'But just as she believed that somewhere outside the track of time, where past and future merged into an Eternal Present, there was another world, the world of Ultimate Reality, so too she must hope that somewhere in that other world there was a place for Vyne where its spirit still lived together with its creators.'
Phyllis Eleanor Sandeman, Tresure on Earth, p. 112.
'The deepest motive for our sanctification, for holy living and good works, is not our pyschology, not how I "feel" about God and Jesus. Nor is it even our faith. Rather, that profoundest of motives is the resurrection power of Christ, the new creation we are and have already been made part of in Christ by his Spirit.'
Richard B Gaffin Jr, By Faith, Not By Sight: Paul and the Order of Salvation, p. 78.
'We need more Christians who will lead lives of repentance, for repentance always challenges pride. If you're coming to God daily to confess to him how much you have sinned, you will find it hard to pretend that you are holier than everybody else. You'll find it hard to put on airs, to pose as the perfect Christian. When others accuse you of sin, you won't immediately jump to defend yourself, as if of course you could never do wrong and any accusation must be a misunderstanding. Rather, when someone accuses you of sin, you'll respond by thinking there is a high probability that the accusation is true...'
'Sin is willful rejection of fellowship with God, by refusing to acknowledge him as creator and to live out of thankful dependence on him (Rom. 1:19-21a); it is a deep-seated recoil against the creator-creature relationship.'
Richard B Gaffin Jr., By Faith, Not By Sight: Paul and the Order of Salvation, p.30.
'Warning Light #1: A Contemptuous View of Others.
Warning Light # 2: A Shallow Sense of Forgiveness.
Warning Light # 3: A Wrong Sense of Grace and Fairness.
Warning Light #4: An Unhealthy View of Failure.' Tom Hovestol, Extreme Righteousness, p.50-53.
'The Pharisees are spiritual mirrors divinely given to us to reflect the condition of our hearts. What would we look like physically if we had no mirrors? We would be oblivious to our disheveled appearance. Eventually we would become convinced, simply out of ignorance of reality, that we looked good, when, in fact, we do not. We need to look at the spiritual mirror of the Pharisees and see ourselves.'
'To me the finest text of Scripture on parenting is the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15). Here a father, whose sons are both wayward, demonstates wise parenting. We are prone to identify only the younger sons as "prodigal." We are quick to see blatant rebellion and label it as sin. But if our children don't break the rules and maintain an active presence in the church, we are satisfied. We think we have done our job. The parable reminds us that there is a more sinister sin of the heart than active rebellion, passive rebellion.'
'The simple truth is that people can be good and be wrong. Early in my religious life I acquired the notion that those who believed Christ's truth were good and those who ignored or rejected it were bad. But life is not that simple. Sometimes those who hold to truth are scoundrels and those who affirm error are saintly. One can hold steadfastly to a system of half-truths and subtle distortions and still live a moral life. There is not a necessary connection between truth and apparent morality.'
'I almost could have mouthed the words of the apostle Paul (Philippians 3:4-6): "If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I have far more: circumcised the eighth day [churched from birth], of the nation of Israel [born in a Christian home in 'Christian America'], of the tribe of Benjamin [conservative, evangelical, fundamental], a Hebrew of Hebrews [a Christian's Christian]." As Paul was a Pharisee, I was also learned, disciplined, and devout. Like Paul I was zealous, having volunteered for Christian service at home and abroad. Paul wrote, "As for the righteousness which is in the Law, [I am] found blamless"; as far as people could see, I too lived an exemplary life.'
'Error, indeed, is never set forth in its naked deformity, lest, being thus exposed, it should at once be detected. But it is craftily decked out in an attractive dress so as, by its outward form, to make it appear to the inexperienced (ridiculous as the expression may seem) more true than truth itself.'
Irenaeus in Timothy George, Galatians (New American Commentary), p.103.
'For just as the banner of an army is the sure sign by which one can know what kind of lord and army has taken to the field, so too the gospel is the sure sign by which one knows where Christ and his armies are encamped.'
Martin Luther in Alister E. McGrath, Reformation Thought, p.190.
'There are two basic narrative identities at work among professing Christians. The first is what I call the moral performance narrative identity. These are people who in their heart of hearts say, I obey therefore I am accepted by God. The second is what I will call the grace narrative identity. This basic operating principle is, I am accepted by God through Christ; therefore I obey.'
'Who then are the mourners? The mourners are those who have caught a glimpse of God's new day, who ache with all their being for that day's coming, and who break out into tears when confronted with its absence. They are the ones who realize that in God's realm of peace there is no one blind and who ache whenever they see someone unseeing. They are the ones who realize that in God's realm there is no one hungry and who ache whenever they see someone starving. They are the ones who realize that in God's realm there is no one falsely accused and who ache whenever they see someone imprisoned unjustly. They are the ones who realize that in God's realm there is no one who fails to see God and who ache whenever they see someone unbelieving. They are the ones who realize that in God's realm there is no one who suffers oppression and who ache whenever they see someone beat down. They are the ones who realize that in God's realm there is no one without dignity and who ache whenever they see someone treated with indignity. They are the ones who realize that in God's realm of peace there is neither death nor tears and who ache whenever they see someone crying tears over death. The mourners are aching visionaries.'
'Death is the great leveller, so our writers have always told us. Of course they are right. But they have neglected to mention the uniqueness of each death - and the solitude of suffering which accompanies that uniqueness. We say, "I know how you're feeling." But we don't.'
'It's so wrong, so profoundly wrong, for a child to die before its parents. It's hard enough to bury our parents. But that we expect. Our parents belong to our past, our children belong to our future. We do not visualize our future without them. How can I bury my son, my future, one of the next in line? He was meant to bury me!'
'We took him too much for granted. Perhaps we all take each other too much for granted. The routines of life distract us; our own pursuits make us oblivious; our anxieties and sorrows, unmindful. The beauties of the familiar go unremarked. We do not treasure each other enough.'