Occasional Quotes

My favourite quotes from things I have read in the last week:

T Austin Sparks on Facebook,

What is the governing motive of the bondslave of Jesus Christ? It is not compulsion, it is not option; it is love. No ministry of the servant of Jesus Christ can be a triumphant ministry unless there is a deep, strong, abiding love. Love is the motive force of this kind of service. There is all the difference between that and what is official, by appointment – what we call organised work and service. Sooner or later we shall break down, find ourselves brought to a standstill where we can go no further, in a terrible state of confusion about the whole situation, unless there is an adequate love, not only for the Lord but for all those in the midst of whom we are called to serve. Love is going to solve our problems and to bring us into victory; but apart from a sufficient love the problems of human make-up, the many differences of disposition and character and all that goes to make up a company, and the continuous drain and strain, with all the pressure that comes from the enemy, will present a problem, a perplexity and a paralysing task. Only love will get us through, and love is the motive-power of the servant.

Shane Claiborne on Frank Viola’s blog,

The world’s three richest people own more than the combined economies of 48 countries. 85 people own the same amount of wealth as 3.5 billion (half the world).

The average CEO in the US is making 380 times the average worker. That means the average worker needs to work an entire month to make what the CEO makes in one hour.

We live in a time of unprecedented inequity between the rich and poor. It’s time to rediscover this theology of enough.

Alphonse Karr quoted on Skip Prichard’s blog,

“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.” 


Are you not loving God?

I read an interesting article in First Things. In it they present this observation which George Weigel called this the Iron Law of Christianity in Modernity, is well worth pondering:

“Christian communities that maintain a firm grasp on their doctrinal and moral boundaries can flourish amidst the cultural acids of modernity; Christian communities whose doctrinal and moral boundaries become porous (and then invisible) wither and die.”

In a rapidly changing world it does pose the question of what we, as the church, have to “hold on to” and what needs to be “let go of” in a modern world that would readily reject almost everything that Christians hold dear?

How tightly do we retain our view of marriage and is that to be thought of differently to homosexuality?

Whilst retaining the idea that euthanasia is wrong how do we hold that in tension with the fact that our ability to diagnose and then sustain life (even when a patient is in great pain) is greater than ever before imagined? Is there a Christian case for allowing people to choose to die, what right do they have?

Ethics books are full of such conundrums. They are worthy of thought from all Christians. In fact we dishonour God when we do not think about such things, for that is to be construed as not loving him with all of our mind, Luke 10:26-28

ESV He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

TM He answered, “What’s written in God’s Law? How do you interpret it?”

He said, “That you love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence—and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself.”

“Good answer!” said Jesus. “Do it and you’ll live.”

The church heating plant

I read this quote on Adrian Warnock’s blog:

It was a pleasant Sunday and five college students were sightseeing in London when they decided to hear the famed C. H. Spurgeon preach. Arriving at the huge church they sat on the steps and waited for the doors to open. While chatting among themselves a man from the congregation came by and greeted them and engaged them in pleasant conversation. After a while he asked, “Gentlemen, let me show you around. Would you like to see the heating plant of this church?” The young men were not particularly interested, as a heating plant was not on the top of their list of things they wanted to visit. Besides it was fast becoming an extremely hot day in July. But they didn’t want to offend the stranger, so they consented. The young men were taken down a stairway, a door was quietly opened, and their guide whispered, “This is our heating plant.” Surprised, the students saw 700 people quietly bowed in prayer, seeking a blessing on the service that was soon to begin in the auditorium above. Softly closing the door, the gentleman then introduced himself. It was none other than Charles Haddon Spurgeon.