Sovereignty Of God Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Sovereignty Of God. Here they are! All 200 of them:

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The greatness of the man's power is the measure of his surrender.
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William Booth
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There is no such thing as a great man of God, only weak, pitiful, faithless men of a great and merciful God.
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Paul David Washer
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Most Christians salute the sovereignty of God but believe in the sovereignty of man.
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R.C. Sproul
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Man approaches God most nearly when he is in one sense least like God. For what can be more unlike than fullness and need, sovereignty and humility, righteousness and penitence, limitless power and a cry for help?
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C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)
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The key to Christian living is a thirst and hunger for God. And one of the main reasons people do not understand or experience the sovereignty of grace and the way it works through the awakening of sovereign joy is that their hunger and thirst for God is so small.
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John Piper
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There is hope in forgiveness
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John Piper (A Sweet and Bitter Providence: Sex, Race, and the Sovereignty of God)
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Prayer is not overcoming God's reluctance. It is laying hold of His willingness.
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Martin Luther
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He has chosen not to heal me, but to hold me. The more intense the pain, the closer His embrace.
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Joni Eareckson Tada (A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty)
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God is not an employer looking for employees. He is an Eagle looking for people who will take refuge under his wings. He is looking for people who will leave father and mother and homeland or anything else that may hold them back from a life of love under the wings of Jesus.
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John Piper (A Sweet and Bitter Providence: Sex, Race, and the Sovereignty of God)
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Life is not a straight line leading from one blessing to the next and then finally to heaven. Life is a winding and troubled road. Switchback after switchback. And the point of biblical stories like Joseph and Job and Esther and Ruth is to help us feel in our bones (not just know in our heads) that God is for us in all these strange turns. God is not just showing up after the trouble and cleaning it up. He is plotting the course and managing the troubles with far-reaching purposes for our good and for the glory of Jesus Christ.
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John Piper (A Sweet and Bitter Providence: Sex, Race, and the Sovereignty of God)
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If there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose, totally free of God’s sovereignty, then we have no guarantee that a single promise of God will ever be fulfilled.
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R.C. Sproul (Chosen By God: Know God's Perfect Plan for His Glory and His Children)
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Prayer is not an attempt to get God to agree with you or provide for your selfish desires, but that it is both an affirmation of His sovereignty, righteousness, and majesty and an exercise to conform your desires and purposes to His will and Glory
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John F. MacArthur Jr. (Alone With God (MacArthur Study Series))
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Men will allow God to be everywhere but on his throne. They will allow him to be in his workshop to fashion worlds and make stars. They will allow Him to be in His almonry to dispense His alms and bestow his bounties. they will allow Him to sustain the earth and bear up the pillars thereof, or light the lamps of heaven, or rule the waves of the ever-moving ocean; but when God ascends Hes throne, His creatures then gnash their teeth. And we proclaim an enthroned God, and His right to do as He wills with His own, to dispose of His creatures as He thinks well, without consulting them in the matter; then it is that we are hissed and execrated, and then it is that men turn a deaf ear to us, for God on His throne is not the God they love. But it is God upon the throne that we love to preach. It is God upon His throne whom we trust.
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Charles Haddon Spurgeon
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God's relationship with man does not work in a way in which man stumbles and then God has to drop what he is doing in order to lift him up; rather, man stumbles so that God can lift him up. Hence it is utterly impossible to truly diminish his glory.
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Criss Jami (Killosophy)
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Every sin is an act of cosmic treason, a futile attempt to dethrone God in His sovereign authority.
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R.C. Sproul (The Holiness of God)
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Trying to figure out God is like trying to catch a fish in the Pacific Ocean with an inch of dental floss.
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Matt Chandler (The Explicit Gospel)
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When we complain about the weather, we are, in reality, murmuring against God.
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Arthur W. Pink
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That's the excitement in obedience, finding out later what God had in mind.
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Brother Andrew (God's Smuggler)
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God will not hold us responsible to understand the mysteries of election, predestination, and the divine sovereignty. The best and safest way to deal with these truths is to raise our eyes to God and in deepest reverence say, "0 Lord, Thou knowest." Those things belong to the deep and mysterious Profound of God's omniscience. Prying into them may make theologians, but it will never make saints.
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A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God: The Human Thirst for the Divine)
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There is no broader way to apostasy than to reject God’s sovereignty in all things concerning the revelation of himself and our obedience...
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John Owen
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You start to live when you commit your life to cause higher than yourself. You must learn to depend on divine power for the fulfillment of a higher calling.
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Lailah GiftyAkita
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Our duty is found in the revealed will of God in the Scriptures. Our trust must be in the sovereign will of God as He works in the ordinary circumstances of our daily lives for our good and His glory.
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Jerry Bridges (Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts)
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To say that God's sovereignty is limited by man's freedom is to make man sovereign.
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R.C. Sproul
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God is more interested in declaring than explaining.
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Matt Chandler (The Explicit Gospel)
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God can make good use of all that happens, but the loss is real.
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C.S. Lewis (Perelandra (The Space Trilogy, #2))
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It has to do with seeing God. β€œBlessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).
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John Piper (A Sweet and Bitter Providence: Sex, Race, and the Sovereignty of God)
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A young woman asked the great preacher Charles Spurgeon if it was possible to reconcile God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility. β€œYoung woman,” said he. β€œYou don’t reconcile friends
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Elisabeth Elliot (Discipline: The Glad Surrender)
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Sin is cosmic treason. Sin is treason against a perfectly pure Sovereign. It is an act of supreme ingratitude toward the One to whom we owe everything, to the One who has given us life itself. Have you ever considered the deeper implications of the slightest sin, of the most minute peccadillo? What are we saying to our Creator when we disobey Him at the slightest point? We are saying no to the righteousness of God. We are saying, β€œGod, Your law is not good. My judgement is better than Yours. Your authority does not apply to me. I am above and beyond Your jurisdiction. I have the right to do what I want to do, not what You command me to do.
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R.C. Sproul (The Holiness of God)
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What defines us as Christians is not most profoundly that we have come to know him but that he took note of us and made us his own.
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John Piper (Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God)
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God often grants in a moment what He has long denied.
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Thomas Γ  Kempis (The Imitation of Christ)
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Fans mistake knowledge OF Jesus for intimacy WITH Jesus.
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Kyle Idleman (Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus)
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Always turn to God in the midst of your struggle and view people who offended you as an instruments of divine sovereignty.
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John C. Maxwell
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If my words don't flow out of a heart that rests in God's control, sovereignty, then they come out of the heart that seeks control so I can get what I want.
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Mark Driscoll (Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together)
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That which should distinguish the suffering of believers from unbelievers is the confidence that our suffering is under the control of an all-powerful and all-loving God. Our suffering has meaning and purpose in God's eternal plan, and He brings or allows to come into our lives only that which is for His glory and our good.
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Jerry Bridges (Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts)
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Taken as a whole, the story of Ruth is one of those signs. It was written to give us encouragement and hope that all the perplexing turns in our lives are going somewhere good. They do not lead off a cliff. In all the setbacks of our lives as believers, God is plotting for our joy.
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John Piper (A Sweet and Bitter Providence: Sex, Race, and the Sovereignty of God)
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We are more than a collection of appetites - we are of God.
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John Piper (A Sweet and Bitter Providence: Sex, Race, and the Sovereignty of God)
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Guidance, like all God's acts of blessing under the covenant of grace, is a sovereign act. Not merely does God will to guide us in the sense of showing us his way, that we may tread it; he wills also to guide us in the more fundamental sense of ensuring that, whatever happens, whatever mistakes we may make, we shall come safely home. Slippings and strayings there will be, no doubt, but the everlasting arms are beneath us; we shall be caught, rescued, restored. This is God's promise; this is how good he is.
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J.I. Packer (Knowing God)
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He who is able to accept everything gladly from the Lord - including darkness, dryness, flatness - and completely disregard self is he who lives for Him." -
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Watchman Nee
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. . .but he'd seen elite warriors go down in flames enough times to struggle with the sovereignty of God yet yield to it
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Ronie Kendig (Trinity: Military War Dog (A Breed Apart, # 1))
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When God is our Holy Father, sovereignty, holiness, omniscience, and immutability do not terrify us; they leave us full of awe and gratitude. Sovereignty is only tyrannical if it is unbounded by goodness; holiness is only terrifying if it is untempered by grace; omniscience is only taunting if it is unaccompanied by mercy; and immutability is only torturous if there is no guarantee of goodwill.
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Ravi Zacharias
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The clearest sensation that a human being has when he experiences the holy is an overpowering and overwhelming sense of creatureliness. That is, when we are in the presence of God, we are humbled and become most aware of ourselves as creatures. This is the opposite of Satan's original temptation, "You shall be as gods.
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R.C. Sproul (The Holiness of God)
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If there is one single reason why good people turn evil, it is because they fail to recognize God’s ownership over their kingdom, their vocation, their resources, their abilities, and above all their lives.
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Erwin W. Lutzer (When You've Been Wronged: Moving From Bitterness to Forgiveness)
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The Lord is kind. He is good to all who take refuge under his wings.
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John Piper (A Sweet and Bitter Providence: Sex, Race, and the Sovereignty of God)
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Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord's will, whatever it may be.
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Answers To Prayer
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You may break the clods, you may sow your seeds, but what can you do without the rain? As absolutely needful is the divine blessing.
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Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening, Based on the English Standard Version)
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The evil and suffering in this world are greater than any of us can comprehend. But evil and suffering are not ultimate. God is. Satan, the great lover of evil and suffering, is not sovereign. God is.
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John Piper (Suffering and the Sovereignty of God)
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What's simple is that everything good comes from God, and everything bad comes from man. Where it gets complicated is that everything seemingly good but ultimately bad comes from man, and everything seemingly bad but ultimately good comes from God.
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Criss Jami (Healology)
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The majority of problems on this planet are the result of the idea that humans are not sovereign and autonomous, but property owned by primitive Gods and incompetent governments.
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Christopher S. Hyatt (Rebels and Devils: The Psychology of Liberation (Revised) (Revised))
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What about me?’ said Grantaire. β€˜I’m here.’ β€˜You?’ β€˜Yes, me.’ β€˜You? Rally Republicans! You? In defence of principles, fire up hearts that have grown cold!’ β€˜Why not?’ β€˜Are you capable of being good for something?’ β€˜I have the vague ambition to be,’ said Grantaire. β€˜You don’t believe in anything.’ β€˜I believe in you.’ β€˜Grantaire, will you do me a favour?’ β€˜Anything. Polish your boots.’ β€˜Well, don’t meddle in our affairs. Go and sleep off the effects of your absinthe.’ β€˜You’re heartless, Enjolras.’ β€˜As if you’d be the man to send to the Maine gate! As if you were capable of it!’ β€˜I’m capable of going down Rue des GrΓ¨s, crossing Place St-Michel, heading off along Rue Monsieur-le-Prince, taking Rue de Vaugirard, passing the Carmelite convent, turning into Rue d’Assas, proceeding to Rue du Cherche-Midi, leaving the Military Court behind me, wending my way along Rue des Vieilles-Tuileries, striding across the boulevard, following ChaussΓ©e du Maine, walking through the toll-gate and going into Richefeu’s. I’m capable of that. My shoes are capable of that.’ β€˜Do you know them at all, those comrades who meet at Richefeu’s?' β€˜Not very well. But we’re on friendly terms.’ β€˜What will you say to them?’ β€˜I’ll talk to them about Robespierre, of course! And about Danton. About principles.’ β€˜You?’ β€˜Yes, me. But I’m not being given the credit I deserve. When I put my mind to it, I’m terrific. I’ve read Prudhomme, I’m familiar with the Social Contract, I know by heart my constitution of the year II. β€œThe liberty of the citizen ends where the liberty of another citizen begins.” Do you take me for a brute beast? I have in my drawer an old promissory note from the time of the Revolution. The rights of man, the sovereignty of the people, for God’s sake! I’m even a bit of an HΓ©bertist. I can keep coming out with some wonderful things, watch in hand, for a whole six hours by the clock.’ β€˜Be serious,’ said Enjolras. β€˜I mean it,’ replied Grantaire. Enjolras thought for a few moments, and with the gesture of a man who had come to a decision, β€˜Grantaire,’ he said gravely, β€˜I agree to try you out. You’ll go to the Maine toll-gate.’ Grantaire lived in furnished lodgings very close to CafΓ© Musain. He went out, and came back five minutes later. He had gone home to put on a Robespierre-style waistcoat. β€˜Red,’ he said as he came in, gazing intently at Enjolras. Then, with an energetic pat of his hand, he pressed the two scarlet lapels of the waistcoat to his chest. And stepping close to Enjolras he said in his ear, β€˜Don’t worry.’ He resolutely jammed on his hat, and off he went.
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Victor Hugo (Les MisΓ©rables)
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We should remember that the Declaration of Independence is not merely a historical document. It is an explicit recognition that our rights derive not from the King of England, not from the judiciary, not from government at all, but from God. The keystone of our system of popular sovereignty is the recognition, as the Declaration acknowledges, that 'all men are created equal' and 'endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.' Religion and God are no alien to our system of government, they're integral to it.
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Mark R. Levin (Men in Black: How Judges are Destroying America)
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To argue that God is β€œtrying His best” to save all mankind, but that the majority of men will not let Him save them, is to insist that the will of the Creator is impotent, and that the will of the creature is omnipotent.
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Arthur W. Pink (The Sovereignty of God)
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God's movement is often abrupt and unsettling rather than predictable and settling.
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Michael Joseph Brown
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Our lives become trivial. And our capacity for magnificent causes and great worship dies.
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John Piper (A Sweet and Bitter Providence: Sex, Race, and the Sovereignty of God)
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As truly as God by His power once created, so truly by that same power must God every moment maintain.
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Andrew Murray (Humility: The Journey Toward Holiness)
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This is God’s universe, and God does things his way. You may have a better way, but you don’t have a universe.
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Vernon McGee
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You are not the point. Your ministry is not the point and God has not pushed all his chips in on you, He has not put the kingdom in your hands as though all His hope relies in your ability to perform.
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Matt Chandler
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AS a matter of fact, God isn't asking you to be thankful. He's asking you to give thanks. There's a big difference. One response involves emotions, the other your choices, your decisions about a situation, your intent, your 'step of faith.
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Joni Eareckson Tada (A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty)
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In My Soul In my soul there is a temple, a shrine, a mosque, a church where I kneel. Prayer should bring us to an altar where no walls or names exist. Is there not a region of love where the sovereignty is illumined nothing, where ecstasy gets poured into itself and becomes lost, where the wing is fully alive but has no mind or body? In my soul there is a temple, a shrine, a mosque, a church that dissolve, that dissolve in God.
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Rabia al Basri
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When we understand the character of God, when we grasp something of His holiness, then we begin to understand the radical character of our sin and hopelessness. Helpless sinners can survive only by grace. Our strength is futile in itself; we are spiritually impotent without the assistance of a merciful God. We may dislike giving our attention to God's wrath and justice, but until we incline ourselves to these aspects of God's nature, we will never appreciate what has been wrought for us by grace. Even Edwards's sermon on sinners in God's hands was not designed to stress the flames of hell. The resounding accent falls not on the fiery pit but on the hands of the God who holds us and rescues us from it. The hands of God are gracious hands. They alone have the power to rescue us from certain destruction.
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R.C. Sproul (The Holiness of God)
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An enlightened trust in the sovereignty of human reason can be every bit as magical as the exploits of Merlin, and a faith in our capacity for limitless self-improvement just as much a wide-eyed superstition as a faith in leprechauns.
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Terry Eagleton (Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate)
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We will wait. We will wait till all is made righteous (glorious) according to the word of God.
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John Piper (A Sweet and Bitter Providence: Sex, Race, and the Sovereignty of God)
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Almost all doctrinal error is really truth perverted. Truth wrongly divided. Truth disproportionately held and taught.
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Arthur W. Pink
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A God whom we could understand exhaustively, and whose revelation of Himself confronted us with no mysteries whatsoever, would be a God in man's image, and therefore an imaginary God, not the God of the Bible at all.
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J.I. Packer (Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God)
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At one level, the message of the book of Ruth is that the life of the godly is not a straight line to glory, but they do get there.
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John Piper (A Sweet and Bitter Providence: Sex, Race, and the Sovereignty of God)
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Fundamental belief consoled him for superficial irony.
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Thomas Hardy (The Mayor of Casterbridge)
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I dwell on God's blessings.
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Lailah Gifty Akita
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All significant concepts of the modern theory of the state are secularized theological concepts not only because of their historical development - in which they were transferred from theology to the theory of the state, whereby, for example, the omnipotent god became the omnipotent lawgiver - but also because of their systematic structure, the recognition of which is necessary for a sociological consideration of these concepts. The exception in jurisprudence is analogous to the miracle in theology. Only by being aware of this analogy can we appreciate the manner in which the philosophical ideas of the state developed in the last centuries.
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Carl Schmitt (Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty)
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It is not that God is the spectator and sharer of our present life, howsoever important that is; but rather that we are the reverent listeners and participants in God’s action in the sacred story, the history of the Christ on earth.
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Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community)
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All men of God must take forth the banner of truth, and once more valiantly proclaim the magnificent sovereignty of God in man’s regeneration. May such preaching ring from pulpits today.
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Steven J. Lawson (Foundations of Grace (Long Line of Godly Men) (Long Line of Godly Men Profiles))
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On accepting adversity in our lives: Always it is initiated by an act of will on our part; we set ourselves to believe in the overruling goodness, providence, and sovereignty of God and refuse to turn aside no matter what may come, no matter how we may feel. I mistakenly thought I could not trust God unless I felt like trusting Him. Now I am learning that trusting God is first of all a matter of the will. I choose to trust in God, and my feelings eventually follow.
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Margaret Clarkson (Grace Grows Best in Winter)
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The logic of the Bible says: Act according to God's "will of command," not according to his "will of decree." God's "will of decree" is whatever comes to pass. "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that" (James 4:15). God's "will of decree" ordained that his Son be betrayed (Luke 22:22), ridiculed (Isaiah 53:3), mocked (Luke 18:32), flogged (Matthew 20:19), forsaken (Matthew 26:31), pierced (John 19:37), and killed (Mark 9:31). But the Bible teaches us plainly that we should not betray, ridicule, mock, flog, forsake, pierce, or kill innocent people. That is God's "will of command." We do not look at the death of Jesus, clearly willed by God, and conclude that killing Jesus is good and that we should join the mockers.
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John Piper
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But now the question arises, Why has God demanded of man that which he is incapable of performing? The first answer is, Because God refuses to lower His standard to the level of our sinful infirmities.
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Arthur W. Pink (The Sovereignty of God)
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There is no health in those who are displeased by an element in Your creation, just as there was none in me when I was displeased by many things You had made. Because my soul didn't dare to say that my God displeased me, it refused to attribute to You whatever was displeasing.
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Augustine of Hippo (Confessions)
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If grass grows and withers, it can only mean that it is part of a greater thing, which is even more real; not that the grass is less real than it looks. St. Thomas (Aquinas) has a really logical right to say, in the words of the modern mystic, A. E.: "I begin by the grass to be bound again to the Lord.
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G.K. Chesterton (Saint Thomas Aquinas)
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Creatures are not entitled to register complaints about their Creator.
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J.I. Packer (Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God)
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What we do every time we pray is to confess our impotence and God's sovereignty.
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J.I. Packer (Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God)
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If we teach Truth but not the Source of Truth, we don't really succeed in passing on our faith.
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Kevin Thoman
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I had rather mistrust my own capacity than God's justice.
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Alexis de Tocqueville (Democracy in America)
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What happens when we acknowledge the sovereignty and power of God without trusting in His goodness and faithfulness? A pitcher who saw God's power behind his extremely unlikely rise to the big leagues wondered if, at any difficulty he encountered there, God might be taking his ability away.
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Michael Lewis (Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game)
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All I do know is that the world has a Chief who was victorious when the powers of darkness struck at him with everything they had. He has the plans today. The darkness won't last forever. There's a splendour beyond.
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Constance Savery (Enemy Brothers)
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I wished God were like He used to be, a few notches lower. I wanted Him to be lofty enough to help me but not so uncontrollable. I longed for His warm presence, times when He seemed more… safe.
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Joni Eareckson Tada (The God I Love: A Lifetime of Walking with Jesus)
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The suffering of the Christian or anyone else in this world is never ultimately an accident. All suffering is within the pale of divine sovereignty. All suffering comes within the broader context of the sovereignty of God.
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R.C. Sproul (Reason to Believe: A Response to Common Objections to Christianity)
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We are not bringing Christ to poor communities. He has been active in these communities since the creation of the world, sustaining them, Hebrews 1:3 says, by His powerful Word. Hence, a significant part of working in poor communities involves discovering and appreciating what God has been doing there for a LONG time.
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Steve Corbett (When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor...and Yourself)
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God in His love always wills what is best for us. In His wisdom He always knows what is best, and in His sovereignty He has the power to bring it about.
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Jerry Bridges (Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts)
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But we also need stories. Great stories.
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John Piper (A Sweet and Bitter Providence: Sex, Race, and the Sovereignty of God)
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God is the Lord of human history and of the personal history of every member of His redeemed family.
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Margaret Clarkson (Grace Grows Best in Winter)
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Behind Calvary's cross is the throne of heaven.
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James Stewart
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Those who understand God's sovereignty have joy even in the midst of suffering, a joy reflected on their very faces, for they see that their suffering is not without purpose.
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R.C. Sproul (Surprised by Suffering: The Role of Pain and Death in The Christian Life)
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Freewill does not impune the sovereignty of God, it in fact affirms it.
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R. Alan Woods (The Journey Is The Destination: A Photo Journal)
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The sovereignty of God has been dying a slow death of a thousand qualifications.
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Kevin Swanson (Apostate)
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The wrath of God is never an evil wrath. God gets angry because he loves people like a mother would love her child if someone were to harm it. There is something wrong if the mother never gets angry; it is safe to say that that is the unloving mother.
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Criss Jami (Healology)
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Give all your mental attention to recognizing the absolute sovereignty of the Spiritual Power, knowing that the God-Power has the answer and is now showing you the way. Trust It, believe in It, and walk the earth in the Light. Your prayer is already answered.
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Joseph Murphy (Believe In Yourself)
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Prayer is subversive activity. It involves a more or less open act of defiance against any claim by the current regime.... [As we pray,] slowly but surely, not culture, not family, not government, not job, not even the tyrannous self can stand against the quiet power and creative influence of God's sovereignty.
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Eugene H. Peterson (The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction)
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God sovereignly decreed that man should be free to exercise moral choice, and man from the beginning has fulfilled that decree by making his choice between good and evil. When he chooses to do evil, he does not thereby countervail the sovereign will of God but fulfills it, inasmuch as the eternal decree decided not which choice the man should make but that he should be free to make it. If in His absolute freedom God has willed to give man limited freedom, who is there to stay His hand or say, 'What doest thou?' Man’s will is free because God is sovereign. A God less than sovereign could not bestow moral freedom upon His creatures. He would be afraid to do so.
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A.W. Tozer (The Knowledge of the Holy)
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When we lose sight of God we become hard and dogmatic. We hurl our own petitions at God’s throne and dictate to Him as to what we wish Him to do. We do not worship God, nor do we seek to form the mind of Christ. If we are hard towards God, we will become hard towards other people.
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Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest)
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God is the I AM that I AM not the I AM that we wish.
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Jen Pollock Michel (Teach Us to Want: Longing, Ambition & the Life of Faith)
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Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ and author of the Four Spiritual Laws chose three words for his tombstone: "slave for Jesus".
”
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Kyle Idleman (Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus)
β€œ
Immediate are the acts of God, more swift than time or motion.
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John Milton (Paradise Lost)
β€œ
If we need the protection of men, let us first ask it from God. If we prevail with Him, the power of the most mighty and of the most wicked must minister to our relief.
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Alexander Carson
β€œ
Adversity is not a bad thing~It's a God thing!
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Dina Rolle
β€œ
The Bible attitude is not that God sends sickness or that sickness is of the devil, but that sickness is a fact usable by both God and the devil.
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Oswald Chambers (Philosophy of Sin)
β€œ
If you have a religion it must be cosmic.
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C.S. Lewis (On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature)
β€œ
Worship is the launching pad for life.
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Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor's Journey Into Christian Faith)
β€œ
The Christian living is a spiritual welfare. As the year draws to an end, seek the face of the Lord for guidance in the coming year.
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Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
β€œ
The skeptic says that the believer has lost his own mind under God. On the contrary, it is the people who follow God who are most like his children, who willingly and consciously walk in his will; but those who oppose him oppose him vainly and at their own expense, and, figuratively, seem to be more like his tools. They don't diminish his glory, but instead he still manages to use them in ways of unconsciously carrying out his will.
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Criss Jami (Killosophy)
β€œ
Of all the major religions, or lack thereof, the atheist's is one of the best pretenders: his foundation for all existences, as well as moral behaviors for the permanent good of mankind, begins at science but ends at himself, the Napoleon complex of both intelligence and imagination. On the other hand the anti-theist wouldn't survive without a deity beyond himself to hunt. He doesn't pretend, he simply nullifies his own position.
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Criss Jami (Killosophy)
β€œ
While God is not the author of evil and He never prompts or condones sin, nothing occurs without His sovereign oversight. Others may choose to do evil deeds and God's people may suffer in the short term, but He will transform the evil intentions of evil people into opportunities for the enrichment of those in His care.
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Charles R. Swindoll
β€œ
We can always hope and pray diligently for a miracle. If, in God’s sovereignty, He chooses to accomplish His purposes another way, let it not be that we have not because we asked not (James 4:2) or that we have not because we believed not (Matt. 9:29).
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Beth Moore (Believing God)
β€œ
Honestly facing your lack of sovereignty over your own life produces either anxiety or relief. Anxiety is God-forgetting. It is the result of thinking that is life is on your shoulders, that it is your job to figure it all out and keep things in order.
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Paul David Tripp (New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional)
β€œ
What manner of men had lived in those days...who had so eagerly surrendered their sovereignty for a lie and a delusion? Why had they been so anxious to believe that the government could solve problems for them which had been pridefully solved, many times over, by their fathers? Had their characters become so weak and debased, so craven and emasculated, that offers of government dole had become more important than their liberty and their humanity? Had they not know that power delegated to the government becomes the club of tyrants? They must have known. They had their own history to remember, and the history of five thousand years. Yet, they had willingly and knowingly, with all this knowledge, declared themselves unfit to manage their own affairs and had placed their lives, which belonged to God only, in the hands of sinister men who had long plotted to enslave them, by wars, by "directives," by "emergencies." In the name of the American people, the American people had been made captive.
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Taylor Caldwell (The Devil's Advocate)
β€œ
In American religion, as in ancient Gnosticism, there is almost no sense of God’s difference from usβ€”in other words, his majesty, sovereignty, self-existence, and holiness. God is my buddy, my inmost experience, or the power source for my living my best life now.
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Michael S. Horton
β€œ
God reminds us again and again that things between He and us are forever fixed. They are the rendezvous points where God declares to us concretely that the debt has been paid, the ledger put away, and that everything we need, in Christ we already possess. This re-convincing produces humility, because we realize that our needs are fulfilled. We don’t have to worry about ourselves anymore. This in turn frees us to stop looking out for what we think we need and liberates us to love our neighbor by looking out for what they need.
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Tullian Tchividjian
β€œ
The more unworthy you feel yourself to be, the more evidence have you that nothing but unspeakable love could have led the Lord Jesus to save such a soul as yours. The more demerit you feel, the clearer is the display of the abounding love of God in having chosen you, and called you, and made you an heir of bliss.
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Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening, Based on the English Standard Version)
β€œ
Forget happiness. You were called to a throne. How will you prepare for it? That is the question of virtue, Christian style.
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N.T. Wright (After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters)
β€œ
[I]f justice is the end of law, law the work of the prince, and the prince the image of God; then by this reasoning, the law of the prince must be modelled on the law of God.
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Jean Bodin (On Sovereignty: Four Chapters from The Six Books of the Commonwealth (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought))
β€œ
In our instinctive rebellion against pain, we are children again, and demand an active will to wreak our vengeance on.
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George Eliot (Adam Bede)
β€œ
The triune God exercises total government over all things, and He requires us as His image-bearers to exercise government in Christ in our own spheres in terms of His law.
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Rousas John Rushdoony
β€œ
The Bible is God's law-word which must govern every sphere of life and thought.
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Rousas John Rushdoony (Sovereignty)
β€œ
God is willing and able to turn his judgements into joys . . . Don't ever think that the sin of your past means there is no hope for your future.
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John Piper (A Sweet and Bitter Providence: Sex, Race, and the Sovereignty of God)
β€œ
The battle belongs to the Lord, and we already know that He wins the war.
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Jared Brock (A Year of Living Prayerfully: How a Curious Traveler Met the Pope, Walked on Coals, Danced with Rabbis, and Revived His Prayer Life)
β€œ
Not even generals can stop the rain.
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Jeff Shaara (A Blaze of Glory (Civil War: 1861-1865, Western Theater, #1))
β€œ
I often wonder if God, in His sovereignty, allows the eyesight of the aged to cast a dim view of the here and now so that we may focus our spiritual eyes on the ever after.
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Billy Graham (Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well)
β€œ
You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.
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Thomas L. Friedman (The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century)
β€œ
Atheists have had to resort to wild speculations to give chance more of a chance.
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Frank Turek (I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist)
β€œ
The Christian story, centered as it is on the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, is the only story for making sense of desire and loss.
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Jen Pollock Michel (Teach Us to Want: Longing, Ambition & the Life of Faith)
β€œ
Blessed is the person who desired to read the Holy Scriptures. It’s brings great reward to those who believe, trust and obey the Holy instructions.
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Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
β€œ
God is able to do more than you ever imagine! Keep trusting God. Your miracle will surely come true.
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Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
β€œ
Hoping doesn’t mean I put myself in harm’s way. It doesn’t mean I ignore reality. No, hoping means I acknowledge reality in the very same breath that I acknowledge God’s sovereignty.
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Lysa TerKeurst (It's Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered)
β€œ
My wheelchair was the key to seeing all this happenβ€”especially since God’s power always shows up best in weakness. So here I sit … glad that I have not been healed on the outside, but glad that I have been healed on the inside. Healed from my own self-centered wants and wishes.
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Joni Eareckson Tada (A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty)
β€œ
Here at our ministry we refuse to present a picture of β€œgentle Jesus, meek and mild,” a portrait that tugs at your sentiments or pulls at your heartstrings. That’s because we deal with so many people who suffer, and when you’re hurting hard, you’re neither helped nor inspired by a syrupy picture of the Lord, like those sugary, sentimental images many of us grew up with. You know what I mean? Jesus with His hair parted down the middle, surrounded by cherubic children and bluebirds. Come on. Admit it: When your heart is being wrung out like a sponge, when you feel like Morton’s salt is being poured into your wounded soul, you don’t want a thin, pale, emotional Jesus who relates only to lambs and birds and babies. You want a warrior Jesus. You want a battlefield Jesus. You want his rigorous and robust gospel to command your sensibilities to stand at attention. To be honest, many of the sentimental hymns and gospel songs of our heritage don’t do much to hone that image. One of the favorite words of hymn writers in days gone by was sweet. It’s a term that down’t have the edge on it that it once did. When you’re in a dark place, when lions surround you, when you need strong help to rescue you from impossibility, you don’t want β€œsweet.” You don’t want faded pastels and honeyed softness. You want mighty. You want the strong arm an unshakable grip of God who will not let you go β€” no matter what.
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Joni Eareckson Tada (A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty)
β€œ
Do not focus your thoughts among the confused wheels of secondary causes, as -'O if this had been, this had not followed!' Look up to the master motion of the first wheel. In building, we see hewn stones and timbers under hammers and axes, yet the house in this beauty we do not see at the present, but it is in the mind of this builder. We also see unbroken clods, furrows, and stones, but we do not see the summer lilies, roses, and the beauty of a garden. Even so we do not presently see the outcome of God's decrees with his blessed purpose. It is hard to believe when his purpose is hidden and under the ground. Providence has a thousand keys to deliver his own even when all hope is gone. Let us be faithful and care for our own part, which is to do and suffer for him, and lay Christ's part on himself and leave it there; duties are ours, events are the Lord's.
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Samuel Rutherford
β€œ
No, you don't feel it now. Some day, when you are old and wrinkled and ugly, when thought has seared your forehead with its lines, and passion branded your lips with itshideous fires, you will feel it, you will feel it terribly.Now, wherever you go, you charm the world. Will it always be so? . . . You have a wonderfully beautiful face, Mr. Gray. Don't frown. You have. And beauty is a form of genius-- is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts of the world, like sunlight, or spring-time, or the reflection in dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon. It cannot be questioned. It has its divine right of sovereignty. It makes princes of those who have it.You smile? Ah! when you have lost it you won't smile. . . . People say sometimes that beauty is only superficial.That may be so, but at least it is not so superficial as thought is. To me, beauty is the wonder of wonders.It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible. . . . Yes, Mr. Gray, the gods have been good to you.But what the gods give they quickly take away. You have only a few years in which to live really, perfectly, and fully.When your youth goes, your beauty will go with it, and then you will suddenly discover that there are no triumphs left for you, or have to content yourself with those mean triumphs that the memory of your past will make more bitter than defeats.Every month as it wanes brings you nearer to something dreadful. Time is jealous of you, and wars against your lilies and your roses. You will become sallow, and hollow-cheeked, and dull-eyed. You will suffer horribly.... Ah! realize your youth while you have it. Don't squander the gold of your days,listening to the tedious, trying to improve the hopeless failure,or giving away your life to the ignorant, the common, and the vulgar. These are the sickly aims, the false ideals,of our age. Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing. . . . A new Hedonism-- that is what our century wants. You might be its visible symbol.With your personality there is nothing you could not do.The world belongs to you for a season. . . . The moment I met you I saw that you were quite unconscious of what you really are, of what you really might be. There was so much in you that charmed me that I felt I must tell you something about yourself.I thought how tragic it would be if you were wasted. For there is such a little time that your youth will last--such a little time.The common hill-flowers wither, but they blossom again.The laburnum will be as yellow next June as it is now.In a month there will be purple stars on the clematis, and year after year the green night of its leaves will hold its purple stars. But we never get back our youth. The pulse of joy that beats in us at twenty becomes sluggish. Our limbs fail, our senses rot. We degenerate into hideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passions of which we were too much afraid, and the exquisite temptations that we had not the courage to yield to. Youth! Youth! There is absolutely nothing in the world but youth!
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Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
β€œ
God sat over the dark nothing and wrote you and me specifically into the story, and He put us in specifically with the sunsets in the rainstorms as though to say, "Enjoy your place in My story, the very beauty of it means it's not about you, and in time that will give you comfort.
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Donald Miller (A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life)
β€œ
To the USSR on Stalin's death: "Regardless of the identity of government personalities, the prayer of us Americans continues to be that the Almighty will watch over the people of that vast country and bring them in His wisdom opportunity to live their lives in a world where all men, and women, and children, dwell in peace and comradeship.
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Dwight D. Eisenhower
β€œ
In the arena of adversity, the Scriptures teach us three essential truths about Godβ€”truths we must believe if we are to trust Him in adversity. They are: β€’ God is completely sovereign. β€’ God is infinite in wisdom. β€’ God is perfect in love. Someone has expressed these three truths as they relate to us in this way: β€œGod in His love always wills what is best for us. In His wisdom He always knows what is best, and in His sovereignty He has the power to bring it about.
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Jerry Bridges (Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts)
β€œ
That eye which sees anything good in the creature is a blind eye; that eye which fancies it can discern anything in man, or anything in anything he can do to win the Divine favor, is as yet stone blind to the Truth of God, and needs to be lanced and cut, and the cataract of pride removed from it!
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Charles Haddon Spurgeon
β€œ
C. H. Spurgeon was once asked if he could reconcile these two truths to each other. β€œI wouldn’t try,” he replied; β€œI never reconcile friends.” Friends?β€”yes, friends. This is the point that we have to grasp. In the Bible, divine sovereignty and human responsibility are not enemies. They are not uneasy neighbors; they are not in an endless state of cold war with each other. They are friends, and they work together.
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J.I. Packer (Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God)
β€œ
We think in terms of apostolic journeys. God dares to put His greatest ambassadors in chains.
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Watchman Nee (The Normal Christian Life)
β€œ
Author says writing about Jesus is difficult because it is like writing about a friend "who is still liable to surprise us.
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N.T. Wright (Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense)
β€œ
He also went invisible, yet stayed (such privilege hath omnipresence).
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John Milton (Paradise Lost)
β€œ
I believe we best say yes to God's glory and sovereignty by saying no to Calvinism.
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Austin Fischer (Young, Restless, No Longer Reformed: Black Holes, Love, and a Journey in and Out of Calvinism)
β€œ
If God be denied, then His sovereignty and infallibility accrue to other agencies.
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Rousas John Rushdoony (Exodus: Commentaries on the Pentateuch (Volume #2))
β€œ
That vague and wandering opinion of Deity is declared by an apostle to be ignorance of God:
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Augustine of Hippo (Confessions)
β€œ
Tomorrow's freedom is today's surrender.
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Sons and Daughters
β€œ
There is grace for every soul.
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Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
β€œ
We are heavenly beings.
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Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
β€œ
God's will is like a jigsaw puzzle, you won't be able to see the whole picture until all the pieces are together.
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Danny L. DeaubΓ©
β€œ
God's will is like a jigsaw puzzle until you put all the pieces together, you won't be able to see the whole picture.
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Danny L. DeaubΓ©
β€œ
We all have a tendency to use prayer to dictate to God.
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Jen Pollock Michel (Teach Us to Want: Longing, Ambition & the Life of Faith)
β€œ
You can't believe what a lovely planet we have until you see her from outside.
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Robert A. Heinlein (Have Space Suitβ€”Will Travel)
β€œ
As God can protect his people under the greatest despotism, so the utmost civil liberty is no safety to them without the immediate protection of his Almighty arm. I fear that Christians in this country have too great a confidence in political institutions . . . [rather] than of the government of God.
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Alexander Carson
β€œ
God is not an actor within the larger scheme of things. He is not a muscle-bound Jupiter, bullying the littler ones. He is the Author of the whole thing. We never ask how much of Hamlet's role was contributed by Hamlet, and how much by Shakespeare. That is not a question that can be answered with 70/30 or 50/50 or 90/10. The right answer is 100/100. Hamlet's actions are all Hamlet's and they are all Shakespeare's. Douglas Wilson
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Douglas Wilson
β€œ
When God does not answer His children according to the letter, He does so according to the spirit. If thou askest for coarse meal, wilt thou be angered because He gives thee the finest flour? If thou seekest bodily health, shouldst thou complain if instead thereof He makes thy sickness turn to the healing of spiritual maladies?
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Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening, Based on the English Standard Version)
β€œ
There is a certain mysticism in the Christian's affirmation of the physical universe. There is a confidence that whatever is discovered conforms with Jesus Christ and is a manifestation of His will.
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Gene Edward Veith Jr. (Loving God with All Your Mind: Thinking as a Christian in a Postmodern World)
β€œ
Our stories affect one another whether we know it or not. Sometimes obedience isn't for us at all, but for another. We don't know how God holds the kingdom in balance or why he moves a chess piece at a crucial time; we might never see the results of his sovereignty [...] I might just be one shade of one color of one strand, but I'm a part of an elaborate tapestry that goes beyond my perception.
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Jen Hatmaker (7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess)
β€œ
Nothing in all the vast universe can come to pass otherwise than God has eternally purposed. Here is a foundation of faith. Here is a resting place for the intellect. Here is an anchor for the soul, both sure and steadfast. It is not blind fate, unbridled evil, man or Devil, but the Lord Almighty who is ruling the world, ruling it according to His own good pleasure and for His own eternal glory.
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Arthur W. Pink (The Sovereignty of God)
β€œ
God is never at a loss because He cannot find someone to cooperate with Him in carrying out His plan. He so moves in the hearts of people - either Christians or non Christians, it makes no difference - that they willingly, of their own free will carry out His plans.
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Jerry Bridges (Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts)
β€œ
In God's case, if He had said in the infinite sovereignty of His absolute will, "I will have no substitute, but each man shall suffer for himself, he who sinneth shall die," none could have murmured. It was grace, and only grace which led the divine mind to say, "I will accept of a substitute. There shall be a vicarious suffering; and My vengeance shall be content, and My mercy shall be gratified.
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Charles Haddon Spurgeon
β€œ
Here is a fundamental difference between the man of faith and the man of unbelief. The unbeliever is 'of the world', judges everything by worldly standards, views life from the standpoint of time and sense, and weighs everything in the balances of his own carnal making. But the man of faith brings in God, looks at everything from His standpoint, estimates values by spiritual standards, and views life in the light of eternity. Doing this, he receives whatever comes as from the hand of God. Doing this, his heart is calm in the midst of the storm. Doing this, he rejoices in hope of the glory of God.
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Arthur W. Pink (The Sovereignty of God)
β€œ
Faith is always coveted most and needed most urgently where will is lacking; for will, as the affect of command, is the decisive sign of sovereignty and strength. In other words, the less one knows how to command, the more urgently one covets someone who commands, who commands severelyβ€”a god, prince, class, physician, father confessor, dogma, or party conscience. From this one might perhaps gather that the two world religions, Buddhism and Christianity, may have owed their origin and above all their sudden spread to a tremendous collapse and disease of the will. And that is what actually happened: both religions encountered a situation in which the will had become diseased, giving rise to a demand that had become utterly desperate for some "thou shalt." Both religions taught fanaticism in ages in which the will had become exhausted, and thus they offered innumerable people some support, a new possibility of willing, some delight in willing. For fanaticism is the only "strength of the will" that even the weak and insecure can be brought to attain, being a sort of hypnotism of the whole system of the senses and the intellect for the benefit of an excessive nourishment (hypertrophy) of a single point of view and feeling that henceforth becomes dominantβ€” which the Christian calls his faith. Once a human being reaches the fundamental conviction that he must be commanded, he becomes "a believer." Conversely, one could conceive of such a pleasure and power of self-determination, such a freedom of the will [ This conception of "freedom of the will" ( alias, autonomy) does not involve any belief in what Nietzsche called "the superstition of free will" in section 345 ( alias, the exemption of human actions from an otherwise universal determinism).] that the spirit would take leave of all faith and every wish for certainty, being practiced in maintaining himself on insubstantial ropes and possibilities and dancing even near abysses. Such a spirit would be the free spirit par excellence.
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Friedrich Nietzsche (The Gay Science)
β€œ
What kind of a concept of God do we have that we would say that God is paralyzed by human choices? If His freedom is limited by our freedom, we are sovereign, not God. No, we are free, but God is even more free. This means that our freedom can never limit God’s sovereignty.
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R.C. Sproul (Does God Control Everything? (Crucial Questions, #14))
β€œ
In the Bible, divine sovereignty and human responsibility are not enemies. They are not uneasy neighbors; they are not in an endless state of cold war with each other. They are friends, and they work together.
”
”
J.I. Packer (Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God)
β€œ
Referencing 2 Corinthians 4:6, Robert Hewitt compares jars of clay in the first century to the same value we would put on a cardboard box. Joni Eareckson Tada queries whether we would question God's right to leave some holes in the box in order to give glimpses of the treasure inside
”
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Joni Eareckson Tada (A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty)
β€œ
Our God is sovereign. That means there's no such thing as luck. Anything that happens to you, good or bad, must pass through His fingers first. There are no accidents with God. I like the story of the cowboy who applied for health insurance. The agent routinely asked him, 'Have you ever had any accidents?' The cowboy replied, 'Well no, I've not had any accidents. I was bitten by a rattlesnake once, and a horse did kick me in the ribs. That laid me up for a while, but I haven't had any accidents.' The agent said, 'Wait a minute. I'm confused. A rattlesnake bit you, and a horse kicked you, Weren't those accidents?' 'No, they did that on purpose.
”
”
Tony Evans (Our God is Awesome: Encountering the Greatness of Our God)
β€œ
If we know our original blessing, we can easily handle our original sin. If we rest in a previous dignity, we can bear insults effortlessly. If you really know your name is on some eternal list, you can let go of the irritations on the small lists of time. Ultimate security allows you to suffer small insecurity without tremendous effort. If you are tethered at some center point, it is amazing how far out you can fly and not get lost.
”
”
Richard Rohr (Adam's Return: The Five Promises of Male Initiation)
β€œ
Our culture says β€˜live your dream,’ but God calls you to place your dream on His altar and to keep it there at all times. It is good to have hopes and dreams for the future, but we have no rights. There are no certainties. Any dream can become an idol and, if it does, God will bring it down.
”
”
Colin S. Smith (Jonah: Navigating a God-Centered Life)
β€œ
Between gods and men, territories are set up. At least in the no-man’s land of the heights of heaven, the depths of hell, and inside the boundary traced by the oceans. Dimensions installed by a cosmogonic trilogy that leaves each term in its generic place. There remains the earth ancestress, a fourth term, that was once the most fertile, that has been progressively buried and forgotten beneath the architectonic of patriarchal sovereignty. And this murder erupts in the form of ambivalences that have constantly to be solved and hierarchized, in twinned pairs of more or less good doubles.
”
”
Luce Irigaray (Marine Lover of Friedrich Nietzsche)
β€œ
It [Communism] is not new. It is, in fact, man's second oldest faith. Its promise was whispered in the first days of the Creation under the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil: "Ye shall be as gods." It is the great alternative faith of mankind. Like all great faiths, its force derives from a simple vision. Other ages have had great visions. They have always been different versions of the same vision: the vision of God and man's relationship to God. The Communist vision is the vision of Man without God. It is the vision of man's mind displacing God as the creative intelligence of the world. It is the vision of man's liberated mind, by the sole force of its rational intelligence, redirecting man's destiny and reorganizing man's life and the world. It is the vision of man, once more the central figure of the Creation, not because God made man in his image, but because man's mind makes him the most intelligent of the animals. Copernicus and his successors displaced man as the central fact of the universe by proving that the earth was not the central star of the universe. Communism restores man to his sovereignty by the simple method of denying God.
”
”
Whittaker Chambers (Witness)
β€œ
So believe in God's sovereignty! It dose not matter whatever goes on in your life! Believe in God's Sovereignty! God is always supreme and is in charge of your destiny! BELIEVE IN GOD"S SOVEREIGNTY! Everything you need is within His control!
”
”
Musa Mkasi
β€œ
If God has done what you think he should do, trust him. If God doesn't do what you think he should do, trust him. If you pray and believe God for a miracle and he does it, trust him. If your worst nightmare comes true, believe he is sovereign. Believe he is good.
”
”
Craig Groeschel (The Christian Atheist: Believing in God but Living As If He Doesn't Exist)
β€œ
It's hard to know, isn't it, whether the things we face are just because the world is full of sin and sinful people, or if God is working out a plan,' Grandma continued. 'I happen to think it's both. There's sin, but through it all, He takes the mess we make and paints a masterpiece. In fact, I'm quite certain that before God can ever bless a womanβ€”and use her to impact manyβ€”He uses the hammer, the file, and the furnace to do a holy work.
”
”
Tricia Goyer (Love Finds You in Glacier Bay, Alaska)
β€œ
Men are not generally sufficiently aware of the distinction between the law of God and his purpose; they are apt to suppose, that as the temper of the sinner is contrary to the one, so the outrages of the sinner are able to defeat the other; than which nothing can be more false.
”
”
John Witherspoon
β€œ
The author points out strikingly different reactions to calamity. While many passengers of a devastating shipwreck were thankful to be alive, future presidential assassin Charles Guiteau saw his being spared as proof of his exceptionalism rather than of the grace from which he benefited.
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Candice Millard (Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President)
β€œ
The call of God is a call according to the nature of God; where we go in obedience to that call depends entirely on the providential circumstances which God engineers, and is not of any moment. The danger is to fit the call of God into the idea of our own discernment and say, β€œGod called me there.” If we say so and stick to it, then it is good-bye to the development of the life of God in us.
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Oswald Chambers (The Psychology Of Redemption)
β€œ
There are many themes found in the Book of Psalms that are generally not found in modern music. These include the fear of God, the righteousness and justice of God, the sovereignty of God, the judgement of God, the evil of sin, spiritual and physical warfare, the arch enemies of the Christian, the destruction of the wicked, the reality of hell, the blessedness of the church, the vicious attacks upon the church, the commandments of God, the dominion of David’s son, and so on. Without the backdrop of these truths, the themes of love, mercy, faith, and salvation become largely meaningless.
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Kevin Swanson
β€œ
THE DECLARATION of the Rights of Man at the end of the eighteenth century was a turning point in history. It meant nothing more nor less than that from then on Man, and not God's command or the customs of history, should be the source of Law. Independent of the privileges which history had bestowed upon certain strata of society or certain nations, the declaration indicated man's emancipation from all tutelage and announced that he had now come of age. Beyond this, there was another implication of which the framers of the declaration were only half aware. The proclamation of human rights was also meant to be a much-needed protection in the new era where individuals were no longer secure in the estates to which they were born or sure of their equality before God as Christians. In other words, in the new secularized and emancipated society, men were no longer sure of these social and human rights which until then had been outside the political order and guaranteed not by government and constitution, but by social, spiritual, and religious forces. Therefore throughout the nineteenth century, the consensus of opinion was that human rights had to be invoked whenever individuals needed protection against the new sovereignty of the state and the new arbitrariness of society.
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Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
β€œ
What God in His sovereignty may yet do on a world-scale I do not claim to know. But what He will do for the plain man or woman who seeks His face I believe I do know and can tell others. Let any man turn to God in earnest, let him begin to exercise himself unto godliness, let him seek to develop his powers of spiritual receptivity by trust and obedience and humility, and the results will exceed anything he may have hoped in his leaner and weaker days.
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A.W. Tozer
β€œ
The preacher should work to convert his congregation; the wife should work to save her unbelieving husband. Christians are sent to convert, and they should not allow themselves, as Christ's representatives in the world, to aim at anything less. Evangelizing, therefore, is not simply a matter of teaching, and instructing, and imparting information to the mind. There is more to it than that. Evangelizing includes the endeavor to elicit a response to the truth taught.
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J.I. Packer (Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God)
β€œ
Religion, then, is far from "useless." It humanizes violence; it protects man from his own violence by taking it out of his hands, transforming it into a transcendent and ever-present danger to be kept in check by the appropriate rites appropriately observed and by a modest and prudent demeanor. Religious misinterpretation is a truly constructive force, for it purges man of the suspicions that would poison his existence if he were to remain conscious of the crisis as it actually took place. To think religiously is to envision the city's destiny in terms of that violence whose mastery over man increases as man believes he has gained mastery over it. To think religiously (in the primitive sense) is to see violence as something superhuman, to be kept always at a distance and ultimately renounced. When the fearful adoration of this power begins to diminish and all distinctions begin to disappear, the ritual sacrifices lose their force; their potency is not longer recognized by the entire community. Each member tries to correct the situation individually, and none succeeds. The withering away of the transcendental influence means that there is no longer the slightest difference between a desire to save the city and unbridled ambition, between genuine piety and the desire to claim divine status for oneself. Everyone looks on a rival enterprise as evidence of blasphemous designs. Men set to quarreling about the gods, and their skepticism leads to a new sacrificial crisis that will appear - retrospectively, in the light of a new manifestation of unanimous violence - as a new act of divine intervention and divine revenge. Men would not be able to shake loose the violence between them, to make of it a separate entity both sovereign and redemptory, without the surrogate victim. Also, violence itself offers a sort of respite, the fresh beginning of a cycle of ritual after a cycle of violence. Violence will come to an end only after it has had the last word and that word has been accepted as divine. The meaning of this word must remain hidden, the mechanism of unanimity remain concealed. For religion protects man as long as its ultimate foundations are not revealed. To drive the monster from its secret lair is to risk loosing it on mankind. To remove men's ignorance is only to risk exposing them to an even greater peril. The only barrier against human violence is raised on misconception. In fact, the sacrificial crisis is simply another form of that knowledge which grows grater as the reciprocal violence grows more intense but which never leads to the whole truth. It is the knowledge of violence, along with the violence itself, that the act of expulsion succeeds in shunting outside the realm of consciousness. From the very fact that it belies the overt mythological messages, tragic drama opens a vast abyss before the poet; but he always draws back at the last moment. He is exposed to a form of hubris more dangerous than any contracted by his characters; it has to do with a truth that is felt to be infinitely destructive, even if it is not fully understood - and its destructiveness is as obvious to ancient religious thought as it is to modern philosophers. Thus we are dealing with an interdiction that still applies to ourselves and that modern thought has not yet invalidated. The fact that this secret has been subjected to exceptional pressure in the play [Bacchae] must prompt the following lines: May our thoughts never aspire to anything higher than laws! What does it cost man to acknowledge the full sovereignty of the gods? That which has always been held as true owes its strength to Nature.
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RenΓ© Girard (Violence and the Sacred)
β€œ
God will not hold us responsible to understand the mysteries of election, predestination and the divine sovereignty. The best and safest way to deal with these truths is to raise our eyes to God and in deepest reverence say, "O Lord, Thou knowest." Those things belong to the deep and mysterious Profound of God's omniscience. Prying into them may make theologians, but it will never make saints.
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A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God)
β€œ
Jesus' favorite speech form, the parable, was subversive. Parables sound absolutely ordinary: casual stories about soil and seeds, meals and coins and sheep, bandits and victims, farmers and merchants. And they are wholly secular: of his forty or so parables recorded in the Gospels, only one has its setting in church, and only a couple mention the name God. As people heard Jesus tell these stories, they saw at once that they weren't about God, so there was nothing in them threatening their own sovereignty. They relaxed their defenses. They walked away perplexed, wondering what they meant, the stories lodged in their imagination. And then, like a time bomb, they would explode in their unprotected hearts. An abyss opened up at their very feet. He was talking about God; they had been invaded!
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Eugene H. Peterson (The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction)
β€œ
THERE HAS BEEN A SILENT DIVORCE IN THE CHURCH, SPEAKING generally, between the Word and the Spirit. When there is a divorce, sometimes the children stay with the mother, sometimes with the father. In this divorce you have those on the Word side and those on the Spirit side. What is the difference? Those on the Word side stress earnestly contending for the faith once delivered to the saints, expository preaching, sound theology, rediscovering the doctrines of the Reformationβ€”justification by faith, sovereignty of God. Until we get back to the Word, the honor of God’s name will not be restored. What is wrong with this emphasis? Nothing. It is exactly right, in my opinion. Those on the Spirit side stress getting back to the Book of Acts, signs, wonders, and miracles, gifts of the Holy Spiritβ€”with places being shaken at prayer meetings, get in Peter’s shadow and you are healed, lie to the Holy Spirit and you are struck dead. Until we recover the power of the Spirit, the honor of God’s name will not be restored. What is wrong with this emphasis? Nothing. It is exactly right, in my opinion. The problem is, neither will learn from the other. But if these two would come together, the simultaneous combination would mean spontaneous combustion. And if Smith Wigglesworth’s prophecy got it right, the world will be turned upside down again.
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R.T. Kendall (Holy Fire: A Balanced, Biblical Look at the Holy Spirit's Work in Our Lives)
β€œ
As to liberty, men would be at their own disposal and live as they please. They suppose the only true liberty is to be at the command and under the control of none above themselves, and live according to their heart’s desire. But this is a thralldom and bondage of the worst kind. True liberty is not the power to live as we please, but to live as we ought! Hence, the only One Who has ever trod this earth since Adam’s fall that has enjoyed perfect freedom was the Man Christ Jesus, the Holy Servant of God, Whose meat it ever was to do the will of the Father.
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Arthur W. Pink (The Sovereignty of God)
β€œ
A true recognition of God's sovereignty will avow God’s perfect right to do with us as He wills. The one who bows to the pleasure of the Almighty will acknowledge His absolute right to do with us as seemeth Him good. If He chooses to send poverty, sickness, domestic bereavements, even while the heart is bleeding at every pore, it will say, Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right! Often there will be a struggle, for the carnal mind remains in the believer to the end of his earthly pilgrimage. But though there may be a conflict within his breast, nevertheless, to the one who has really yielded himself to this blessed truth there will presently be heard that Voice saying, as of old it said to the turbulent Gennesaret, "Peace be still"; and the tempestuous flood within will be quieted and the subdued soul will lift a tearful but confident eye to Heaven and say, β€œThy will be done.
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Arthur W. Pink (The Sovereignty of God)
β€œ
In a sermon entitled β€œGod’s Providence,” C. H. Spurgeon said, β€œNapoleon once heard it said, that man proposes and God disposes. β€˜Ah,’ said Napoleon, β€˜but I propose and dispose too.’ How do you think he proposed and disposed? He proposed to go and take Russia; he proposed to make all Europe his. He proposed to destroy that power, and how did he come back again? How had he disposed it? He came back solitary and alone, his mighty army perished and wasted, having well-nigh eaten and devoured one another through hunger. Man proposes and God disposes.
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Jerry Bridges (Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts)
β€œ
The crux of the worldview conflict... is the denial of God's right to be God, and the usurpation of that right by man. In a word, it is a life or death struggle over _sovereignty_. Who will be sovereign- man or God? If God has lost the authority to be sovereign over reality, if He has lost the authority to provide objective law, and if He has lost the authority to reveal absolute truth, then in the eyes of men, He has lost the right to be God. He has been stripped of His "God-ness," or the very attributes which make Him God. At the same time, man is never content to be godless. He must have a god. Somebody or something must provide that authority. Thus, modern man gladly assumes that position, and humanist man becomes his own ultimate authority... This is the Gettysburg of the worldview war of the 21st century.
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Kevin Swanson (Apostate)
β€œ
Some may object that to speak of election or predestination is to limit the kingdom of God to a few. Does it make God a capricious tyrant? We must answer that such objections usually stem from a refusal to accept that we are faced here with a mystery that is not given to us to solve. There is also a radical misunderstanding which maintains that God's sovereignty in election removes man's responsibility. Such is not true. How divine sovereignty and human responsibility work together we cannot know. The Bible makes it clear that they do. // Let us remember that Jesus discriminated and limited the numbers of the saved: 'Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it' (Matthew 7:13-14). This is in line with the Old Testament teaching that only a faithful remnant of Israel would be saved.
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Graeme Goldsworthy (The Goldsworthy Trilogy: Gospel and Kingdom, Wisdom, and Revelation)
β€œ
Experiencing grief and pain is like falling off a cliff. Everything has been turned upside down, and we are no longer in control. As we fall, we see one and only one tree that is growing out from the rock face. So we grab hold of it and cling to it with all our might. This tree is our holy God. He alone can keep us from falling headfirst to our doom. There simply aren’t any other trees to grab. So we cling to this tree (the holy God) with all our might. But what we didn’t realize is that when we fell and grabbed the tree our arm actually became entangled in the branches, so that in reality, the tree is holding us. We hold on to keep from falling, but what we don’t realize is that we can’t fall because the tree has us. We are safe. God, in his holiness, is keeping us and showing mercy to us. We may not be aware of it, but it is true. He is with us even in the deepest and darkest pit.
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Dustin Shramek (Suffering and the Sovereignty of God)
β€œ
My friends, I do not believe it is preaching Christ and him crucified, to give people a batch of philosophy every Sunday morning and evening, and neglect the truths of this Holy Book. I do not believe it is preaching Christ and him crucified, to leave out the main cardinal doctrines of the Word of God, and preach a religion which is all a mist and a haze, without any definite truths whatever. I take it that man does not preach Christ and him crucified, who can get through a sermon without mentioning Christ's name once; nor does that man preach Christ and him crucified, who leaves out the Holy Spirit's work, who never says a word about the Holy Ghost, so that indeed the hearers might say, "We do not so much as know whether there be a Holy Ghost." And I have my own private opinion, that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and him crucified, unless you preach what now-a-days is called Calvinism. I have my own ideas, and those I always state boldly. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism. Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if we do not preach justification by faith without works; not unless we preach the sovereignty of God in his dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor, I think, can we preach the gospel, unless we base it upon the peculiar redemption which Christ made for his elect and chosen people; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called, and suffers the children of God to be burned in the fires of damnation, after having believed. Such a gospel I abhor. The gospel of the Bible is not such a gospel as that. We preach Christ and him crucified in a different fashion, and to all gainsayers we reply, "We have not so learned Christ.
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Charles Haddon Spurgeon
β€œ
Perhaps the best way to understand the book of Revelation is that it is a prophetic critique of civil religion. By civil religion I mean the religion of state where the state is the actual object of worship. Civil religion is religious patriotism. Christians are called to practice responsible citizenship but to renounce religious patriotism. In the practice of civil religion, the truth that the state is what is actually being deified and worshiped is usually carefully concealed. Instead of directly worshiping the state as God, worship of the state is expressed through sacred symbols, myths, and personifications of the state treated with religious reverence. The tendency to deify the state is particularly pronounced in empiresβ€”rich and powerful nations that believe they have a divine right to rule other nations and a manifest destiny to shape history according to their agenda. God’s contention with empire is one of the major themes of the Bible. From Egypt and Assyria to Babylonia and Rome, the prophets constantly critique empire as a direct challenge to the sovereignty of God. This prophetic tradition of empire critique reaches its apex in the book of Revelation. John the Revelator tells us that Rome’s claim of a divine right to rule the nations and of a manifest destiny to shape history is the very thing that God has given to his Son, Jesus Christ. Thus the drama of Revelation is cast as an epic conflict between the Lamb (Jesus) and the Beast (Rome).
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Brian Zahnd (Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God: The Scandalous Truth of the Very Good News)
β€œ
A.W. Tozer captured these ideas very well when he wrote: Here is my view: God sovereignly decreed that man should be free to exercise moral choice, and man from the beginning has fulfilled that decree by making his choice between good and evil. When he chooses to do evil, he does not thereby countervail the sovereign will of God but fulfills it, inasmuch as the eternal decree decided not which choice the man should make but that he should be free to make it. If in His absolute freedom God has willed to give man limited freedom, who is there to stay His hand or say, β€œWhat doest thou?” Man’s will is free because God is sovereign. A God less than sovereign could not bestow moral freedom upon His creatures. He would be afraid to do so. 34
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John C. Lennox (Determined to Believe: The Sovereignty of God, Freedom, Faith and Human Responsibility)
β€œ
To say that Christ is unable to win to Himself those who are unwilling, is to deny that all power in heaven and earth is His. To say that Christ cannot put forth His power without destroying man’s responsibility is a begging of the question here raised, for He has put forth His power and made willing those who have come to Him, and if He did this without destroying their responsibility, why β€œcannot” He do so with others? If He is able to win the heart of one sinner to Himself, why not that of another? To say, as is usually said, the others will not let Him, is to impeach His sufficiency. It is a question of His will. If the Lord Jesus has decreed, desired, purposed the salvation of all mankind, then the entire human race will be saved, or, otherwise, He lacks the power to make good His intentions; and in such a case it could never be said, β€œHe shall see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied” (Isa 53:11). The issue raised involves the deity of the Saviour, for a defeated Saviour cannot be God.
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Arthur W. Pink (The Sovereignty of God)
β€œ
A higher understanding of human freedom, however, is inseparable from a definition of human nature. To be free is to be able to flourish as the kind of being one is, and so to attain the ontological good toward which one's nature is oriented; freedom is the unhindered realization of a complex nature in its proper end (natural and supernatural), and this is consummate liberty and happiness. The will that chooses poorly, then - through ignorance, maleficence, or corrupt desire - has not thereby become freer, but has further enslaved itself to those forces that prevent it from achieving its full expression. And it is this richer understanding of human freedom that provides us some analogy to the freedom of God. For God is infinite actuality, the source and end of all being, the eternally good, for whom mere arbitrary 'choice' - as among possibilities that somehow exceed his 'present' actuality - would be a deficiency, a limitation placed upon his infinite power to be God. His freedom is the impossibility of any force, pathos, or potentiality interrupting the perfection of his nature or hindering him in the realization of his own illimitable goodness, in himself and in his creatures. To be 'capable' of evil - to be able to do evil or to be affected by an encounter with it - would in fact be an incapacity in God; and to require evil to bring about his good ends would make him less than the God he is. The object of God's will is his own infinite goodness, and it is an object perfectly realized, and so he is FREE.
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David Bentley Hart (The Doors of the Sea: Where Was God in the Tsunami?)
β€œ
To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He is the Almighty, the Possessor of all power in heaven and earth, so that none can defeat His counsels, thwart His purpose, or resist His will (Ps. 115:3). To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He is "The Governor among the nations" (Ps. 22:28), setting up kingdoms, overthrowing empires, and determining the course of dynasties as pleaseth Him best. To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He is the "Only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords" (1 Tim. 6:15). Such is the God of the Bible. How different is the God of the Bible from the God of modern Christendom! The conception of Deity which prevails most widely today, even among those who profess to give heed to the Scriptures, is a miserable caricature, a blasphemous travesty of the Truth. The God of the twentieth century is a helpless, effeminate being who commands the respect of no really thoughtful man. The God of the popular mind is the creation of a maudlin sentimentality. The God of many a present-day pulpit is an object of pity rather than of awe-inspiring reverence.[1]
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Arthur W. Pink (The Sovereignty of God)
β€œ
The four sprang forward affrighted. No hand had ever been laid upon them except in love; they had been nurtured ever so tenderly; and as they grew, their confidence in man became a lesson to men beautiful to see. What should such dainty natures do under such indignity but leap as from death? Forward they sprang as with one impulse, and forward leaped the car. Past question, every experience is serviceable to us. Where got Ben-Hur the large hand and mighty grip which helped him now so well? Where but from the oar with which so long he fought the sea? And what was this spring of the floor under his feet to the dizzy eccentric lurch with which in the old time the trembling ship yielded to the beat of staggering billows, drunk with their power? So he kept his place, and gave the four free rein, and called to them in soothing voice, trying merely to guide them round the dangerous turn; and before the fever of the people began to abate, he had back the mastery.
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Lew Wallace (Ben Hur a tale of the Christ)
β€œ
Why do people often feel bad in good environments and good in bad environments? Why did Mother Teresta think that affluent Westerners often seemed poorer than the Calcutta poor, the poorest of the poor? The paradox comes to pass because the impoverishments and enrichments of a self in a world are not necessarily the same as the impoverishments and enrichments of an organism in an environment. The organism is needy or not needy accordingly as needs are satisfied or not satisfied by its environment. The self in a world is rich or poor accordingly as it succeeds in identifying its otherwise unspeakable self, e.g., mythically, by identifying itself with a world-sign, such as a totem; religiously, by identifying itself as a creature of God...In a post-religious age, the only recourses of the self are self as transcendent and self as immanent. The impoverishment of the immanent self derives from a perceived loss of sovereignty to "them," the transcending scientists and experts of society. As a consequence, the self sees its only recourse as an endless round of work, diversion, and consumption of goods and services. Failing this and having some inkling of its plight, it sees no way out because it has come to see itself as an organism in an environment and so can't understand why it feels so bad in the best of all possible environments--say, a good family and a good home in a good neighborhood in East Orange on a fine Wednesday afternoon--and so finds itself secretly relishing bad news, assassinations, plane crashes, and the misfortunes of neighbors, and even comes secretly to hope for catastrophe, earthquake, hurricane, wars, apocalypse--anything to break out of the iron grip of immanence.
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Walker Percy (Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book)
β€œ
Kant abolished God and made man God in His stead. We are still living in the age of the Kantian man, or Kantian man-god. Kant's conclusive exposure of the so-called proofs of the existence of God, his analysis of the limitations of speculative reason, together with his eloquent portrayal of the dgnity of rational man, has had results which might possibly dismay him. How recognizable, how familiar to us, is the man so beautifully portrayed in the Grundelgung, who confronted even with Christ turns away to consider the judgment of his own conscience and to hear the voice of his own reason. Stripped of the exiguous metaphysical background which Kant was prepared to allow him, this man is with us still, free, independent, lonely, powerful, rational, responsible, brave, the hero of so many novels and books of moral philosophy. The raison d'etre of this attractive but misleading creature is not far to seek. He is the offspring of the age of science, confidently rational and yet increasingly aware of his alienation from the material universe which his discoveries reveal; and since he is not a Hegelian (Kant, not Hegel, has provided Western ethics with its dominating image) his alienation is without cure. He is the ideal citizen of the liberal state, a warning held up to tyrants. He has the virtue which the age requires and admires, courage. It is not such a very long step from Kant to Nietzsche, and from Nietzsche to existentialism and the Anglo-Saxon ethical doctrines which in some ways closely resemble it. In fact Kant's man had already received a glorious incarnation nearly a century earlier in the work of Milton: his proper name is Lucifer.
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Iris Murdoch (The Sovereignty of Good)
β€œ
If the Big Bang were indeed where it all began [which one can fairly well grant, at least to this point in science’s thinking], may I ask what preceded the Big Bang?” Their answer, which I had anticipated, was that the universe was shrunk down to a singularity. I pursued, β€œBut isn’t it correct that a singularity as defined by science is a point at which all the laws of physics break down?” β€œThat is correct,” was the answer. β€œThen, technically, your starting point is not scientific either.” There was silence, and their expressions betrayed the scurrying mental searches for an escape hatch. But I had yet another question. I asked if they agreed that when a mechanistic view of the universe had held sway, thinkers like Hume had chided philosophers for taking the principle of causality and applying it to a philosophical argument for the existence of God. Causality, he warned, could not be extrapolated from science to philosophy. β€œNow,” I added, β€œwhen quantum theory holds sway, randomness in the subatomic world is made a basis for randomness in life. Are you not making the very same extrapolation that you warned us against?” Again there was silence and then one man said with a self-deprecating smile, β€œWe scientists do seem to retain selective sovereignty over what we allow to be transferred to philosophy and what we don’t.” There
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Ravi Zacharias (Jesus Among Other Gods: The Absolute Claims of the Christian Message)
β€œ
I have talked with many pastors whose real struggle isn’t first with the hardship of ministry, the lack of appreciation and involvement of people, or difficulties with fellow leaders. No, the real struggle they are having, one that is very hard for a pastor to admit, is with God. What is caused to ministry become hard and burdensome is disappointment and anger at God. We have forgotten that pastoral ministry is war and that you will never live successfully in the pastorate if you live with the peacetime mentality. Permit me to explain. The fundamental battle of pastoral ministry is not with the shifting values of the surrounding culture. It is not the struggle with resistant people who don't seem to esteem the Gospel. It is not the fight for the success of ministries of the church. And is not the constant struggle of resources and personnel to accomplish the mission. No, the war of the pastor is a deeply personal war. It is far on the ground of the pastor’s heart. It is a war values, allegiances, and motivations. It's about the subtle desires and foundational dreams. This war is the greatest threat to every pastor. Yet it is a war that we often naΓ―vely ignore or quickly forget in the busyness of local church ministry. When you forget the Gospel, you begin to seek from the situations, locations and relationships of ministry what you already have been given in Christ. You begin to look to ministry for identity, security, hope, well-being, meeting, and purpose. These things are already yours in Christ. In ways of which you are not always aware, your ministry is always shaped by what is in functional control of your heart. The fact of the matter is that many pastors become awe numb or awe confused, or they get awe kidnapped. Many pastors look at glory and don't seek glory anymore. Many pastors are just cranking out because they don't know what else to do. Many pastors preach a boring, uninspiring gospel that makes you wonder why people aren't sleeping their way through it. Many pastors are better at arguing fine points of doctrine than stimulating divine wonder. Many pastors see more stimulated by the next ministry, vision of the next step in strategic planning than by the stunning glory of the grand intervention of grace into sin broken hearts. The glories of being right, successful, in control, esteemed, and secure often become more influential in the way that ministry is done than the awesome realities of the presence, sovereignty, power, and love of God. Mediocrity is not a time, personnel, resource, or location problem. Mediocrity is a heart problem. We have lost our commitment to the highest levels of excellence because we have lost our awe.
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Paul David Tripp (Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry)
β€œ
And beauty is a form of genius--is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts of the world, like sunlight, or spring-time, or the reflection in dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon. It cannot be questioned. It has its divine right of sovereignty. It makes princes of those who have it. You smile? Ah! when you have lost it you won't smile.... People say sometimes that beauty is only superficial. That may be so, but at least it is not so superficial as thought is. To me, beauty is the wonder of wonders. It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.... Yes, Mr. Gray, the gods have been good to you. But what the gods give they quickly take away. You have only a few years in which to live really, perfectly, and fully. When your youth goes, your beauty will go with it, and then you will suddenly discover that there are no triumphs left for you, or have to content yourself with those mean triumphs that the memory of your past will make more bitter than defeats. Every month as it wanes brings you nearer to something dreadful. Time is jealous of you, and wars against your lilies and your roses. You will become sallow, and hollow-cheeked, and dull-eyed. You will suffer horribly.... Ah! realize your youth while you have it. Don't squander the gold of your days, listening to the tedious, trying to improve the hopeless failure, or giving away your life to the ignorant, the common, and the vulgar. These are the sickly aims, the false ideals, of our age. Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing.... A new Hedonism--that is what our century wants. You might be its visible symbol. With your personality there is nothing you could not do. The world belongs to you for a season.... The moment I met you I saw that you were quite unconscious of what you really are, of what you really might be. There was so much in you that charmed me that I felt I must tell you something about yourself. I thought how tragic it would be if you were wasted. For there is such a little time that your youth will last--such a little time. The common hill-flowers wither, but they blossom again. The laburnum will be as yellow next June as it is now. In a month there will be purple stars on the clematis, and year after year the green night of its leaves will hold its purple stars. But we never get back our youth. The pulse of joy that beats in us at twenty becomes sluggish. Our limbs fail, our senses rot. We degenerate into hideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passions of which we were too much afraid, and the exquisite temptations that we had not the courage to yield to. Youth! Youth! There is absolutely nothing in the world but youth!
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Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)