Category Archives: Theology

four words for love

The Greeks in their wisdom had four words for our one, love: there was charity, agapé; sexual love, eros; family love, storgé; friendship, philia. But charity, agapé, really covers them all; if the other three don’t also partake of charity, they go sour.

Madeleine L’Engle, A Circle of Quiet, pages 170.

there are three ways you can live

One day she brought it up at the beginning of the class, and the others seemed to want to talk too, so I plunged in: “There are three ways you can live life—three again—remember that the great writers almost always do things in threes. You can live life as though it’s all a cosmic accident; we’re nothing but an irritating skin disease on the face of the earth. Maybe you can live your life as though everything’s a bad joke. I can’t.”

They couldn’t, either, though for some of the kids who sat around the table that day not much had happened to make them think that life is anything else.

“Or you can go out at night and look at the stars and think, yes, they were created by a prime mover, and so were you, but he’s aloof perfection, impassible, indifferent to his creation. He doesn’t care, or, if he cares, he only cares about the ultimate end of his creation, and so what happens to any part of it on the way is really a matter of indifference. You don’t matter to him, I don’t matter to him, except possibly as a means to an end. I can’t live that way, either.”

Again there was general agreement.

“Then there’s a third way: to live as though you believe that the power behind the universe is a power of love, a personal power of love, a love so great that all of us really do matter to him. He loves us so much that every single one of our lives has meaning; he really does know about the fall of every sparrow, and the hairs of our head are really counted. That’s the only way I can live.”

Madeleine L’Engle, A Circle of Quiet, pages 63-64.

the most important thing about us

“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”

Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God. For this reason the gravest questions before the Church is always God Himself, and the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at a given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like. We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God.

A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy, page 9.

execution or commencement?

There is an essential difference between the decease of the godly and the death of the ungodly. Death comes to the ungodly man as a penal infliction, but to the righteous as a summons to his Father’s palace. TO the sinner it is an execution, to the saint an undressing from his sins and infirmities. Death to the wicked is the King of Terrors. Death to the saint is the end of terrors, the commencement of glory.

Charles Spurgeon, Sermons of Rev. C. H. Spurgeon, p.195.

inescapable issue of meaning

Sin is the expression of man’s struggle with the meaning of his existence while missing life from God. It is all the varieties of ways man deals with and expresses his rebellion against his Creator as he encounters the inescapable issue of meaning.

David C. Needham, Alive for the First Time, page 30.

god is in control

This is no time for fear
This is a time for faith and determination
Don’t lose the vision here
Carried away by emotion
Hold on to all that you hide in your heart
There is one thing that has always been true
It holds the world together

God is in control
We believe that His children will not be forsaken
God is in control
We will choose to remember and never be shaken
There is no power above or beside Him, we know
God is in control

History marches on
There is a bottom line drawn across the ages
Culture can make its plan
Oh, but the line never changes
No matter how the deception may fly
There is one thing that has always been true
It will be true forever

He has never let you down
Why start to worry now?
He is still the Lord of all we see
And He is still the loving Father
Watching over you and me

Twila Paris, God Is In Control, Sanctuary, 1992.

proof that god does not exist

Has anyone provided 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 our 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 and 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 20th century been a force for good? Not even close to being close.

Is there a narrow and oppressive orthodoxy in the sciences? Close enough.

Does anything in the sciences or 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
Quoted by Ravi Zacharias

god moves first

God always makes the first and decisive move by approaching us with his great acts of provision as acts of unconditional grace.

Scott J. Hafemann, The God of Promise and the Life of Faith, page 56.

sabbath says all was perfect

The Sabbath signified that the world God created was just the way he wanted it. … The Sabbath was God’s unique declaration of the good news that his provision for his people was perfect.

Scott J. Hafemann, The God of Promise and the Life of Faith, page 48.

obedience displays trust

The recipients of God’s gifts honor him by obeying his commands as the outward display of their trust in the sufficiency of his grace. If follows then, as John Piper has put it so well, that “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.”

Scott J. Hafemann, The God of Promise and the Life of Faith, page 55.

satisfying our deeper longings

Nothing and no one can satisfy the deeper longings of our heart except the One who made us for himself. As Pascal put it,

There once was in man a true happiness of which now remains to him only the mark and empty trace, which he in vain tries to fill from all his surroundings. . . . But these are all inadequate, because the infinite abyss can only be filled by an infinite and immutable object, that is to say, only by God Himself.

Blaise Pascal

Scott J. Hafemann, The God of Promise and the Life of Faith, page 38.

four absolutes

The four absolutes we all have in our minds: love, justice, evil, and forgiveness. They all converge at only one point in history – at Calvary.

Ravi Zacharias