Thursday, October 29, 2015

A John Calvin Eleventary

1. “We should ask God to increase our hope when it is small, awaken it when it is dormant, confirm it when it is wavering, strengthen it when it is weak, and raise it up when it is overthrown.”

2. “There is no worse screen to block out the Spirit than confidence in our own intelligence.”

3. “If it seems more horrible to kill a man in his own house, then in a field, it ought surely to be deemed more atrocious to destroy a fetus in the womb before it has come to light.”

4. “The Gospel is not a doctrine of the tongue, but of life. It cannot be grasped by reason and memory only, but it is fully understood when it possesses the whole soul and penetrates to the inner recesses of the heart.”

5. “It would be the height of absurdity to label ignorance tempered by humility ‘faith’!”

6. “Men are undoubtedly more in danger from prosperity than from adversity. for when matters go smoothly, they flatter themselves, and are intoxicated by their success”

7. “There is no knowing that does not begin with knowing God.”

8. “However many blessings we expect from God, His infinite liberality will always exceed all our wishes and our thoughts.”

9. “Let us not cease to do the utmost, that we may incessantly go forward in the way of the Lord; and let us not despair of the smallness of our accomplishments.”

10. “Without the fear of God, men do not even observe justice and charity among themselves.”

11. “In forming an estimate of sins, we are often imposed upon by imagining that the more hidden the less heinous they are.”

A Martin Luther Eleventary

1. “Hier stehe ich; Here I standI can do no other. God help me. Amen!”

2. “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every part of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, then I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all battlefields besides is merely flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point”

3. “I am more afraid of my own heart than of the Pope and all his cardinals. I have within me the great Pope: Self. I more fear what is within me than anything that might come from without.”

4. “Faith is a living, daring confidence in God's grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times.”

5. “For where God built a church, there the Devil would also build a chapel.”

6. “I am afraid that the schools will prove the very gates of hell, unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures and engraving them in the heart of the youth.”

7. “Music is the art of the prophets and the gift of God.”

8. “Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.”

9. “You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say.”

10. “There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage.”

11. “Whatever your heart clings to and confides in, that is really your God.”

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Chalmers and the Solas

Thinking about the "Five Solas of the Reformation," during this Reformation anniversary week, I couldn't help but also think of the reformational way Thomas Chalmers has shaped my thinking about life, grace, mercy, the Scriptures, and the beauty of the faith that the magisterial reformers bequeathed to us.  

It struck me that like them, Chalmers' influence has also produced a list of "solas." This is my feeble attempt to somehow codify those "solas."
  1. Only the Triune God is truly holy.
  2. Only His holiness can offer grace.
  3. Only His grace can bring forth faith.
  4. Only faith bears the fruit of love.
  5. Only love produces hope.
  6. Only hope gives way to obedience.
  7. Only obedience results in service.
  8. Only service manifests mercy.
  9. Only mercy makes for justice.
  10. Only justice establishes peace.
  11. And, only peace can flower into Christian culture.