"Moreover, a true Christian will not ascribe any prosperity to his own diligence, industry, or good fortune, but he will acknowledge that God is the author of it." John Calvin, Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1952/2004, page 43.
Christmas as a holiday in America is in many ways sacrosanct. I’m not referring to the Christian holiday. Most American, including Christian Americans, don’t really celebrate Christmas as a biblical holiday. We love the warm, cozy sweetness of the “traditional” Christmas holiday. In order to preserve that warm, cozy sweetness, we have to gloss over … Continue reading Pastor Note #87: Christmas — A Peasant King and the Foolishness of God
"The question is not: How many people take you seriously? How much are you going to accomplish? Can you show some results? But: Are you in love with Jesus? Perhaps another way to put the question would be: Do you know the incarnate God? In our world of loneliness and despair, there is an enormous … Continue reading Quote of Note #85: Forgiving, Caring, Healing Heart of God
What savoriness sin has! It is so hard to leave it alone, Even when I know it for what it is. I come back to it again and again. But behind the savoriness, There’s a coldness, a darkness. Savoring my sin keeps me Far from you, Lord. I can’t savor my sin In your presence. … Continue reading Prayer Note #59: Fleeing My Inescapable God
"[Contextualization in preaching] means to resonate with yet defy the culture around you. It means to antagonize society's idols while showing respect for its people and many of its hopes and aspirations. It means expressing the gospel in a way that is not only comprehensible but also convincing." Timothy Keller, Preaching: Communicating Faith in an … Continue reading Quote of Note #84: Antagonizing Idols–Respecting People
"There are, in the end, only two ways to read the Bible: Is it basically about me or basically about Jesus? In other words, is it basically about what I must do or basically about what he has done?" Timothy Keller, Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism. New York: Viking, 2015, page 60.
"The Word of God is the seed out of which the divine nature springs up in the human soul." R. A. Torrey, Power-Filled Living: How to Receive God's Best for Your Life. New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 1998, page 17.
We have a strange illusion that mere time cancels sin. I have heard others, and I have heard myself, recounting cruelties and falsehoods committed in boyhood as if they were no concern of the present speaker's, and even with laughter. But mere time does nothing either to the fact or the guilt of sin. The … Continue reading Quote of Note #81: Sin, Guilt, and the Blood of Jesus
"An appropriate response to the competing claims of pubic voices is to take these obligations personally. We have been 'called by name'--not every one of us to public speaking, political activism in the streets and on telephones, or investigative journalism, but all of us to seek truth and follow after it, to do justice, to … Continue reading Quote of Note #80: Public Speech and Truth
"John Wesley was once asked, 'If you knew that you would die at twelve o'clock tomorrow night, how would you spend the intervening time?' 'Why,' was the answer, 'just as I intend to spend it. I would preach tonight in Gloucester and again tomorrow morning. After that I would ride to Tewksbury, preach in the … Continue reading Quote of Note #79: Living in Light of Dying