Archive for the 'Book Quotes' Category

Quotes from Walking with God through Pain and Suffering

Walking with God through Pain and Suffering by Timothy Keller is one of the best books I’ve read on the subject.

Christianity teaches that, contra fatalism, suffering is overwhelming; contra Buddhism, suffering is real; contra karma, suffering is often unfair; but contra secularism, suffering is meaningful. There is a purpose to it, and if faced rightly, it can drive us like a nail deep into the love of God and into more stability and spiritual power than you can imagine.

A note that I wrote in the book in pretty much my own words: “In our praying, we’re often trying to only eliminate suffering, instead of also asking for it to have meaningful spiritual value.”

While Christianity was able to agree with pagan writers that inordinate attachment to earthly goods can lead to unnecessary pain and grief, it also taught that the answer to this was not to love things less but to love God more than anything else. Only when our greatest love is God, a love that we cannot lose even in death, can we face all things with peace.

On the cross, he went beyond even the worst human suffering and experienced cosmic rejection and a pain that exceeds ours as infinitely as his knowledge and power exceeds ours. There is no greater inner agony than the loss of a love relationship. We cannot imagine, however, what it would be like to lose not just a human relationship that has lasted for some years but the infinite love of the Father that Jesus had from all eternity. The separation would have been infinitely unbearable. And so Jesus experienced Godforsakenness itself on the cross when he cried out, “My God, my God! Why have you forsaken me?”

Suffering is actually at the heart of the Christian story.

Suffering tends to make you self-absorbed. If it is seen as mainly about you and your own growth, it will strangle you truly. Instead, we must look at suffering–whatever the proximate causes–as primarily a way to get to know God better, as an opening for serving, resembling, and drawing near to him as never before.

But resurrection is not just consolation — it is restoration. We get it all back — the love, the loved ones, the goods, the beauties of this life — but in new, unimaginable degrees of glory and joy and strength.

We question how God is running the world. Does that make sense?

Christian peace does not start with the ousting of negative thinking. If you do that, you may simply be refusing to face how bad things are. That is one way to calm yourself – by refusing to admit the facts. But it will be short lived peace! Christian peace doesn’t start that way. It is not that you stop facing the facts, but you get a living power that comes into your life and enables you to face those realities, something that lifts you up over and through them.

Regarding that last quote, see Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled by D. Martin Lloyd-Jones.

Quotes from The Person of Jesus by Gresham Machen

Here are some quotes from the book The Person of Jesus: Radio Addresses on the Deity of the Savior by Gresham Machen. This is a very short book of a series of radio addresses given in 1935. This post is under the new category of Book Quotes, which gives you a sample of a recently read book. See the last quote for some humor.

So it is when we try to think of God as eternal. If the word “infinity” is related, by way of contrast, to the notion of space, so the word “eternity” is related, by way of contrast, to the notion of time. When we say that God is eternal, we mean that he had no beginning and that he will have no end. But we really mean more than that. We mean that time has no meaning for him, save as it has meaning to the creatures whom he has made. He created time when he created finite creatures. He himself is beyond time. There is no past and no future to him. The Bible puts that in poetical language when it says: “For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night” (Ps 90:4). We of course are obliged to think of the actions of God as taking place in time. We are obliged to think of him as doing one thing after another thing; we are obliged to think of him as doing this today and that tomorrow. We have a perfect right so to think, and the Bible amply confirms us in that right. To us there is indeed such a thing as past and present and future, and when God deals with us he acts in a truly temporal series. But to God himself all things are equally present. There is no such thing as “before” or “after” to him.

Jesus does not present himself merely as an example for faith but presents himself as the object of faith.

And therefore to apparel [put on] ourself with Christ is none other thing than to believe assuredly that Christ is ours.

“Why does this man speak like that?” they said. “He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Mark 2:7). They were right. None can forgive sins but God only. Jesus was a blasphemer if he was a mere man. At that point the enemies saw clearly. You may accept the lofty claims of Jesus. You may take him as very God. Or else you must reject him as a miserable, deluded enthusiast. There is really no middle ground. Jesus refuses to be pressed into the mold of a mere religious teacher.

If the Jesus of the Gospels were a purely natural and not a supernatural person, then we should have no difficulty in believing that such a person lived in the first century of our era. Even skeptics would have no difficulty in believing it. Defenders of the faith would have an easy victory indeed. Everybody would believe. But then there would be one drawback. It would be this: the thing that everybody would believe would not be worth believing.

The bottom of the next quote is the most humorous I’ve read in a Christian book in a long time.

Those first disciples of Jesus [supposedly] became convinced that Jesus had risen from the dead because they experienced certain hallucinations, certain pathological experiences in which they thought they saw Jesus before their eyes when in reality there was nothing there. In an hallucination, the optic nerve is really affected but it is affected not by light rays coming from an external object, but by some pathological condition of the bodily organism of the subject himself. This is the so-called “vision theory” regarding the origin of the Christian church. It has held the field among unbelievers inside of the church and outside of the church since the days of Strauss about one hundred years ago. I think we ought to understand just exactly what that vision theory means. It means that the Christian church is founded upon a pathological experience of certain persons in the first century of our era. It means that if there had been a good neurologist for Peter and the others to consult there never would have been a Christian church.

The Person of Jesus

Also find it at: Westminster Bookstore

Quotes From ‘Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow’

I’ve seen some blogs where they have 20 short quotes from each book the blog writer reads. I’m not into round numbers or always having to have a formula, and only want to post quotes I really like, but I like this idea of posting multiple quotes from books that have been read through. Anyone who frequents this little corner of cyberspace knows that I like posting quotes. I try to put some of my own commentary in there, and often mix authors with quotes of the same subject, along with Scripture. But posting a few random quotes might give you more of an idea of what a book is like.

I’ve made a new Category called Book Quotes. We’ll see how it goes. I may try to do some other recent books. See below for how I extract longer quotes in paper books.

These are from Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow, by Nancie Guthrie.

When we feel disappointed by the spiritual nature of the fulfillment of God’s promises to heal us, it reveals the truth about what we think about our sin. We don’t really see our sin as that big of an issue. As we compare ourselves to those around us, we think we’re pretty good. We think of our sin problem as more like a case of the sniffles than a terminal disease.

Our disappointment also reveals that we don’t value the eternal promises of God as much as we want him to fix what we see as our most significant problems. What we really want from him is to give us everything he has promised us here and now. We think that physical life on this earth—the length of it and the quality of it—is of ultimate importance. We have a hard time grasping the signficance and the reality of the life to come.*

Pages 37-38

Honestly, I’ve come to think that looking for a specific answer to the question Why? is mostly an unsatisfying quest. What we really are in search of is not an explanation but a sense of meaning. We want to know that there is some meaning and purpose in our losses—that they are not random or worthless.

We want to see the ways God is using our loss for good. Sometimes God, in his goodness, draws back the curtain and I shows us; we can see how he is using our loss in our lives or in l the lives of those around us. And other times we have to wait. Certainly we can never expect to see the complete purposes of God in this life.

Page 88

To forgive, we need confident faith to believe that the satisfaction of being pleasing to God will be greater than the enjoyment of putting that person in his place, forcing her to see her selfishness, mining her reputation, him hurt like he has hurt you.

Page 103

The chapter on forgiveness was unexpectedly good.

Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow

For putting longer quotes in a blog post, instead of typing them out, I use an OCR app on my phone. Since I’m always having to lie down, it’s very difficult to type out quotes. I use OCR Instantly Free for Android. A photo is taken from within the app, the text is cropped, then ‘enhanced’, which just makes it very high contrast, then it does the magic of Optical Character Recognition. I then email it to myself or send it to Evernote. Since there are hard line breaks, I go to Remove Line Breaks Online Tool, correct a few errors (you may see a mistake or two–let me know), and that’s it. Probably more work than typing, but easier for me.

If it’s a Puritan paper book, I’ll look for a digital version of it to copy and paste, or if it’s a popular book, it may already be online. The Epub format, which I like to read on my phone, is the easiest to copy text from because they are all on my computer.

*Also see: What Providence Isn’t | Scripture Zealot blog