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Showing posts from August, 2013

grace for the entire journey

"The Christian ought to rely on divine strength because this plan results in the greatest of advancement of God's own glory (Eph. 1:4, 12).   If God had given you a lifetime supply of his grace to begin with and left you to handle your own account, you would have thought him generous indeed.   But he is magnified even more by the open account He sets up in your name.    Now you must acknowledge not only that your strength comes from God in the first place, but that you are continually in debt for every withdrawal of strength you make throughout your Christian course. "When a child travels with his parents, all his expenses are covered by his father-- not by himself.   Likewise, no saint shall say of heaven when he arrives there, 'This is heaven, which I have built by the power of my own might.'   No, the heavenly Jerusalem is a city 'whose builder and maker is God' (Heb. 11:10).   Every grace is a stone in that building, the topstone of which is

today's quotes

Niebuhr's definition of liberal Protestantism may be applied to today's revisionist Christianity : “A God without wrath brought men without sin into a Kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a Cross.”   (Richard Niebuhr, The Kingdom of God in America , 1937) The "love of God" can be used in the Bible in different ways : "God loves with a love of benevolence (John 3:16) and with a love of delight (Zeph 3:17)." (Thomas Manton) C. S. Lewis on applied science, which we could call "technology" : "There is something which unites magic and applied science [ =technology ] while separating both from the 'wisdom' of earlier ages.  For the wise men of old the cardinal problem had been how to conform the soul to reality, and the solution had been knowledge, self-discipline, and virtue.  For magic and applied science alike the problem is how to subdue reality to the wishes of men; the solution is a techni

why a narrow gate?

"Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.   For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few."   (Matthew 7:13-14 ESV) Why does Jesus say that the gate to life is narrow ?   Which leads to some related questions: why is Christianity so exclusive ?   Will only a few ultimately be saved?   Doesn't God want all, or at least lots of people, to be saved?    Is he making the way more difficult than it needs to be ? First of all, we should underscore the truth that God does not delight in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 18:23; 33:11).   I t is not that God intends to make the way of life difficult for difficulty's sake.   He's not being cruel, or miserly, or hard to please. The way and the welcome is open to all.  However, then as now, many people find the exclusive claims of Christ, and of Christianity, to be deeply offensiv

something suddenly has begun

I watched the film Les Miserables with my wife a few weeks ago.  The song that arrested me was "Suddenly", and specifically the line within it, "Something not yet here has begun." Jean Valjean sings to the young Cosette... Suddenly I see Suddenly it starts Can two anxious hearts beat as one? Yesterday I was alone Today you walk beside me Something still unclear Something not yet here has begun. Suddenly the world Seems a different place Somehow full of grace and delight. How was I to know that so much hope was held inside me? What has passed is gone Now we journey on through the night How was I to know at last that happiness can come so fast? Trusting me the way you do I'm so afraid of failing you Just a child who cannot know that danger follows where I go There are shadows everywhere And memories I cannot share Nevermore alone Nevermore apart You have warmed my heart like the sun. You have brought the gift of life And love so long denied me. Suddenl

Jesus' kindness to Judas

After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, "Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me."   The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke.   One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table close to Jesus, so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking.   So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, "Lord, who is it?"   Jesus answered, "It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it." So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.    (John 13:21-26 ESV) Dwight Pentecost comments on this passage... "We now come to an incident that reveals the depths of the love of Christ for sinners. Christ announced to the Twelve that one of them would betray him, and no one was able to identify who the betrayer would be. Peter is overcome with curiosity and gets the attention of John,