Christ, our Light

Quotations for June, 2018

Friday, June 1, 2018
Feast of Justin, Martyr at Rome, c.165
Commemoration of Angela de Merici, Founder of the Institute of St. Ursula, 1540

Every day the church here [in Antioch] feeds 3000 people. Besides this, the church daily helps provide food and clothes for prisoners, the hospitalized, pilgrims, cripples, churchmen, and others. If only ten [other groups of] people were willing to do this, there wouldn’t be a single poor man left in town.
... St. John Chrysostom (345?-407) (see the book; see also 1 John 3:17; Luke 3:11; 2 Cor. 8:9; 1 Tim. 6:17-18; Heb. 13:16; more at Charity, Church, Historical, People, Pilgrim, Poverty, Prisoner)

Saturday, June 2, 2018

You meet a thousand times in life with those who, in dealing with any religious question, make at once their appeal to reason, and insist on forthwith rejecting aught that lies beyond its sphere, without however being able to render any clear account of the nature and proper limits of the knowledge thus derived, or of the relation in which such knowledge stands to the religious needs of men. I would invite you, therefore, to inquire seriously whether such persons are not really bowing down before an idol of the mind, which, while itself of very questionable worth, demands as much implicit faith from its worshipers as divine revelation itself.
... Theodor Christlieb (1833-1889), Modern Doubt and Christian Belief, Ediburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1879, p. 69 (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 1:19-21; Isa. 29:14; 41:28-29; 44:24-25; 53:1; Rom. 1:20-23; 1 Cor. 1:22-23; more at Faith, Idol, Knowledge, Question, Reason, Religion, Revelation)

Sunday, June 3, 2018
Feast of Edward King, Bishop of Lincoln, Teacher, 1910
Commemoration of Martyrs of Uganda, 1886 & 1978

The life of holiness is the life of faith in which the believer, with a deepening knowledge of his own sin and helplessness apart from Christ, increasingly casts himself upon the Lord, and seeks the power of the Spirit and the wisdom and comfort of the Bible to battle against the world, the flesh, and the devil.
... Edmund P. Clowney (1917-2005), The Church, Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1995, p. 89 (see the book; see also 1 John 5:18-20; 1 Cor. 1:30-31; Eph. 1:4; more at Bible, Christ, Comfort, Devil, Faith, Helplessness, Holiness, Holy Spirit, Life, Sin, Wisdom)

Monday, June 4, 2018

The difficulties arise when we ask how much this polar complementarity [of the sexes] should be reflected in the structure of social life, both domestic and public. The New Testament (again, and notoriously, in the person of St Paul) assumes that there will be places other than the bedroom in which men and women assume consciously differentiated roles. They will do so in the affairs of the home, in which the wife is to “submit” to her husband (Eph. 5:22ff) as head. They will do so even outside the context of family life, since man is “head” of woman in some sense in quite another context, when the Church is at worship (I Cor. 11:2ff).
fn. In order that St Paul should not be misjudged, we must note:—(a) that this relational ordering of male and female presupposes a fundamental generic equality (I Cor. 11:1 ff); and (b) that the “submission” of the wife is a special case of a “submission” of all Christians to one another, and complements a husband’s love that is to be expressed in self-sacrifice (Eph. 5:2lff, 25ff). The apostle is not an apologist for male tyranny.
... Oliver O’Donovan (b. 1945), “Marriage and the Family”, in The Changing World, Bruce Kaye, ed., vol. 3 of Obeying Christ in a Changing World, John Stott, gen. ed., 3 vol., London: Fountain, 1977, p. 102-103,112-113 (see the book; see also Eph. 5:25-28; Col. 3:19; 1 Pet. 3:7; more at Bible, Equality, Family, Home, Life, Love, Man, Self-sacrifice, Social, Submission, Tyranny, Woman)

Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Feast of Boniface (Wynfrith) of Crediton, Archbishop of Mainz, Apostle of Germany, Martyr, 754

There are... few stronger indications of ignorance of the power and evil of sin, than the confident assertion of our ability to resist and subdue it.
... Charles Hodge (1797-1878), Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, Philadelphia: W. S. & A. Martien, 1864, p. 363 (see the book; see also Mark 14:38; Matt. 26:41; Luke 20:40,46; Gal. 5:17; 1 Pet. 5:8; Rev. 3:2; more at Arrogance, Confidence, Evil, Ignorance, Power, Sin)

Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Commemoration of Ini Kopuria, Founder of the Melanesian Brotherhood, 1945

The present moment always reveals the presence and the power of God.
... Jean-Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751), Abandonment to Divine Providence, I.ii.10 (see the book; see also Ex. 3:2-6; Isa. 6:1-5; Luke 12:56; Rom. 13:11; more at God, Power, Providence, Revelation)

Thursday, June 7, 2018

There are a number of Hebrew words about salvation which also mean “to bring into a spacious environment,” “to be at one’s ease,” “to be free to develop.” “Salvation” can be seen then as the new life in Christ, in which we are to be “free to develop” into Christ-like people. For this maturing to take place, there needs to be a breaking down of barriers, a breaking up of the soil of our personalities, and a healing of inner wounds and hurts. The soil is softened, the clay becomes malleable through the experience of the tender love of God and the accepting, non-judgmental love of Christians. We cannot be beaten into shape.
... Michael C. Harper (1931-2010), “Christian Maturing”, 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. 151 (see the book; see also Isa. 64:8; Ps. 119:73; Jer. 18:2-6; Rom. 9:20-24; Gal. 3:26-29; Eph. 2:10; more at Christ, Christlikeness, Experience, God, Life, Love, People, Providence, Salvation)

Friday, June 8, 2018
Feast of Thomas Ken, Bishop of Bath & Wells, Hymnographer, 1711
Commemoration of Roland Allen, Mission Strategist, 1947

We demand, as [St. Paul] did, that the candidate must be of good moral character; at least, so far as that he can produce testimonials to his good conduct. We demand, as the apostle demanded, that he must hold fast the faithful word; at least, so far as that he shall not write deliberate heresy in his examination papers, and shall profess belief in the Creed. We demand, as he demanded, that the candidate must be apt to teach; at least, so far as an examination of his verbal memory can prove that he knows what he ought to teach. But there is some difference between the “without reproach” of the apostle and our testimonials; and there is a difference between the holding fast of the faith by a man tried in the furnace of life, and the soundness in the faith of a youth fresh from a theological school; and the aptness to teach of a man of experience and social authority is not quite the same thing as the aptness to teach of a young man who has just passed an examination in the subject-matter.
... Roland Allen (1869-1947), The Case for Voluntary Clergy, London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1930, included in The Ministry of the Spirit, David M. Paton, ed., London: World Dominion Press, 1960, p. 141 (see the book; see also 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Acts 20:17,28; 1 Tim. 6:11-14; Tit. 1:5-7; 1 Pet. 5:1-4; more at Education, Experience, Faith, Heresy, Man, Morality, School, Teach, Theology, Youth)

Saturday, June 9, 2018
Feast of Columba, Abbot of Iona, Missionary, 597
Commemoration of Ephrem of Syria, Deacon, Hymnographer, Teacher, 373

Although it is indisputable that our Lord founded a church, it is an unproved assumption that that church is an aggregation of visible and organized societies... The theory upon which the public worship of the primitive churches proceeded was that each community was complete in itself, and that, in every act of public worship, every element of the community was present.
... Edwin Hatch (1835-1889), The Organization of the Early Christian Churches [1880], London: Longmans, Green, 1918, preface, p.xii,79 (see the book; see also Eph. 2:19-22; 1 Cor. 3:16; 12:14-28; 1 Pet. 2:4-5; more at Action, Church, Community, Historical, Sacrament, Worship)

Sunday, June 10, 2018

I vehemently dissent from those who would not have private persons read the Holy Scriptures nor have them translated into the vulgar tongues... I would wish that all women—girls even—would read the Gospels and the letters of Paul. I wish that they were translated into all languages of all people... To make them understood is surely the first step. It may be that they might be ridiculed by many, but some would take them to heart. I long that the husbandman should sing portions of them to himself as he follows the plough, that the weaver should hum them to the tune of his shuttle, that the traveller should beguile with their stories the tedium of his journey.
... Desiderius Erasmus (1466?-1536), preface to the first edition of his Greek New Testament [1516], quoted in Erasmus: a study of his life, ideals and place in history, Preserved Smith, Harper & Brothers, 1923, p. 184 (see the book; see also Ps. 119:169-172; Deut. 6:7; Ps. 40:9-10; 78:4; Matt. 12:34-35; John 17:8; Col. 4:6; more at Bible, Knowing God, People, Scripture)

Monday, June 11, 2018
Feast of Barnabas the Apostle

Lord Jesus, when we are wrong, make us willing to change; and when we are right, make us easy to live with.
... Peter Marshall (1902-1949), A Man Called Peter, Catherine Marshall, p. 82 (see the book; see also Rom. 12:13-16; Ps. 131:1-2; Matt. 18:1-4; 20:25-28; Luke 22:25-27; 1 Cor. 3:18; 8:2; Jas. 3:13-17; 1 Pet. 5:2-3; more at Attitudes, Discipline, Humility, Prayers)

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

It is the best savour in a Christian soul when his sins are loathsome and offensive unto him—a happy token that there hath not been of late in him any insensible supply of heinous offenses, because his stale sins are still his new and daily sorrow.
... Thomas Fuller (1608-1661), Good Thoughts in Bad Times [1645], Chicago: United Society of Christian Endeavor, Boston, 1898, Mixt Contemplations, VII. (see the book; see also 1 John 2:1-2; 1 Cor. 15:9; Eph. 4:26; Tit. 2:11; 1 Pet. 4:1-3; more at Happiness, Health, Sin, Sorrow, Soul)

Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Commemoration of Gilbert Keith Chesterton, Apologist and Writer, 1936

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)

Thursday, June 14, 2018
Commemoration of Richard Baxter, Priest, Hymnographer, Teacher, 1691

You may know God, but not comprehend him.
... Richard Baxter (1615-1691), Of the Knowledge of God, the first treatise of The Divine Life: in three treatises [1664], in The Practical Works of Richard Baxter, v. III, G. Virtue, 1838, ch. 4, p. 770 (see the book; see also Job 37:5; Isa. 40:14-15,17; Jer. 31:33-34; Hos. 6:3; John 8:19; 17:3; 2 Cor. 4:6; 1 John 4:6; more at God, Knowing God, Knowledge)

Friday, June 15, 2018
Feast of Evelyn Underhill, Mystical Writer, 1941

Anyone can lead a “prayer-life”—that is, the sort of reasonable devotional life to which each is called by God. This only involves making a suitable rule and making up your mind to keep it however boring this may be.
... Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941), The Letters of Evelyn Underhill, Charles Williams, ed., London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1991, p. 189 (see the book; see also John 15:15-16; Matt. 26:40; Luke 18:1; 21:36; Rom. 12:12; Eph. 6:18; Col. 4:2; 1 Thess. 5:17; more at Call, Devotion, God, Prayer, Reason, Rule)

Saturday, June 16, 2018
Feast of Richard of Chichester, Bishop, 1253
Commemoration of Joseph Butler, Bishop of Durham, Moral Philosopher, 1752

The Christian should be a conscience in his group. His presence must never be used to provide a Christian justification for evil. To stand as a co-belligerent and not an ally will be to rally the middle ground for a genuine Third Way without mediocre compromise.
The Third Way will not be easy. It will be lonely. Sometimes the Christian must have the courage to stand with the establishment, speaking boldly to the radicals and pointing out the destructive and counter-productive nature of their violence. At other times, he will stand as a co-belligerent with the radicals in their outrage and just demands for redress. The Christian is a co-belligerent with either or both when either or both are right, but... fearless in his opposition to either or both when they are wrong.
... Os Guinness (b. 1941), The Dust of Death, Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1973, p. 186 (see the book; see also 2 Cor. 2:14-17; Rom. 16:17; 1 Cor. 1:10-13; 11:17-18; 1 Tim. 3:9; 1 Pet. 3:15-16; more at Attitudes, Conscience, Courage, Evil, Fearless, Justification, Loneliness)

Sunday, June 17, 2018
Commemoration of Samuel & Henrietta Barnett, Social Reformers, 1913 & 1936

The more God raises and exalts good men, the more they abase and humble themselves. They remember with sorrow what they are of themselves, and what they are capable of becoming.
... Thomas Wilson (1663-1755), Maxims of Piety and of Christianity, London: Macmillan, 1898, p. 70 (see the book; see also Matt. 23:8-10; 2 Chr. 7:13-14; Isa. 35:10; Prov. 16:18-19; Mic. 6:8; Matt. 11:29; 18:3-4; John 13:12-15; 2 Cor. 7:10-11; Eph. 4:1-3; Jas. 4:6-7; 1 Pet. 5:5; more at Abasement, God, Goodness, Humility, Remembrance, Sorrow)

Monday, June 18, 2018

Because the role of the Christian leader is to preach, teach, act as a shepherd, [and] be an example in personal and family life, the New Testament properly insists that he must not be a new convert nor a young man. He must have proved himself [and] demonstrated his God-given charisma for leadership, before he looks to the Church for recognition of it through ordination. Here once again we stand in marked contrast to the New Testament... The early Christians laid great stress on quality of life. A leader must merit respect, with his sexual, drinking [and] financial habits beyond reproach, a man of experience, a family man, someone who has led others to the faith and built Christians up in it. We go, on the whole, for untried men whose degree matters more than their lives, and who may never have led anyone to belief in Christ, or may even regard the whole idea as distasteful.
... Michael Green (1930-2019), “Mission and Ministry”, E. M. B. Green, in The People of God, Ian Cundy, ed., vol. 2 of Obeying Christ in a Changing World, John Stott, gen. ed., 3 vol., London: Fountain, 1977, p. 72-73 (see the book; see also 1 Tim. 3:1-4,6-7; Amos 2:11; 7:14-15; Tit. 1:6-9; 1 Pet. 5:5; more at Bible, Church, Experience, Faith, Leader, Man, Minister, Ordination, Preach, Teach)

Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Commemoration of Sundar Singh of India, Sadhu, Evangelist, Teacher, 1929

The essence of prayer does not consist in asking God for something but in opening our hearts to God, in speaking with Him, and living with Him in perpetual communion. Prayer is continual abandonment to God. Prayer does not mean asking God for all kinds of things we want; it is rather the desire for God Himself, the only Giver of Life. Prayer is not asking, but union with God. Prayer is not a painful effort to gain from God help in the varying needs of our lives. Prayer is the desire to possess God Himself, the Source of all life. The true spirit of prayer does not consist in asking for blessings, but in receiving Him who is the giver of all blessings, and in living a life of fellowship with Him.
... Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929), The Gospel of Sadhu Sundar Singh, Friedrich Heiler & Olive Wyon, G. Allen & Unwin, Ltd., 1927, p. 99-100 (see the book; see also Ps. 73:28; 65:4; Lam. 3:25-26; Heb. 10:19-22; Jas. 4:8; 1 Pet. 3:18; Rev. 3:20; more at Blessing, Communion, Fellowship, God, Heart, Life, Possession, Prayer, Unity)

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Evil can be interpreted as guilt only where human existence is understood as personal, and that means where the existence of man is understood to be in responsibility to the Divine Thou. This is the depth of human distress, that we are separated from God, that our communion with Him is destroyed, that man has emancipated himself (has taken himself out of the hand of God) and has become independent, his own master.
... Emil Brunner (1889-1966), The Word and the World, London: Student Christian Movement Press, 1931, p. 49-50 (see the book; see also John 16:7-11; Eccl. 2:24-25; Rom. 1:20-23; 1 Pet. 5:6-7; more at Evil, God, Guilt, Independence, Man, Master, Responsibility, Sin)

Thursday, June 21, 2018

A mere form of religion does upon some accounts bring a man under a heavier sentence, than if he were openly profane and irreligious. He that makes a show of religion flatters God, but all the while he acts and designs against him: whereas the profane man deals plainly, and though he be a monstrous and unnatural rebel, yet he is a fair and open enemy. And the kisses of a false friend are more hateful than the wounds of an open enemy.
... John Tillotson (1630-1694), Works of Dr. John Tillotson, v. VIII, London: J. F. Dove, for R. Priestley, 1820, Sermon CCV, p. 540 (see the book; see also Matt. 26:49-50; Prov. 27:6; Matt. 23:13,15; 24:51; 2 Tim. 3:5; more at Enemy, Friend, God, Man, Profane, Religion)

Friday, June 22, 2018
Feast of Alban, first Martyr of Britain, c.209

For the preacher’s merit or demerit,
It were to be wished the flaws were fewer
In the earthen vessel, holding treasure,
Which lies as safe in a golden ewer;
But the main thing is, does it hold good measure?
Heaven soon sets right all other matters!
... Robert Browning (1812-1889), from “Christmas Eve” [1850], in The Poetic and Dramatic Works of Robert Browning, v. IV, Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1887, p. 30 (see the book; see also 2 Tim. 2:20-21; 1 Cor. 1:28-29; 2 Cor. 4:7; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 4:2; 1 Pet. 1:7; more at Authenticity, Gold, Heaven, Preacher, Treasure)

Saturday, June 23, 2018
Feast of Etheldreda, Abbess of Ely, c.678

I would not favour a fiction to keep a world out of hell. The hell that a lie would keep any man out of is doubtless the very best place for him to go to. It is truth, yes, The Truth that saves the world.
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood, v. I [1867], London: Strahan & Co., 1873, p. 144 (see the book; see also John 14:6; 8:44; 1 Tim. 1:9-10; Rev. 21:27; more at Gospel, Hell, Salvation, Truth, World)

Sunday, June 24, 2018
Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist

The absorption of the individual in the universal is only another term for its destruction.
... C. Harold Dodd (1884-1973), New Testament Studies, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1953, p. 144 (see the book; see also Rom. 8:19-21; Ps. 51:12; John 8:31-32; Gal. 5:1; Heb. 9:27-28; more at Pagan, Philosophy, Sin, Universe)

Monday, June 25, 2018

“Prayer in the Name of Christ,” though it is essentially a mystical phrase, also contains a surface meaning which is very valuable to those who grasp and apply it... The more Jesus becomes our standard and inspiration in prayer, the more confident we may be of a favorable hearing.
... L. Swetenham, Conquering Prayer, London: J. Clarke, 1908, p. 169 (see the book; see also John 14:14; Matt. 7:7-8; 21:22; Mark 11:24; John 17; Heb. 5:7; 1 John 5:14-15; more at Authenticity, Christ, Confidence, Inspiration, Jesus, Meaning, Prayer)

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Think thyself at that Tribunal, that judgment now: where thou shalt not only hear all thy sinful works, and words, and thoughts repeated, which thou thyself hadst utterly forgot, but thou shalt hear thy good works, thine alms, thy coming to church, thy hearing of sermons given in evidence against thee, because they had hypocrisy mingled in them; yea thou shalt find even thy repentance to condemn thee, because thou madest that but a door to a relapse.
... John Donne (1573-1631), Works of John Donne, vol. II, London: John W. Parker, 1839, Sermon XXXV, p. 125 (see the book; see also 1 John 2:4-6; Luke 13:1-5; 18:10-14; John 16:8-11; Heb. 2:1-4; more at Church, Condemnation, Good works, Hypocrisy, Judgment, Repentance, Sermon, Thought, Work)

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

One secret act of self-denial, one sacrifice of inclination to duty, is worth all the mere good thoughts, warm feelings, passionate prayers, in which idle people indulge themselves.
... John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890), Parochial Sermons, v. 1, New York: D. Appleton, 1843, p. 111 (see the book; see also Rom. 12:1; Matt. 12:50; 28:20; Mark 14:30-31; Luke 11:28; John 13:15-17; Jas. 1:22; more at Action, Duty, Obedience, Prayers, Sacrifice, Thought)

Thursday, June 28, 2018
Feast of Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, Teacher, Martyr, c.200

It was my generation and the generation that preceded me that forgot [the purpose of man]. The younger generation is not primarily to be blamed. Those who are struggling today, those who are far away and doing what is completely contrary to the Christian conscience, are not first to be blamed. It is my generation and the generation that preceded me who turned away. Today we are left largely not only with a religion and a church without meaning, but we are left with a culture without meaning.
... Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-1984), Death in the City, London: Inter-Varsity Press, 1969, Good News Publishers, 2002, p. 36 (see the book; see also John 8:47; Judg. 21:25; 2 Chr. 7:14; John 10:25-29; 17:6-8; 1 John 3:10; 4:1-6; 5:1; 2 John 1:9; more at Apologetics, Church, Conscience, Culture, Forget, Meaning)

Friday, June 29, 2018
Feast of Peter & Paul, Apostles

God always gives us strength enough, and sense enough, for every thing that He wants us to do.
... John Ruskin (1819-1900) (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 10:13; Ex. 15:2; Ps. 28:7; 29:11; Isa. 12:2; Jer. 29:11; 2 Cor. 12:9; Jas. 5:11; more at Giving, God, Providence, Strength, Wisdom)

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Behind the words of Jesus and the memories about him, ... there shines forth a self-authenticating portrait of a real person in all his human uniqueness, an impression which is accessible alike to the layman and to the expert, to believer and non-believer. No reader of the gospel story can fail to be impressed by Jesus’ humble submission to the will of his God on the one hand, and his mastery of all situations on the other; by his penetrating discernment of human motives and his authoritative demand of radical obedience on the one hand, and his gracious, forgiving acceptance of sinners on the other. There is nothing, either in the Messianic hopes of pre-Christian Judaism or in the later Messianic beliefs of the early Christian Church, to account for this portrait. It is characterized by an originality and freshness which is beyond the power of invention. [Continued tomorrow]
... George Ernest Wright (1909-1974) & Reginald Fuller (1915-2007), The Book of the Acts of God, London: Doubleday, 1957, p. 265 (see the book; see also Luke 20:2-8; Matt. 9:4-6; Mark 2:8-10; Luke 5:22-24; 6:8-10; John 5:31-38; 8:17-19; 7:39-40; 1 John 5:10; more at Authenticity, Forgiveness, God, Humility, Jesus, Obedience, Submission, Will of God)


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