Saturday, September 8, 2018

Quote of the Day

"Again, the societies have taught us from every pulpit that every Christian should be at heart a missionary, on the unshakable ground that the spirit of Christ is given to all Christians, and that the spirit given is the spirit which longs for and strives after the salvation of all men in Christ……The preacher, no doubt, expected a reaction in the form of support for his society, and no doubt it generally took that form, but there is no reason why it should take that form.  There is nothing in the teaching to convince anyone that to express his missionary zeal he need support, or belong to, any other society than the Church to which he already belongs.  It is not necessary, though it may be convenient, to support any special society in order to do missionary work….He does not cease to be a Christian and a member of a  missionary body because he does not add to the order of the Church the more elaborate and precise order of some society organization.  The only reason why men have not so acted more often is because they have been obsessed with the idea that a man to express his missionary zeal properly must be a member of some other body within the church and that church membership is not sufficient.

Many before now have thought that if they were to express their zeal freely outside the limits and restrictions of a special missionary society, they must go outside the Church itself.  But that is absurd.  The multiplication of societies, which, viewed as a missionary organization for the attainment of a common object, is wasteful, has at least kept before us the truth that men can work outside the societies without working outside the Church."

- Roland Allen


Friday, September 7, 2018

Quote of the Day

"Nor was the adoption of these methods of propagating our religion without its effect upon us.  The establishment of schools and hospitals and colleges in great centres, altered our conception of our work as colleges in great centres, altered our conception of our work as missionaries.  They called out large numbers of mission workers of a new type with new ideas of missionary work.  We began to hear such phrases as these:  the gospel of enlightenment, the gospel of healing, the social gospel, and in, in later of years, the gospel of sex equality.    Whilst we continued to speak of our medical and education work in the old way as designed to open doors and attract hearers, and to convert, we began also to speak of medical, educational and social work as forms of preaching the Gospel.  The uplift of the people was a gospel in itself. Christ came to raise mankind, and to raise mankind out of the slough of superstition and evil conditions was, we argued to preach and to practice His Gospel….We practiced the same theory in England in an age of great social upheaval.  Social service was a cry which held and attracted large numbers of the younger and the abler Christian minds, and to a very great extent the Church threw herself into this work.  A church was scarcely considered complete without large institutions, guilds, clubs, halls.  And all of these things were urged upon the generosity of churchmen on the assurance that their provision would prepare the way for Christ. 

We have now had many years' experience of the method of approach, and it is becoming increasingly plain, it is, indeed, already commonly acknowledged, that the Church has not, by these social activities, brought men in any great degree within the sphere of its spiritual influence.  It has not succeeded along this road in imparting that spiritual life which it exists to minister.  Many deplore the obvious fact that, while the institutions have done much valuable work, the great mass of those who have used them have not drawn nearer to the Church or to Christ.  The churches which supported them most strongly have increased neither in umber nor in spiritual power in anything like the proportion which the energy thrown into this social work presupposed.  


This is not really surprising; for it is extremely easy to divorce social reform and the alleviation of suffering from religion.  How easily they can be divorced is proved by the common fact that both at home and abroad the Church is being supplanted in these social activities by governments which promote education, and support activities by governments which promote education, and support hospitals ad schemes of industrial reform subsidized from public funds without any religious purpose.  Social reform is not necessarily Christian, and schemes for the amelioration of the conditions of life certainly do not necessarily lead men to Christ, even if they are set on foot by Christian men with the most serious Christian intention."

- Roland Allen


Thursday, September 6, 2018

Quote of the Day

….It leads us to attempt to organize spiritual forces.  Our love of organization leads us to attempt to fix the place where, and the time at which, and the men by whom, a spiritual movement is to take place.  We fix the place.  We choose what we call a strategic centre and plant there our buildings and our institutions.  There the spiritual movements must take place if we are to be in any way the agents of it…..For spiritual work spiritual organization is necessary; but can we create a spiritual organization of spiritual forces?  Only a divine intelligence can do that.  But we attempt to do the work of that divine intelligence; by fixing our stations and immobilizing our men……But to be God's agents in spiritual movements we must follow, not lead.  We want to lead, and, trying to lead, we are simply left behind.  We say: 'Here we will have our buildings,' but the spiritual movements may be growing unseen by us in another place and by other means.  ….While the organization cumbrously laboring, the time is at hand, and come, and passing away, and the organization has nothing, or little, to do with it.  The organization is always too late.  For we can organize the external results of a spiritual movement, but we cannot organize a spiritual movement."

- Roland Allen


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Quote of the Day

Whatever people may say, ignorance is not a virtue.  Neither is knowledge, however, unless it is applied and put to proper use.  This application of knowledge to real-life situations is called 'wisdom'

- Andreas Kostenberger



Friday, January 19, 2018

Quote of the Day

Spirituality is…not an individualistic experience of solitude, defined by the amount of time spent in protracted periods of communion alone with God, but  an active obedience to God's commands that practically demonstrates love to others and is integrally involved in Jesus's mission to the world.  Christian spirituality, properly understood is a spirituality of engagement, not withdrawal…There is nothing inherently spiritual about the study of Scripture if that study does not lead to obedient, active application. 

- Andreas Kostenberger

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Quote of the Day

How could Hudson Taylor have imagined, for example, that the robbery that left him in such distress upon this journey was to result in the deliverance of the entire mission he was yet to found, during a period of financial danger?  How could he suppose that the upset of all his plans and the severance of a partnership in service more precious than any he had ever known was to prove the crowning blessing of his life on the human side, bringing him into association and at last union with the one of all others most suited both to him and his work? 


But so it is God leads.  His hand is on the helm.  We are being guided even when we feel it least.  The closed door is as much His providence as the open, and equally for our good and the accomplishment of His own great ends.  And one learns at last that it is not what we set ourselves to do that really tells in blessing so much as what He is doing through us when we least expect it.

- Dr. and Mrs Howard Taylor


Quote from their book:



The Growth of a Soul: Hudson Taylor in the Early Years

Monday, November 13, 2017

Quote of the Day

...Yes, that is how it ever has been, ever must be with the people of God.  Until we are carried quite out of our depth, beyond all our own wisdom and resources, we are not more than beginners in the school of faith.  Only as everything fails us and we fail ourselves, finding out how poor and weak we really are, how ignorant and helpless, do we begin to draw upon abiding strength.  "Blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee," not partly in Thee and partly in himself.  The devil often makes men strong, strong in themselves to do evil…. The Lord on the contrary makes His servant weak, puts him in circumstances that will show him his own nothingness, that he may lean upon the strength that is unfailing.  It is a long lesson for most of us, but it cannot be passed over until deeply learned.  And God Himself thinks no trouble too great, no care too costly to teach us this.


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Quote of the Day

  It is certainly to be deplored that error and fanaticism have been so often mingled with prophetic studies.  God has been thereby dishonored, and his word profaned.  The lips of scoffers have been opened in taunt and derision, while timid believers have kept silence, as if unable to reply. 
  We need not keep silence.  Let us admit the fact on which the mockery is founded, and there let it rest.  It will humble us; it will inspire caution; it will teach us wisdom, but it will do no more.  It will not deter us from such studies, nor will it lead us to impeach the Word of God for consequences in which man alone is the delinquent.  It will not lead us to join in the fears of the over-prudent respecting the perilous nature of these investigations, nor to relinquish the field as either impracticable, or barren, or injurious.  Because visions of futurity, drawn professedly from Scripture, have, with unholy fire, kindled some burning fancies into the wildness of a frenzied enthusiasm……are we, therefore, to shut up the prophetic record, and turn away our eyes from pages tamped so broadly with the seal, and encircled so brightly with the blessing of God?  Are the prophets to be treated as if belonging to the kindred of the sybils, and their books to be buried out of sight? Nothing more profane has ever been uttered against Scripture, than that the study of any part of it is fitted to unhinge the mind, or raise its temperature beyond the point of calm and solemn inquiry.  No Romanist ever promulgated an idea so indefensible as that any region of Scripture is unfruitful or forbidden ground, to be employed merely as a field out of which a casual text may be culled as taste or fancy may incline; that whole chapters and books of Scripture are wrapt in such studied mystery that the very endeavor to understand them betokens rashness and folly. 

  "Secret things belong to God," says an objector.  Most certainly; and whoever insists on prying into God's secrets will only proclaim his own pride and plunge himself into profounder ignorance.  But prophecy is no secret thing; it is a thing revealed.  It is not truth over which God has drawn the veil.  It is just the opposite.  It is truth from which God has withdrawn the veil, on purpose that we may know it and profit by it.……We hear much of the difference between things essential and things non-essential; but who will undertake to draw the dividing line?  Or who will venture to affirm that the prophetic portions of the Word are its non-essentials?  Do not such truths as the advent, the resurrection, the judgment, form some of the chief scenes of prophecy; and are these non-essentials?  Strange, truly strange, that man should make such a division of the Word of God!  Stranger still, that he should make it for the purpose of excusing himself for the neglect of so large and precious a portion of revelation.  Is not the fact of its being revealed enough to show us that God thought it essential; or if not essential absolutely and with reference to salvation, at least essential relatively and as pertaining to holiness?  If a man will persist in calling it non-essential, surely he will not irreverently pronounce it unimportant?  And if it be admitted to be important, then surely all farther argument is at end.  It must be studied.  We dare not overlook or postpone the duty.

- Horatius Bonar 
From his book: Prophetic Landmarks

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Quote of the Day

Satan has now transformed himself into an angel of light, and under this fair disguise he is working with marvelous success.  He is teaching us to build the tombs of our fathers, that we may rest content with the mere approbation of their principles without any imitation of their practice.  He leads some astray into fatal error under the pretext of candor and love of truth; others he saturates with the orthodoxy of the head, that they may become Indifferent to the state of their heart before God.  Some he persuades to deny the Bible; to others he lauds it, that he may make it a substitute for the God of the Bible.  He cries up faith, that he may set it as a substitute for the object of faith.  With some he denies the possibility of assurance, that he may keep them from peace with God; with others he maintains the necessity of it, only in order that he may lead them to make a god of it, and substitute their being sure of salvation for believing in the Savior.  He cries down the Arminianism of making works our Savior, that he may lead us into the more subtle delusion of making a Savior of our faith.  He allows us a wide range of religious feeling and sentiment, if he can only succeed in making them a substitute for God.  He hinders not our being serious, earnest, solemn, if he can thereby feed the cravings of a restless, empty soul with something which may prevent us from seeking the bread of life.  He permits us to denounce the world's vanity and hollow pleasures - to be weary of its unsatisfying round of folly, that he may delude us into the idea that this dissatisfaction with the world is a proof that we are religious, and thereby cause us to sit down contented when yet a great way off from our Father's house.  He tolerates the circulation of useful, nay, of religious knowledge, that we may rest satisfied with something short of the fullness of God himself.  He may countenance, too, the routine of religious societies or Church courts, and the false excitement of crowded assemblies, eloquent speeches, glowing reports, that he may administer thereby that opiate to the soul by which it may be kept in a delusive day-dream, which seems so like the "sober certainty of waking bliss," that we cannot think of breaking the luxury of the pleasant spell.  He inculcates the necessity of providing for our children what is called a liberal education, that he may make that a substitute for a father's blessing and a mother's prayers.  He urges the obligation of Christian liberality, the necessity of large funds, that he may bring men to rest religious enterprise upon funds, not upon faith, - upon prudence, not on prayer. 

These outward things may be in themselves right and good, but what are they without the indwelling Spirit?  What is truth without the True One?  What is the perfection of Church order without the vital power from above?  - The body is there, but the living spirit has fled; the alter and the sacrifice are there, but the fire from heaven descends not; the temple is perfect and the worshippers are thronging its courts, but the glory is departed, Jehovah has left his shrine!
  - Horatius Bonar
From his book: Prophetical Landmarks

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Quote of the Day

I am consistently struck during my travels how a bond is immediately created with other believers, regardless of the cultural, ethnic, and linguistic differences between us.    In many respects, this bond is stronger than the biological bonds that exist between father and son, or mother and daughter.  In face, Jesus plainly says that his advent will break such biological bonds, and if we are not willing to forsake these natural relationships when necessary, we have no business seeking a supernatural relationship with Christ.    

- Victor Kuligin

Quote from his book:


Friday, August 4, 2017

Quote of the Day

Freedom from sin is only granted to Christians.  Paul's statement in 1 Corinthians 10:13 tells  believers that they have not been seized by any temptation that cannot be overcome.  He is not talking to non-Christians, who Paul establishes elsewhere are controlled by the sinful flesh and cannot do anything spiritually pleasing to God (Rom. 8:7-8)...."...walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh..."(Gal 5:16-17).  Again, this command is to Christians.  Unbelievers cannot "walk by the Spirit."  However, believers walking by the Spirit have the ability  to "not gratify the desires of the flesh ."  If this is true, that no temptation has ever come across a Christian that is not common to all, and that sin is nothing more than a Christian yielding to his fleshly desires, then how can addiction as commonly understood (i.e., uncontrollable urges and impulses) actually exist for believers?
......Granted, sin can certainly feel irresistible, but perhaps it feels that way because we capitulate to it far too readily.  We have not built up the essential perseverance to repel it.  We have repeatedly said yes, and like muscles that have atrophied from disuse, our spirit has become weak because we have not exercised the fortitude to resist temptation as we ought.


- Victor Kuligin
Quote from his book:
The Language of Salvation:  Discovering the Riches of What it Means to Be Saved

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Quote of the Day

As long as we treat sin as a minor category, we will always question the atoning death of the God-man to solve our problem.  Show me a person who questions the incarnation and you have shown me a person who takes the categories of sin and God's holiness rather lightly…..The second step is to belittle God.  The biblical picture of God banishing Adam and Eve from Eden for eating a piece of forbidden fruit is replaced with a God who will basically put up with anything.  He is a God more interested in sincerity than holiness, content to tolerate anything we do because he has a love affair with human free will.
….Once we have neutered God of the attribute of his holy wrath and toned down talk of sin by minimizing its dastardly effects - fashioning ourselves as good people who occasionally err - we have effectively removed the requirement for atonement.  It is then a short step to questioning the incarnation.  Why insist on God becoming human and solving a problem we are quite capable of solving ourselves?  The modern propensity to  downplay the divinity of Jesus is tied to a watered-down version of what constitutes sin, and a wishy-washy portrayal of a God too tolerant and friendly to worry about it.  


Victor Kuligin
Quote from his book:
The Language of Salvation:  Discovering the Riches of What it Means to Be Saved

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Quote of the Day

The longing to see Christ that burned in the breasts of those first Christians seems to have burned itself out.  All we have left are the ashes.  It is precisely the 'yearning' and the 'fainting' for the return of Christ that has distinguished the personal hope from the theological one.   Mere acquaintance with correct doctrine is a poor substitute for Christ and familiarity with New Testament eschatology will never take the place of a love-inflamed desire to look on His face.

If the tender yearning is gone from the advent hope today there must be a reason for it; and I think I know what it is, or what they are, for there are a number of them.  One is simply that popular fundamentalist theology has emphasized the utility of the cross rather than the beauty of the One who died on it.   The saved man's relation to Christ has been made contractual instead of personal.  The 'work' of Christ has been stressed until it has eclipsed the person of Christ.   Substitution has been allowed to supersede identification.   What He did for me seems to be more important than what He is to me.   Redemption is seen as an across-the-counter transaction which we 'accept,' and the whole thing lacks emotional content.   We must love someone very much to stay awake and long for his coming, and that may explain the absence of power in the advent hope even among those who still believe in it.  

Another reason for the absence of real yearning for Christ's return is that Christians are so comfortable in this world that they have little desire to leave it.   For those leaders who set the pace of religion and determine its content and quality, Christianity has become of late remarkably lucrative.   The streets of gold do not have too great an appeal for those who find it so easy to pile up gold and silver in the service of the Lord here on earth.   We want to reserve the hope of heaven as a kind of insurance against the day of death, but as long as, we are healthy and comfortable, why change a familiar good for something about which we actually know very little?   So reasons the carnal mind, and so subtly that we are scarcely aware of it.


Again, in these times religion has become jolly good fun right here in this present world, and what's the hurry about heaven anyway?   Christianity, contrary to what some had thought is another and higher form of entertainment.   Christ has done all the suffering.   He has shed all the tears and carried all the crosses; we have but to enjoy the benefits of His heartbreak in the form of religious pleasures modeled after the world but carried on in the name of Jesus.  So say the same people who claim to believe in Christ's second coming.

- A. W. Tozer