Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Donne: faith's reasons and choices

Tuesday, October 11, 2016
    Commemoration of Ethelburga, Abbess of Barking, 675
    After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, “Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity I will summon you.” At the same time he hoped that money would be given him by Paul. So he sent for him often and conversed with him.
    —Acts 24:24-26 (ESV)
    We may search so far, and reason so long of faith and grace, as that we may lose not only them, but even our reason too, and sooner become mad than good. Not that we are bound to believe anything against reason, that is, to believe, we know not why. It is but a slack opinion, it is not Belief, that is not grounded upon Reason... It is true, we have not a Demonstration; not such an Evidence as that one and two are three, to prove these to be Scriptures of God; God hath not proceeded in that manner, to drive our reason into a pound, and to force it by a peremptory necessity to accept these for Scriptures, for then, here had been no exercise of our will, and our assent, if we could not have resisted.
    ... John Donne (1573-1631), Works of John Donne, vol. V, London: John W. Parker, 1839, Sermon CXVII, p. 55-57 (see the book)
    See also Acts 24:24-26; Matt. 21:32; Luke 22:67-69; 24:36-43; John 3:12; 5:37-40,46-47; 7:5; 10:25-26; Rom. 3:1-2; 2 Tim. 3:16
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, I believe, and I am nourished by Your Word.
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