Classic and contemporary excerpts.

The greatest story

I suppose it has occurred to some film makers that more people go to church regularly than go to the movies.

—Charlton Heston on why Hollywood screen writers are turning to the Bible for plot ideas, quoted by Martin E. Marty in Context (June 15, 1993)

His lap’s too short to work for God

In a church in Verona stands, or rather sits, a wooden image of St. Zeno, an ancient bishop, with knees so ludicrously short that there is no lap on which a baby could be held. He was not the first nor the last ecclesiastic who has been utterly incapable of being a nursing father to the church. It would be good if all ministers had a heavenly instinct for the nourishing and bringing up of the Lord’s little ones, but this quality is sadly lacking.

—Charles Spurgeon in The Quotable Spurgeon

Doing, not just praying

I am often, I believe, praying for others when I should be doing things for them. It’s so much easier to pray for a bore than to go and see him.

C. S. Lewis in Letters to Malcolm

Candle in the rain

Faith, if we are honest, sometimes seems like a candle in the rain, hissing for air.… Right in the middle of our prayers, the baby cries, the thunder claps, the fury breaks.… [But] the power of God comes to those who obey.

Bill Hybels in Descending into Greatness

Why we need community

At a recent meeting, our leader suggested, “None of us is as smart as all of us.” Words to live by, I think.

—Don Ratzlaff in Christian Leader (March 1993)

The German church: Lessons under Hitler

I have learned that the important thing for the church is not to have leaders and parish buildings, but to have Christians in the individual parishes who take the Gospel and the sacraments seriously.… This was a lesson for us. ...

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