Quick Takes – 10/18/2008

Abraham Piper encourages us to judge people by the direction they’re going, not by the place where they are. “The same choice that’s a life-saving step forward for an unbeliever or struggling Christian would be pitiable retrogression for someone farther along.”

Bob Hyatt quotes David Sanford on the one mistake we dare not make. “If we learn anything from the Psalms, it’s that God isn’t afraid of our emotions, our struggles, and our questions. The one mistake we dare not make, Philip Yancey reminds us, is to confuse God (who is good) with life (which is hard). God feels the same way we do–and is taking the most radical steps possible (Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, and more to come) to redeem the present situation.”

Justin Taylor quotes Michael Horton on Bible interpretation. “The best way to guard a true interpretation of Scripture, the Reformers insisted, was neither to naively embrace the infallibility of tradition, or the infallibility of the individual, but to recognize the communal interpretation of Scripture. The best way to ensure faithfulness to the text is to read it together, not only with the churches of our own time and place, but with the wider ‘communion of saints’ down through the age.”

Ray Pritchard discusses bad behavior in the Bible. “I love stories like this because they remind me that God is the real hero of the Bible. During a radio interview I was asked why so many Bible characters had serious flaws. My answer was simple. That’s all God has to work with. All the perfect people are in heaven. The only ones on earth are the folks with serious weaknesses. The talent pool has always been pretty thin when it comes to moral perfection … That’s what grace is all about. We do the messing up–and God does everything else.”

Pulpit Magazine quotes Richard baxter on serious preaching. “For myself, as I am ashamed of my dull and careless heart, and of my slow and unprofitable course of life, so, the Lord knows, I am ashamed of every sermon I preach; when I think what I have been speaking of, and who sent me, and that men’s salvation or damnation is so much concerned in it, I am ready to tremble lest God should judge me as a slighter of His truths and the souls of men, and lest in the best sermon I should be guilty of their blood. Me thinks we should not speak a word to men in matters of such consequence without tears, or the greatest earnestness that possibly we can; were not we too much guilty of the sin which we reprove, it would be so.”

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