Classic and contemporary excerpts.

Beyond the bottom line

Do not think me mad. It is not to make money that I believe a Christian should live.… The noblest thing a man can do is, just humbly to receive, and then go amongst others and give.

David Livingstone in David Livingstone and Alexander Mackey

Trust and obey

He that hopes to find peace by trusting God must obey him.

Samuel Johnson in Sermons (XIV)

Boredom breeds sin

Many think the Christian life is prosaic, dull, uneventful. It is anything but that! If it appears that way, it is almost certainly a life out of focus with true spirituality; in other words, a carnal Christian life.

Ray Stedman in Man of Faith

Seeing God within

Are we attractive Christians? Do we give people the impression that the most marvellous thing in the world is to be a Christian and to have the Spirit of God within us? This is the thing to which we are called and the way to do that is positively to avoid grieving the Spirit, and to walk in him, to dwell in him as he dwells in us, and to be led by him in all things.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in Growing in the Spirit

Religious neutrality only produces disdain

Neutrality to religion guarantees neutrality to those very values that issue from religion.

As Justice William O. Douglas put it 40 years ago, if “in every and all respects there shall be a separation of church and state,” then “the state and religion would be aliens to each other—hostile, suspicious and even unfriendly.”

We cannot deny in our public schools that our values, our principles and the spirit of our institutions all come from the Judeo-Christian tradition. That tradition and the American tradition are wedded. When we have disdain for our religious tradition, we have disdain for ourselves.

William J. Bennett, former secretary of education, in The De-Valuing of America

Love’s nourishment

Love does not die easily. It is a living thing. It thrives in the face of all life’s hazards, save one—neglect.

James D. Bryden in Presbyterian Life

Endgame play

The church speaks the language of the End, so that we will know just how high the stakes are in the present.

—Robert Macfarlane in a sermon (Nov. 10, 1992)

The self generation

While evangelicals reject “unbiblical Narcissism,” there is little remorse today for the sinful self; prime concern centers, rather, on self-potential, self-fulfillment, and even self-venerauption. No clear line is drawn between self-indulgence and self-affirmation.

Carl F. H. Henry in Twilight of a Great Civilization

God shapes our pain

Pain is only intolerable when seen in a distorted light. But when we know it is the hand of a loving God that shapes it all, and that it is our Father who gives us the cup of sorrow to drink, there is no distortion and so no unbearable burden.

Brother Lawrence in Practicing the Presence of God (retold by David Winter)

A social researcher’s faith

[O]nly a fool would argue that the church should change its doctrine to keep up with the times. One does not arrive at moral judgments by counting noses. Nor does one derive ethical systems from surveys.

—Andrew M. Greeley in America (Nov. 7, 1992)

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.