman Press, 1982, I.xix, p. 42-43
(see the book; see also Eccl. 2:13-15; 1:13-18; 1 Tim. 1:3-4; Tit. 3:9; more at Apologetics, Belief, Church, Error, Knowledge, Salvation, Scripture, World)
Wednesday, May 6, 2020
[Continued from yesterday]For when they find one belonging to the Christian body falling into error on a subject with which they themselves are thoroughly conversant, and when they see him moreover enforcing his groundless opinion by the authority of our Sacred Book, how are they likely to put trust in these Books about the resurrection of the dead, and the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, having already come to regard them as fallacious about those things they had themselves learned from observation, or from unquestionable evidences? And indeed it were not easy to tell what trouble and sorrow some rash and presumptuous men bring upon their prudent brethren, who, when they are charged with a perverse and false opinion by those who do not accept the authority of our Books, attempt to put forward these same Holy Books in defense of that which they have lightly and. falsely asserted, sometimes even quoting from memory what they think will suit their purposes, and putting forth many words without well understanding either what they say, or what they are talking about.
... St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), On Genesis , tr. John Hammond Taylor, Newman Press, 1982, I.xix, p. 43
(see the book; see also Pr. 21:23-24; 1 Cor. 15:12-13; 2 Pet. 2:10-11; more at Apologetics, Body of Christ, Error, Eternal life, Kingdom, Resurrection, Scripture, Sorrow, Understanding)
Thursday, May 7, 2020
And what am I, to knowyour promises, your mercies, your grace, your love?Suppose my heart is (as I can only too well believe)hard, unfruitful, deep, deceitful—is that beyond the powerof the fingers that made the heavens?
O, majestic Lord, you care for me,you have me in your mind and heart.In that I rest.Amen.
... Timothy Dudley-Smith (b. 1926), Someone Who Beckons: readings and prayers for 60 days, InterVarsity Press, 1978, p. 29
(see the book; see also Jer.7:5-7; 17:9; Heb. 3:12-13; 4:1,11; more at Grace, Knowing God, Mercy, Power, Promise, Rest)
Friday, May 8, 2020
Feast of Juliana of Norwich, Mystic, Teacher, c.1417
Commemoration of Dallas Willard, Teacher, Spiritual Writer, 2013
We should be very sure that the ruined soul is not one who has missed a few more or less important theological points and will flunk a theological examination at the end of life. Hell is not an “oops!” or a slip. One does not miss heaven by a hair, but by constant effort to avoid and escape God. “Outer darkness” is for one who, everything said, wants it, whose entire orientation has slowly and firmly set itself against God and therefore against how the universe actually is. It is for those who are disastrously in error about their own life and their place before God and man. The ruined soul must be willing to hear of and recognize its own ruin before it can find how to enter a different path, the path of eternal life that naturally leads into spiritual formation in Christlikeness.
... Dallas Willard (1935-2013), The Renovation of the Heart, Colorado Springs, Colo.: Navpress, 2002, p. 59
(see the book; see also Matt. 8:10-12; 1 Kings 16:30-31; 2 Cor. 4:6; Eph. 5:8; 6:12; 1 Pet. 2:9; more at Christlikeness, Darkness, Eternal life, Heaven, Providence, Soul)
Saturday, May 9, 2020
The Old Testament [is] a reflection of national life in sharply defined phases: the Hebrews, Israel, and the Jews successively appear as its bearers. But there is a religious unity through the complicated story, a unity which carries with it a continuity of purpose. The people themselves were not always conscious of that purpose; even when they were, they frequently did their best to thwart it. Nevertheless, the purpose prevailed. The religious mind calls it a revelation of God, and the more we pass through a study of the literature into a conception of the people among whom it arose, the more we compare their faith and fortunes with those of their neighbours, the more impossible it seems to explain the rise and career of these particular Semitic clans within the ancient world, a part from a Divine choice. Those who called the literature the “Old Testament” believed that this Divine choice and purpose was fulfilled in the “New Testament,” in the religious movement within Judaism which, during the first century A.D., named itself after Jesus Christ. The members of this movement held that the Old Testament was unintelligible apart from the New, and the New unintelligible apart from the Old. The Church believes that the divine purpose revealed in the Old Testament is not to be fulfilled in any national future for Judaism, within Palestine or elsewhere, but in a catholic community for the world. Hence its Bible adds the New Testament to the Old as the one and only sequel.
... 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. xv-xvi
(see the book; see also Heb. 1:1-2; Ps. 18:2; 67:1,2; Acts 2:16-18,36; Rom. 8:1,2; Heb. 12:1-2; more at Bible, Church, Fulfillment, Israel, Life, Nation, Purpose, Revelation, Unity)
Sunday, May 10, 2020
Those on both sides who continue to hold to the historic view concerning the Bible should say “I’m sorry” where it is needed. Both sides should let history be history and not reopen the old sores, except to learn not to repeat the same mistakes in an even more complicated and subtle age. The broader group should realize that a line must be drawn with love, yet drawn. The other side should realize that harshness is not to be confused with standing for holiness and that, in an age like our own, surrounded by a relativistic culture and by a relativistic church, which bends the Bible to the changing whims of this age, the chasm should be kept in the right place, with all our strongly believed-in distinctives on this side of the chasm, rather than making the distinctives the chasm.
... Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-1984), foreword to Foundation of Biblical Authority, ed. James Montgomery Boice, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1978, p. 18-19
(see the book; see also Tit. 2:15; Eph. 4:1-3,15; 2 Tim. 4:2; Tit. 3:10-11; 2 John 10-11; Rev. 3:19; more at Bible, Confusion, Discord, Historical)
Monday, May 11, 2020
Generous love makes [a good man] hold others innocent in his heart; even when he sees infirmity or fault in his neighbour, he reflects that very likely all is not as it seems on the outside, but the act may have been done with a good intention; or else he thinks that God may have permitted it to take place for an admonition and lesson to himself; or again, as an opportunity for him to exercise self-control, and to learn to die unto himself by the patient endurance of and forbearance towards the faults of his neighbours, even as God has often borne many wrongs from him and had patience with his sins. And this would often tend more to his neighbour’s improvement than all the efforts he could make for it in the way of reproofs or chastisements, even if they were done in love, (though indeed we often imagine that our reproofs are given in love, when it is in truth far otherwise). For I tell thee, if thou couldst conquer thyself by long-suffering and gentleness and the pureness of thy heart, thou wouldst have vanquished all thine enemies.
... Johannes Tauler (ca. 1300-1361), The History and Life of the Reverend Doctor John Tauler of Strasbourg, Charles Kingsley, pref. & Susanna Winkworth, tr., New York: Wiley & Halsted, 1858, “Sermon for St. Peter’s Day”, p. 463
(see the book; see also Heb. 13:12-14; 2 Tim. 4:2; Tit. 3:1-2; Jas. 3:17; more at Forebear, Generosity, Gentleness, Intention, Love, Sin, Weakness)
Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Commemoration of Aiden Wilson Tozer, Spiritual Writer, 1963
A generation of Christians reared among push buttons and automatic machines is impatient of slower and less direct methods of reaching their goals. We have been trying to apply machine-age methods to our relations with God. We read our chapter, have our short devotions, and rush away, hoping to make up for our deep inward bankruptcy by attending another gospel meeting or listening to another thrilling story told by a religious adventurer lately returned from afar.The tragic results of this spirit are all about us. Shallow lives, hollow religious philosophies, the preponderance of the element of fun in gospel meetings, the glorification of men, trust in religious externalities, quasi-religious fellowships, salesmanship methods, the mistaking of dynamic personality for the power of the Spirit: these and such as these are the symptoms of an evil disease, a deep and serious malady of the soul.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), The Pursuit of God , Christian Publications, 1982, p. 65
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 2:4-5; Matt. 10:19-20; 1 Cor. 1:17-22; Col. 2:18-19; more at Authenticity, Devotion, Evil, Fellowship, Philosophy, Soul, Trust)
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
The belief in baptismal regeneration of infants, which had... become almost universal [in the middle ages], and the reliance on mysterious sacramental efficacy for sanctification and heavenly admission, strongly militated against regeneration and spiritual reality within the Church. The complete professionalization of a priestly ministry largely eliminated laymen from direct evangelism and robbed them of the missionary spirit, since they were not to be trusted to teach and could not validly administer the saving symbols. The reliance on organization and ceremonial grace, along with the growing concept of the representative relation of the Pope on earth to the Christ in heaven, involved a practical ignoring of the Holy Spirit as the divinely ordained Counterpart of the Christ and the informing soul of the Church... The vast territorial extent of Christianity and the very general ignorance of world geography made it possible for Christians to lose sight of the non-Christian world and to feel, even if somewhat vaguely, that the Christian task was complete, so far as its world occupation was concerned. The Mohammedan growth had encircled the Christian territories. The relations between Christendom and the Mohammedan world fostered anything else than a spirit of helpfulness and a disposition to give the blessings of the one to the other. Christian information about the heathen world was largely cut off by... Mohammedanism; and in order to reach the heathen, missionaries would have to make their way through Mohammedan territory.
... William Owen Carver (1868-1954), The Course of Christian Missions, New York, Chicago: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1932, p. 77-78
(see the book; see also Matt. 24:14; Luke 24:46-47; Rom. 15:18-21; 16:25-27; Col. 1:5-6; Rev. 14:6; more at Baptism, Evangelization, Heathen, Historical, Holy Spirit, Minister, Missionary, Priest, Regeneration, Sacrament)
Thursday, May 14, 2020
Feast of Matthias the Apostle
Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.
... William Cowper (1731-1800), The Works of William Cowper: his life, letters, and poems, New York: R. Carter & Brothers, 1851, p. 676
(see the book; see also Heb. 4:16; Matt. 16:15-18; Luke 11:5-10; 18:1-7; 2 Cor. 12:9; more at Fear, Prayer, Satan, Weakness)
Friday, May 15, 2020
Commemoration of Charles Williams, Spiritual Writer, 1945
The history of Christendom itself would have been far happier could we all have remembered that rule of intelligence—not to believe a thing more strongly at the end of a bitter argument than at the beginning, not to believe it with the energy of the opposition rather than one’s own.
... Charles Williams (1886-1945), The Descent of the Dove: a history of the Holy Spirit in the church, Meridian Books, 1956, p. 193
(see the book; see also Gal. 2:11; Luke 11:53-54; Phil. 1:27-28; 2 Tim. 2:22-24; Heb. 12:15; more at Argument, Belief, Bitterness, Church, Historical, Strength)
Saturday, May 16, 2020
Commemoration of Caroline Chisholm, Social Reformer, 1877
The childish idea that prayer is a handle by which we can take hold of God and obtain whatever we desire, leads to easy disillusionment with both what we had thought to be God and what we had thought to be prayer.
... Robert L. Short (1932-2009), The Parables of Peanuts , New York: HarperCollins, 2002, p. 305
(see the book; see also Heb. 11:6; John 9:31; Rom. 8:26; 10:12-13; 1 Cor. 14:20; Jas. 1:5-7; 1 John 5:14-15; more at Attitudes, Authenticity, Belief, God, Prayer, Thought)
Sunday, May 17, 2020
Lord, come away;Why dost thou stay?Thy road is ready and thy paths made straightWith longing expectations waitThe consecration of thy beauteous feet.Ride on triumphantly: behold, we layOur lusts and proud wills in thy way.Hosannah! welcome to our hearts: Lord, hereThou hast a temple, too, and full as dearAs that of Sion; and as full of sin;—Nothing but thieves and robbers dwell therein,Enter, and chase them forth, and cleanse the floor;Crucify them, that they may never moreProfane that holy placeWhere thou hast chose to set thy face.And then if our stiff tongues shall beMute in the praises of thy deity,The stones out of the temple wallShall cry aloud and callHosannah! and thy glorious footsteps greet.
... Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667), The Whole Works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor, D.D., v. XV, London: Ogle, Duncan & Co., 1822, p. 77
(see the book; see also Luke 19:37-40; Rom. 6:6; 1 Cor. 3:16-17; Gal. 2:20; Col. 2:14; 1 Pet. 2:4-5; more at Beauty, Cleanse, Consecration, Easter, Holiness, Praise, Temple)
Monday, May 18, 2020
We must become “narrow” in the right way—“narrow” in the sense that we live only for Christ. I do not mean at all that our lives should show more religiosity. There is no one as broadhearted as the crucified Christ, whose outstretched arms seek all men. It is a matter of decisiveness in one’s heart, of living only for Christ. If we have this decisiveness, we will have broad hearts, though not, of course, in the worldly sense of tolerance for anything and everything.
... J. Heinrich Arnold (1913-1982), Discipleship, Farmington, PA: Plough Pub. House, 1994, p. 30-31
(see the book; see also Matt. 7:13-14; Isa. 65:1; Luke 13:24; 19:9-10; John 4:23; more at Attitudes, Christ, Heart, Life, Tolerance, Worldly)
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Feast of Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, 988
INSCRIPTION FOR A PULPIT
“The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed.”The hungry sheep that crave the living BreadGrow few, and lean, and feeble as can be,When fed not Gospel, but philosophy;Not Love’s eternal story, no, not this,But apt allusion, keen analysis.Discourse well framed—forgot as soon as heard—Man’s thin dilution of the living Word.
O Preacher, leave the rhetorician’s arts;Preach Christ, the Food of hungry human hearts;Hold fast to science, history, or creed,But preach the Answer to our human need,That in this place, at least, it may be saidNo hungry sheep looks up and is not fed.
... Robert Hammond Adams (1883-1975) (my grandfather)
(see also Acts 20:28; Ps. 23; John 6:32-35,51; 10:11; 21:15-17; more at Bread, Christ, Church, Minister, Preacher)
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Jesus Christ is God in the form of man; God in every fiber of his being, man in every fiber of his being; as completely God as if he were not man, and as completely man as if he were not God. We cannot divide him. He is always divine, and he is always human. The truly human experiences were also divine experiences. The truly human acts were also divine acts. The personality was human from center to circumference, and it was divine from center to circumference. The one soul was human to the core, and it was divine to the core. It follows from this, that whatever is affirmed of Jesus Christ, is as true of his deity as it is of his humanity.
... A. J. F. Behrends (1839-1900), part VII. “Why Did Christ Die?”, from “Short Studies Upon Great Themes”, printed in Christian work: illustrated family newspaper, v.64, p. 173
(see the book; see also 2 John 1:7; John 1:14; 1 Tim. 3:16; 1 John 4:2-3; more at Christ, God, Jesus, Man)
Thursday, May 21, 2020
Feast of Commemoration of Helena, Protector of the Faith, 330
This Ascension Day is properly the most solemn feast of our Lord Jesus: for this day first in His manhood He began to sit on the Father’s right hand in bliss and took full rest of all His pilgrimage before.Also this is properly the feast of all the blessed spirits in heaven: for this day they had a new joy of their Lord whom they saw never before there in His manhood.
... The Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ, tr. Nicolas Love, Michael G. Sargent, Westminster: William Caxton, 1490, critical edition, Garland Pub., 1992, p. 219
(see the book; see also Luke 24:50-51; Mark 16:19; Acts 1:9; Eph. 1:18-21; 1 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 1:3; more at Ascension, Blessing, Father, Heaven, Jesus, Joy)
Friday, May 22, 2020
In Romans 1:17, we are accustomed to find the words, “The just shall live by faith.” This declaration has been a clarion call to faith and has been the text for many a sermon on the necessity of continued faith throughout life. It is true that this verse may have this meaning, but it is more probable that it means, “He who through faith is righteous shall live.” This is in keeping with the whole emphasis of Paul throughout Romans, which has as its theme “justification by faith” (Romans 5:1). Paul does not present two themes in Romans: the one, “living by faith,” and the other, “justification by faith.” His purpose was to emphasize one great primary truth of Christian doctrine: the righteousness which comes by faith in God. It is a kind of imputed righteousness, which has its origin in the grace of God and its response in the faith of man. Not only is this translation more in keeping with the Pauline context, but it is more faithful to the Hebrew of Habakkuk 2:4, of which it is a quotation.
... Eugene A. Nida (1914-2011), God’s Word in Man’s Language, New York: Harper, 1952, p. 73
(see the book; see also Hab. 2:4; John 3:36; Rom. 1:17; 5:1; Gal. 3:11; Phil. 3:8-9; Heb. 10:36-39; 11:6; more at Bible, Faith, Grace, Justification, Life, Righteousness, Truth)
Saturday, May 23, 2020
Commemoration of Petroc, Abbot of Padstow, 6th century
Recently, some Christians have recognized the existing state of the church as sinful, or, at least, as faulty and mistaken. They are trying to save the Christians out of this labyrinth by reuniting the divided churches, by forming an alliance of churches, or by trying to form an ecumenical church. For all that, it seems very difficult to obtain the desired result, because all the present churches are still standing on the principles of the Reformation, unable to rid themselves of the sectarian spirit inherited from Catholicism. So the number of denominations and sects shows no sign of decreasing, and all efforts to unite the churches seem likely to end only in the formation of yet other sects and denominations. Yet the center of Christianity is neither institution nor organization. Nor is it even the Bible itself, as the Reformers made it, for the Ekklesia existed before the formation of the New Testament canon. Christians were in fellowship with God and one another, centering their faith in Christ, long before there was any accepted New Testament. There is only one center of Christianity—spiritual fellowship with God through Jesus Christ.
... Kokichi Kurosaki (1886-1970), One Body in Christ, Kobe, Japan: Eternal Life Press, 1954, ch. 4
(see the book; see also John 17:20-23; Matt. 18:20; John 14:23; Rom. 12:5; 15:5-7; more at Bible, Church, Ecumenical, Fellowship, Jesus, Reformation, Sect, Unity)
Sunday, May 24, 2020
Feast of John and Charles Wesley, Priests, Poets, Teachers, 1791 & 1788
If all things are possible with God, then all things are possible to him who believes in him.
... John Wesley (1703-1791), Sermons on Several Occasions, v. II, New York: Carlton & Phillips, 1855, p. 446
(see the book; see also Jer. 32:17; Gen. 18:14; Matt. 6:22-23; 19:26; more at Belief, God, Miracle, Power, Providence)
Monday, May 25, 2020
Feast of the Venerable Bede, Priest, Monk of Jarrow, Historian, 735
Commemoration of Aldhelm, Abbot of Mamsbury, Bishop of Sherborne, 709
It is true that the New Testament uses the term ekklesia for the spiritual reality of the body of Christ and also for the assembly, in which the genuineness of the spiritual reality of every individual professing member cannot be known. To this extent, the exact membership of any individual church and the universal church at large cannot be known and is thereby invisible. But even this invisible membership is very visible in the reality of life. As for membership in an invisible church without fellowship with any local assembly, this concept is never contemplated in the New Testament. The universal church was the universal fellowship of believers who met visibly in local assemblies.
... Robert L. Saucy (1930-2015), The Church in God’s Program, Chicago: Moody Press, 1972, p. 17
(see the book; see also Ps. 37:28-29; John 10:27-30; Rom. 11:2-5; 1 Cor. 8:3; 2 Tim. 2:19; more at Bible, Body of Christ, Church, Fellowship, Life)
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Feast of Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury, 605
Commemoration of Arthur John Gossip, Spiritual Writer, 1954
I like to begin a service with some divine assurance of the liberality and the eager forgiveness of the God who is now meeting with us; not by beseeching Him to be gracious, but by believing that He is; that He stands to His promises; and that, quite safely, we can deal with Him on that assumption.
... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), In the Secret Place of the Most High, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1947, p. 54
(see the book; see also Joel 2:13; Mark 1:15; Acts 17:30-31; 2 Tim. 2:25-26; 1 John 1:9; more at Assurance, Belief, Forgiveness, God, Grace, Promise, Safety)
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Commemoration of John Calvin, renewer of the Church, 1564
Dreadful are those descriptions in which Isaiah, Jeremiah, Joel, Habakkuk, and others, deplore the disorders of the Church of Jerusalem. There was such general and extreme corruption in the people, in the magistrates, and in the priests, that Isaiah does not hesitate to compare Jerusalem to Sodom and Gomorrah. Religion was partly despised, partly corrupted. Their manners were generally disgraced by thefts, robberies, treacheries, murders, and similar crimes. Nevertheless, the prophets on this account neither raised themselves new churches, nor built new altars for the oblation of separate sacrifices; but whatever were the characters of the people, yet because they considered that God had deposited his word among that nation, and instituted the ceremonies in which he was there worshipped, they lifted up pure hands to him even in the congregation of the impious. If they had thought that they contracted any contagion from these services, surely they would have suffered a hundred deaths rather than have permitted themselves to be dragged to them. There was nothing therefore to prevent their departure from them, but the desire of preserving the unity of the Church. But if the holy prophets were restrained by a sense of duty from forsaking the Church on account of the numerous and enormous crimes which were practised, not by a few individuals, but almost by the whole nation,—it is extreme arrogance in us, if we presume immediately to withdraw from the communion of a Church where the conduct of all the members is not compatible either with our judgment, or even with the Christian profession.
... John Calvin (1509-1564), The Institutes of the Christian Religion, v. II, tr. John Allen, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1921, IV.i.18, p. 239
(see the book; see also Rom. 15:7-12; Isa. 3:8-9; Jer. 13:9-10; Matt. 10:40; Mark 9:37; Rom. 14:1-3; more at Church, Communion, Corruption, Jerusalem, Priest, Prophet, Purity, Sacrifice, Worship)
Thursday, May 28, 2020
Commemoration of Lanfranc, Prior of Le Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1089
What does it mean to be a Christocratic brotherhood? Not a place where religion of a certain brand brings people together at stated times for stated activities, but a brotherhood where everybody finds his or her place, as in 1 Cor. 12, and where the creative fact is the living Christ, the [Redeemer] and Reconciler, who wants to reach the world to minister to it through His redeemed. For the world wants to see redemption. It is not interested in being talked to about it.
... Hendrik Kraemer (1888-1965), A Theology of the Laity, London: Lutterworth Press, 1958, p. 179-180
(see the book; see also Gal. 1:3-5; 1 Cor. 12; Gal. 4:4-5; Tit. 2:14; Heb. 9:15; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; more at Brotherhood, Christ, Minister, Redemption, Religion, Sight, World)
Friday, May 29, 2020
Some day you will read in the papers that D. L. Moody, of East Northfield, is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it! At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now. I shall have gone up higher, that is all; out of this old clay tenement into a house that is immortal, a body that death cannot touch, that sin cannot taint, a body like unto His own glorious body. I was born of the flesh in 1837. I was born of the Spirit in 1856. That which is born of the flesh may die. That which is born of the Spirit will live forever.
... Dwight Lyman Moody (1837-1899), quoted in The Shorter Life of D. L. Moody, v. 1, Paul Dwight Moody & Arthur Percy Fit, Chicago: The Bible Institute Colportage Association, 1900, p. 9
(see the book; see also 2 Cor. 4:18; John 3:5-6; 5:21; 6:39-40; 11:25-26; Rom. 8:11; Phil. 3:20-21; 1 John 2:16-17; Rev. 21:4; more at Death, Eternal life, Immortality, Life, Sin, Spirit)
Saturday, May 30, 2020
Feast of Josephine Butler, Social Reformer, 1906
Commemoration of Joan of Arc, Visionary, 1431
Commemoration of Apolo Kivebulaya, Priest, Evangelist, 1933
In the surrender of separation only one thing must be abandoned, namely, a failure in obedience to Christ, hitherto unrealised, in which a Church, in common... with a neighbor Church, or with all the severed Churches, has had a share of guilt in that trouble which is the multiplicity of the Churches. Its share has possibly lain in the fact that the normal and necessary multiplicity of communities, gifts, and persons within the Church has by the agency of the evil one been perverted; possibly in this, that undue place and import have been attributed to what is racial, to elements of human mentality and ethic, or of historical persistence. This would be the disobedience which the Church would have to consider, as it listened afresh to the voice of Christ.
... Karl Barth (1886-1968), The Church and the Churches , Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2005, p. 43-44
(see the book; see also Jas. 2:8-9; Acts 20:28; 1 Cor. 1:13; 11:18; Eph. 2:19-20; Jas. 2:3-4; more at Church, Community, Disobedience, Evil, Gifts, Guilt)
Sunday, May 31, 2020
This therefore is a certain truth, that hell and death, curse and misery, can never cease or be removed from the creation, till the will of the creature is again as it came from God, and is only a Spirit of Love that wills nothing but goodness. All the whole fallen creation, stand it never so long, must groan and travail in pain, till every contrariety to the divine will is entirely taken from every creature.Which is only saying, that all the powers and properties of nature, are a misery to themselves, can only work in disquiet and wrath, till the birth of the Son of God brings them under the dominion and power of the Spirit of Love.
... William Law (1686-1761), The Spirit of Love [1752-4], in Works of Rev. William Law, v. VIII, London: G. Moreton, 1893, p. 8
(see the book; see also Rom. 2:5; Ps. 63:1-2; Rom. 8:22-23; Matt. 28:18; Heb. 3:13; Rev. 6:16-17; more at Creation, Fall, Love, Nature, Power, Providence, Spirit, Truth)
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