We are a bit late with the seven quotes this week, but here they are! I sincerely hope they help you get through your week, especially if difficult things are happening. If death or suffering surround you, cling to the Word that Christ’s love is yours, forever.
1. On why Predestination is not Scary, but Priceless
This means that predestination is not a doctrine, or a thing to be believed; indeed, the point is that it cannot be believed in, but when joined with a promise from Christ the effect of predestination is priceless.
-Steven Paulson, Lutheran Theology
2. On Experiential Christianity
It’s not about my experience, but it’s about the Word of God. If you base your life and your faith on the Word of God, the experiences come afterward. And they are there, we have all sorts of experiences of God’s presence in our lives, not by looking around for God’s presence in our lives, but by locating ourselves in that biblical story, finding ourselves as those for whom Christ died. Saying: the story of Jesus Christ includes me, because he died for me, among all the others.
-Phillip Cary, author of Good News for Anxious Christians, (quote from this interview)
3. On Having Ears to Hear
There is too much timidity, too much worry that the gospel is going to harm someone, too much of a tendency to buffer the message to bring it under control. It is essential to see that everything hangs in the balance here. Faith comes by hearing. Will the old persist? Will we understand ourselves to be continuously existing subjects called upon to exercise our evanescent modicum of free choice to carve out some sort of eternal destiny for ourselves? That depends. It depends on whether someone has the courage to announce to us, “You have died and your life is hid with Christ in God!” “Awake you who sleep, and arise from the dead!”
-Gerhard O. Forde, from his essay Radical Lutheranism
4. On the Death of Religion – Including Christian Religion
Since the practices of religion never achieved even a scrap of what they promised, God just ignored them and won the game unscrupulously — by the irreligious device of dying as a common criminal. There is therefore now not only no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus; there isn’t a single, properly effective religious act anywhere in the world, not even in the so-called Christian religion. We pray the Lord’s Prayer, not our own. We fast to remind ourselves of his leastness, not our own heroics. In Baptism and the Eucharist, in Confession and Absolution, and in all the priestly acts of the church, we’re celebrating what Jesus has already done, not negotiating with God to get him to do it.
-Robert Farrar Capon, The Foolishness of Preaching (Pastor Tullian tipped me off to this book after his post from last week)
5. On the Law of God and its Purpose
The law of God (wherever it is found in Scripture) has one purpose for the Christian—to drive him or her to Christ whose mercy, forgiveness and love are without measure and always extant for believers. That is to bring forth praise and worship for his forgiveness when we have failed, and great praise and worship when we have succeeded.
-Steve Brown (Please read the whole article if you have time, you will be grateful)
6. On the Name of this Blog, Holy and Profane
Thus a Christian man is righteous and a sinner at the same time, holy and profane, an enemy of God and a child of God. None of the sophists will admit this paradox, because they do not understand the true meaning of justification. This was why they forced men to go on doing good works until they would not feel any sin at all. By this means they drove to the point of insanity many men who tried with all their might to become completely righteous in a formal sense but could not accomplish it. And innumerable persons even among the authors of this wicked dogma were driven into despair at the hour of death, which is what would have happened to me if Christ had not looked at me in mercy and liberated me from this error.
Martin Luther, Lectures on Galatians (Luther’s Works, Vol. 26)
7. On the Flow of Good Works
Those who want to become generous shouldn’t simply try harder to give more, or try harder to be a cheerful giver—as if the fruits of generosity and cheerfulness can be emotionally mustered up from the infertile grounds of our own naturally stingy, selfish hearts. Rather, we should listen again to God’s gracious word to you: his gift of his son Jesus, who gave you everything when you least deserved it. My bet is that, when the magnitude of the gift we have received is understood, generous and cheerful giving will come.
-Austin Gentry, from this recent post
That is all! We hope these quotes hit home for some of our readers.