Quotes

John Calvin, on the 2 Voices of Every Pastor

calvin-john“A pastor has two voices, one for gathering the sheep and the other for driving away wolves and thieves. The Scripture supplies him with the means for doing both, and he who has been rightly instructed in it will be able both to rule those who are teachable and to refute the enemies of the truth. Paul notes this double use of the Scripture when he says that he should be able both to exhort and to convict the gainsayers.”

  • John Calvin, Calvin’s Commentaries, Volume 21

A Sample of Kevin DeYoung’s Writing

DeYoung KevinOne of my modern-day heroes is Kevin DeYoung, who serves as Senior Pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, MI. His book include The Biggest Story, Just Do Something, Crazy Busy, The Hole in Our Holiness, Taking God at His Word, What Does the Bible Really Say About Homosexuality?, What is the Mission of the Church?, Good News We Almost Forgot, Why We Love the Church, Why We’re Not Emergent, Don’t Call It a Comeback, and Freedom and Boundaries.

His preaching encourages me; his writing provokes me; his blog amuses and edifies me.

Below is a list of quotations I have taken note of over the years and have used in my own teaching and preaching. I believe you will find them instructive to your own heart.

On the Passive Christian – “Passivity is a plague among Christians. It’s not just that we don’t do anything; it’s that we feel spiritual for not doing anything. We imagine that our inactivity is patience and sensitivity to God’s leading. At times it may be; but it’s also quite possible we are just lazy. When we hyper-spiritualize our decisions, we can veer off into impulsive and foolish decisions. But more likely as Christians we fall into endless patterns of vacillation, indecision, and regret. No doubt, selfish ambition is a danger for Christians, but so is complacency, listless wandering, and passivity that pawns itself off as spirituality. Perhaps our inactivity is not so much waiting on God as it is an expression of the fear of man, the love of the praise of man, and disbelief in God’s providence.” (Just Do Something, pgs. 50-51)

On the Bible Being Clear – “The doctrine of the clarity of Scripture is not a wild assertion that the meaning of every verse in the Bible will be patently obvious to everyone. Rather, the perspicuity of Scripture upholds the notion that ordinary people using ordinary means can accurately understand enough of what must be known, believed, and observed for them to be faithful Christians.” (Taking God at His Word, pg. 59)

On the Bible Being Sufficient – “God has given us all we need for life and godliness; Scripture is enough to make us wise for salvation and holy unto the Lord. If we learn to read the Bible down (into our hearts), across (the plot line of Scripture), out (to the end of the story), and up (to the glory of God in the face of Christ), we still find that every bit of the Bible is profitable for us. To affirm the sufficiency of Scripture is not to suggest that the Bible tells us everything we want to know about everything, but it does tell us everything we need to know what matters most. Scripture does not give exhaustive information on every subject, but in every subject on which it speaks, it says only what is true. And in its truth we have enough knowledge to turn from sin, find a Savior, make good decisions, please God, and get to the root of our deepest problems.” (Taking God at His Word, pgs. 54-55)

On the Measure of a Church’s Success – “Didn’t Jesus tell us that ‘the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few’ (Matt. 7:14)? Wasn’t the early church of Philadelphia commended by the Lord Jesus even though they were facing opposition and had ‘little power’ (Rev. 3:7-13)? There is simply no biblical teaching to indicate that church size is the measure of success.” (Why We Love the Church, pg. 31)

On Holiness – “Even if could enter heaven without holiness, what would you do? What joy would you feel there? What holy man or woman of God would you sit down with for fellowship? Their pleasures are not your pleasures. Their character is not your character. What they love, you do not love. If you dislike a holy God now, why would you want to be with him forever? If worship does not capture your attention at present, what makes you think it will thrill you in some heavenly future? If ungodliness is your delight here on earth, what will please you in heaven, where all is clean and pure? You would not be happy there if you are not holy here.” (The Hole In Our Holiness, pg. 15)

Top 5 Quotes from My 2014 Reading

The Tuesday feature of the Worldly Saints blog references something I have been reading lately. The post is meant to share some of my reflections from the latest book, magazine article or blog post I have or am reading.

 

 

#1 – Andrew Rogers, Men Counseling Men, pg. 79

“Funerals are like splashes of cold water on a sleepy face. They wake us up and make us think about reality – about life and death. King Solomon, in the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, wrote that it is better to attend funerals than go to parties (7:2). That’s because we are more lucid about lives during funerals. He is not saying that parties are bad, but unlike parties, funerals cause us to think seriously about life.”

 

#2 – Robert Somerville, If I’m a Christian, Why Am I Depressed?, pg. 84

“I am depressed not because God has forsaken me but because a sovereign God has a plan to use this for good in my life. God can bring good out of depression as he conquers my fears, crushes my self-trust, barges into my isolation, and diffuses my despair. He can bring good out of depression as He teaches me to rejoice in affliction, to trust him implicitly, to pray fervently, to rely on His church, to fight evil and to persevere.”

 

#3 – Kevin DeYoung, Taking God at His Word, pgs. 54-55

“God has given us all we need for life and godliness; Scripture is enough to make us wise for salvation and holy unto the Lord. If we learn to read the Bible down (into our hearts), across (the plot line of Scripture), out (to the end of the story), and up (to the glory of God in the face of Christ), we still find that every bit of the Bible is profitable for us. To affirm the sufficiency of Scripture is not to suggest that the Bible tells us everything we want to know about everything, but it does tell us everything we need to know what matters most. Scripture does not give exhaustive information on every subject, but in every subject on which it speaks, it says only what is true. And in its truth we have enough knowledge to turn from sin, find a Savior, make good decisions, please God, and get to the root of our deepest problems.”

 

#4 – Paul Tripp, What Did You Expect?, pgs. 33-34

“A marriage of love, unity, and understanding is not rooted in romance; it is rooted in worship. … Think about this. Isn’t it interesting that some of the things that upset you don’t both your spouse at all? Why is it that something that delights you is, at the very same time, a thing that your husband or wife could easily live without? Why are some things much more important to you than to others? And why is it that your list of what is important doesn’t completely agree with your husband’s? Why are there themes to your anger and certain themes to your discouragement? Well, all these things I have been describing are connected to worship.”

 

#5 – Bruce Ware, The Man Christ Jesus, pg. 20

“Christ poured himself out, taking the form of a servant. Yes, he pours out by taking; he empties by adding. Here, then, is a strange sort of math that envisions a subtraction by addition, an emptying by adding. … It is a subtraction by adding (i.e., a pouring out, an emptying) by adding human nature to his divine nature. He came, then, to become the God-man – the one whose very divine nature took on fully the existence of a created human nature. He poured himself out by adding to himself the nature of a man, indeed, the nature of a servant par excellence who would give his life in obedience.”

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones on Systematic Theology

The Friday feature of the Worldly Saints blog is all about quotes. No commentary from me, no reflection, etc. Just a provocative or informative quote from a saint in church history.

 

“It is not enough merely that a man should know the Scriptures, he must know the Scriptures in the sense that he has got out of them the essence of biblical theology and can grasp it in a systematic manner. He must be so well versed in this that all his preaching is controlled by it.”

– D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in Preaching and Preachers

John MacArthur on God’s Sovereignty at the Cross

The Friday feature of the Worldly Saints blog is all about quotes. No commentary from me, no reflection, etc. Just a provocative or informative quote from a saint in church history.

“The Cross is therefore the ultimate proof of the utter sovereignty of God. His purposes are always fulfilled in spite of the evil intentions of sinners. God even works His righteousness through the evil acts of unrighteous agents. Far from making Him culpable for their evil, this demonstrates how all He does is good, and how He is able to work all things together for good (Romans 8:28) – even the most wicked deed the powers of evil have ever conspired to carry out.”

– John MacArthur in The Murder of Jesus

J.I. Packer on God’s Greatness

The Friday feature of the Worldly Saints blog is all about quotes. No commentary from me, no reflection, etc. Just a provocative or informative quote from a saint in church history.

 

“Today, vast stress is laid on the thought that God is personal, but this truth is so stated as to leave the impression that God is a person of the same sort as we are – weak, inadequate, a little pathetic. But this is not the God of the Bible! Our personal life is a finite thing: it is limited in every direction, in space, in time, in knowledge, in power. But God is not so limited. He is eternal, infinite, and almighty. He has us in his hands; we never have him in ours. Like us he is personal; but unlike us, he is great.”

–       J.I. Packer in Knowing God

 

Craig Detweiler on Friendship

The Friday feature of the Worldly Saints blog is all about quotes. No commentary from me, no reflection, etc. Just a provocative or informative quote from a saint in church history.

 

 

“The temptation on Facebook is to offer quick answers or clichés. But how much depth can we pack into a comment? Presence is not possible. True friendship is more than a post. It extends beyond a “like.” Friends get in the car, board the plane, and deliver dinner.”

– Craig Detweiler in iGods