prayer essential for revival

A. T. Pierson said, “There has never been a revival in any country that has not begun in united prayer, and no revival has ever continued beyond the duration of those prayer meetings.”

William Larkin, Acts, page 45.

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revival dependent on confession

“Revival is impossible apart from confession of sin among believers. It must be confession to God, and it may be confession to one another. Every hindrance must go. Sin must be confessed in order that it may be cleansed…Judgement must begin at the house of the Lord.” Only a holy people, a repentant and restored people, are vessels fit to be revived.

William Larkin, Acts, page 47-48.


not believing is an act of faith

Ultimately, nonbelief in God is an act of faith, because there is no way to prove that the world and all that is within it and its deep mathematical orderliness and matter itself all simply exist on their own as brute facts with no source outside of themsnot believing is an act of faithelves. If the theory that God exists leads us to expect what we find, whereas the belief that there is no God odes not, why not move ahead, at least tentatively, but adopting the theory that God is there?

Timothy Keller, Making Sense of God, page 227.


christianity a world religion

Even in its beginnings, the movement of Jesus followers spread out in all directions outward from its Middle Easter origins, not only to Europe, but also to North Africa, to Turkey and Armenia, to Persia and India. “Christianity was a world religion long before it was a European one.” And today again, . . . Christianity is the religion that is most equally distributed across the continents of the world. So “no other [faith] . . . has so extensively crossed the cultural divisions of humanity and found a place in so many diverse cultural contexts.”

Timothy Keller, Making Sense of God, page 229.


the most liberated man

“Think of Jesus at his trial,” says one biblical commentator, “Was he the prisoner, or were his accusers? . . . He was calling the shots, not they. In this age that values freedom almost more than anything else, Jesus confronts us as the most liberated man who ever lived.”

Timothy Keller, Making Sense of God, page 236.

quoting Michael Green, Who is This Jesus? page 14.


sad logical conclusion of evolutionary biology

Francis Crick, a leading molecular biologist and neuroscientist, famously wrote: “You, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.” If there is no God or spiritual dimension, that is pretty much the logical conclusion.

Timothy Keller, Making Sense of God, page 224.


truth, beauty, justice and love impose themselves on me

Luc Ferry does a good job of summarizing the moral, consciousness, reason, and beauty arguments against the secular, naturalistic view of things. He writes that his experiences of “truth, beauty, justice, and love . . . whatever the materialists say, remain fundamentally transcendent.” By that he means, “I cannot invent mathematical truths, nor the beauty of a work of art, nor the imperatives of the moral life . . . [They] impose themselves on me as if they come from elsewhere.” He adds, “I am not at all persuaded by the argument that I merely choose ethical values.” These things are signs that impress themselves on our minds and hearts and point us toward God.

Timothy Keller, Making Sense of God, page 226.


salvation comes through poverty, rejection and weakness

The ultimate example of God’s working in the world was Jesus Christ, the only founder of a major religion who died in disgrace, not surrounded by all of his living disciples but abandoned by everybody whom he cared about, including his Father. He was the victim of a miscarriage of justice and he died oppressed and helpless. Jesus Christ’s salvation comes to us through his poverty, rejection, and weakness. And Christians are not saved by summoning up their strength and accomplishing great deeds but by admitting their weakness and need for a savior.

Timothy Keller, Making Sense of God, page 208.


the soup that keeps on giving

Back in the late 1950s, Sophie Muller, a blue-eyed, single woman with a background in journalism and art, traveled the rivers and jungles, spending several days each month in each village.

Travel meant sitting on the rough wooden bench of a dugout canoe for days on end, sometimes under the hot tropical sun and other times enduring torrential downpours. At times travel by river was followed by a trek through the dense jungle.

Beyond the mere inconveniences, there was real danger. At one village, the witch doctor cooked up a chicken stew for Sophie with a little something extra added. The villagers watched as the unsuspecting Sophie ate the soup laced with the most potent poison known in the jungle, a poison known to kill a person within five minutes.

The villagers watched and waited for the inevitable – but it didn’t happen. Though Sophie experienced some vomiting, she did not die. And that didn’t make sense. Could the witch doctor have failed? Hadn’t the witch doctor added enough poison to kill five men? Or could the poison be flawed?

If any questions were raised about the potency of the poison, they were soon dispelled when some of the village dogs found Sophie’s vomit and did what dogs do, after which they promptly fell over and died.

God’s protective power was evident, and the witch doctor who had prepared the soup turned from witchcraft to God. Sophie became known as the daughter of God and was allowed to travel safely in the jungle wherever she wanted.

Rosie Cochran, Discipleship Done Well, Ethnos360 Magazine, March, 2018


the final judgment gives us hope

If we believe that the Resurrection really happened, then Jesus Christ has, as it were, made an opening in the barrier between the ideal and the real. The downtrodden of the world can say, “Now I have got something, I have a hope. I have a hope for the future.” Middle-class people can get excited about philosophy and ethical principles, but not the masses, not the people who are really stuck in the darkness of this world. The Resurrection, not taken as a symbol but believed as a concrete fact, will lift up the downtrodden, and will change the world. Belief in a final judgment gives us enough hope so that we will neither resort to violence to bring in justice nor give in and collaborate with injustice.

Timothy Keller, Making Sense of God, page 172.