Quotes

You Don’t Know How You’ll Influence Someone

You Don’t Know How You’ll Influence Someone

Johann von Staupitz. Have you heard his name? Unless you’re a church historian, probably not. But as we’ll see, he’s a hero. And his unsung influence can teach us an encouraging lesson. Christians know the tale about Martin Luther and his 95 Theses he nailed to the church door. We’ve heard how Luther discovered the gospel afresh, finding peace in justification by faith alone through Christ alone. But honestly, we often oversimplify the story…

Into the Cloud: What Happened to Jesus After He Ascended?

Into the Cloud: What Happened to Jesus After He Ascended?

What happened to Jesus right after he ascended to go back to his Father? “And when [Jesus] had said these things, as [the disciples] were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9). What happened then? For the disciples, they kept staring (of course!), and two men told them that he’d return in a similar way (Acts 1:10-11). But what about Jesus? What happened to him?…

Depending On God for Happiness

Depending On God for Happiness

Jonathan Edwards was one of the best theologians in history to (rightly) emphasize the glory of God. He wanted God to be praised above all and in all. And because of this, when it came to mankind’s actions, Edwards also heavily emphasized man’s dependence upon God. He saw this is as the biblical flip-side of God being glorified in man…

The Presence and Vision and Enjoyment of God in Prayer

The Presence and Vision and Enjoyment of God in Prayer

C.S. Lewis has a short yet compelling essay on prayer entitled, "The Efficacy of Prayer," in the collection known as The World's Last Night. In the ten page essay, he argues well concerning the true, causal efficacy of prayer. It is a worth-while short read. But here, I want to quote something he said about the different aspects of prayer…

God’s Love Will Not Leave Us As We Are

God’s Love Will Not Leave Us As We Are

C.S. Lewis, in his book The Problem of Pain, has a chapter in which he details God’s ‘divine goodness,’ as he calls it. The chapter does not consist of ethereal thoughts about how God can be good, but instead focuses in on his love for his own, and how he lovingly views them as works of art. As typical of Lewis, his thoughts are profound and provoking, and therefore worth slowly reading…

A Three Point Christian Response to Disasters and Attacks

A Three Point Christian Response to Disasters and Attacks

Al Mohler, in his book Culture Shift, has a chapter in which he talks about how Christians should respond to disasters. Specifically, he is talking about natural disasters, but the principles hold for other disasters, such as terrorist attacks. Mohler offers us three biblical principles to keep in mind as we respond to such calamities…

Is it the Word vs. the Holy Spirit?

Is it the Word vs. the Holy Spirit?

Jerram Barrs, in his book Shepherds & Sheep (which sadly doesn't appear to be in print anymore!), explains how the Holy Spirit and the Word of God relate in the New Testament. These insights are very helpful as I think this is a frequent issue today. He sets up the issue by writing…

Entertain Yourself Often with God

Entertain Yourself Often with God

In the collection of writings and letters known as The Practice of the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence continually urges his readers to consistently seek to recognize God's presence. On this idea, he writes, "Above all, get a habit of entertaining yourself often with God, and forget Him the least you can”…

Faith Is the Conduit of Grace

Faith Is the Conduit of Grace

Charles Spurgeon, in his book All of Grace, describes the connection of faith and grace. These are two beautiful words and ideas which everyone knows are important in the Christian faith, but many don't know how they relate, if at all. Spurgeon is a king of using analogy in order to get across an idea clearly, and here is a great example of it. Speaking of faith and grace…

If You Have Any Christian Community At All, Praise God

If You Have Any Christian Community At All, Praise God

In the first chapter of his book, Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer starts by reminding the reader how special it is to have Christian community, to be able to live in this life with other Christians. He reminds us how much it is a gift of God's grace. He starts by explaining that God has orchestrated it so that the kingdom of God is a scattered people throughout the world, in the midst of the world…

There Are Splinters in the Christian's Cross

There Are Splinters in the Christian's Cross

Francis Schaeffer, in his book True Spirituality, discusses what it really means to be a Christian. It is an excellent, well thought out book. His basic idea is that we need to recognize that we live in a total universe, in which God exists and in which Christ's finished work on the cross is sufficient. And that we are called in this universe to really die by choice to certain attitudes and desires so that we can truly live resurrected lives here and now by faith in Christ…

Why Fighting Worldliness Is So Serious (And Not Legalistic)

Why Fighting Worldliness Is So Serious (And Not Legalistic)

In the edited book, WorldlinessC.J. Mahaney explains in the opening chapter why worldliness is so serious. After showing the importance of loving Jesus above all else biblically, and after debunking the idea that fighting worldliness is legalism, he ends the first chapter of the book with a powerful, brief sentence summarizing it all. He writes…

The Self-Reliance of Both Brothers

The Self-Reliance of Both Brothers

In his book, The Prodigal GodTim Keller focuses on both brothers in Jesus' famous parable about the prodigal son. He argues well that Jesus in the parable is purposefully trying to represent the two main ways people decide to seek for meaning and happiness in life. One main way is by self-discovery and autonomy (represented by the younger brother). The other is by morality and being good and right (represented by the older brother). Keller writes…