Atheistic Atonement

Christopher Hitchens weighs in on the atonement and John Calvin. I just finished reading Christopher Hitchens’ atheistic screed God is not Great. Demanding the end of all religion and proclaiming that belief in God is harmful to individuals and to society, Hitchens attempts, at least in portions of the book, to mock and even to deconstruct Christian theology. I found his remarks on the atonement to be of particular interest, primarily because the atonement is a hot topic even within …

Quote – Dave Harvey on Jane Austen

I am currently reading Dave Harvey’s new book, When Sinners Say “I Do”. The book is just excellent. I’ll provide a review of it shortly, but for now wanted to post a humorous little excerpt I enjoyed: I’m way too masculine to enjoy Jane Austen. Now, I realize that women usually read that as, “I’m not smart enough to get Jane Austen,” and I suppose there may be some truth to that. But even if guys like me don’t get …

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About the Bible

Some time ago I was doing some research on the Bible and came across some interesting quotes. I jotted these down and added a few others as I came across them. Each of these really is worth thinking about: “One of the many divine qualities of the Bible is that it does not yield its secrets to the irreverent and the censorious.” –J.I. Packer “The Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed is the shortest route to spiritual perfection. …

The Nature of News

I continue to make my way, rather slowly, really, through the 20th anniversary edition of Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death. Though written some 22 years ago, it continues to stretch my mind and to help me think about this visual culture we live in. In a chapter dealing with “the peek-a-boo world” he discusses the changing concept and definition of news. Where news was once regarded as functional information, the telegraph (and, after it, other forms of far-reaching and …

Quote: John Newton on Doctrine

This quote is drawn from John Newton’s A Review of Ecclesiastical History which was published in 1769. His words are as applicable today as they were 238 years ago when they were first penned. Whenever and wherever the doctrines of free grace and justification by faith have prevailed in the Christian Church, and according to the degree of clearness with which they have been enforced, the practical duties of Christianity have flourished in the same proportion. Wherever they have declined, …

A Presbyterian Healing Service

This morning I finished reading Daniel Doriani’s commentary on James and, in his discussion of the final portion of James 5, found an interesting quote. As I read it, I thought of my continuationist (charismatic) friends. It is my experience that these people often typify cessationists like myself as those who do not believe in supernatural or miraculous healings but this is really not the case. The disagreement really arises over whether or not the spiritual gift of healing is …

Quote: Are You A Canadian?

Since the subject of this morning’s article was my home and native land, I thought I’d post a quote on that theme. In How To Be A Canadian by Will and Ian Ferguson, the brothers suggest the ultimate test of a person’s status as a Canadian, as only a Canadian would be able to decipher this paragraph: Last night, I cashed my pogey and went to buy a mickey of C.C. at the beer parlour, but my skidoo got stuck …

Quote: Iain Murray on Unity

The following quote comes from Iain Murray’s book Evangelicalism Divided (on page 291 if you must know): The ecumenical call [in the mid-20th century] was not for truth and salt; it was supremely for oneness: the greater the unity of ‘the Church’, it was confidently asserted, the stronger would be the impression made upon the world; and to attain that end churches should be inclusive and tolerant. But it has never been by putting unity first that the church has …

Quote: Forget His Feeling…

I recently encountered an interesting quote. It is from William Wordsworth’s The Prelude, considered to be the masterpiece of this English Poet who lived from April 7, 1770 to April 23, 1850. Though the poem is autobiographical, this portion is largely based on the experience of a well-known Christian. And I have read of one by shipwreck thrown With fellow sufferers whom the waves had spared Upon a region uninhabited, An island of the deep, who having brought To land …

Quote: Whitefield on Making them Pray

As George Whitefield sailed from his native England to Georgia where he was to be a missionary, he ministered to those on board the ship. Here is an excerpt from his journal where he discusses a ministry encounter with a particularly willful child: Had a good instance of the benefit of breaking children’s wills betimes. Last night, going between decks (as I do every night) to visit the sick and to examine my people, I asked one of the women …