Quotations for November, 2020
Sunday, November 1, 2020
Feast of All Saints
He was but a heathen that said, If God love a man, He takes him young out of this world; and they were but heathens, that observed that custom, to put on mourning when their sons were born, and to feast and triumph when they died. But thus much may we learn from these heathens, that if the dead, and we, be not upon one floor, nor under one story, yet we are under one roof. We think not a friend lost, because he has gone into another room, nor because he has gone into another land: and into another world, no man has gone; for that Heaven, which God created, and this world, is all one world... I spend none of my faith, I exercise none of my hope, in this, that I shall have my dead raised to life again.This is the faith that sustains me, when I lose by the death of others, or when I suffer by living in misery myself: that the dead and we are now all in one Church, and at the resurrection, shall be all in one choir.
... John Donne (1573-1631), Works of John Donne, vol. I, London: John W. Parker, 1839, Sermon XX, p. 401
(see the book; see also John 5:21; Phil. 3:10-11; 1 Thess. 4:16; Heb. 11:16,35,40; more at Church, Death & Resurrection, Faith, Heathen, Hope, Mourning, World)
Monday, November 2, 2020
Feast of All Souls
The genius of the Methodist movement, which enabled it to conquer the raw lives of workingmen in industrial England, and the raw lives of men and women on the American frontier, was the “class meeting”—ten members and their leader, meeting regularly for mutual encouragement, rebuke, nurture, and prayer.
... John L. Casteel (1903-1993/5), Spiritual Renewal through Personal Groups, NY: Association Press, 1957, p. 20
(see the book; see also 1 Thess. 5:11-13; Rom. 12:6-8; Eph. 4:14-15; Col. 3:16; 1 Tim. 5:1-2; 2 Tim. 4:2; Tit. 2:15; Rev. 3:19; more at Church, Encouragement, Growth, Leader, Life, Man, Prayer, Woman)
Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Feast of Richard Hooker, Priest, Anglican Apologist, Teacher, 1600
Commemoration of Martin of Porres, Dominican Friar, 1639
Social workers and missionaries have always been exposed to the temptation to thank God that they are not as other men, and in some ways to despise and pity those to whom they minister. In the case of those serving the refugee, ... identification with those whom they serve may and does involve them in political as well as economic problems for which there is no easy solution. Not only is there a real need for sympathy and patience in understanding the mentality of the refugee, but there must also be readiness to recognize that the injustices done are in no small degree the result of the policies of the so-called Christian nations which today are trying to stand out for social and political justice.
... A. C. MacInnes (1901-1977), “Social Justice,” included in Anglican Congress 1963: Report of Proceedings, Eugene Rathbone Fairweather, ed., Editorial Committee, Anglican Congress, 1963, p. 70-71
(see the book; see also Luke 18:10-14; Ps. 51:1-3; Jer. 2:34-35; Eze. 33:31; Rev.3:17; more at Justice, Missionary, Nation, Patience, Pity, Service, Social, Sympathy, Temptation, Understanding)
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Poor souls are apt to think that all those whom they read of or hear of to be gone to heaven, went thither because they were so good and so holy... Yet not one of them, not any one that is now in heaven, Jesus Christ alone excepted, did ever come thither any other way but by forgiveness of sin; and that will also bring us thither, though we come short of many of them in holiness and grace.
... John Owen (1616-1683), An Exposition upon Psalm CXXX , in Works of John Owen, v. VI, New York: R. Carter & Bros., 1851, p. 447
(see the book; see also Rom. 5:20; Ps. 25:11; 130:1-4; Isa. 1:18; Mic. 7:18; Matt. 9:13; Luke 23:39-43; 1 Tim. 1:15-16; Rev. 1:5; more at Forgiveness, Goodness, Grace, Heaven, Holiness, Jesus, Sin)
Thursday, November 5, 2020
Jesus hath many lovers of His heavenly kingdom, but few bearers of His Cross. He hath many seekers of comfort, but few of tribulation. He findeth many companions of His table, but few of His fasting. All desire to rejoice with Him, few are willing to undergo anything for His sake. Many follow Jesus that they may eat of His loaves, but few that they may drink of the cup of His passion. Many are astonished at His miracles, few follow after the shame of His Cross. Many love Jesus so long as no adversities happen to them. Many praise Him and bless Him, so long as they receive any comforts from Him. But if Jesus hide Himself and withdraw a little while, they fall either into complaining or into too great dejection of mind.
... Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471), Of the Imitation of Christ , Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1877, II.xi, p. 103
(see the book; see also Matt. 8:21-27; 16:24,25; John 16:33; Acts 14:21-22; Rom. 8:18; 2 Cor. 4:17; more at Adversity, Affliction, Complaint, Cross, Fasting, Jesus, Kingdom, Love, Miracle, Shame, Weakness)
Friday, November 6, 2020
Feast of William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury, Teacher, 1944
In an age when it is tacitly assumed that the Church is concerned only with another world than this, and in this world with nothing but individual conduct as bearing on prospects in that other world, hardly anyone reads the history of the Church in it exercise of political influence. It is assumed that the Church exercises little influence and ought to exercise none; it is further assumed that this assumption is self-evident and has always been made by reasonable men. As a matter of fact [the assumption] is entirely modern and extremely questionable.
... William Temple (1881-1944), Christianity and Social Order, Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1942, p. 7
(see the book; see also Matt. 12:18-21; Isa. 60:2-3; Hos. 6:6; Amos 5:24; Luke 2:30-32; Acts 11:18; 13:46-48; Rom. 15:8-12; ; more at Church, Historical, Influence, Reason, Social, World)
Saturday, November 7, 2020
Feast of Willibrord of York, Archbishop of Utrecht, Apostle of Frisia, 739
If the appetite alone hath sinned, let it alone fast, and it sufficeth. But if the other members also have sinned, why should they not fast, too? ... Let the eye fast from strange sights and from every wantonness, so that that which roamed in freedom in fault-doing may, abundantly humbled, be checked by penitence. Let the ear, blameably eager to listen, fast from tales and rumours, and from whatsoever is of idle import, and tendeth least to salvation. Let the tongue fast from slanders and murmurings, and from useless, vain, and scurrilous words, and sometimes also, in the seriousness of silence, even from things which may seem of essential import. Let the hand abstain from ... all toils which are not imperatively necessary. But also let the soul herself abstain from all evils and from acting out her own will. For without such abstinence the other things find no favour with the Lord.
... Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153), Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, Selections from His Letters, Meditations, Sermons, Hymns and Other Writngs, tr. Horatio Grimley, CUP Archive, n.d., p. 208-209
(see the book; see also Matt. 6:16-18; 9:14-15; 12:36-37; John 14:15; Acts 14:3; 1 Cor. 7:5; more at Evil, Fasting, God, Listening, Repentance, Silence, Vanity)
Sunday, November 8, 2020
Feast of Saints & Martyrs of England
[The solution lies] in a complete realization of what we mean by asserting that God is Almighty. The two ideas of Free-will and Divine Sovereignty can not be reconciled in our own minds, but that does not prevent them from being reconcilable in God’s mind. We measure Him by our own intellectual standard if we think otherwise. And so our solution of the problem of Free-will and of the problems of history and of individual salvation, must finally lie in the full acceptance and realization of what is implied by the infinity and the omniscience of God.
... William Sanday (1843-1920) & Arthur C. Headlam (1862-1947), A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1896, 10th ed., New York: Scribners, 1905, p. 350
(see the book; see also Rom. 9:17-24; Isa. 29:16; 45:9-11; Mic. 6:8; Phil. 3:12; more at Abasement, Bible, God, Mind, Omnipotence, Omniscience, Paradox, Salvation)
Monday, November 9, 2020
Commemoration of Margery Kempe, Mystic, after 1433
This astonishing sense of spiritual attack which, it seems to me, must inevitably follow the continual reading of the four Gospels, without preconception but with an alert mind, is not the sole privilege of the translator. It can happen to anyone who is prepared to abandon proof-texts and a closed attitude of mind, and allow not merely the stories but the quality of the Figure Who exists behind the stories to meet him afresh. Neat snippets of a few verses are of course useful in their way, but the overall sweep and much of the significance of the Gospel narratives are lost to us unless we are prepared to read the Gospels through, not once but several times.
... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), New Testament Christianity, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1956, chapt. i, p. 11
(see the book; see also Eph. 6:17; Matt. 10:26-28; Luke 1:1-4; Acts 8:25; Heb. 4:12; more at Bible, Gospel, Jesus, Mind, Prejudice)
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
Feast of Leo the Great, Bishop of Rome, 461
When no tensions are confronted and overcome, because insiders or outsiders of a certain class or group meet happily among themselves, then the one new thing, peace, and the one new man created by Christ, are missing; then no faith, no church, no Christ, is found or confessed. For if the attribute “Christian” can be given sense from Eph. 2, then it means reconciled and reconciling, triumphant over walls and removing the debris, showing solidarity with the “enemy” and promoting not one’s own peace of mind but “our peace.”When this peace is deprived of its social, national, or economic dimensions, when it is distorted or emasculated so much that only “peace of mind” enjoyed by saintly individuals is left—then Jesus Christ is being flatly denied. To propose, in the name of Christianity, neutrality or unconcern on questions of international, racial, or economic peace—this amounts to using Christ’s name in vain.
... Markus Barth (1915-1994), The Broken Wall, Chicago: Judson Press, 1959, Regent College Publishing, 1959, p. 45
(see the book; see also Eph. 2:4-7,13-18; Mark 9:50; Rom. 12:18; 2 Cor. 13:11; Col. 1:19-20; 1 Thess. 5:13; more at Christ, Church, Confession, Enemy, Faith, Jesus, Man, Peace, Social)
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Feast of Martin, Monk, Bishop of Tours, 397
There is a communion with God that asks for nothing, yet asks for everything... And he who seeks the Father more than anything He can give, is likely to have what he asks, for he is not likely to ask amiss.
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), “Man’s Difficulty Concerning Prayer”, in Unspoken Sermons, Second Series, London: Longmans, Green, 1886, p. 92
(see the book; see also Luke 18:1; Matt. 6:33; Acts 15:16-17; 17:27; more at Communion, Father, Giving, God, Prayer)
Thursday, November 12, 2020
God is wanting you to give Him the despised, the humdrum things in your life—like feet—and let Him make them beautiful.
... Robert Pierce (1914-1978), founder and president, World Vision, in a private communication from World Vision
(see also Ps. 37:23-24; 40:1-2; 121:3; 119:105; Isa. 52:7; John 13:14; 1 Tim. 5:9-10; more at Authenticity, Beauty, Giving, God, Life)
Friday, November 13, 2020
Feast of Charles Simeon, Pastor, Teacher, 1836
I would have the whole of my experience one continued sense—first, of my nothingness, and dependence on God; second, of my guiltiness, and desert before Him; third, of my obligations to redeeming love, as utterly overwhelming me with its incomprehensible extent and grandeur.
... Charles Simeon (1759-1836), Memoirs of the Life of the Rev. Charles Simeon, Pittsburgh: R. Carter, 1847, letter to Miss Mary Elliott, Nov. 21, 1834, p. 430
(see the book; see also 2 Cor. 5:14-15; Matt. 10:37-38; John 3:30; 2 Cor. 12:11; Eph. 3:16-19; 1 Pet. 1:8; more at Attitudes, Dependence, Guilt, Redemption)
Saturday, November 14, 2020
Commemoration of Samuel Seabury, First Anglican Bishop in North America, 1796
Good when He gives, supremely good;Nor less when He denies:Afflictions, from His sovereign hand,Are blessings in disguise.
... Brother Lawrence (c.1605-1691), attributed, The Practice of the Presence of God, New York, Revell, 1895, p. 4
(see the book; see also Deut. 8:5; Ps. 118:18; 119:71-75; Pr. 15:10; Heb. 12:5-6,10-11; more at Affliction, Blessing, Goodness, Weakness)
Sunday, November 15, 2020
Commemoration of Oswald Chambers, spiritual writer, 1917
If you will study the history of Christ’s ministry from Baptism to Ascension, you will discover that it is mostly made up of little words, little deeds, little prayers, little sympathies, adding themselves together in unwearied succession. The Gospel is full of divine attempts to help and heal, in body, mind and heart, individual men. The completed beauty of Christ’s life is only the added beauty of little inconspicuous acts of beauty—talking with the woman at the well; going far up into the North country to talk with the Syrophenician woman; showing the young ruler the stealthy ambition laid away in his heart, that kept him out of the kingdom of Heaven; shedding a tear at the grave of Lazarus; teaching a little knot of followers how to pray; preaching the Gospel one Sunday afternoon to two disciples going out to Emmaus; kindling a fire and broiling fish, that His disciples might have a breakfast waiting for them when they came ashore from a night of fishing, cold, tired, discouraged. All of these things, you see, let us in so easily into the real quality and tone of God’s interests, so specific, so narrowed down, so enlisted in what is small, so engrossed in what is minute.
... Charles Henry Parkhurst (1842-1933), The Blind Man’s Creed, New York: Randolph, 1883, p. 178-179
(see the book; see also John 21:12-13; Matt. 15:21-28; Luke 11:1-4; 18:18-23; 24:13-27; John 11:35; more at Christ, Health, Helplessness, Historical, Jesus, Prayer, Providence)
Monday, November 16, 2020
Feast of Margaret, Queen of Scotland, Philanthropist, Reformer of the Church, 1093
Commemoration of Edmund Rich of Abingdon, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1240
The charm of the words of great men, those grand sayings which are recognized as true as soon as heard, is this, that you recognize them as wisdom which has passed across your own mind. You feel that they are your own thoughts come back to you, else you would not at once admit them: “All of that has floated across me before, only I could not say it, and did not feel confident enough to assert it: or had not conviction enough to put it into words.” Yes, God spoke to you what He did to them: only, they believed it, said it, trusted the Word within them; and you did not. Be sure that often when you say, “It is only my own poor thought, and I am alone,” the real correcting thought is this: “Alone, but the Father is with me,”—and therefore I can live that lonely conviction.
... Frederick W. Robertson (1816-1853), Sermons, v. I, Leipzig: Tauchnitz, 1861, p. 239-240
(see the book; see also John 16:31-32; Ps. 22:1; John 1:9; Rom. 8:16; 1 John 5:6; more at Confidence, Conviction, God, Knowing God, Thought, Trust, Truth, Wisdom)
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
Feast of Hugh, Carthusian Monk, Bishop of Lincoln, 1200
The Servant Messiah carries out his ministry in the lives of his ministers. His life is reproduced in their lives, so they also are servants. But this ministry is exercised in and towards the Church, so as to enable the Church itself to carry out the ministry of the Servant. The Messiah came as a Servant; his ministers are servants; and the Church he created is a Servant-Church.
... Anthony T. Hanson (1916-1991), The Church of the Servant, London: SCM Press, 1962, p. 60
(see the book; see also Luke 12:35; Zech. 3:8; Matt. 8:6-10; Mark 10:42-45; Phil. 2:6-8; more at Church, Life, Messiah, Minister, Service)
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Every logical position ... will eventually lead into trouble, and heresy, and chaos. Every logical position is fully consistent, but coherence arises from the human mind, not God’s. The human mind is finite and cannot grasp eternity, and therefore the finite mind sees the infinite as not graspable coherently. If we could grasp it all coherently, without contradiction, we would be God. The person who insists on being logical to the end winds up in a mess. I am not saying that we should not be rational. I am not anti-intellectual. I am saying that the intellect by itself is helpless to arrive at total truth.
... Kenneth L. Pike (1912-2001), Stir, Change, Create, p. 44
(see the book; see also Rom. 8:7; Pr. 14:6; Matt. 13:11; John 16:13; 1 Cor. 1:22-23; 2:12-14; 2 Cor. 4:4-6; Eph. 4:17-18; 1 John 2:15-16; more at Eternity, Helplessness, Heresy, Infinite, Logic, Reason, Trouble, Truth, Understanding)
Thursday, November 19, 2020
Feast of Hilda, Abbess of Whitby, 680
Commemoration of Elizabeth, Princess of Hungary, Philanthropist, 1231
Commemoration of Mechtild, Bèguine of Magdeburg, Mystic, Prophet, 1280
A fish in water does not drown.A bird in the air does not plummet.Gold in fire does not perish.Rather, it gets its purity and its radiant color there.God has created all creatures to live according to their nature.How, then, am I to resist my nature?I must go from all things to God,Who is my Father by nature,My brother by His humanity,My bridegroom by love,And I His bride from all eternity.
... Mechthild of Magdeburg (ca. 1212-ca. 1282), The Flowing Light of the Godhead, Frank J. Tobin, tr., Paulist Press, 1998, p. 161
(see the book; see also John 3:29; Gen. 1:20-25; 2:19-20; Rev. 21:9; more at Eternity, Father, God, Gold, Love, Nature, Purity, Water)
Friday, November 20, 2020
Feast of Edmund of the East Angles, Martyr, 870
Commemoration of Priscilla Lydia Sellon, a Restorer of the Religious Life in the Church of England, 1876
It is obvious ... that there are many lay people who can counsel more effectively than the minister can in such areas as adjusting to widowhood, coming to terms with advancing age, bringing principle to bear upon business decisions, because they have experience in these fields which the minister does not personally have. At the very least, they can add a note of reality to what the minister offers.In many cases, the group takes up where the individual counseling left off, supplementing it or even eliminating it entirely. I have been repeatedly thankful that a group was available to give steady guidance to a person who had made a fresh start in Christian living, but who still had a long way to go. This has been especially true in cases of loneliness, moderate emotional instability, inability to understand others, and need of continued guidance in the use of prayer and the Bible and the accepting and giving of love. In the nature of the case no amount of individual counseling can fully deal with these needs. The “priesthood of all believers” becomes a realized fact, with each person helping to open up for his neighbor the way to God.
... Howard B. Haines (1911-2000), “Fellowship Groups: ‘Intercessory Love’”, in Spiritual Renewal through Personal Groups, John L. Casteel, ed., NY: Association Press, 1957, p. 132-133
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 12:4-6; Matt. 16:18; 1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 2:21; 1 Pet. 2:4-9; more at Bible, Church, Counsel, God, Guidance, Love, Minister, Neighbor, People, Prayer)
Saturday, November 21, 2020
[Jesus’] moral teaching does not consist of a universal scheme of ethics, a series of precepts which would be universally valid by whomever they had been spoken. They are to be heard as His word, spoken by Him, with the impact of His person behind them.
... Gabriel Hebert (1886-1963), The Christ of Faith and the Jesus of History, London: SCM Press, 1962, p. 105
(see the book; see also Luke 10:22; Isa. 49:2; 55:11; Matt. 7:28-29; Heb. 4:12-13; more at Jesus, Morality, Teach)
Sunday, November 22, 2020
Commemoration of Cecilia, Martyr at Rome, c.230
Commemoration of Clive Staples Lewis, Spiritual Writer, 1963
Man’s offense “smells to heaven”: massacres, broken treaties, beatings-up, theft, kidnappings, enslavement, deportation, floggings, lynchings, rape, insult, mockery, and odious hypocrisy, make up that smell. But the thing comes nearer than that. Those of us who have little authority, who have few people at our mercy, may be thankful. But how if one is an officer in the army (or, perhaps worse, an N.C.O.)? a hospital matron? a magistrate? a prison-warden? a school prefect? a trades-union official? a Boss of any sort? in a word, anyone who cannot be “answered back?” It is hard enough, even with the best will in the world, to be just. It is hard, under the pressure of haste, uneasiness, ill-temper, self-complacency, and conceit, even to continue intending justice. Power corrupts; the “insolence of office” will creep in. We see it so clearly in our superiors; is it unlikely that our inferiors see it in us? How many of those who have been over us did not sometimes (perhaps often) need our forgiveness? Be sure that we likewise need the forgiveness of those that are under us.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), “The Psalms”, in Christian Reflections, ed. Walter Hooper, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1967, p. 119-120
(see the book; see also Ps. 109:1-5; Matt. 6:12; Mark 11:25; Luke 23:34; Jas. 2:12-13; more at Complacency, Corruption, Forgiveness, Hypocrisy, Justice)
Monday, November 23, 2020
Commemoration of Clement, Bishop of Rome, Martyr, c.100
Evangelism is not an activity at all. It is rather an attitude of mind behind all Christian activity. Evangelism is not a list of certain things done, but the spirit in which they are done. That is precisely why it cannot be organized. It is perhaps best described as an attitude of mind towards God and the world—an attitude which the Church must recover if she is to be true to her Lord, and to seize hold of the present opportunity.
... C. Gordon Bridge, Evangelism: Some principles and experiments, London: SPCK, 1937, p. 8
(see the book; see also Matt. 10:7-8; Luke 10:9; 16:16; Acts 4:1-4; more at Attitudes, Church, Evangelization, God, Mission, Spirit, World)
Tuesday, November 24, 2020
We ought indeed to expect to find the works of God in such things as the advance of knowledge. Knowledge of the physical universe is not to be thought of as irrelevant to Christian faith [simply] because it does not lead to saving knowledge of God. In so far as it is concerned with God’s creation, physical science is a fitting study for God’s children. Moreover, the advance of scientific knowledge does negatively correct and enlarge theological notions—at the least, the geologists and astrophysicists have helped us to rid ourselves of parochial notions of God, and filled in some of the meaning of such phrases as “almighty.”
... David M. Paton (1913-1992), Christian Missions and the Judgment of God, London: SCM Press, 1953, p. 17
(see the book; see also Gen. 1:1; 2:1-2; Ps. 8:3-4; 19:1-5; Heb. 11:3; more at Faith, God, Knowledge, Salvation, Science, Social, Theology, Universe)
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Commemoration of Katherine of Alexandria, Martyr, 4th century
Thy word remaineth for ever, which word now appeareth unto us in the riddle of the clouds, and through the mirror of the heavens, not as it is: because that even we, though the well beloved of thy Son, yet it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. He looked through the lattice of our flesh and he spake us fair, yea, he set us on fire, and we hasten on his scent. But when he shall appear, then shall we be like him, for we shall see him as he is: as he is, Lord, will our sight be, though the time be not yet.
... St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), Confessions , Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1886, XIII.xv, p. 366
(see the book; see also Song of Solomon 1:3; 2:9; Isa. 40:6-8; 1 Cor. 13:12; 1 John 3:2; more at Eternity, Fire, Prayers, Sight, Son, Time)
Thursday, November 26, 2020
Commemoration of Isaac Watts, Hymnwriter, 1748
Whenever we call God the Creator of heaven and earth, let us at the same time reflect, that the dispensation of all those things which he has made is in his own power, and that we are his children, whom he has received into his charge and custody, to be supported and educated; so that we may expect every blessing from him alone, and cherish a certain hope that he will never suffer us to want those things which are necessary to our well-being, that our hope may depend on no other; that, whatever we need or desire, our prayers may be directed to him, and that, from whatever quarter we receive any advantage, we may acknowledge it to be his benefit, and confess it with thanksgiving; that, being allured with such great sweetness of goodness and beneficence, we may study to love and worship him with all our hearts.
... John Calvin (1509-1564), The Institutes of the Christian Religion, v. I , tr. John Allen, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1921, I.xiv.22, p. 170
(see the book; see also Gen. 1:29-30; 8:21-22; Deut. 10:18; Ps. 23:1; 85:12; Matt. 7:11; 2 Cor. 9:8-10; more at Confession, Creation, Earth, God, Goodness, Heaven, Hope, Love, Prayer, Providence, Thanksgiving, Worship)
Friday, November 27, 2020
We are building many splendid churches in this country, but we are not providing leaders to run them. I would rather have a wooden church with a splendid parson, than a splendid church with a wooden parson.
... Samuel Smith Drury (1878-1938), included in Leaves of Gold, Evan S. Coslett & Clyde Francis Lytle, ed. , Honesdale, Pa.: Coslett Publishing Company, 1938, p. 62
(see the book; see also Num. 12:3; Prov. 3:34; Mark 10:43-44; Phil. 4:12; more at Builder, Church, Leader, Preacher)
Saturday, November 28, 2020
Insofar as theology is an attempt to define and clarify intellectual positions, it is apt to lead to discussion, to differences of opinion, even to controversy, and hence to be divisive. And this has had a strong tendency to dampen serious discussion of theological issues in most groups, and hence to strengthen the general anti-intellectual bias inherent in much of revivalistic Pietism... “Fundamentalism” in America, among other things, was a movement that tried to recall these denominations to theological and confessional self consciousness. But it was defeated in every major denomination, not so much by theological discussion and debate as by effective political manipulations directed by denominational leaders to the sterilizing of this “divisive” element.
... Sidney E. Mead (1904-1999), Church History, v. XXIII, American Society of Church History, 1953, p. 291-320
(see the book; see also Matt. 16:15-16; 18:15-17; 21:24-27; John 3:2; 12:42-43; 19:38; 2 Cor. 12:20; more at Call, Contention, Defeat, Theology)
Sunday, November 29, 2020
It is only by fidelity in little things that the grace of true love to God can be sustained, and distinguished from a passing fervor of spirit...No one can well believe that our piety is sincere, when our behavior is lax and irregular in its little details. What probability is there that we should not hesitate to make the greatest sacrifices, when we shrink from the smallest?
... François Fénelon (1651-1715), Selections from Fénelon, ed. Mary Wilder Tileston, Boston: Roberts Bros., 1879, p. 160
(see the book; see also Matt. 16:1-4; 26:3-5; Luke 12:42-44; 22:59-62; more at Faith, God, Grace, Hesitancy, Love, Sacrifice, Sincerity, Social)
Monday, November 30, 2020
Feast of Andrew the Apostle
What doth it profit thee to enter into deep discussions concerning the Holy Trinity, if thou lack humility, and be thus displeasing to the Trinity? For verily it is not deep words that make a man holy and upright; it is a good life which maketh a man dear to God. I had rather feel contrition than be skillful in the definition thereof. If thou knewest the whole Bible, and the sayings of all the philosophers, what should this profit thee without the love and grace of God?
... Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471), Of the Imitation of Christ , Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1877, I.i.3, p. 29-30
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 13:1-2; Ps. 149:4; Mark 8:36; Luke 16:15; 1 Pet. 3:4; more at Attitudes, Authenticity, Bible, Contrition, God, Grace, Holiness, Humility, Life, Love, Philosophy, Upright)
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