Sunday, January 27, 2008

Christianity -

I don't understand Christianity, nor do I understand electricity, but I don't intend to sit in the dark until I do!

When we look at other Christians, let's not dwell on the burned-out stumps of their former life. Instead, let's celebrate and affirm the exciting new growth in their lives.

The Christian is not one who has gone all the way with Christ. None of us has. The Christian is one who has found the right road. --Charles L. Allen (1913- )

The distinction between Christianity and all other systems of religion consists largely in this, that in these others men are found seeking after God, while Christianity is God seeking after men. THOMAS ARNOLD

The evidence for Christian truth is not exhaustive, but it is sufficient. Too often, Christianity has not been tried and found wanting -- it has been found demanding, and not tried.... John Baillie (1886-1960)

We may not understand how the spirit works; but the effect of the spirit on the lives of men is there for all to see; and the only unanswerable argument for Christianity is a Christian life. No man can disregard a religion and a faith and a power which is able to make bad men good...
William Barclay (1907-1978), The Gospel of John (Vol.1)

Casual Christians Become Christian Casulties.--. K. A. Barden

The essence of the Christian religion consists therein: that the creation of the Father, destroyed by sin, is again restored in the death of the Son of God and recreated by the grace of the Holy Spirit to a Kingdom of God.--Herman Bavinck

See that your chief study be about heart, that there God's image may be planted, and his interest advanced, and the interest of the world and flesh subdued, and the love of every sin cast out, and the love of holiness succeed; and that you content not yourselves with seeming to do good in outward acts, when you are bad yourselves, and strangers to the great internal duties. The first and great work of a Christian is about his heart. - RICHARD BAXTER

Christianity works while infidelity talks. She feeds the hungry, clothes the naked, visits and cheers the sick, and seeks the lost, while infidelity abuses her and babbles nonsense and profanity. "By their fruits ye shall know them."-- Henry Ward Beecher

No civilization other than that which is Christian, is worth seeking or possessing.-- Otto von Bismarck

Furthermore, [the unchristian environment] is the place where we find out whether the Christian's meditation has led him into the unreal, from which he awakens in terror when he returns to the workaday world, or whether it has led him into a real contact with God, from which he emerges strengthened and purified. Has it transported him for a moment into a spiritual ecstasy that vanishes when everyday life returns, or has it lodged the Word of God so securely and deeply in his heart that it holds and fortifies him, impelling him to active love, toobedience, to good works? Only the day can decide.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), Life Together

Christianity helps us face the music even when we don't like the tune. --Phillips Brooks

No true Christian is his own man. JOHN CALVIN

The Christian must be consumed with the infinite beauty of holiness and the infinite damnability of sin.... Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

Christians neutralized into inactivity will be spectators of their country's free fall to collapse. -- John W. Chalfant, _Abandonment Theology_, 1996

My worth to God in public is what I am in private.--Oswald Chambers

The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.
G. K. Chesterton, What's Wrong With the World, pt. 1, ch. 5, 1910

Christianity has died many times and risen again; for it has a God who knew his way out of the grave. G. K. Chesterton

At least five times, . . . with the Arian and the Albigensian, with the Humanist sceptic, after Voltaire and after Darwin, the Faith has to all appearance gone to the dogs. In each of these five cases it was the dog that died.--G K Chesterton{The Everlasting Man, Garden City, NY: Doubleday Image, 1925, p. 254}

There are those who hate Christianity and call their hatred an all-embracing love for all religions. - G.K. Chesterton ILN, 1/13/06

These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own.- G.K. Chesterton - ILN 8-11-28

As Christian feel the changing winds of political climate, the blasts against their values in the media, the exclusion of the Christian faith from educational institutions, they begin to sense the dangers of complacency and of pietistical world flight. -- Edmund P. Clowney, _The Christian and American Law_. 1998

Let any of those who renounce Christianity write fairly down in a book all the absurdities they believe instead of it, and they will find it requires more faith to reject Christianity than to embrace it.~ Charles Caleb Colton

Christophobia: the irrational fear of Christianity, and the moral system that it promotes. Usage: "You can't be serious! Anyone that thinks that way is just a 'Christophobe!' There's no point in considering what they say!"--Clayton Cramer

This seems a cheerful world, Donatus, when I view it from this fair garden, under the shadow of these vines. But if I climbed some great mountain and looked out over the wide lands, you know very well what I would see--brigands on the high roads, pirates on the seas; in the amphitheaters men murdered to please applauding crowds; under all roofs misery and selfishness. It is really a bad world, Donatus, an incredibly bad world. Yet in the midst of it I have found a quiet and holy people. They have discovered a joy which is a thousand times better than any pleasures of this sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They have overcome the world. These people, Donatus, are the Christians -- and I am one of them. - Cyprian (?-258), a letter

There is no leveler like Christianity, but it levels by lifting all who receive it to the lofty table-land of a true character andof undying hope both for this world and the next.-- Jonathan Edwards

It seems to me to be the best proof of an evangelical disposition, that persons are not angry when reproached, and have a Christian charity for those that ill deserve it. ... The Colloquies of Erasmus (1466?-1536)

I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians, Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Men are tending to materialism. Houses, lands, and worldly goods attract their attention, and as a mirage lure them on to death. Christianity, on the other hand leads only the natural body to death, and for the spirit, it points out a house not built with hands, eternal in the heavens... Let me urge you to follow Him, not as the Nazarene, the Man of Galilee, the carpenter's son, but as the ever living spiritual person, full of love and compassion, who will stand by you in life and death and eternity.- James A. Garfield, preaching before he becamr president of the USA.

What we have been told is how we men can be drawn into Christ - can become part of that wonderful present which the young Prince of the universe wants to offer to His Father that present which is Himself and therefore us in Him. It is the only thing we were made for. And there are strange, exciting hints in the Bible that when we are drawn in, a great many other things in Nature will begin to come right. The bad dream will be over: it will be morning. ... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), Mere Christianity [1952]

Jill transported to the land of Aslan is stranded in a strange forest because of pride and foolishness. She becomes extremely thirsty, finds a stream but a lion is there. The Lion bids her to come and drink. The voice was not like a man's but "deeper, wilder, and stronger" - a "sort of heavy golden voice". "May I - could I - would you mind going away while I do?", said Jill. The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its mountainous bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience. The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic. "Will you promise not to - do anything to me if you do come?", said Jill. "I make no promise, " said the Lion. Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer. "Do you eat girls?", she said. "I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms", said the Lion. It didn't say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. it just said it. 'I daren't come and drink", said Jill. "Then you will die of thirst", said the Lion. "Oh dear!", said Jill coming a step nearer. "I supposed I must go and look for another stream then." "There is no other stream", said the Lion. C. S. LEWIS, Silver Chair

The whole being of any Christian is Faith and Love...Faith brings the man to God, love brings him to men. ... Martin Luther (1483-1546)

The Christian should be a conscience in his group. His presence must never be used to provide a Christian justification for evil. To stand as a co-belligerent and not an ally will be to rally the middle ground for a genuine Third Way without mediocre compromise. The Third Way will not be easy. It will be lonely. Sometimes the Christian must have the courage to stand with the establishment, speaking boldly to the radicals and pointing out the destructive and counter-productive nature of their violence. At other times, he will stand as a co-belligerent with the radicals in their outrage and just demands for redress. The Christian is a co-belligerent with either or both when either or both are right, but... fearless in his opposition to either or both when they are wrong. ... Os Guinness, The Dust of Death [1973]

The Christian's life should put his minister's sermon in print. - WILLIAM GURNALL

The only reason reason any one should believe Christianity is that it is true. Its truth rests on historical facts which do not change, truths which are open to tests norammly applied to other events or claims. It is not a matter of whether it sells or whether it works or whether it feels good or provides meaningful experiences. What Christianity teaches is the correct explanation of reality.--DICK HALVERSON

That many Roman Catholics, past and present, are true Christians, is a palpable fact. It is a fact which no man can deny without committing a great sin. It is a sin against Christ not to acknowledge as true Christians those who bear his image, and whom He recognizes as his brethren. It is a sin also against ourselves. We are not born of God unless we love the children of God. If we hate and denounce those whom Christ loves as members of his own body, what are we? It is best to be found on the side of Christ, let what will happen. It is perfectly consistent, then, for a man to denounce the papacy as the man of sin, and yet rejoice in believing, and in openly acknowledging, that there are, and ever have been, many Romanists who are the true children of God.-Charles Hodge , Systematic Theology:

To the frivolous Christianity is certainly not glad tidings, for it wishes first of all to make them serious. --Kierkegaard, _Journal_, 1847

We are living "between the times" -- the time of Christ's resurrection and the new age of the Spirit, and the time of fulfillment in Christ. Life in the Spirit is a pledge, a "down-payment", on the final kingdom of shalom. In the meantime, we are to be signs of the kingdom which is, and which is coming.
David Kirk (1935- )

Reality, in fact, is always something you couldn't have guessed. That's one of the reasons I believe Christianity. It's a religion you couldn't have guessed. -- C.S. Lewis--The Case for Christianity

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), "Is Theology Poetry?"

Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important. CS Lewis

I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity. -- C. S. Lewis

It is the duty of every Christian to be Christ to his neighbor. MARTIN LUTHER

The Christian cannot be satisfied so long as any human activity is either opposed to Christianity or out of connection with Christianity. Christianity must pervade not merely all nations but also all of human thought. J. Gresham Machen

Jesus promised His disciples three things: that they would be entirely fearless, absurdly happy, and that they would get into trouble. --W. Russell Maltby

Likewise, it's easy to see why the left fears Christians. People who worship political power, who want government to direct (and thus control) all things, who have effectively deified the state, cannot imagine anyone feeling otherwise. Like Tolkein's Sauron, the thought that anyone would choose to destroy the ring of power is beyond them. And because that power is today so pervasive, they not only covet it, but cannot permit it's falling into the hands of men with whom they disagree. - Rod D. Martin,TOWARD A CHRISTIAN CULTURE July 2002

We who formerly delighted in fornication, but now embrace chastity alone; we who formerly used magical arts, dedicated ourselves to the good and unbegotten God, who valued above all things the acquisition of wealth and possessions, now bring what we have into common stock, and communicate to everyone in need; we who hated and destroyed one another, and on account of their different tribe, now since the coming of Christ, live familiarly with them, and pray for our enemies, and endeavour to persuade those who hate us unjustly, to the end that they may become partakers of the same joyful hope of a reward from God the ruler of all. --Justin Martyr

Enough has... been said to show that the impoverished secularised versions of Christianity which are being urged upon us for our acceptance today rest not upon a serious application of the methods of scientific scholarship nor upon a serious intuitive appreciation of the Gospels as a whole in their natural context, but upon a radical distaste for the supernatural. E. L. Mascall, The Secularisation of Christianity [1965]

The only way to keep a broken vessel full is to keep it always under the tap.--Dwight L. Moody

There is one single fact, which we may oppose to all the wit and argument of infidelity, namely that no man ever repented of being a Christian on his deathbed. ~ Hannah More (1745-1833)

Marx and Freud are the two great destroyers of Christian civilization, the first replacing the gospel of love by the gospel of hate, the other undermining the essential concept of human responsibility.--Malcom Muggeridge, My Life in Pictures, NY: William Morrow & Co., 1987, p. 94

One can find innumerable dumb things said and done by Christians in the name of Christianity, both in the past and at present&emdash;perhaps especially at present. The propensity to say and do dumb things, and even wicked things, is simply part of human nature. One can blame the Church or Christianity for such things only on the thoroughly unwarranted assumption that Christianity claims to have abolished human nature.-- Richard John Neuhaus

The greatest artists, saints, philosophers and, until quite recent times, scientists, through the Christian centuries, . . . have all assumed that the New Testament promise of eternal life is valid, and that the great drama of the Incarnation which embodies it, is indeed the master-drama of our existence. To suppose that these distinguished believers were all credulous fools whose folly and credulity in holding such beliefs has now been finally exposed, would seem to me untenable; and anyway I'd rather be wrong with Dante and Shakespeare and Milton, with Augustine of Hippo and Francis of Assisi, with Dr Johnson, Blake and Dostoevsky than right with Voltaire, Rousseau, the Huxleys, Herbert Spencer, H.G. Wells and Bernard Shaw.
Malcom Muggeridge, Vintage Muggeridge, ed. Geoffrey Barlow, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1985, pp. 32-33

I believe I am not mistaken in saying that Christianity is a demanding and serious religion. When it is delivered as easy and amusing, it is another kind of religion altogether. --Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death

Few things are more striking than the change which has taken place during my own lifetime in the attitude of the intelligentsia towards the spokesmen of Christian opinion. When I was a child, bishops expressed doubts about the Resurrection, and were called courageous. When I was a girl, G. K. Chesterton professed belief in the Resurrection, and was called whimsical. When I was at college, thoughtful people expressed belief in the Resurrection "in a spiritual sense", and were called advanced; (any other kind of belief was called obsolete, and its professors were held to be simpleminded). When I was middle-aged, a number of lay persons, including some poets and writers of popular fiction, put forward rational arguments for the Resurrection, and were called courageous. Today, any lay apologist for Christianity... whose works are sold and read, is liable to be abused in no uncertain terms as a mountebank, a reactionary, a tool of the Inquisition, a spiritual snob, an intellectual bully, an escapist, an obstructionist, a psychopathic introvert, an insensitive extrovert, and an enemy of society. The charges are not always mutually compatible, but the common animus behind them is unmistakable, and its name is fear. Writers who attack these domineering Christians are called courageous.--Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957)

Evangelism is a calling, but not the first calling. Building congregations is a calling, but not the first calling. A Christian's first call is to step from the line of Cain into the line of Abel, upon the basis of the shed blood of the Lamb of God &emdash; to return to the first commandment to love God, to love the brotherhood, and then to love one's neighbor as himself.-Schaeffer, Francis A., Genesis in Time and Space_, The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer, (Westchester, IL: Crossway Books) 1985.

The primary emphasis of biblical Christianity is the teaching that the infinite-personal God is the final reality, the Creator of all else, and that an individual can come openly to the holy God upon the basis of the finished work of Christ and that alone. Nothing needs to be added to Christ's finished work, and nothing *can* be added to Christ's finished work. -- Francis Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster

Christianity is the easiest religion in the world, because it is the only religion in which God does everything; it is the hardest religion because it robs us completely of being autonomous. - Francis Shaeffer--The God Who is There

The Gospel is not presented to mankind as an argument about religious principles. Nor is it offered as a philosophy of life. Christianity is a witness to certain facts -- to events that have happened, to hopes that have been fulfilled, to realities that have been experienced, to a Person who has lived and died and been raised from the dead to reign for ever. Massey H. Shepherd, Jnr., Far and Near

Christianity might be a good thing if anyone ever tried it.-- George Bernard Shaw

Modernized, the Easter message means that God recycles human garbage. He can turn prostitutes like Magdalene into disciples, broken reeds like Simon Peter into rocks, and political-minded Simon Zealots into martyrs for the faith. God is the God of the second chance.-Fulton John Sheen (1895-1979)_Those Mysterious Priests_ [1974]

While sitting on the bank of a river one day, I picked up a solid round stone from the water and broke it open. It was perfectly dry in spite of the fact that it had been immersed in water for centuries. The same is true of many people in the Western world. For centuries they have been surrounded by Christianity; they live immersed in the waters of its benefits. And yet it has not penetrated their hearts; they do not love it. The fault is not in Christianity, but in men's hearts, which have been hardened by materialism and intellectualism. --Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929)

Obedience to Christ includes obedience to his commission to go into the world, to preach the good news, and to make disciples. But we cannot do this without taking account of the context in which people live their lives, or of the alter-natives to the gospel which they find attractive. Some of our evangelism has been very superficial on this account. We need to develop new strategies of evangelistic penetration that will take seriously the cultural bondage in which people are held and the need to soak ourselves in their culture in order to interpret the gospel to them from inside.
John R. W. Stott (1921- ), "Obeying Christ in a Changing World"

Christianity is not a system of philosophy, nor a ritual, nor a code of laws; it is the impartation of a divine vitality. Without the way there is not going, without the truth there is no knowing, without life there is no living. MERRILL TENNEY on Jn 14:6

I think back to many discussions in my early life when we all agreed that if you try to take the fruits of Christianity without its roots, the fruits will wither. And they will not come again unless you nurture the roots. But we must not profess the Christian faith and go to church simply because we want social reforms and benefits or a better standard of behaviour - but because we accept the sanctity of life, the responsibility that comes with freedom and the supreme sacrifice of Christ expressed so well in the hymn: 'When I survey the wondrous Cross/ on which the Prince of Glory died/ My richest gain I count but loss/ and pour contempt on all my pride.'--Margaret Thatcher, speech to the Church of Scotland General Assembly, 21.5.88

The true ground of most men's prejudice against the Christian doctrine is because they have no mind to obey it.--John Tillotson (1630-1694)

A Christian is one who has bet his life that Christ was right.-- David Elton Trueblood (1900-1994)

The best argument for Christianity is Christians: their joy, their certainty, their completeness. But the strongest argument against Christianity is also Christians -- when they are somber and joyless, when they are self-righteous and smug in complacent consecration, when they are narrow and repressive, then Christianity dies a thousand deaths. --Sheldon Vanauken

If Christians want us to believe in a Redeemer, let them act redeemed.--Voltaire

Oh, Christians, look to your steps! When you have prayed against sin, then watch against temptation. Such as are more excellent than others, God expects some singular thing from them. They should bring more glory to God and, by their exemplary piety, make proselytes to religion. Better fruit is expected from a vineyard than from a wild forest. - THOMAS WATSON

Though we as Christians are like Christ, having the first fruits of the Spirit, yet we are unlike Him, having the remainders of the flesh. THOMAS WATSON

If the marks of discipleship were merely an orthodox creed‚ excited feeling‚ denominational zeal‚ flaming partisanship, then there are many that "find the way." But if the true travellers are men of broken heart‚ poor in spirit‚ who mourn for sin‚ who know the music of the Shepherd's voice‚ who follow the Lamb‚ who delight in the throne of grace‚ and who love the place of the cross, then there are but ‚ few‚ with whom the true saints journey to heaven in fellowship and communion.
Ocatvius Winslow, Midnight Harmonies

No comments: