Tag Archive for 'Quotes'

Quotes from The Works of William Perkins, Vol. 1 – Pt. 1

This post is in the series of Book Quotes, where various quotes are posted to give the reader an idea of what the book and author are like.

William Perkins (1558-1602) is often called a father of Puritanism, being one of the early, well-known (in the 17th century) Puritan preachers. J. I. Packer writes, “No Puritan author save Richard Baxter ever sold [books] better than Perkins, and no Puritan thinker ever did more to shape and solidify historic Puritanism itself”. It’s strange that he’s not as well-known now. He may be my favorite Puritan and one of my favorite authors in any period of history.

Here are some preliminary quotes. The first few quotes are from the introduction and offer some insight into the Puritans in general.

he devised a very simple structure in preaching and writing: exposition, doctrines, reasons, and uses.

Perkins, along with many Reformers and later Puritans used this method of preaching. They would often preach through a book of the Bible, expositing a passage or verse each day. They would also explain doctrine (teaching) that goes along with it. ‘Reasons’ are why–often using question and answer format. ‘Use’ would be what we call application. I like the word use a lot better.

“The form of justification, is, as it were, a kind of translation of the believer’s sins unto Christ, and again Christ’s righteousness unto the believer, by a reciprocal or mutual imputation.” This concept of “mutual imputation” flowed directly from Perkins’s covenant theology.

Perkins was a Puritan in terms of his piety. “For the pure heart is so little regarded,” says he, “that the seeking after it is turned to a by-word, and a matter of reproach. Who are so much branded with vile terms of Puritans and Precisians, as those that most endeavor to get and keep the purity of heart in a good conscience?” Again, “The due obedience to the moral law is nick-named and termed preciseness, and the professors thereof called Puritans and Precisians, for this cause only, that they make conscience of walking in obedience to God’s law.”

The Puritans weren’t the killjoys that the sterotype would portray. They did preach and write extensively about obedience, purity of heart, and having a good conscience. They were as much maligned for that back then as some are now.

‘The term experimental comes from the Latin verb experior—“to know by experience.”’
Many use the word experiential, which is more understandable to people unfamiliar with the terminology.

hurliburlies – noisy confusion – I’m not making that up. He only used it once.

mammonists – those who are greedy, among other things – I think this term should be resurrected.

sanctification or renewed holiness, whereby we are enabled to walk before God in new obedience, bringing forth the fruits of righteousness.” He uses this term more often for initial renewal than continued growth. I would look further into this.

I have some interesting quotes on affliction and the Sermon on the Mount coming up. This is one of the best books I’ve read in quite a while. The hardcover is expensive, but a lot of work went into editing it which is a big help. I bought the Kindle version at a reduced price. I plan on getting Volume 2 which is an exposition of Galatians. Thankfully the Kindle version is the standard $9.99.

The Works of William Perkins Volume 1

God’s Grace Towards Everyone

This is a great quote by Michael Horton. Many are led to believe that if one becomes a believer, their life will get better. I suppose it depends on what one means by ‘life’.

‘Out of the lavishness displayed in the marvelous variety and richness of creation itself, God continues to pour out his common blessings on all people. Therefore we neither hoard possessions as if God’s gifts were scarce nor deny ourselves pleasures as if God were stingy. Believers and unbelievers alike share in the common joys of childbirth and childhood, friendship and romance, marriage and family. Unlike life under the old covenant theocracy, there is no guarantee in this time between Christ’s two advents that the lives of Christians will go better than those of non-Christians. The promise, rather, is that even calamities cannot frustrate God’s salvation of his elect, but, on the contrary, are turned to our ultimate good. [Romans 8:28-29]

It is always dangerous to interpret one’s temporal circumstances as a sign either of God’s favor or of his displeasure. […] However, believers have no right to God’s common grace any more than they do to his saving grace. God remains free to Show compassion on whomever he will, even to give breath, health, prosperity, and friends to those who breathe threats against him. The psalmist never resolves this paradox philosophically, but eschatologically—that is, by entering God’s sanctuary and recognizing that the temporal pleasures of the ungodly conceal their ultimate doom, while the saints’ temporal struggles conceal their ultimate glory: “You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. . . . My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:24, 26).’

–Michael Horton, The Christian Faith, pg 352

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

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

Timothy Keller on Prayer – Part 2 of 2

Here are eleven quotes from his book on Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God. This is the best book I’ve read on prayer so far. It’s something I like to read about regularly.

[Prayer is] A personal, communicative response to the knowledge of God.

What is prayer, then, in its fullest sense? Prayer is continuing a conversation that God has started through his Word and his grace, which eventually becomes a full encounter with him.

It is remarkable that in all of his writings Paul’s prayers for his friends contain no appeals for changes in their circumstances. … He does not see prayer as merely a way to get things from God but as a way to get more of God himself. Prayer is a striving to ‘take hold of God’ (Isa. 64:7) the way in ancient times people took hold of the cloak of a great man as they appealed to him, or the way in modern times we embrace someone to show love.

Our prayers should arise out of immersion in the Scripture. [We] speak only to the degree we are spoken to. … The wedding of the Bible and prayer anchors your life down in the real God.

We must be able to existentially access our doctrinal convictions. If doctrinal soundness is not accompanied by heart experience, it will eventually lead to nominal Christianity—that is, in name only—and eventually to nonbelief. The irony is that many conservative Christians, most concerned about conserving true and sound doctrine, neglect the importance of prayer and make no effort to experience God, and this can lead to the eventual loss of sound doctrine. … Christianity without real experience of God will eventually be no Christianity at all.)

God will either give us what we ask or give us what we would have asked if we knew everything he knows.

If God’s words are his personal, active presence, then to put your trust in God’s words is to put your trust in God.

Prayer is the way that truth is worked into your heart to create new instincts, reflexes, and dispositions.

If I am in denial about my own weakness and sin, there will be a concomitant blindness to the greatness and glory of God.

We should remember Augustine’s letter to Anicia. There he says, in short, that you should not begin to pray for all you want until you realize that in God you have all you need. That is, unless we know that God is the one thing we truly need, our petitions and supplications may become, simply, forms of worry and lust. We can use prayer as just another way to pursue many things that we want too much.

It takes pride to be anxious, to know how my life should go.

“we should lay before God, as part of our prayer, the reasons why we think that what we ask for is the best thing.” This is an insightful and practical idea. [Packer’s ‘arguing with God in prayer’. –Packer and Nystrom, Praying: Finding Our Way] … This means embedding theological reasoning in our prayers.

Also see: Timothy Keller on Prayer – Part 1

Me, Myself and The Holy Spirit

Some Christians have a disdain for commentaries, scholars, books, and even Bible teachers. I used to dislike study Bibles, because the notes were “just someone else’s opinion.” Although what bothered me the most is when people viewed the notes as if they were part of the Bible, which is another matter.

I came to my senses and have read through many commentaries in their entirety. They are just one man’s “opinion”, but that person has been gifted by God to help people read and understand the Bible better, fallible as they may be, as opposed to Scripture (so I’m not misunderstood).

It’s very arrogant (as Spurgeon says) and dangerous for people to think that they can interpret and apply Scripture just by themselves and with the Holy Spirit. Some of them have commented on this blog, but may have been offended too many times by quotes like the ones below. The Holy Spirit is our great teacher, among so many other things, but God has designed the church to have various parts to help each other learn and grow together. See what these two people have to say.

While we turn to the Holy Spirit throughout the process of interpretation, we still have our work cut out for us. There are things that the Spirit does not do. The Spirit does not give out new revelation on par with Scripture, guarantee that our interpretations are infallible, or give insights that no one else has ever had and with which no one will ever agree. The Spirit does not miraculously enable us to read biblical Greek and Hebrew and analyze it grammatically without having studied those languages. Above all, the Spirit does not force us to obey God in applying Scripture to our lives.

–Craig Blomberg, A Handbook of New Testament Exegesis

In order to be able to expound the Scriptures, and as an aid to your pulpit studies, you will need to be familiar with the commentators: a glorious army, let me tell you, whose acquaintance will be your delight and profit. Of course, you are not such wiseacres as to think or say that you can expound Scripture without assistance from the works of divines and learned men who have laboured before you in the field of exposition. If you are of that opinion, pray remain so, for you are not worth the trouble of conversion, and like a little coterie who think with you, would resent the attempt as an insult to your infallibility. It seems odd, that certain men who talk so much of what the Holy Spirit reveals to themselves, should think so little of what he has revealed to others. My chat this afternoon is not for these great originals, but for you who are content to learn of holy men, taught of God, and mighty in the Scriptures. It has been the fashion of late years to speak against the use of commentaries. If there were any fear that the expositions of Matthew Henry, Gill, Scott, and others, would be exalted into Christian Targums, we would join the chorus of objectors, but the existence or approach of such a danger we do not suspect. The temptations of our times lie rather in empty pretensions to novelty of sentiment, than in a slavish following of accepted guides. A respectable acquaintance with the opinions of the giants of the past, might have saved many an erratic thinker from wild interpretations and outrageous inferences. Usually, we have found the despisers of commentaries to be men who have no sort of acquaintance with them; in their case, it is the opposite of familiarity which has bred contempt.

–C.H. Spurgeon Commenting & Commentaries—Lecture 1

And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head–Christ. From Him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part.
Ephesians 4:11-16 HCSB

Blogging Break

I have been and will continue a bit of a blogging break. I’m not on vacation or anything (so don’t come and steal our stuff), just would rather be reading and working on some other things. I’m sure I’ll be back with a vengeance at some point, and I’m sure you’ll be fine without some posts. I still plan on doing a series on Christian sayings, beyond just poking fun at them, along with some quotes from John Owen and tips on spending less time on the internet. I will give you some quotes which might go together, which will offend some and edify others.

God chooses us not because he foresees that we will choose him but in order that we would choose him.

–Burk Parsons

He that perishes chooses to perish; but he that is saved is saved because God has chosen to save him.

–Charles Spurgeon

It is absurd to think anything in us could have the least influence upon our election. Some say that God did foresee that such persons would believe and therefore did choose them; so they would make the business of salvation to depend upon something in us. Whereas God does not choose us FOR faith, but TO faith. ‘He hath chosen us, that we should be holy’ (Eph. 1:4), not because we would be holy, but that we might be holy. We are elected to holiness, not for it.

–Thomas Watson, All Things For Good, Puritan Paperbacks

God first gives us holiness and then rewards us for it. [This reminds me of Calvin’s Institutes.] The prize is awarded to the flower at the flower show, but the gardener raised it.

–Charles Haddon Spurgeon, found in the One Year Book of Psalms, February 1, Psalm 18:20

Am I a Quotist?

I wonder if I post too many quotes in this blog. This post made me think:
Quote Mania and Sola Scriptura

It so happens that a while ago I thought maybe I should never post a quote by itself. I should always give some commentary on how it impacts me or how it changed my thinking or at least put some Scripture with it if necessary. It’s easy to post a bunch of quotes.

I think the material matters. I’ve posted a lot of quotes regarding Bible reading, personal worship and others where people thanked me for the reminder of whatever it was. If it’s something sectarian (if that’s the right word), like creationism, young earth or Calvinism, then I’m just preaching to the choir or ticking people off and get comments from people who agree with me. If it’s just a quote that I happen to like but isn’t that meaningful, it’s probably a waste of time and only generates some stats.

I like using quotes within a larger post and feel they’re valuable and ad some credibility, maybe.

If you were able to read that article, what do you think?

Blah blah blah. Yada yada yada.

Social Media Quotes

Normally these would be called Twitter Quotes but two of them came via Facebook.

God does not dwell on your sin the way you do. Relax and rejoice.

Tullian Tchividjian

This was retweeted like crazy. He added this Scripture in another similar quote. I use ESV because he would.

2 Cor 5:19 ESV
that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.

Modesty is rarely seen in this generation of Christians. Many who claim Christ are as uncovered, lewd, and brazen as the world.

–Paul Washer
HT: Alondra on FB

Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it. Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life, and you will save it.

–C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, quoted by Randy Alcorn on Facebook

Me writing:
I’ve noticed that sometimes when a Christian non-fiction author tries to be original, they’re probably going off the track of “mere Christianity” and trying to come up with something that’s neither Scriptural or in agreement with the gifted scholars and thinkers in the church throughout the ages. Not that there isn’t anything to be uncovered and/or discovered through anthropology, advances in linguistics, etc.

On a much smaller level, it can apply to something like photography. If I’m only trying to be original and impress others with that and not just shooting what I love “in it’s best light” as I put it, then I may be aiming for the wrong thing. Just doing what I love within what little talent God has given me will produce results that end up being the most satisfying.

From the Twittersphere – Week Ending Jan 15 from @NWBingham

Twitter Quotes

Here are some quotes from Twitter that I like. Most of these were Retweeted by people I follow (not a lot) and were originally Tweeted by the author except the book quote. I’ve filled out words that were truncated. I hope you don’t mind some commentary.

Comments always welcome.

Jesus Christ is greater than the Bible. But diminishing the Bible for the sake of Christ always loses Christ.

–John Piper

Why does it take so much stuff (lights, instruments, good singers) for us to be excited about Christ?

–David Platt

Our willingness to make others a success is a great measure of the purity of our ambitions.

–Dave Harvey, Rescuing Ambition – Looks like a good book; interview with author at link. I have a friend who has this attitude towards me. When he first expressed it I was at a loss. This is a good model for our marriages.

We know it’s wrong to worship immorality—but it’s also wrong to worship morality.

–Tullian Tchividjian

Resting on God’s grace does not relieve us of our holy obligations; rather it should enable us to fulfill them.

–Bryan Chapell

So many pastors guilt their congregation into doing good (like “tithing” 10% to the church they attend, which I just heard Charles Stanley say), which only makes for a temporary commitment, and always making the right decisions (which he also said, but it is part of being obedient) but leave out the grace part which is the work of the Holy Spirit helping us to want to do good in the first place (Phil 2:13) whether it’s serving or spiritual disciplines, and then enabling us to do it (2 Cor 9:8). It’s our job to pray for this (John 16:24) and to be obedient (1 Pet 1:15-16). (I’m sure there’s a better one than John 16:24 for this application.)

The pursuit of holiness must be anchored in, and motivated by, the grace of God; otherwise it is doomed to failure.

–Tullian Tchividjian, quoting Jerry Bridges?

To say something good about Charles Stanley–I heard him explain the Gospel in a very straightforward, Biblical way and was mesmerized. It was great.

Quotes on 1 Corinthians 2:2

I thought I would pull together all the quotes from the comments in yesterday’s post. If you have others let me know.

1 Corinthians 2:2
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

C.K. Barrett:

Of all the epistles, those to the Corinthians are most full of Christian paradox–of strength that is perfect in weakness (…); and the heart of the paradox is the preaching of the feeble and stupid message of the crucified Christ, which nevertheless proves to have a power and a wisdom no human eloquence possesses, since it is the power and wisdom of God himself.

F.F. Bruce:

Paul’s insistence on ‘knowing nothing’ among the Corinthians ‘except Jesus Christ and him crucified’ (1 Corinthians 2:2) had some regard to the intellectual climate of the city. As he came to know something of the Corinthians’ reverence for the current wisdom, he stressed that element in the gospel for which current wisdom could have no place: what more abject spectacle of folly and helplessness could be imagined than a crucified man? A crucified deliverer was to Greeks an absurd contradiction in terms, just as to Jews a crucified Messiah was a piece of scandalous blasphemy. But as Paul persisted in preaching Jesus as the crucified Saviour and sin-bearer, the unexpected happened: pagans, as well as Jews and God-fearers, believed the message and found their lives transformed by a new, liberating power, which broke the stranglehold of selfishness and vice and purified them from within. The message of Christ crucified had thus accomplished something which no body of Greek philosophic teaching could have done for them.

John Calvin:

In adding the word crucified, he does not mean that he preached nothing respecting Christ except the cross; but that, with all the abasement of the cross, he nevertheless preached Christ. It is as though he had said: ‘The ignominy of the cross will not prevent me from looking up to him from whom salvation comes, or make me ashamed to regard all my wisdom as comprehended in him — in him, I say, whom proud men despise and reject on account of the reproach of the cross.’ Hence the statement must be explained in this way: ‘No kind of knowledge was in my view of so much importance as to lead me to desire anything but Christ, crucified though he was.

Gordon Fee:

The ‘for’ that begins this sentence is explanatory; Paul is offering reasons for the behavior outlined in v. 1. (…) ‘To know nothing’ does not mean that he left all other knowledge aside, but rather that he had the gospel, with its crucified Messiah, as his singular focus and passion while he was among them.

David Garland:

…he [Paul] was content to be identified as a know-nothing who preached foolishness: Jesus Christ crucified. But announcing the gospel was his sole focus, and the cross molded his entire message and his whole approach. It was not a new development arising from some previous failure (cf. Acts 17:22-31) but his standard procedure everywhere* (cf. 1 Thess. 2:1-10; Gal. 3:1). Jesus Christ can only be preached as the crucified one, and no one can preach Christ crucified to win personal renowon.

R.C. Sproul:

he [Paul] told the Corinthians he had determined to know nothing except Christ crucified. Clearly Paul was determined to know all kinds of things besides the person and work of Jesus. He wanted to teach the Corinthians about the deep things of the character and nature of God the Father. He planned to instruct them about the person and work of the Holy Spirit, about Christian ethics, and about many other things that go beyond the immediate scope of Christ’s work on the cross. So why, then, did he say this? The answer is obvious. Paul was saying that in all of his teaching, in all of his preaching, in all of his missionary activity, the central point of importance was the cross.

Pride and Humility

CAMPONTHIS has a nice post on Pride and Humility with some quotes and lots of Scripture. It’s a fairly quick read and going through the Scripture is invaluable.

I will add one more quote:

The utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison. It was through Pride that the devil became the devil. Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.

–C.S. Lewis, quoted in The International Dictionary of Thoughts, 584