Pioneering is a costly thing

“The whole history of the Church is one long story of this tendency to settle down on this earth and to become conformed to this world, to find acceptance and popularity here and to eliminate the element of conflict and of pilgrimage. That is the trend and the tendency of everything. Therefore outwardly, as well as inwardly, pioneering is a costly thing.”

T. Austin Sparks

More expensive than marble

My wife loves me so much, sometimes she scares me. The other night she kept looking at my hand, wondering if she could find an art student who could make a life-size marble sculpture of me. I protested that I don’t know anybody besides her who would want a marble sculpture of me, and that it would probably be incredibly expensive – thousands of dollars.

But there’s somebody who has already spent much more than thousands of dollars for me, and for you. He’s given his life, and spent my entire life, to make something beautiful of me, because he finds me that valuable.

God needs to respect our decorum

“With some men it would seem, if they could control God’s operations and manipulate His actions they might tolerate a revival; but to allow God a free hand, fills them with righteous indignation and horror. If only God would consent to become an ‘ecclesiastic’ and respect their dignity and decorum and beautiful order of service and ways of running the Church, they might condescend to have a revival.”

William P. Nicholson

Eating the menu

I’ve never read Rudolph Otto‘s 1917 book “The Idea of the Holy,” but it sounds like Western Christians have something to learn from him. Otto might say that much conventional orthodoxy and theology is like going to a restaurant and eating the menu. Otto pointed out that Christians tend to “flatten out” their faith, to make it more tame and manageable. Sounds to me like a religious shampoo/conditioner. Instead, Otto sought a mystical excitement in religious experience that was missing from 20th century Protestantism. It seems to be largely missing from 21st century Christianity as well. Would you like cardboard with that, sir?