Category Archives: Theology

an example does not give hope

The only hope for people lies not in giving them an example of how to behave but in the preaching of Jesus Christ as the Saviour from sin. The hearts of all get hope when they hear that.

Oswald Chambers, Disciples Indeed, page 309.

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the largest of hidden people groups

Today this message [to repent and turn to God] is vital to the eternal destiny of not only ethnic children of Abraham, the Jews, but also that largest of hidden people groups, nominal Christians. If 75-80 percent of the world’s Christians are Christian in name only, then one billion people need to be awakened out of their “smug assurance of salvation by biological birthright.”

William J. Larkin, Jr., Acts, p. 70


surprised by wrong

When the pessimist looks at any infamy, it is to him, after all, only a repetition of the infamy of existence. The Court of Chancery is indefensible—like mankind. The Inquisition is abominable—like the universe. But the optimist sees injustice as something discordant and unexpected, and it stings him into action. The pessimist can be enraged at wrong; bust only the optimist can be surprised at it.

G. K. Chesterton, All Things Considered, pages 33-34.


decisions that don’t make sense…

It is imperative, then, that we behold the Person of Jesus as revealed through every page of Scripture from beginning to end. What we discover about Him will orient our lives around His light like planets around the blazing sun; inevitably, revelation of who He is will lead us to make decisions that don’t make sense unless we will be raised from the dead.

Stephanie Quick, To Trace a Rising Sun, page 19-20.


none felt called to preach

[Alexander] Duff and his friends were provoked by men like William Cary, who’d sailed to the other side of the world to tell people who didn’t know about Jesus about Jesus. They dug into the Scriptures, read a bunch of missionary biographies, prayed together, ate together, and wrestled through it all together. Many of them concluded the burden of responsibility for stewarding the Good News of the Gospel of the Kingdom fell upon them simply because they were members and ambassadors of the Kingdom. None felt called to preach or pioneer. They just couldn’t shake the testimony of the Word of God that Jesus was worth it and the unreached deserve it.

Stephanie Quick, To Trace a Rising Sun, page 10.


cannot end with a prayer

Matthew speaks of more than personal repentance; he evokes the Old Testament hope of the salvation of God’s people, including the justice and peace of God’s kingdom. For Matthew, and for us, salvation from sin cannot end with a prayer. Matthew promises salvation not only from sin’s penalty but also from its power. Christ’s followers are not merely heirs of his coming kingdom but servants of the King, committed to exemplifying the values of that future world in the midst of this present evil age.

Craig S. Keener, Matthew, p. 63-64.


is religious belief irrational?

A secular Jew, [David] Berlinski nonetheless delivers a biting defense of religious thought. An acclaimed author who has spent his career writing about mathematics and the sciences, he turns the scientific community’s cherished skepticism back on itself, daring to ask and answer some rather embarrassing questions:

  • Has anyone provided a proof of God’s inexistence? Not even close.
  • Has quantum cosmology explained the emergence of the universe or why it is here? Not even close.
  • Have the sciences explained why our universe seems to be fine-tuned to allow for the existence of life? Not even close.
  • Are physicists and biologists willing to believe in anything so long as it is not religious thought? Close enough.
  • Has rationalism in moral thought provided us with an understanding of what is good, what is right, and what is moral? Not close enough.
  • Has secularism in the terrible twentieth century been a force for good? Not even close to being close.
  • Is there a narrow and oppressive orthodoxy of thought and opinion within the sciences? Close enough.
  • Does anything in the sciences or in their philosophy justify the claim that religious belief is irrational? Not even in the ballpark.
  • Is scientific atheism a frivolous exercise in intellectual contempt? Dead on.

David, Berlinski,
The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions, 


if grace is on us, we will be gracious to others

With a mindset of unity we will view our economic resources as available to meet others’ needs. We will voluntarily, periodically supply our local assembly’s common fund for the poor. Such a structure should not bind the Spirit’s prompting to be generous as we encounter various needs, nor should it become a matter of obligation. If grace is on us, we will be gracious to others.

William J. Larkin, Acts, p.83.


holy spirit daring

What are we attempting which could not be accomplished without the Holy Spirit? What is there about our lives which demands an explanation? We will be “filled with the Holy Spirit” when we dare to do what could never be accomplished on our own strength and insight.

Lloyd Oglivie, Quoted by William Larkin, Acts, page 73.


i think it’s called a belief system

I’m a bit of a chameleon. I’ll change, adapt, and make stuff up just to avoid any tension. Maybe it’s the performer in me, but I aim to please. My wife aims to kill. Not out of ill will or a desire to hurt, but she is going to stick to her position no matter what. I think it’s called a belief system. When I am uncomfortable, the only thing I believe is that I should be going.

Tom Papa, your dad stole my rake . . ., page 219