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Filed under: “Quotes”

Many of us are aware of how religion easily becomes a work, through legalistic observance of rules and rituals, but sometimes we forget that relationship can fall into the same traps. While the legalist chases adherence to the rules, the relationist chases the next feel-good moment. In this sense, relationship can become just another type of salvation by works among pietistic people who go from one passionate mountaintop experience to another, only to sour on God when he doesn’t deliver according to the bargain they had struck.

—Stephen Lutz, College Ministry in a Post-Christian Culture

If the question [of Christian public engagement] is not about choosing between power and powerlessness, then how will the church and the people of God use the power that they have? Christology is the heart of any method for thinking about the church and its engagement with the world and so the starting point is Jesus Christ, the first-born of the New Creation, the living embodiment of the new Kingdom.

—James Davison Hunter, To Change the World

Our faces bear the marks of the way we have lived – a point made well by Matt Anderson in Earthen Vessels, and which even Wordsworth knew. Something worth keeping in mind as we live: even our faces will show (or not) our love of God and man.

But we are often pressed by heavy laws, And often, glad no more, We wear a face of joy, because We have been glad of yore

—”The Fountain: A Conversation,” William Wordsworth, Selected Poems

The central point of this drama is the God who shows favor, the God who walked with many of my brothers and sisters through the valley of the shadow of death and led them to a different destination from mine. They are now in His presence. They do not need the hope or the faith of which my story speaks. That’s because, when all is gone, God remains—and what we’ll see of Him most clearly in that day is His love.

—Barnabas Mam with Kitty Murray, Church Behind the Wire

Perhaps it does not make sense to begin a story about suffering with a song, but that is how this one begins. The real miracle in my story is that God is faithful, that he proves His faithfulness even in the direst of circumstances, and that He is to be worshiped.

For me, that is the miracle of the Killing Fields: God drew me inexorably toward Himself, and I worshiped.

—Barnabas Mam with Kitty Murray, Church Behind the Wire

Were we to attempt to go over the whole subject [of the divine perfections in the creation of the world] we should never come to a conclusion, there being as many miracles of divine power, as many striking evidences of wisdom and goodness, as there are classes of objects, nay as there are individual objects, great or small, throughout the universe.

—John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

—Revelation 19:6-8