Saturday, 30 November 2013


'What I've said to Sam is, as a rough rule of thumb, such behaviour as impresses a woman is worth pursuing, and such behaviour as impresses another man probably isn't. Or, put another way, the traditional elements of masculinity that are most likely worth keeping are those valued by women, while those elements we should dump tend to be prized by other men.' 
Robert Crampton, 'How to be a Man' in The Times Magazine (30th November 2013), p.21.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013


'...we ask: what could the Spirit of God contribute to the deity of Christ? And the answer we must give is: Nothing! As God he possesses every quality infinitely, and nothing can be added to him. So then we ask instead this question: what could the Spirit of God contribute to the humanity  of Christ? The answer is: everything of supernatural power and enablement that he, in his human nature, would lack. The only way to make sense, then, of the fact that Jesus came in the power of the Spirit is to understand that he lived his life fundamentally as a man, and as such, he relied on the Spirit to provide the power, grace, knowledge, wisdom, direction, and enablement he needed, moment by moment, and day by day, to fulfill the mission the Father sent him to accomplish.' 
Bruce A Ware, The Man Christ Jesus, p.34. 

Tuesday, 26 November 2013


'...we will inevitably trivialize what it means to "do what Jesus would do" or to "live like Jesus."...until we see the heights from which he came and the depths to which he descended in coming as the suffering Servant who would bear our sin. We will belittle the magnitude of what Jesus has done if we fail to see the kind of obedience he rendered and the extent to which he was willing to go in ensuring that he fulfilled the will of his Father. The antidote to such trivializing and belittling is found in deep and prolonged meditation on the magnitude of the humble obedience and agonizing suffering of our Lord. May we take up the banner of "living like Jesus" only when we first have come to understand something more deep and profound about just what that life was like. May our minds be granted greater comprehension so that our hearts may be filled with deepened affection. Only then will we move in the direction we need to go in falling on our faces before this servitude, this obedience, that surpasses all others in all of time.' 
Bruce A Ware, The Man Christ Jesus: Theological Reflections on the Humanity of Christ, p.27. 

Thursday, 21 November 2013


'The stream of evil will not run on forever, over blood and victims, goodness, evil, innocence and justice. God will put an end to the course of history and will make it clear that there is a difference between justice and injustice, and that this difference must be demonstrated. God will seek out the buried victims, the forgotten, the starved children, the dishonored women, and God will find the hidden doers of these deeds. God will gather all of them before God's eternal, holy will for good, so that all must see how it stands with their lives.' 
Gottfried Bachl in Gordon Wenham, The Psalter Reclaimed, p.140. 


'These cries for help are not about minor conflicts that could be resolved by greater generosity on the part of the one praying or by the exercise of love of neighbor. Rather those who pray these psalms are crying out about the injustice they suffer and are protesting about the arrogance of the violent. They are impelled by the contradiction posed by the mystery of evil and the presence of evil people in a world supposedly in God's care. This is no a trivial or selfish complaint: they are protesting not just because they are being hurt, but because God's justice, goodness, and power are at stake. These are not mere grievances about their own suffering, rather they are protests about the challenge that real wickedness poses for believers in an omnipotent God of love. The passion that drives these laments arises from a belief in God's justice that is called in question by unrestrained evil.' 
Gordon Wenham, The Psalter Reclaimed, p.139. 

Wednesday, 20 November 2013


'God works on us in the midst of trouble, because trouble catches our attention. Difficulties make us need him. Faith has to sink roots, as profession deepens into reality. Martin Luther called tentatio - trial, ordeal, affliction - the "touchstone" of Christian experience and his greatest teacher. Hardships make Scripture and prayer come alive. The difficulties that we experience necessitate grace and awaken a sense of weakness - where the Spirit is working. People change because something is hard - not because everything goes well. Something - including myself - is off. Ministry traffics in trouble, because Christ enters trouble, lives through trouble, is unafraid of trouble, speaks and acts into trouble. Struggles force us to need God. And we only learn to love the way Christ loves by experiencing the hard things that he experienced in loving us.'
David Powlison, 'How Does Sanctification Happen?' in Journal of Biblical Counseling (Vol. 27 No.2), p.48.  


'In Scripture, God comes in person.'
David Powlison, 'How Does Sanctification Happen?' in Journal of Biblical Counseling (Vol. 27 No.2), p.47.  


'God is man's environment. We are continually under observation, continually needing and receiving mercies, continually disciplined. He interrupts us, protects us, leads us, afflicts us, encourages us.'
David Powlison, 'How Does Sanctification Happen?' in Journal of Biblical Counseling (Vol. 27 No.2), p.45.  


'In suffering, I learned to need mercy. From suffering, I learned to give mercy.'
David Powlison, 'How Does Sanctification Happen?' in Journal of Biblical Counseling (Vol. 27 No.2), p.43.  


'...Jesus never ministers by rote - because people and circumstances never clone. There is no boilerplate in his counseling or preaching. No distilled formula. No abstract generalizations. No "Just____" sorts of advice. Because situations and persons come unscripted, fluid, and unpredictable, Jesus engages each person and situation in a personalized way. It is no truism to say that Jesus really does meet you where you are. Always.'
David Powlison, 'How Does Sanctification Happen?' in Journal of Biblical Counseling (Vol. 27 No.2), p.36.  

Friday, 15 November 2013


'Here is one of the points about this planet which should be remembered: into every penetrable corner of it, and into most of the impenetrable corners, the English will penetrate. They are like that; born invaders. They cannot stay at home. So that even in the desert heart of hottest Africa you shall see little wigwams bearing the legend "Grand Hotel of London. Five o'clock tea,"and if you visit the Arctic regions, you will find Esquimaux infants babbling broken Anglo-Saxon, and huts inscribed W.C. Every train running over the globe is full of them, and the world's roads, plains and mountains are dense with knapsacked British walkers, burnt brick-red by sun and air.'
Rose Macaulay, Crewe Train, p.12.


'A Mr Dobie, a clergyman, wearying of his job, relinquished it, ostensibly on the grounds that he did not care to bury dissenters or to baptize illegitimate infants, but in reality because he was tired of being so busy, so sociable and so conversational, of attending parish meetings, sitting on committees, calling on parishioners and asking them how they did - an inquiry the answer to which he was wholly indifferent.' 
Rose Macaulay, Crewe Train, p.11.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013


'Hymns of praise are not very frequent at the beginning of the book, but as you read on, you will find more and more of them. It is as though the more you pray, the more you will realize God's goodness. In fact the book closes with five great hymns of praise, the last being the most spectacular of all, Psalm 150. Here we are given a glimpse of what heaven will be like.' 
Gordon Wenham, The Psalter Reclaimed, p.43.  


'A memorized work (like a lover, a friend, a spouse, a child) has entered into the fabric of its possessor's intellectual and emotional life in a way that makes deep claims upon that life, claims that can only be ignored with effort and deliberation.' 
Paul J Griffiths in Gordon Wenham, The Psalter Reclaimed, p.22. 


'Taste the goodness of your Redeemer, burn with love for your Saviour. Chew the honeycomb of his words, suck their flavour, which is more pleasing than honey, swallow their health-giving sweetness.' 
Anselm of Canterbury in Gordon Wenham, The Psalter Reclaimed, p.23. 


'Whatever your particular need or trouble, from this same book you can select a form of words to fit it, so that you not merely hear and then pass on, but learn the way to remedy your ill.'
Athanasius in Gordon Wenham, The Psalter Reclaimed: Praying and Praising with the Psalms, p.15. 

Tuesday, 5 November 2013


'Nothing is sweeter in this sad world that the sound of someone you love calling your name.' 
Kate Dicamillo in Zack Eswine, Sensing Jesus, p.299. 


'...look at each day as an apprenticeship with Jesus for his recovery of your humanity...' 
Zack Eswine, Sensing Jesus, p.288. 


'What does it say about the way we're approaching ministry if we who have been trained for it do not know how to follow Jesus when we have our pajamas on? Give us the role to play, and we know what to do. Take the role away on a day off or for good and we stamp about restlessly. We know how to do things pastorally but struggle when asked to do them humbly.' 
Zack Eswine, Sensing Jesus, p.286. 

Monday, 4 November 2013


'Do you have the stamina for waiting on God when gratification isn't immediate, faith is sightless, and neighbor love is hard work? Is your Christianity merely a series of shortcuts designed to avoid the embrace of the mundane that real soul work requires? Patience waits for them.' 
Zack Eswine, Sensing Jesus, p.280.