Christ, our Light

Quotations for March, 2001

Thursday, March 1, 2001
Feast of David, Bishop of Menevia, Patron of Wales, c.601

We believe that the Word contained in these books [viz., the Bible] has proceeded from God, and receives its authority from Him alone, and not from men. And inasmuch as it is the rule of all truth, containing all that is necessary for the service of God and for our salvation, it is not lawful for men, nor even for angels, to add to it, to take away from it, or to change it. Whence it follows that no authority, whether of antiquity, or custom, or numbers, or human wisdom, or judgments, or proclamations, or edicts, or decrees, or councils, or visions, or miracles, should be opposed to these Holy Scriptures, but on the contrary, all things should be examined, regulated, and reformed according to them.
... The French Confession of Faith [1559], in Bibliotheca Symbolica Ecclesiae Universalis: The evangelical Protestant creeds, vol. 3, Philip Schaff, New York: Harper, 1919, art. V (see the book; see also John 3:30-31; Deut. 4:2; 12:32; Pr. 30:6; Matt. 15:9; John 3:26-29; 5:33-34; 15:15; 20:30-31; Acts 5:28-29; 20:27; 1 Cor. 11:2,23; Gal. 1:8; 1 Tim. 1:15; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 1 Pet. 1:11-12; 2 Pet. 1:20-21; Rev. 22:18-19; more at Bible, God, Inspiration, Reform, Salvation, Scripture, Truth)

Friday, March 2, 2001
Feast of Chad, Abbot of Lastingham, Bishop of Lichfield, Missionary, 672

It is absolutely wrong and forbidden, either to narrow inspiration to certain parts only of Holy Scripture, or to admit that the sacred writer has erred. For the system of those who, in order to rid themselves of these difficulties, do not hesitate to concede that divine inspiration regards the things of faith and morals, and nothing beyond, because (as they wrongly think) in a question of the truth or falsehood of a passage, we should consider not so much what God has said as the reason and purpose which He had in mind in saying it—this system cannot be tolerated. For all the books which the Church receives as sacred and canonical, are written wholly and entirely, with all their parts, at the dictation of the Holy Ghost; and so far is it from being possible that any error can co-exist with inspiration, that inspiration not only is essentially incompatible with error, but excludes and rejects it as absolutely and necessarily as it is impossible that God Himself, the supreme Truth, can utter that which is not true.
... Leo XIII (1813-1903), Providentissimus Deus, “On the Study of Holy Scripture” [1893], par. 20 (see the book; see also Ps. 119:160; 19:9; 119:86; Pr. 30:5; John 17:17; 2 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 6:18; more at Bible, Church, Error, God, Holy Spirit, Inspiration, Question, Scripture, Truth)

Saturday, March 3, 2001

In holy Scripture is fully contained what we ought to do, and what to eschew; what to believe, what to love, and what to look for at God’s hands at length. In these Books we shall find the Father from whom, the Son by whom, and the Holy Ghost in whom all things have their being and keeping up, and these three persons to be but one God, and one substance... Read [Holy Scripture] humbly with a meek and lowly heart, to the intent you may glorify God, and not your self, with the knowledge of it: and read it not without daily praying to God, that he would direct your reading to good effect: and take upon you to expound it no further than you can plainly understand it. For, as Saint Augustine saith, ‘the knowledge of holy Scripture is a great, large, and a high place, but the door is very low, so that the high and arrogant man cannot run in; but he must stoop low, and humble himself, that shall enter into it...’ The humble man may search any truth boldly in the Scripture, without any danger of error. [Continued tomorrow]
... “A Fruitful exhortation to the reading of holy Scripture” [1562], from Certain sermons, or, Homilies appointed to be read in churches, Church of England, London: Prayer-Book and Homily Society, 1852, pp. 2,6 (see the book; see also Eph. 5:15-17; Matt. 26:53-56; Acts 8:27-35; Rom. 3:1-2; 15:4; 1 Tim. 4:16; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; more at Arrogance, Belief, Bible, Father, God, Holy Spirit, Humility, Love, Meekness, Scripture, Son)

Sunday, March 4, 2001
Commemoration of Felix, Bishop, Apostle to the East Angles, 647

[Continued from yesterday]
Scripture in some places is easy, and in some places hard to be understood. This have I said as touching the fear to read, through ignorance of the person.
And concerning the hardness of Scripture; he that is so weak that he is not able to brook strong meat, yet he may suck the sweet and tender milk, and defer the rest until he wax stronger, and come to more knowledge. For God receiveth the learned and unlearned, and casteth away none, but [does not discriminate]. And the Scripture is full, as well of low valleys, plain ways, and easy for every man to use and to walk in: as also of high hills and mountains, which few men can climb unto.
... “A Fruitful exhortation to the reading of holy Scripture” [1562], from Certain sermons, or, Homilies appointed to be read in churches, Church of England, London: Prayer-Book and Homily Society, 1852, p. 6-7 (see the book; see also 2 Pet. 3:15-16; Luke 24:45; Gal. 3:8; Heb. 4:12; 2 Pet. 1:19-21; more at Bible, God, Ignorance, Knowledge, Scripture, Strength, Weakness)

Monday, March 5, 2001

We are to believe and follow Christ in all things, including his words about Scripture. And this means that Scripture is to be for us what it was to him: the unique, authoritative, and inerrant Word of God, and not merely a human testimony to Christ, however carefully guided and preserved by God. If the Bible is less than this to us, we are not fully Christ’s disciples.
... James Montgomery Boice (1938-2000), “The Preacher & God’s Word”, in Foundation of Biblical Authority, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1978, p. 142-143, fn. (see the book; see also Matt. 5:17-18; 7:12; 22:37-40; Mark 7:12-13; Luke 4:4; 16:29-31; more at Bible, Christ, Disciple, God, Guidance, Scripture)

Tuesday, March 6, 2001

A loving Personality dominates the Bible, walking among the trees of the garden and breathing fragrance over every scene. Always a living Person is present, speaking, pleading, loving, working, and manifesting himself whenever and wherever his people have the receptivity necessary to receive the manifestation.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), The Pursuit of God [1948], Christian Publications, 1982, p. 48 (see the book; see also Luke 5:1-3; Gen. 3:8; Luke 24:30-32,36; John 4:6-10; 11:35; 20:14-17,19-20; Heb. 2:17; 4:15; more at Bible, Life, Love, People, Presence of God, Work)

Wednesday, March 7, 2001
Feast of Perpetua, Felicity & their Companions, Martyrs at Carthage, 203

The term “baptism in (or of) the Spirit” conjures up the idea of a separate initiatory experience which every Christian ought to enjoy, whereas evangelicalism is noted for its stress upon a “conversion” experience which marks the beginning of the believer’s relationship to his Lord. Too often, alas, conversion has been the end as well as the beginning, with the result that some Christians have looked back, with mingled delight and wistfulness to a past event that now seems to have diminished relevance to daily living. We can fully understand, then, the appeal of a movement which promises a new dimension of Christian living, there in the New Testament, and now available in everyday experience.
... George Carey (b. 1935), “Christian Beginning”, in The Lord Christ [1980], John Stott, ed., vol. 1 of Obeying Christ in a Changing World, John Stott, gen. ed., 3 vol., London: Fountain, 1977, p. 131 (see the book; see also Mark 1:7-8; Isa. 44:3; Eze. 36:25-27; Joel 2:28; Acts 1:5; 2:4,17; 11:15-16; 1 Cor. 12:13; Tit. 3:5; more at Baptism, Conversion, Experience, Holy Spirit, Past, Promise)

Thursday, March 8, 2001
Commemoration of Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy, Priest, Poet, 1929

Thou who art Lord of all the tender pities,
Mercy Incarnate, human and divine,
How could we write Thy Name upon these cities
Wherein Thy children live like herded swine?
Would not those eyes that saw their angels gazing
Into the brightness of the Father’s face
Turn on this slum, with Love and Fury blazing,
Shriveling our souls with shame of such a place?
“Where are My children, those the Father gave you?
What have you done with babes that bore My Name?
Was it for this I suffered so to save you?
Must I for ever burn for you in shame?”
... G. A. Studdert Kennedy (1883-1929), The Wicket Gate, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1923, p. 90 (see the book; see also Matt. 5:7; Job 31:16-22; Ps. 37:26; 122:9; Pr. 14:21; 19:17; Mic. 6:8; Matt. 6:1-4; 25:31-46; Jas. 2:13; more at Angel, Authenticity, Child, City, Father, Love, Mercy, Pity, Salvation, Shame)

Friday, March 9, 2001

[The] denominational divisions which accentuate the problem are ... perpetrating an image of a divided Christ to the community in which we live. Such an image is at variance with the unity of the body into which we were all baptized. The same arguments that Paul used to deal with the factions and personality cults of the Corinthian church are applicable [here and now]. We can not hide behind some concept of “spiritual unity” which has little or no embodiment in structure or institution; for, not only does it drive an unnatural and unbiblical wedge between the physical and the spiritual, it is also nonsense to the world to which we are called to be in mission, and thereby denies the very basis of the unity for which Christ prayed.
... Ian P. M. Cundy (1945-2009), “The Church as Community”, 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. 30 (see the book; see also Eph. 4:1-6; John 17:20-23; Rom. 12:4-5; 1 Cor. 10:17; 12:12-13,20; Eph. 5:30; Col. 3:15; more at Authenticity, Baptism, Body of Christ, Christ, Church, Unity, World)

Saturday, March 10, 2001

Very few people in the world would care to listen to the real defence of their own characters. The real defence, the defence which belongs to the Day of Judgment, would make such damaging admissions, would clear away so many artificial virtues, would tell such tragedies of weakness and failure, that a man would sooner be misunderstood and censured by the world than exposed to that awful and merciless eulogy.
... Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), Robert Browning, Macmillan, 1908, p. 188 (see the book; see also Heb. 12:22-25; Eccl. 12:14; Matt. 11:21-24; 12:34-36; 16:27; Luke 10:13-14; John 12:48; Heb. 2:1-3; 10:28-29; 1 Pet. 4:5; Jude 1:14-15; Rev. 20:12; more at Failure, Judgment, Man, Providence, Tragedy, Virtue, Weakness, World)

Sunday, March 11, 2001

Every time you make a choice, you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And, taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a Heavenly creature or into a hellish creature; either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow creatures and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is Heaven: that is, it is joy, and peace, and knowledge, and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), Mere Christianity, New York: MacMillan, 1952, reprint, HarperCollins, 2001, p. 92 (see the book; see also Heb. 2:1-3; Matt. 23:33; Rom. 2:3; 1 Thess. 5:1-3; Heb. 4:11; 10:28-29; 12:23-25; 1 Pet. 4:17-18; more at Choices, Harmony, Heaven, Joy, Knowledge, Life, Peace)

Monday, March 12, 2001

Alas, we but chase feathers flying in the air, and tire our own spirits, for the froth and over-gilded clay of a dying life. One sight of what my Lord hath let me see within this short time, is worth a world of worlds.
... Samuel Rutherford (1600-1664), Letters of Samuel Rutherford, Edinburgh: William Whyte & Co., 1848, letter, Feb. 9, 1637, p. 179 (see the book; see also Heb. 2:9; Isa. 11:1; 45:22; Mic. 7:7; Zech. 12:10; John 1:29; 8:56; Eph. 1:18; Phil. 2:5-11; Heb. 12:1-2; more at Life, Sight, Spirit, Time, World, Worship)

Tuesday, March 13, 2001

You can read all the manuals on prayer and listen to other people pray, but until you begin to pray yourself you will never understand prayer. It’s like riding a bicycle or swimming: You learn by doing.
... Luis Palau (b. 1934), in a private communication from the Luis Palau Association (see also Heb. 13:20-21; more at Listening, Obedience, People, Prayer, Understanding)

Wednesday, March 14, 2001

Most evangelicals believe that if a passage of the Bible seems unclear in its meaning, it should be interpreted in the light of Scripture “as a whole.” But what does “Scripture as a whole” mean? In practice, if not theory, it means the working systematic theology of the interpreter, or of his own theological tradition. An evangelical... would not hold to that tradition unless he believed that it did represent the wholeness of the biblical witness. Nevertheless, if this state of affairs has been correctly described, he is now in a serious difficulty. For if the Bible must always accord with a theology that has already been accepted, how can the truth of a biblical passage ever confront him afresh with an unfavorable judgment?
... Tony Thiselton (b. 1937), “Understanding God’s Word Today”, in The Lord Christ [1980], John Stott, ed., vol. 1 of Obeying Christ in a Changing World, John Stott, gen. ed., 3 vol., London: Fountain, 1977, p. 97 (see the book; see also Heb. 6:4-6; Matt. 22:29; Mark 12:10-11; John 5:39-40,46; 7:52; 2 Pet. 3:15-17; more at Belief, Bible, Meaning, Scripture, Theology, Tradition, Truth, Witness)

Thursday, March 15, 2001

[From our side] our relation to God is unrighteous. Secretly we are ourselves the masters in this relationship. We are not concerned with God, but with our own requirements, to which God must adjust Himself. Our arrogance demands that, in addition to everything else, some super-world should also be known and accessible to us. Our conduct calls for some deeper sanction, some approbation and remuneration from another world. Our well-regulated, pleasurable life longs for some hours of devotion, some prolongation into infinity. And so, when we set God upon the throne of the world, we mean by God ourselves. In “believing” on Him, we justify, enjoy, and adore ourselves.
... Karl Barth (1886-1968), The Epistle to the Romans, translated from the 6th edition by Edwyn C. Hoskyns, London: Oxford University Press, H. Milford, 1933, 6th ed., Oxford University Press US, 1968, p. 44 (see the book; see also Rom. 1:18; Matt. 4:8-10; John 3:3-6,19-21; Acts 24:24-25; Rom. 8:5-8; 1 Tim. 4:1; more at Arrogance, Attitudes, God, Life, Longing, Self-righteousness, World)

Friday, March 16, 2001

The self-centred regret which a man feels when his sin has found him out—the wish, compounded of pride, shame, and anger at his own inconceivable folly, that he had not done it: these are spoken of as repentance. But they are not repentance at all... It is the simple truth that that sorrow of heart, that healing and sanctifying pain in which sin is really put away, is not ours in independence of God; it is a saving grace which is begotten in the soul under the impression of sin it owes to the revelation of God in Christ. A man can no more repent than he can do anything else without a motive; and the motive which makes evangelic repentance possible does not enter into his world till he sees God as God makes Himself known in the death of Christ. All true penitents are children of the Cross. Their penitence is not their own creation: it is the reaction towards God produced in their souls by this demonstration of what sin is to Him, and of what His love does to reach and win the sinful.
... James Denney (1856-1917), The Atonement and the Modern Mind, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1903, p. 89-90 (see the book; see also Ps. 119:127-128; Job 42:5-6; 2 Cor. 7:10; more at Christ, Cross, God, Heart, Regret, Repentance, Sin, Sorrow)

Saturday, March 17, 2001
Feast of Patrick, Bishop of Armagh, Missionary, Patron of Ireland, c.460

The evidence for Christian truth is not exhaustive, but it is sufficient. Too often, Christianity has not been tried and found wanting—it has been found demanding, and not tried.
... Os Guinness (b. 1941), The Dust of Death, Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1973, p. 359 (see the book; see also Luke 9:61-62; more at Christianity not tried)

Sunday, March 18, 2001

To perpetuate the clerical role of answer man, the layman when inside the church building must act as if he has only half a brain, while outside in the world he is expected to be an ambassador for Christ, a lay transmitter of faith. Outside, he is to be informed and vocal; inside, he must appear ignorant and mute as a sheep. Christians have within them many questions—questions that are at once elementary and profound, questions that would ripple the water were they raised. However, because a Christian is supposed to have “answers,” life’s important questions are not discussed outside the church building; and, because the pastor is the educated, spiritual authority, they are not discussed inside either.
... Paul G. Johnson 1931-2013, Buried Alive, Richmond: John Knox Press, 1968, p. 37-38 (see the book; see also Rom. 14:5-6; Mal. 2:7; John 20:21; 21:15; 2 Cor. 5:20; 3:6; more at Action, Christ, Church, Faith, Minister, Question, World)

Monday, March 19, 2001
Feast of Joseph of Nazareth

Men today do not, perhaps, burn the Bible, nor does the Roman Catholic Church any longer put it on the index, as it once did. But men destroy it in the form of exegesis: they destroy it in the way they deal with it. They destroy it by not reading it as written in normal literary form, by ignoring historical-grammatical exegesis, by changing the Bible’s own perspective of itself as propositional revelation in space and time, in history, by saying that only the “spiritual” portions of the Bible have authority for us.
... Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-1984), Death in the City, London: Inter-Varsity Press, 1969, Good News Publishers, 2002, p. 77-78 (see the book; see also Matt. 23:29-36; Jer. 8:9; 36:22-24; Matt. 22:29; Luke 16:31; John 5:39-40,46; Acts 8:32-35; 17:11; 2 Tim. 3:14-17; 2 Pet. 1:19-21; more at Authenticity, Bible, Historical, Instruction, Revelation, Today)

Tuesday, March 20, 2001
Feast of Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne, Missionary, 687

It seems clear that those people who personally are completely convinced of justification by grace alone, and who heartily grant to people of another color the right to the same justification (as long as they remain in their own churches, schools, ghettos, handyman occupations), give an ugly expression to the Augustinian and Reformation understanding of justification. By their emphasis upon the primacy of individual justification, they deny the immediate social character and impact of the justification of the Jews and Gentiles, and they obstruct or delay the changes in common life which belong to the “new creation”.
... Markus Barth (1915-1994), “Jews and Gentiles”, in, vol. 5, 1968 Journal of ecumenical studies, Philadelphia, PA: Journal of Ecumenical Studies, periodical, pp. 241-267 (see also Gal. 6:15; Ps. 51:10; Eze. 18:31; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:13; 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:11; more at Church, Creation, Grace, Justification, Reformation, Social, Understanding)

Wednesday, March 21, 2001

The sincere student of Scripture cannot avoid the truth of God’s choice of individuals from among the sinful race of men. We may not understand this, but we must never deny it. Scripture is filled with this great truth: it is not an isolated doctrine of the Word.
... Robert P. Lightner (1931-2018), The God of the Bible [1973], Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1978, formerly published as The First Fundamental: God, p. 133 (see the book; see also John 17:6-7; 10:27-29; 15:19; 18:9; Rom. 8:29-30; Eph. 1:4-5,11-12; more at Bible, Choices, God, Scripture, Truth)

Thursday, March 22, 2001

A teacher appears—for whom no one was prepared, and whom no one could have expected. The argument from prophecy, on which the early apologists laid so much weight, was all ex post facto. No one beforehand could have conjectured a tenth of it. But without the background of Jewish prophet and psalmist, of Jewish national history, it would be hard to understand Jesus. If prophet and historian and legislator did not in type and enigma foretell in detail the story of his life, he was none the less their heir. None the less was he their heir in that he was not in bondage to his inheritance, but... a “minister not of the letter but of the spirit,” and the whole of his activity lay “in newness of spirit.” Without conjecturing what he might have been on another soil or of another stock—a type of guesswork always futile in history—we have to recognize the immense spiritual wealth that lay ready to his hand.
... T. R. Glover (1869-1943), The Influence of Christ in the Ancient World, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1929, p. 113-114 (see the book; see also Luke 21:29-31; Isa. 53:2-12; Micah 5:2; Matt. 21:42-43; John 5:39-40; 2 Cor. 3:6; more at Argument, Historical, Inheritance, Jesus, Nation, Prophet, Prophecy, Spirit, Teach)

Friday, March 23, 2001

For man to turn his back on God is to turn towards death; it involves ultimately the renunciation of every aspect of life...
To deny God, man must ultimately deny that there is any law or reality. The full implications of this were seen in the [19th] century by two profound thinkers, one a Christian and the other a non-Christian. [Friedrich W.] Nietzsche recognized fully that every atheist is an unwilling believer to the extent that he has any element of justice or order in his life, to the very extent that he is even alive and enjoys life. In his earlier writings, Nietzsche first attempted the creation of another set of standards and values, affirming life for a time, until he concluded that he could not affirm life itself nor give it any meaning, any value, apart from God. Thus Nietzsche’s ultimate counsel was suicide; only then, [he asserted] can we truly deny God: and in his own life, this brilliant thinker, one of the clearest in his description of modern Christianity and the contemporary issue, did in effect commit a kind of psychic suicide.
The same concept was powerfully developed by [Fyodor M.] Dostoyevski, particularly in The Possessed, or, more literally, the Demon-Possessed. Kirilov, a thoroughly Nietzschean character, is very much concerned with denying God, asserting that he himself is God and that man does not need God. But at every point, Kirilov finds that no standard or structure in reality can be affirmed without ultimately asserting God, that no value can be asserted without being ultimately derived from the Triune God. As a result, Kirilov committed suicide as the only apparently practical way of denying God and affirming himself—for to be alive was to affirm this ontological deity in some fashion.
... Rousas J. Rushdoony (1916-2001), Intellectual Schizophrenia, Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed Pub. Co., 1961, p. 25-26 (see the book; see also Deut. 30:15-19; Pr. 1:32; Mark 16:16; John 3:16,19-21; 2 Tim. 4:4; Heb. 3:12; 1 John 5:11-12; more at Atheism, Death, God, Historical, Justice, Life, Man, Renunciation)

Saturday, March 24, 2001
Feast of Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, Martyr, 1980
Commemoration of Paul Couturier, Priest, Ecumenist, 1953

Counter-culture’s glad tidings of revolution by consciousness are neither new nor revolutionary. Christianity has been trying to achieve a revolution by consciousness for two thousand years. Who would deny that Christian consciousness could have changed the world? Yet it was the world that changed Christian consciousness. If everybody adopted a peaceful, loving, generous, noncompetitive lifestyle, we could have something better than counter-culture—we could have the Kingdom of God.
... Marvin Harris (1927-2001), Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches, New York: Random House, 1974, p. 253 (see the book; see also Rom. 2:9-11; Pr. 1:20-28; Eze. 18:4; Matt. 16:26; Rom. 9:29; Gal. 5:22; 2 Thess. 1:6-7; 1 Pet. 1:7; more at Generosity, Kingdom, Love, Peace, Religion, World)

Sunday, March 25, 2001
Feast of the Annunciation of our Lord to the Virgin Mary

Faith is rest, not toil. It is the giving up all the former weary efforts to do or feel something good, in order to induce God to love and pardon; and the calm reception of the truth so long rejected, that God is not waiting for any such inducements, but loves and pardons of His own goodwill, and is showing that goodwill to any sinner who will come to Him on such a footing, casting away his own poor performances or goodnesses, and relying implicitly upon the free love of Him who so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son.
... Horatius Bonar (1808-1889), The Everlasting Righteousness, London: James Nisbet and Co., 1873, p. 116 (see the book; see also Heb. 6:19-20; Ps. 42:11; 62:5-6; John 3:16-17; Rom. 3:25-26; 4:16; 5:5-6; Col. 1:5-6; more at Faith, Giving, Good will, Love, Rest, Sinner, Toil, Truth, World)

Monday, March 26, 2001
Feast of Harriet Monsell of Clewer, Religious, 1883

There is a certain kind of so-called conversion which separates a man from his fellow men. It may fill him with a self-righteousness which rejoices in its own superiority to those who have had no like experience. It may move a man to a Pharisaic self-isolation. There have in fact been not a few so-called conversions as a result of which a man has left the Church to belong to some smaller and holier body. The plain truth is that such a one should very seriously examine himself, if he finds what he regards as his Christian experience separating him from his fellow-men, or his fellow-Christians.
... William Barclay (1907-1978), In the Hands of God, New York: Harper & Row, 1967, Westminster Press, 1981, p. 40-41 (see the book; see also Eph. 4:29-30; Isa. 40:11; Matt. 18:10; John 17:23; Rom. 14:1-8,21; 15:1,7; 1 Cor. 8:12-13; Eph. 4:1-6; more at Church, Conversion, Holiness, Man, Pharisaism, Sect, Self-righteousness)

Tuesday, March 27, 2001

Spirit divine, attend our prayers.
And make this house thy home;
Descend with all thy gracious powers;
O come, great spirit, come!
Come as the light; to us reveal
Our emptiness and woe;
And lead us in the paths of life
Where all the righteous go.
Come as the wind: sweep clean away
What dead within us lies,
And search and freshen all our souls
With living energies.
Come as the fire: and purge our hearts
Like sacrificial flame;
Let our whole soul as offering be
To our Redeemer’s name.
Spirit divine, attend our prayers,
Make a lost world thy home;
Descend with all thy gracious powers:
O come, great Spirit, come!
... Andrew Reed (1787-1862), in 1829, included in Memoirs of the Life and Philanthropic Labours of Andrew Reed, D. D., comp. Andrew Reed, Charles Reed, London: Strahan & Co., 1863, p. 332 (see the book; see also Acts 4:31; 2 Chr. 5:14; Ezek. 39:29; Joel 2:28; Rom. 8:9; more at Cleanse, Heart, Holy Spirit, Home, Life, Light, Offering, Prayers, Redemption, Revelation)

Wednesday, March 28, 2001

Thomas à Kempis speaks for all the ages when he represents Jesus as saying to him, “A wise lover regards not so much the gift of him who loves, as the love of him who gives. He esteems affection rather than valuables, and sets all gifts below the Beloved. A noble-minded lover rests not in the gift, but in Me above every gift.” The sustaining power of the Beloved Presence has through the ages made the sickbed sweet and the graveside triumphant; transformed broken hearts and relations; brought glory to drudgery, poverty and old age; and turned the martyr’s stake or noose into a place of coronation.
... Dallas Willard (1935-2013), Hearing God, Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1999, p. 45 (see the book; see also Acts 1:4; John 6:56; 1 Cor. 9:25; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 2:22; Col. 1:27; 2 Tim. 4:8; Jas. 1:17-18; 1 Pet. 5:4; 1 John 3:11; more at Affection, Coronation, Gifts, Glory, Historical, Jesus, Love, Martyr, Poverty)

Thursday, March 29, 2001
Commemoration of Jack Winslow, Missionary, Evangelist, 1974

The reason that the Ten Commandments are short and clear is that they were handed down direct, and not through several committees.
... Dan Bennett (see also Eccl. 5:2; Ex. 20:3-17; 2 Cor. 11:3; more at Commandment, Humor)

Friday, March 30, 2001

The evidence for our New Testament writings is ever so much greater than the evidence for many writings of classical authors, the authenticity of which no one dreams of questioning. And if the New Testament were a collection of secular writings, their authenticity would generally be regarded as beyond all doubt. It is a curious fact that historians have often been much readier to trust the New Testament than have many theologians.
... F. F. Bruce (1910-1990), The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?, Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1949, reprint, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2003, p. 10 (see the book; see also Rom. 10:4,17; Isa. 53:1; Luke 16:31; John 5:39-40; more at Authenticity, Bible, Doubt, Theology, Trust)

Saturday, March 31, 2001
Commemoration of John Donne, Priest, Poet, 1631

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so,
For those, whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure, than from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell.
And poppy, or charms, can make us sleep as well,
And better, than thy stroke. Why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And Death shall be no more, Death thou shalt die.
... John Donne (1573-1631), Works of John Donne, vol. VI, London: John W. Parker, 1839, Holy Sonnets, XII, p. 448 (see the book; see also Phil. 1:20-24; Rom. 14:7-8; 1 Cor. 15:26; 1 Thess. 4:16; 2 Tim. 1:10; Rev. 14:13; more at Attitudes, Death, Pleasure, Pride, Rest, Slave, Sleep, Soul)


Christ, our Light

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