Why did’t Jesus Christ not remain alive and eliminate, generation by generation, all the evils which harass humanity? Simply because He was the Great Physician, and in the finest tradition of medical science, He was unwilling to remain preoccupied with the symptoms when He could destroy the disease. Jesus Christ was unwilling to stttle for anything less than elimination of the cause of all evil in history.
—Richard C. Halverson in Relevance
Lord of our politics
If Jesus is Lord then he must also be Lord of our politics. That’s an unarguable Christian truth—that everybody argues about.…
Too many of us Christians confuse political convictions with spiritual convictions. Insecure with ambiguity, we assume people of one Lord, one faith and one baptism must also promote one political agenda.
That assumption leads the church into trouble.
First, it prompts us to make judgments about people that ought to be left to God.…
Second, when the church confuses spiritual and political convictions it is tempted to use political power to forward a “spiritual” agenda.
—Don Ratzlaff in the Christian
Leader (Feb. 23, 1993)
God never gets anxious
God … “works always in tranquility.” Fuss and feverishness, anxiety, intensity, intolerance, instability, pessimism and wobble, and every kind of hurry and worry—these, even on the highest levels, are signs of the self-made and self-acting soul; the spiritual parvenu. The saints are never like that. They share the quiet and noble qualities of the great family to which they belong.
—Evelyn Underhill in
The Spiritual Life
Two kinds of grace
Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.
Costly grace … is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble, it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him.
—Dietrich Bonhoeffer in
The Cost of Discipleship
The Spirit’s role
I have not heard recently of committee business adjourned because those present were still awaiting the arrival of the Spirit of God. I have known projects abandoned for lack of funds, but not for lack of the gifts of the Spirit. Provided the human resources are adequate we take the spiritual for granted.
—John V. Taylor in
The Go-Between God
Our views are not necessarily God’s
Men are not flattered by being shown that there has been a difference of purpose between the Almighty and them.
—Abraham Lincoln in his
second inaugural address
Overwhelmed by God
Looking back, [my wife] Jan and I have learned that the wilderness is part of the landscape of faith, and every bit as essential as the mountaintop. On the mountaintop we are overwhelmed by God’s presence. In the wilderness we are overwhelmed by his absence. Both places should bring us to our knees; the one, in utter awe; the other, in utter dependence.
—Dave Dravecky in When You
Can’t Come Back
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