Archive by Author

The Cathedral of Christianity

18 Oct

In our reckless attempt to make Christianity popular by making it “practical,” we invariably vandalize it by stripping it of its inherent beauty and mystery… We make it practical by adapting it to the assumed values of the wider culture. We figure out what people want, and then offer them a Christianized version of it. We do it in the name of church growth, but it is really the betrayal of a sacred trust. It would be like turning Saint Paul’s Cathedral into a shopping mall to increase traffic…

Christianity is a vast and enormous cathedral built around the astonishing and seminal confession that Jesus is Lord. But most of us worship in particular chapels – whether Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, Protestant, Evangelical, Pentecostal. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as long as we don’t confuse the chapel for the cathedral.

brian_zahndBrian Zahnd

Beauty Will Save the World (2012), Zondervan, 71, 167,175.



14 Oct

Don’t Mix the Covenants

11 Oct

God makes it very clear that the two covenants are not to be mixed: “Cast out the bondwoman and her son” (Gal 4:30)… The old covenant operated by principles, the new covenant by promise… The distinction between principles and promise also explains why the Apostle Paul chose not to preach anything to the Corinthians other than “Christ, and him crucified” (1 Cor 2:2). That puzzled me somewhat as I thought of all the wonderful Old Testament truths that were readily available to Paul. He could easily have preached Proverbs with all its wisdom. He could have preached Psalms with its varied and creative expressions of intimacy. Or he could have explored the many lessons learned from the history of Israel. Yet he focused completely on his message on Christ crucified. Why? Because Christ’s death and resurrection represent the highest and most climactic revelation of God’s entire design. It is God’s bringing life out of death and something out of nothing according to his purpose. That really is gospel!

Dudley_HallDudley Hall

Grace Works, Vine Books, 1992, 128-9.


Behavior Modification

7 Oct


Uncontainable Love

30 Sep

Faith and Repentance

27 Sep

These two things act and react upon each other: the man who is forgiven, therefore repents; and the man who repents is most assuredly forgiven. Remember first, that forgiveness leads to repentance… Repentance grows as faith grows… Faith and repentance are but two spokes in the same wheel, two handles of the same plough… Do not regard your repentance is the cause of your remission, but as the companion of it. Do not expect to be able to repent until you see the grace of our Lord Jesus…

SpurgeonCharles Spurgeon (1834-1892)

All of Grace, Trinity Press, 2011, 91-93.



23 Sep


20 Sep

Ephesians 5:8: “For you were once the darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.” a good paraphrase would be, “You once were a worm; now you are a butterfly. Fly like a butterfly!”

Bob_GeorgeBob George

Classic Christianity, Harvest House, 1989, 75.


Magnum Opus

16 Sep

Doing Nothing for Jesus

13 Sep

A few weeks ago I heard a story about a Navy Search and Rescue swimmer who went to the aid of a downed aviator. The aviator began to flail and flounder making the situation dangerous for both himself and his would-be rescuer. The rescue swimmer responded by diving down deeper into the water to get away and to wait for the aviator to give up struggling. In other words, he withdrew from the scene until the aviator exhausted himself.

This is exactly how it is with us and Jesus. We are saved by trusting in him, and we must do nothing to help. Trying to help only makes things worse and leaves us exhausted. And yet, we try. Ever since Adam took up sewing to hide his sin, it has been the nature of the flesh to take control and try and fix things. I can save myself from drowning. This is why we should thank God for the magnificent law which reveals the hopelessness of our situation. But you’re in the middle of the ocean! You can’t swim that far. And then thank him even more for good news of his grace that saves us. Jesus the Savior is here. Stop struggling and submit to his righteousness.

Paul_EllisPaul Ellis

The Gospel in Ten Words, KingsPress, 2012, 93.

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