Christ, our Light

Quotations for July, 2018

Sunday, July 1, 2018
Commemoration of John & Henry Venn, Priests, Evangelical Divines, 1813, 1873

[Continued from yesterday]
Here [in the Gospels] is something that the layman can hold on to, quite apart from the vagaries of critical scholarship, for it is a portrait unaffected by the authenticity of any particular saying or story. Such an encounter with the historical Jesus is, of course, not the same as Christian faith in him. Even Caiaphas, Herod, and Pontius Pilate encountered him in this way. Christian faith is still a matter of decision—either this Man is God’s redemptive act, or he is not. Nor is the historical Jesus the object of our faith. That object is the Risen Christ preached by the Church. But the Risen Christ is in continuity with the historical Jesus, and it is the historical Jesus which makes the Risen Christ not just an abstraction, but clothes him with flesh and blood.
... George Ernest Wright (1909-1974) & Reginald Fuller (1915-2007), The Book of the Acts of God, London: Doubleday, 1957, p. 265-266 (see the book; see also Luke 24:36-39; 24:46-48; John 20:26-29; Acts 2:29-32; 13:29-31; more at Authenticity, Christ, Church, Faith, Historical, Jesus, Preach)

Monday, July 2, 2018

The early Hebrews learned at the foot of Mount Sinai that in the sight of God there is indeed a difference between the sacred and the profane, but there is no difference between the spiritual and the social.
... Sherwood Eliot Wirt (1911-2008), The Social Conscience of the Evangelical, New York: Harper & Row, 1968, p. 9-10 (see the book; see also Ex. 22:21-27; Lev. 25:32-38; Lev. 19:17-18; Deut. 10:19; Jer. 7:5-7; 22:3; Zech. 7:10; more at Consecration, God, Profane, Social, Spiritual life)

Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Feast of Thomas the Apostle

God will not hold us responsible to understand the mysteries of election, predestination, and the divine sovereignty. The best and safest way to deal with these truths is to raise our eyes to God and in deepest reverence say, “O Lord, Thou knowest.” Those things belong to the deep and mysterious Profound of God’s omniscience. Prying into them may make theologians, but it will never make saints.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), The Pursuit of God [1948], Christian Publications, 1982, p. 64 (see the book; see also Isa. 64:4; 1 Cor. 2:9-11; Col. 1:25-26; Heb. 5:11-14; 2 Pet. 3:16-17; more at God, Knowing God, Omniscience, Predestination, Responsibility, Reverence, Saint, Theology)

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Bless God, America.
... Linden Summer (see also 2 Chr. 7:14; more at Blessing, God, Social)

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Thank God, our Christian chance is not permanently gone from us [in world affairs]. Ecclesiastics seem for the most part to have failed, failed both man and God; but God has not failed, Jesus has not failed. The God-man still remains the only leader into cooperation whose wisdom is sufficient for a permanent, competent, and free Society. The dictators and would-be dictators will not do. They overreach themselves. Eventually they will destroy one another, and kill off most of us. But even that disaster will not eradicate the desire of men and women to lay down lives for that which is more than themselves. Men will continue to demand not the freedom from that degree of unity for which the dictatorships stand, but rather a finer, more noble, more perceptive kind of unity: a human solidarity which is not nationalistic but world-embracing, a human integration which in aim and purpose is not secularist but spiritual. What the world unwittingly is groping after is allegiance to the eternal, the compassionate, the completely integrating Christ.
... Bernard Iddings Bell (1886-1958), Still Shine the Stars, New York, London: Harper & Brothers, 1941, p. 51 (see the book; see also Luke 22:25-27; Ps. 2:6-9; 110:1-3; 118:9; Isa. 9:6-7; Dan. 7:13-14; Matt. 28:18; John 3:35; more at Christ, Compassion, Failure, God, Jesus, Purpose, Sin, Unity, World)

Friday, July 6, 2018
Feast of John Huss, Reformer, Martyr, 1415
Feast of Thomas More, Scholar & Martyr, &
John Fisher, Bishop & Martyr, 1535

I desire now to make no more pleas with Christ. Verily, he hath not put me to a loss by what I suffer; he oweth me nothing: for in my bonds how sweet and comfortable have the thoughts of him been to me, wherein I find a sufficient recompense of reward!
... Samuel Rutherford (1600-1664), Letters of Samuel Rutherford, Edinburgh: William Whyte & Co., 1848, letter while in exile, Jan. 1, 1637, p. 135-136 (see the book; see also Heb. 10:34-35; Matt. 5:11-12; 6:19-20; 19:21; 2 Cor. 5:1; Col. 3:2-4; 2 Tim. 4:8; more at Bondage, Christ, Comfort, Historical, Suffer)

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Earnestness is good and impressive: genius is gifted and great. Thought kindles and inspires, but it takes a diviner endowment, and more powerful energy than earnestness or genius or thought to break the chains of sin, to win estranged and depraved hearts to God, to repair the breaches and restore the Church to her old ways of purity and power. Nothing but this holy unction [the anointing of the Holy Spirit] can do this.
... E. M. Bounds (1835-1913), Preacher and Prayer, Publishing House of the M. E. Church, South, Dallas, Tex., 1907, p. 93-94 (see the book; see also 1 John 2:27; Jer. 31:33-34; John 14:26; 16:13; 1 Cor. 2:13; Eph. 4:21; 1 Thess. 2:13; 2 Pet. 1:16-17; 1 John 2:20-21; more at Anoint, Church, Depravity, Holy Spirit, Renewal, Sin, Sincerity, Thought)

Sunday, July 8, 2018

The history of our student movement [Inter-Varsity] has demonstrated that a prayer-less chapter is a fruitless chapter. Prayer spells all the difference between working for God in our own strength and wisdom or being fellow laborers together with Him in the work that He is seeking to do in the university.
... C. Stacey Woods (d. 1983), The Growth of a Work of God, Downers Grove, Ill.: Inter-varsity Press, 1978, p. 99 (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 3:8-11; Ps. 127:1; Luke 18:1; Rom. 12:12; Eph. 6:18; Col. 4:2; 1 Thess. 5:17; 1 Pet. 4:7; more at Education, God, Historical, Prayer, Strength, Wisdom, Work)

Monday, July 9, 2018

What are the gifts of biblical faith to the secular university? ... Education can receive from the Bible a faith concerning man far more realistic than the naive faith by which education has tried to live. Not man as “pure reason”: his reason is not pure... Not man as incipient angel: he can turn any structure... to good or to demonic purpose. Not man with his steps on the highroad called evolution: he is relatively free and, therefore, can and does wreck any evolution unless some Grace constantly renews his onward journey. Not man who by his science is sure to fashion a “brave new world”: by science he can destroy the world... Not man as centrally and characteristically a reasonable creature who needs only that his mind shall be educated to build a reasonable world. Not man regarded in any naive faith, but man as potentially divine and potentially unworthy, who stands always in need of help from beyond the confines of the natural order. If education confronts this faith, education will know that the mind’s adventure also, like all things human, stands in need of redemption; and it can then proceed with lowliness, and thus with the power and light which are the reward of the lowly.
... George A. Buttrick (1892-1980), Biblical Thought and the Secular University, Louisiana State University Press, 1960, p. 55,57-58 (see the book; see also Jas. 3:17-18; Ps. 131:1; Pr. 26:12; Matt. 5:5; 11:29; 1 Cor. 8:1-2; Gal. 6:3; Phil. 2:5-8; 1 Tim. 1:5-7; 6:3-4; more at Angel, Bible, Education, Faith, Grace, Knowledge, Light, Man, Meekness, Power, Reason, Science, World)

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Every day is a little life; and our whole life is but a day repeated: whence it is that old Jacob numbers his life by days; and Moses desires to be taught this point of holy arithmetic—To number, not his years, but his days. [And so, those] that dare lose a day, are dangerously prodigal; those that dare misspend it, desperate.
... Joseph Hall (1574-1656), from a letter, The Works of the Right Reverend Joseph Hall, v. VI, Oxford: University Press, 1863, p. 280 (see the book; see also 1 Thess. 5:1-6; Gen. 29:20; Ps. 39:4-5; 90:12; Isa. 40:6-7; Jas. 4:14; more at Danger, Day, Holiness, Life, Prodigal, Sin)

Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Feast of Benedict of Nursia, Father of Western Monasticism, c.550

The case for inerrancy rests precisely where it has always rested, namely, on the lordship of Christ and his commission to the prophets and apostles, who were his representatives. Because it rests on Christ and his authority, the question of inerrancy will therefore remain a key doctrine of the evangelical church so long as Christ is Lord. Evangelicals must remember, however, that this basis must be set forth anew for every generation. What was adequate for Gaussen, Pieper, and Warfield is still valuable, but it is not necessarily adequate to serve as the foundation for the thinking of our generation. The case for inerrancy must be made anew with each presentation of the gospel teaching.
... Kenneth S. Kantzer (1917-2002), “Evangelicals and the Doctrine of Inerrancy” [1963], in Foundation of Biblical Authority, ed. James Montgomery Boice, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1978, p. 151-152 (see the book; see also Ps. 119:163-165; John 10:34-36; Rom. 3:2; 15:4; Gal. 3:8; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Heb. 4:12; 2 Pet. 1:19-21; more at Christ, Church, Gospel, Question, Teach)

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The devout student is the best of all students. There are too many who are devout, but not students. They will not accept the discipline of study and of learning, and they even look with suspicion upon the further knowledge which study brings to men. There are equally too many who are students, but not devout. They are interested too much in intellectual knowledge, and too little in the life of prayer and in the life of service of their fellow men. A man would do well to aim at being not only a student, and not only devout, but at being a devout student.
... William Barclay (1907-1978), The Revelation of John, v. II, Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1961, p. 286 (see the book; see also Rev. 22:7; Matt. 22:29; Mark 12:24; Luke 24:27,45; John 5:39-40; Acts 17:2-3; more at Devotion, Discipline, Education, Knowledge, Life, Prayer, Service)

Friday, July 13, 2018

For us, murder is once for all forbidden... It makes no difference whether one take away the life once born, or destroy it as it comes to birth. He is a man, who is to be a man; the fruit is always present in the seed.
... Tertullian (Quintus S. Florens Tertullianus) (160?-230?), Tertullian: Apologetic and practical treatises [2nd-3rd century], Oxford: J. H. Parker, 1842, Apology, ch. IX, p. 22 (see the book; see also Gen. 9:5-6; Ex. 20:13; Deut. 5:17; Matt. 5:21-22; 1 John 3:12-15; more at Life, Man, Murder, Seed)

Saturday, July 14, 2018
Feast of John Keble, Priest, Poet, Tractarian, 1866

Some wish to live within the sound
Of Church or Chapel bell,
I want to run a Rescue Shop
Within a yard of hell.
... C. T. Studd (1860-1931), quoted in C. T. Studd—Cricketer and Pioneer [1933], Norman P. Grubb, World-Wide Revival Prayer Movement, 1947, p. 170 (see the book; see also Jude 1:22-23; Rom. 11:13-14; 2 Cor. 7:10; 1 Tim. 4:16; 1 Pet. 3:18-19; more at Church, Hell, Mission)

Sunday, July 15, 2018
Commemoration of Swithun, Bishop of Winchester, c.862
Commemoration of Bonaventure, Franciscan Friar, Bishop, Peacemaker, 1274

In addition to the general situations in which men find themselves today, there are those things in personal life which have always tested faith: the inexplicable tragedies and injustices; the suffering of innocent people, especially of children; the seeming uselessness of prayer, and so forth.
It is surely life itself that makes against belief in most cases. It is the contradiction in real life between any image of God as good, whether God is “above,” “beneath,” or “within,” that makes men atheists. Yet how few books and how few sermons touch on this basic problem! Our theological libraries are crammed with books devoted to every aspect of textual and higher criticism of the Bible; but of genuine theological thinking about the things which drive religion from men’s hearts, there is appallingly little to be found. The archaeology of Christian origins seems largely to have replaced genuine theology.
... O. Fielding Clarke (1898-1987), For Christ’s Sake, New York: Moorehouse-Barlow, 1963, p. 72 (see the book; see also Amos 4:6-11; Job 38:4-7; 40:6-14; Matt. 6:25-30; Rom. 8:31; Heb. 12:5-11; more at Bible, Faith, God, Goodness, Innocence, People, Religion, Suffer, Theology, Thought, Tragedy)

Monday, July 16, 2018
Commemoration of Osmund, Bishop of Salisbury, 1099

Apart from God every activity is merely a passing whiff of insignificance.
... Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947), “Immortality”, in The Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead, P. A. Schilpp, ed., Northwestern University, 1941, p. 698 (see the book; see also Eccl. 3:14-15; Job 14:1-2; Ps. 33:4,11; 90:5-6; 102:11; 103:15-16; Isa. 40:6-8; 46:10; Jas. 1:10-11; more at Attitudes, God, Providence)

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Way is not a religion: Christianity is the end of religion. “Religion” here means the division between sacred and secular concerns, other-worldliness, man’s reaching toward God in a way which projects his own thoughts.
... David Kirk (1935-2007), Quotations from Chairman Jesus, Springfield, Ill.: Templegate Publishers, 1969, p. 87 (see the book; see also 1 John 4:19; Matt. 23:2-33; Rom. 3:12,22-24; 11:36; 1 Cor. 3:16,17; Heb. 11:6; more at God, Man, Religion, Thought, Way)

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Great art Thou, O Lord, and highly to be praised; great is Thy power, yea, and Thy wisdom is infinite. And man would praise Thee, because he is one of Thy creatures; yea, man, though he bears about with him his mortality, the proof of his sin, the proof that Thou, O God, dost resist the proud, yet would man praise Thee, because he is one of Thy creatures. Thou dost prompt us thereto, making it a joy to praise Thee; for Thou hast created us unto Thyself, and our heart finds no rest until it rests in Thee. Grant me, O Lord, to know and understand which comes first, to call upon Thee, or to praise Thee, and which comes first, to know Thee or to call upon Thee.
... St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), Confessions [397], Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1886, p. 1-2 (see the book; see also Ps. 145:3; 147:5; Zeph. 3:8,9; Jas. 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:5; more at Call, Creation, Heart, Joy, Knowledge, Mortality, Praise, Prayers, Rest, Sin, Wisdom)

Thursday, July 19, 2018
Feast of Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa, & his sister Macrina, Teachers, c.394 & c.379

Instead of pursuing her appointed path of separation, persecution, world-hatred, poverty, and non-resistance, [the Church] has used... Scripture to justify her in lowering her purpose to the civilization of the world, the acquisition of wealth, the use of an imposing ritual, the erection of magnificent churches, the invocation of God’s blessing upon the conflicts of armies, and the division of an equal brotherhood into “clergy” and “laity.”
... C. I. Scofield (1843-1921), Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth [1930], p. 17 (see the book; see also Matt. 10:28; Amos 5:10; Matt. 5:10-12; Mark 13:11-13; John 7:6-8; more at Blessing, Church, Equality, God, Poverty, Scripture, Wealth, World)

Friday, July 20, 2018
Commemoration of Bartolomè de las Casas, Apostle to the Indies, 1566

He who has learned to pray, has learned the greatest secret of a holy and happy life.
... William Law (1686-1761), Christian Perfection [1726], London: W. Baynes, 1807, p. 290 (see the book; see also Ps. 5:3; Mark 1:35; Phil. 4:6; 1 Thess. 5:17; more at Happiness, Holiness, Life, Prayer)

Saturday, July 21, 2018

I have often, on my knees, been shocked to find what sort of thoughts I have, for a moment, been addressing to God; what infantile placations I was really offering, what claims I have really made, even what absurd adjustments or compromises I was, half-consciously, proposing. There is a Pagan, savage heart in me somewhere. For unfortunately the folly and idiot-cunning of Paganism seem to have far more power of surviving than its innocent or even beautiful elements. It is easy, once you have power, to silence the pipes, still the dances, disfigure the statues, and forget the stories; but not easy to kill the savage, the greedy, frightened creature now cringing, now blustering in one’s soul.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), Reflections on the Psalms, Edinburgh: James Thin, 1958; G. Bles, 1958, p. 97-98 (see the book; see also Isa. 6:5-8; Judg. 10:15; Ps. 40:12; 69:5; more at God, Greed, Heart, Offering, Pagan, Power, Prayer, Soul, Thought)

Sunday, July 22, 2018
Feast of Mary Magdalen, Apostle to the Apostles

To relinquish any of the Psalms on the excuse that its sentiments are too violent for a Christian is a clear sign that a person has also given up the very battle that a Christian is summoned ... to fight. The Psalms are prayers for those who are engaged in an ongoing spiritual conflict. No one else need bother even opening the book.
... Patrick Henry Reardon, Christ in the Psalms, Ben Lomond, California: Conciliar Press:, 2000, p. 6 (see the book; see also Ps. 5:8-10; 109:9-20; 140:1-4; more at Battle, Bible, Need, Prayer, Spiritual life)

Monday, July 23, 2018
Commemoration of Bridget of Sweden, Abbess of Vadstena, 1373

Sometimes truth is lost first in a church, and then holiness and sometimes the decay or hatred of holiness is the cause of the loss of truth; but where either is rejected, the other will not abide.
... John Owen (1616-1683), Nature and Causes of Apostasy from the Gospel [1676], in Works of John Owen, v. VII, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1852, p. 199 (see the book; see also 2 Cor. 7:1; Matt. 5:48; 1 Cor. 6:18-20; Gal. 1:6-7; Eph. 4:11-13; Phil. 3:18-19; 1 Pet. 1:15-23; more at Church, Hatred, Holiness, Truth)

Tuesday, July 24, 2018
Commemoration of Thomas à Kempis, priest, spiritual writer, 1471

Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.
... Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471), Of the Imitation of Christ [1418], Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1877, I.xvi.2, p. 52 (see the book; see also Gal. 6:1-2; Matt. 8:17; Rom. 15:1; Gal. 5:13-14; 1 Thess. 5:14; 1 Pet. 2:24; more at Humility, Self-righteousness, Weakness)

Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Feast of James the Apostle

Paul does not forbid you to use rites and ceremonies, but it is not his wish that he who is free in Christ should be bound by them. He does not condemn the law of works if only one use it lawfully. Without these things perhaps you will not be pious; but they do not make you pious.
... Desiderius Erasmus (1466?-1536), in A History of Christian Thought, v. II [1932], A. C. McGiffert, New York, London: C. Scribner’s sons, 1960, p. 387 (see the book; see also Rom. 14:13-15,21; 1 Cor. 8:7-13; Eph. 2:8,9; more at Bondage, Freedom, Law, Legalism)

Thursday, July 26, 2018

It was the experience of the disciples who knew Jesus both before and after the Resurrection, and the conviction which they communicated to others, that laid the foundation of faith. This faith, once given, proved to be—like the Person who gave rise to it—essentially self-authenticating. And ever since, the Church has looked to the Cross, a symbol of weakness, as its unique source of power in preaching the Gospel, its authority both to teach and to preach has been of this kind. No amount of liaison between the Church and the source of any other authority, political or moral, must be allowed to obscure the simplicity—and the mystery—of the authority of Christ.
... Nick Earle (1926-2014), What’s Wrong with the Church?, Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1961, p. 18 (see the book; see also Matt. 9:6; 28:18; Acts 2:22-28; 1 Cor. 1:17-18; 15:6-8; 2 Cor. 13:4; more at Church, Cross, Faith, Gospel, Preach, Proof, Resurrection, Weakness)

Friday, July 27, 2018
Commemoration of Brooke Foss Westcott, Bishop of Durham, Teacher, 1901
Commemoration of John R. W. Stott, spiritual writer and teacher, 2011

We have the means to evangelize our country; but they are slumbering in the pews of our churches.
... John R. W. Stott (1921-2011) (see also Eph. 5:14; Isa. 9:2; Rom. 13:11-12; 1 Thess. 5:6; more at Awakening, Church, Evangelization)

Saturday, July 28, 2018
Commemoration of Johann Sebastian Bach, musician, 1750

He does not believe, that does not live according to his belief.
... Thomas Fuller (1608-1661), Gnomologia, London: B. Barker, 1732, p. 71 (see the book; see also Mark 9:24; Matt. 7:16-20; 12:33; 1 John 5:5; more at Authenticity, Belief, Choices, Life)

Sunday, July 29, 2018
Feast of Mary, Martha & Lazarus, Companions of Our Lord

The breadth and depth of [William] Carey’s missionary service [in India] is well illustrated in the principles laid down for themselves by the Serampore Brotherhood to be read three times a year in each station in their charge. Here is a summary:
1. To set an infinite value on men’s souls.
2. To abstain from whatever deepens India’s prejudice against the Gospel.
3. To watch for every chance of doing the people good.
4. To preach Christ crucified as the grand means of conversions.
5. To esteem and treat Indians always as equals.
6. To be instant in the nurture of personal religion.
7. To cultivate the spiritual gifts of the Indian brethren, ever pressing upon them their missionary obligation, since only Indians can win India for Christ.
... Hugh Martin (1890-1964), Great Christian Books, London: S.C.M. Press Ltd., 1945, Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1946, p. 101-102 (see the book; see also 1 John 4:14-15; Matt. 10:32; Luke 12:8; Rom. 10:9; 14:21; 1 Cor. 8:13; 1 Thess. 4:11-12; 1 John 4:2; 5:1; more at Brotherhood, Christ, Equality, Gifts, Goodness, Historical, Missionary, Preach, Religion, Service)

Monday, July 30, 2018
Commemoration of William Wilberforce, Social Reformer, 1833

All these several artifices, whatever they may be, to unhallow the Sunday and to change its character (it might be almost said “to mitigate its horrors,’) prove but too plainly, that religion, however we may be glad to take refuge in it, when driven to it by the loss of every other comfort, and to retain, as it were, a reversionary interest in an asylum, which may receive us when we are forced from the transitory enjoyments of our present state; that in itself wears to us a gloomy and forbidding aspect, and not a face of consolation and joy; that the worship of God is with us a constrained and not a willing service, which we are glad therefore to abridge, though we dare not omit it.
... William Wilberforce (1759-1833), A Practical View, Boston: Crocker & Brewster, 1829, p. 174 (see the book; see also Ps. 122:1; 5:7; 63:1-3; 84:10; 1 Pet. 5:2-3; ; more at Comfort, Consolation, Gloom, God, Religion, Sunday, Worship)

Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Commemoration of Ignatius of Loyola, Founder of the Society of Jesus, 1556

He who hath heard the Word of God can bear his silences.
... St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491/5-1556) (see the book; see also Heb. 4:12; Lam. 3:25-29; Acts 4:31; Heb. 13:7; more at God, Silence)


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