Christ, our Light

Quotations for May, 2013

Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Feast of Philip & James, Apostles

Humility is a strange flower; it grows best in winter weather, and under storms of affliction.
... Samuel Rutherford (1600-1664), Quaint Sermons of Samuel Rutherford: hitherto unpublished, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1885, p. 86 (see the book; see also Luke 7:6-10; Ps. 131:1-2; Matt. 8:5-8; 15:22-28; John 1:26-27; Rom. 7:18; 2 Cor. 12:7-9; Phil. 2:5-8; 4:12-13; more at Affliction, Flower, Growth, Humility, Winter)

Thursday, May 2, 2013
Feast of St. Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, Teacher, 373

What was God to do in the face of the dehumanizing of mankind—this universal hiding of the knowledge of Himself? ... So burdened were men with their wickedness that they seemed rather to be brute beasts than reasonable men, reflecting the very likeness of the Word... What, then, was God to do? What else could He possibly do, being God, but renew His Image in mankind, so that through it men might once more come to know Him? And how could this be done save by the coming of the very Image Himself, our Savior Jesus Christ? ... Men had turned from the contemplation of God above, and were looking for Him in two opposite directions, down among created things, and things of sense. The Savior of us all, the Word of God, in His great love took to Himself a body and moved as Man among men, meeting their senses, so to speak, half-way. He became Himself an object for the senses, so that those who were seeking God in sensible things might apprehend the Father through the works which He, the Word of God, did in the body. [Continued tomorrow]
... St. Athanasius (293?-373), The Incarnation of the Word of God [4th century], St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1996, XIII-XV, p. 40,41,43 (see the book; see also Gen. 6:5; 1:26-27; 3:17; Matt. 4:24; John 1:14; Rom. 1:18-23; 8:3-4; Gal. 3:16; Phil. 2:5-8; Col. 1:15; Heb. 2:9; 1 John 1:1-3; more at Christ, Father, Incarnation, Jesus, Knowing God, Man, Savior)

Friday, May 3, 2013

[Continued from yesterday]
Human and human-minded as men were, therefore, to whichever side they looked in the sensible world, they found themselves taught the truth. Were they awe-stricken by creation? They beheld it confessing Christ as Lord. Did their minds tend to regard men as gods? The uniqueness of the Savior’s works marked Him, alone of men, as Son of God. Were they drawn to evil spirits? They saw them driven out by the Lord, and learned that the Word of God alone was God and that the evil spirits were not gods at all. Were they inclined to hero-worship and the cult of the dead? Then the fact that the Savior had risen from the dead showed them how false these other deities were, and that the Word of the Father is the one true Lord, the Lord even of death. For this reason was He both born and manifested as Man, for this He died and rose, in order that, eclipsing by His works all other human deeds, He might recall man from all the paths of error to know the Father. As He says Himself, “I came to seek and to save that which was lost.”
... St. Athanasius (293?-373), The Incarnation of the Word of God [4th century], St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1996, XV, p. 43-44 (see the book; see also Luke 19:10; Matt. 9:12-13; 18:11; Luke 5:31-32; John 6:46; 14:7-9; Rom. 5:6; 1 Tim. 1:15; Heb. 7:25; 1 John 4:9; more at Christ, Confession, Creation, Death, Error, Evil, Incarnation, Jesus, Resurrection, Salvation, Truth)

Saturday, May 4, 2013
Feast of English Saints & Martyrs of the Reformation

What then? loves he his people in their sinning? Yes; his people,—not their sinning. Alters he not his love towards them? Not the purpose of his will, but the dispensations of his grace. He rebukes them, he chastens them, he hides his face from them, he smites them, he fills them with a sense of [his] indignation; but woe, woe would it be to us, should he change in his love, or take away his kindness from us!
... John Owen (1616-1683), Of Communion with God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost [1657], in Works of John Owen, v. II, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1851, p. 31 (see the book; see also Isa. 57:17-19; 1 Chr. 16:34; Job 6:4; Ps. 6:6; 38:1-5; 39:11; 100:5; 136; Isa. 8:17; Mal. 3:6; Rom. 5:5; Heb. 12:7-9; Rev. 3:19; more at Affliction, Discipline, God, Grace, Kindness, Love, People, Purpose)

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Moderate bodily discipline is useful in resisting depression, because it rouses the mind from dwelling on itself; and frequent Communion is specially valuable; the Bread of Life strengthens the heart and gladdens the spirits.
It may be useful, too, to lay bare all the feelings, thoughts, and longings which are the result of your depression before some spiritual advisor, in all humility and faithfulness; to seek the society of spiritually minded people, and to frequent such as far as possible while you are suffering. And finally, resign yourself into God’s hands, endeavouring to bear this harassing depression patiently.
... François de Sales (1567-1622), Introduction to the Devout Life [1609], London: Rivingtons, 1876, IV.xii, p. 322 (see the book; see also Ps. 71:20; Song of Solomon 2:16; Ps. 119:82; John 6:35; Rom. 8:18,35-37; 1 Pet. 1:6; more at Bread, Communion, Confession, Depression, Discipline, Resignation, Suffer, Weakness)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Be on the lookout for mercies. The more we look for them, the more of them will we see. Blessings brighten when we count them. Out of the determination of the heart the eyes see.
... Maltbie D. Babcock (1858-1901), Thoughts for Every-day Living, New York: C. Scribner’s sons, 1901, p. 107 (see the book; see also Ps. 116:12-13; 103:2; Luke 17:15-18; Rom. 12:1; 2 Cor. 5:14-15; Phil. 4:6-7; more at Attitudes, Blessing, Heart, Mercy)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Neither must we be in a hurry to forget past sin, and to force our way into the sunshine. If God gives us quite a depressing sense of sin, let us cherish it and stagger on beneath the burden. Blessed is any weight, however overwhelming, which God has been so good as to fasten with His own hand upon our shoulders. In a word, patience with self is almost a condition of spiritual progress.
... Frederick William Faber (1814-1863), Growth in Holiness, London: Thomas Richardson & Son, 1860, third edition, p. 114 (see the book; see also Ps. 51:2-3; 38:4-6; Lam. 1:20; 2 Tim. 1:12; Heb. 10:19-22; 1 John 3:19-20; more at Blessing, Burden, Forget, Goodness, Patience, Progress, Sin)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Feast of Juliana of Norwich, Mystic, Teacher, c.1417
Commemoration of Dallas Willard, Teacher, Spiritual Writer, 2013

I saw full surely in this and in all, that ere God made us he loved us; which love never slackened, nor ever shall be. And in this love he hath done all his works; and in this love he hath made all things profitable to us; and in this love our life is everlasting. In our making we had beginning; but the love wherein he made us was in him from without beginning; in which love we have our beginning. And all this shall we see in God, without end.
... Juliana of Norwich (1342?-1417), Revelations of Divine Love, Grace Harriet Warrack, ed., Methuen, 1901, ch. LXXXVIII (see the book; see also Ps. 103:17; Gen. 1:26-27; Job 10:9-12; Ps. 22:9-10; 139:13-14; Isa. 44:2; Jer. 31:3; John 3:14-16; 6:51; 1 Thess. 4:17; 1 John 2:17; more at Beginning, Creation, Everlasting, God, Life, Love, Sight)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Today we have deflated the phrase “let God be God.” We laughingly apply it to presidents or children, usually as a form of indulgence, ... condescendingly. But for Martin Luther who coined the phrase, the context was the unrelenting call of God before which he trembled.
But if the phrase needs recovery, how much more the reality of God’s authority in our lives? At its heart, the modern world is a decisive challenge to the authority of God outside our private lives. This is true not because a few atheists trumpet that “God is dead” but because our entire culture, Christians included, so relies on the gifts of the modern world that we have “no need of God” in practice.
No more urgent task faces the church today than the recovery of the authority of faith over the modern world.
... Os Guinness (b. 1941), The Call: finding and fulfilling the central purpose of your life, Nashville: Word, 1998, reprint, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2003, p. 66 (see the book; see also Hos. 4:1; Job 38:2-3; Ps. 46:10; Isa. 55:8-9; Hos. 6:6; Matt. 28:18; Luke 10:22; Phil. 2:9-11; Col. 2:9-10; Heb. 1:1-2; 1 Pet. 3:18-22; more at Call, Challenge, Culture, Faith, God, God is dead, Need, World)

Friday, May 10, 2013

By the quality of our inner lives I do not mean something characterized by ferocious intensity and strain. I mean rather such a humble and genial devotedness as we find in the most loving of the saints. I mean the quality which makes contagious Christians, makes people catch the love of God from you.
... Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941), Concerning the Inner Life, London: Methuen, 1927, p. 12 (see the book; see also Phil. 4:5; Matt. 5:16; John 15:9-10; Col. 3:12; 1 John 4:12; 1 Pet. 3:15-16; Jude 1:21; more at Humility, Love, Mission, Saint, Spiritual life)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Christ did not enchant men; He demanded that they believe in Him: except on one occasion, the Transfiguration. For a brief while, Peter, James, and John were permitted to see Him in His glory. For that brief while they had no need of faith. The vision vanished, and the memory of it did not prevent them from all forsaking Him when He was arrested, or Peter from denying that he had ever known Him.
... W. H. Auden (1907-1973), A Certain World, London: Faber and Faber, 1971, p. 150 (see the book; see also 2 Pet. 1:17-18; Matt.13:58; 17:1-8; 26:33-35,69-75; Mark 6:5-6; 9:2-9; 14:29-31,66-72; Luke 9:28-36; 22:31-34,55-62; John 1:14; 13:36-38; 18:17-18,25-27; Rom. 11:19-21; Heb. 3:12; Rev. 1:13-18; more at Belief, Betrayal, Faith, Glory, Jesus, Sight, Vision)

Sunday, May 12, 2013
Commemoration of Aiden Wilson Tozer, Spiritual Writer, 1963

We must do something about the cross, and one of two things only we can do—flee it or die upon it.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), The Root of the Righteous, Christian Publications, 1955, p. 63 (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 1:17-18; Rom. 6:3-7; Gal. 2:20; 5:24; 6:14; Eph. 4:22-24; Col. 2:11-15; 3:3,9-10; more at Atheism, Cross, Death)

Monday, May 13, 2013

The One Body cannot be created by human collaboration. It exists through simply removing the barriers and having fellowship with God, a reality prevailing among those who obey Him and love each other. No other merely human method will avail.
... Kokichi Kurosaki (1886-1970), One Body in Christ, Kobe, Japan: Eternal Life Press, 1954, ch. 5 (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 12:20; John 15:12; 17:20-23; Rom. 12:4-5; 1 Cor. 10:17; 12:13; Eph. 2:14-16; 4:4-6; 5:29-30; Col. 3:15; 1 Pet. 2:17; 1 John 1:7; 2:6; 3:24; 4:13; more at Body of Christ, Fellowship, God, Love, Obedience)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Feast of Matthias the Apostle

What fellowship means in material matters is made very plain. Every man is to work for his living. “If a man will not work, neither let him eat.” But those who cannot work are to be provided for out of the common fund. Old and helpless persons who have relations of their own should, indeed, find support from them and not be forced to come upon the Church; but for the resourceless the Church must provide. And those who are rich and who earn more than enough to support their own families are to be willing contributors to the common fund. The love of money—the desire to accumulate wealth—is the root of every kind of evil. The relation of one to another is to be that of members in one body, in which, if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it.
... Charles Gore (1853-1932), Christ and Society, London: Allen & Unwin, Ltd., 1928, p. 78-79 (see the book; see also 2 Thess. 3:10; Matt. 6:24; 1 Thess. 4:11-12; 2 Thess. 3:11-12; 1 Tim. 5:3-6,13; 6:10-11; more at Aged, Body of Christ, Church, Evil, Family, Fellowship, Money, Suffer, Wealth, Work)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Commemoration of Charles Williams, Spiritual Writer, 1945

We cannot attain to the understanding of Scripture either by study or by the intellect. Your first duty is to begin by prayer. Entreat the Lord to grant you, of His great mercy, the true understanding of His Word. There is no other interpreter of the Word of God than the Author of this Word, as He Himself has said, “They shall be all taught of God.” (John 6:45) Hope for nothing from your own labors, from your own understanding: trust solely in God, and in the influence of His Spirit. Believe this on the word of a man who has experience.
... Martin Luther (1483-1546), in a letter (see What Luther Says: An Anthology, #233), quoted in History of the Great Reformation of the Sixteenth Century in Germany, Jean Henri Merle d’Aubigné, London: Walther, 1838, p. 320 (see the book; see also John 6:45; Isa. 54:13; John 3:9,10; Rom. 8:16; Heb. 4:12; 2 Pet. 1:21; Rev. 2:7; 19:10; more at Bible, Duty, God, Holy Spirit, Hope, Labor, Mercy, Prayer, Trust, Understanding)

Thursday, May 16, 2013
Commemoration of Caroline Chisholm, Social Reformer, 1877

The smallest things become great when God requires them of us; they are small only in themselves; they are always great when they are done for God, and when they serve to unite us with Him eternally.
... François Fénelon (1651-1715), Letters to Men and Women, P. Owen, 1957, p. 55 (see the book; see also Matt. 10:41-42; 18:3-5; 25:40; Mark 9:41; 12:42-44; Luke 6:35; John 6:9-13; Acts 11:29; 2 Cor. 8:12; 9:6; Heb. 6:10; more at Eternity, God, Greatness, Obedience, Unity)

Friday, May 17, 2013

God is often faulted for creating a world full of suffering and evil. The issue is complex, both philosophically and theologically; but surely it is inappropriate to blame God for a problem He did not initiate, and [that is] in fact, one which He has sought to alleviate, at great cost to Himself. God sent His Son to inaugurate the Kingdom and to “destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil.” God is not the cause of suffering and sickness; He is its cure! Jesus’ ministry and death guarantee this.
... George Mallone (b. 1944), Those Controversial Gifts, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1983, p. 109 (see the book; see also Heb. 2:14-15; Isa. 25:7-8; 53:4-7; Hos. 13:14; Matt. 12:12; John 12:31-32; Col. 2:15; 2 Tim. 1:10; Heb. 9:15; Jas. 5:14-15; Rev. 1:18; more at Death, Devil, Evil, God, Jesus, Kingdom, Sickness, Suffer, Weakness, World)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Risk, as we have seen, is indispensable to any significant life, nowhere more clearly than in the life of the spirit. The goal of faith is not to create a set of immutable, rationalized, precisely defined and defendable beliefs to preserve forever. It is to recover a relationship with God.
... Daniel Taylor, The Myth of Certainty, Jarrell, 1986, p. 123 (see the book; see also Mark 15:34; Job 13:15; Ps. 22; 23:4; 44:6-7; Isa. 26:4; 2 Cor. 1:9; 10:4; more at Belief, Faith, Goal, God, Knowing God, Life, Spirit)

Sunday, May 19, 2013
Centennial of Robert MacColl Adams
Feast of Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, 988

I have a Christian friend who is a Roman Catholic, another who belongs to the Church of Christ, others who hold this theology, that loyalty, or the other affiliation... Can I associate, as a Christian, with any of these without endangering my witness to the truth I have received? Because I believe in the Holy Ghost, I believe that I can, because I believe that He will be with me. I may fail to make clear to my Roman Catholic friend the true nature of salvation in Christ, or to my Campbellite friend the true place of the Scriptures in the Christian life; but God’s truth will remain. It may not be safe in my hands, but it is safe in His.
... Robert MacColl Adams (1913-1985), “Receiving One Another” (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 2:9-10; Joel 2:28-29; John 14:16-17,26; 15:26; 16:13; Eph. 4:11-13; 1 John 2:20,27; Jude 1:3; more at Belief, Failure, Friend, Holy Spirit, Loyalty, Safety, Theology, Truth, Witness)

Monday, May 20, 2013

You feed on Christ and then go and live your life, and it is Christ in you that lives your life, that helps the poor, that tells the truth, that fights the battle, and that wins the crown.
... Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), The Candle of the Lord [1881], E. P Dutton & Co., New York, 1903, p. 246 (see the book; see also Col. 1:27; Luke 17:20-21; John 6:56; 14:20; Rom. 8:10; 1 Cor. 3:16; 9:25; Gal. 2:20; 4:19; Eph. 3:17; 4:22-24; Col. 3:11; 2 Tim. 4:8; Jas. 1:12; 1 Pet. 5:4; 1 John 4:4; Rev. 3:20; more at Battle, Christ, Fight, Life, Poverty, Truth)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Feast of Commemoration of Helena, Protector of the Faith, 330

To have heard the Bible speak is to be prepared not for maturity, balance, poise, riches, but for the poverty and distress and uncertainty of thought and action that are so desperately characteristic of human life. The Bible takes human mortality seriously, that mortality which the preacher does not hide from you even when you stand on the threshold of life. To wrestle with the theme of the Scriptures is your proper preparation for the rough things of human life, as we see it, and observe it, and are immersed in it. The Truth which is being spoken to you most clearly in the Scriptures is your only protection against cynicism and skepticism, just as it is your only protection against that false romanticism which is the modern cruel substitute for faith in God.
... Sir Edwyn C. Hoskyns (1884-1937), We are the Pharisees, London: SPCK, 1960, p. 8 (see the book; see also Isa. 40:6-8; Job 13:15; Ps. 90:5-6; 102:11-12; Matt. 24:35; 1 Cor. 1:20-21; Jas. 1:10-11; more at Bible, Faith, God, Life, Mortality, Poverty, Scripture, Thought, Truth, Uncertainty)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Expressions of sharp and even violent criticism of religion and the church have been welcomed [in this collection], for they usually imply sincerity of thought. If caustic criticism of religious institutions and practices is irreligious, then Amos, Isaiah, and Jesus were very irreligious men. In fact, that is exactly what many of their contemporaries took them to be.
... Halford E. Luccock (1885-1960) & Frances Brentano, The Questing Spirit, New York: Coward-McCann, 1947, p. 42 (see the book; see also Isa. 1:13-17; 1 Sam. 15:22; Ps. 51:16; Pr. 21:27; Hos. 6:6; Amos 5:21-24; Mic. 6:7-8; Matt. 9:13; 12:1-3; 23; 26:64-66; John 19:7; more at Bible, Church, Criticism, Jesus, Religion, Thought)

Thursday, May 23, 2013
Commemoration of Petroc, Abbot of Padstow, 6th century

I believe that there is nothing good for me or for any man but God, and more and more of God, and that alone through knowing Christ can we come nigh to him.
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), “Justice”, in Unspoken Sermons, Third Series, London: Longmans, Green, 1889, p. 154 (see the book; see also Ps. 36:8-9; 42:1-2; 63:1-2; 84:2; 143:6; Isa. 26:9; Jer. 17:13; John 4:13-14; 7:37-38; 14:9; Rev. 21:6; 22:1; more at Christ, God, Goodness, Knowing God)

Friday, May 24, 2013
Feast of John and Charles Wesley, Priests, Poets, Teachers, 1791 & 1788

Without some suffering, we should scarce remember that we are not proprietors here, but only tenants at will, liable to lose all we have at a moment’s warning.
... John Wesley (1703-1791), letter to Ebenezer Blackwell, 28 Jul 1762, Letters of John Wesley, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1915, p. 348 (see the book; see also Jas. 4:13-15; Job 7:6-7; 14:1-2; Ps. 39:4-5; 89:47; Isa. 40:6-8; Jer. 17:11; Luke 12:16-21; Jas. 1:10-11; more at Remembrance, Suffer, Will of God)

Saturday, May 25, 2013
Feast of the Venerable Bede, Priest, Monk of Jarrow, Historian, 735
Commemoration of Aldhelm, Abbot of Mamsbury, Bishop of Sherborne, 709

What reason have [atheists] for saying that we cannot rise from the dead? What is more difficult, to be born or to rise again; that what has never been should be, or that what has been should be again? Is it more difficult to come into existence than to return to it?
... Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Pensées (Thoughts) [1660], P.F. Collier & Son, 1910, #222, p. 80 (see the book; see also Matt. 22:31-32; Gen. 18:14; Luke 1:37; 18:27; John 5:28-29; Acts 4:2; 26:8; 17:30-32; Rom. 8:11; 1 Cor. 15:12-14; Phil. 3:20-21; more at Death, Existence, Reason, Resurrection)

Sunday, May 26, 2013
Trinity Sunday
Feast of Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury, 605
Commemoration of Arthur John Gossip, Spiritual Writer, 1954

You cannot escape Christ, do what You will. You reject His divinity, but, so doing, you have not evaded Him. If He is just a man like us, then obviously you must be a man like Him!
... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), The Galilean Accent, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1926, p. 271 (see the book; see also Mark 5:6-8; Isa. 53:7; Matt. 16:13-16; 22:42-45; 27:12-14; Mark 15:3-5; 1 Pet. 2:23; more at Authenticity, Christ, Jesus, Man, Perseverance)

Monday, May 27, 2013
Commemoration of John Calvin, renewer of the Church, 1564

We have been adopted as sons by the Lord with this one condition: that our life express Christ, the bond of our adoption. Accordingly, unless we give and devote ourselves to righteousness, we not only revolt from our Creator with wicked perfidy, but we also abjure our Savior Himself.
... John Calvin (1509-1564), The Institutes of the Christian Religion, v. I [1559], tr. John Allen, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1921,, p. 616 (see the book; see also 1 John 3:1-2; John 1:12-13; Rom. 8:13-17; Gal. 3:26-27; 4:4-6; Phil. 2:14-16; Heb. 2:10-11; more at Christ, Devotion, God, Life, Righteousness, Savior, Sin, Son)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Commemoration of Lanfranc, Prior of Le Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1089

He who finds Jesus finds a rare treasure, indeed, a good above every good, whereas he who loses Him loses more than the whole world. The man who lives without Jesus is the poorest of the poor, whereas no one is so rich as the man who lives in His grace.
... Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471), Of the Imitation of Christ [1418], Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1877, II.viii.2, p. 96 (see the book; see also 1 John 5:11-12; Pr. 2:4-5; Matt. 6:19-21; 10:39; 13:44-46; Luke 9:24-25; Eph. 3:8; Col. 2:2-3; more at Goodness, Grace, Jesus, Life, Poverty, Treasure)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

To endure the cross is not a tragedy; it is the suffering which is the fruit of an exclusive allegiance to Jesus Christ. When it comes, it is not an accident, but a necessity. It is not the sort of suffering which is inseparable from this mortal life, but the suffering which is an essential part of the specifically Christian life.
... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), The Cost of Discipleship, Simon and Schuster, 1959, p. 88 (see the book; see also 1 Pet. 4:13-14; Mark 8:31-38; Acts 9:15-16; Rom. 8:18; Gal. 2:20; Phil. 1:29-30; 3:10-11; Col. 1:24; Jas. 1:2-4; more at Christ, Cross, Life, Suffer, Tragedy)

Thursday, May 30, 2013
Feast of Josephine Butler, Social Reformer, 1906
Commemoration of Joan of Arc, Visionary, 1431
Commemoration of Apolo Kivebulaya, Priest, Evangelist, 1933

Now he that is up early and late, that sweats and labours ... that he may be some time or other rich, and live in pleasure and indulgence, lives no more to the glory of God, than he that plays and games for the same ends. For though there is a great difference between trading and gaming, yet most of that difference is lost, when men once trade with the same desires and tempers, and for the same ends that others game.
... William Law (1686-1761), A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life [1728], London: Methuen, 1899, p. 54 (see the book; see also Mark 4:18-19; Deut. 31:20; Ps. 37:16-17; Eccl. 5:10; Isa. 5:8-10; Matt. 6:19-21; Luke 12:15-21; 1 Tim. 6:6-11,17-19; Jas. 5:1-5; 1 John 3:17; more at Gambling, Glory of God, Labor, Life, Pleasure)

Friday, May 31, 2013

[Surprisingly] the Christian Church now finds herself called upon to proclaim the old and hated doctrine of sin as a gospel of cheer and encouragement. The final tendency of the modern philosophies—hailed in their day as a release from the burden of sinfulness—has been to bind man hard and fast in the chains of an iron determinism. The influences of heredity and environment, of glandular make-up and the control exercised by the unconscious, of economic necessity and the mechanics of biological development, have all been invoked to assure man that he is not responsible for his misfortunes and therefore not to be held guilty. Evil has been represented as something imposed upon him from without, not made by him from within. The dreadful conclusion follows inevitably, that as he is not responsible for evil, he cannot alter it... Today, if we could really be persuaded that we are miserable sinners—that the trouble is not outside us but inside us, and that therefore, by the grace of God, we can do something to put it right, we should receive that message as the most hopeful and heartening thing that can be imagined.
... Dorothy Leigh Sayers (1893-1957), Christian Letters to a Post-Christian World, Eerdmans, 1969, p. 41 (see the book; see also Matt. 15:17-20; 6:22-23; 12:34; 23:25-28; Mark 7:15,18-23; Luke 11:34-36; 17:20-21; Rom. 8:6-8; Eph. 3:20-21; Jas. 1:13-15; more at Evil, Gospel, Grace, Philosophy, Preach, Responsibility, Sin, Trouble)


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