Saturday, November 28, 2020

Mead: fundamentalism

Saturday, November 28, 2020
Meditation:
    Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away.
    —John 19:38 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Insofar as theology is an attempt to define and clarify intellectual positions, it is apt to lead to discussion, to differences of opinion, even to controversy, and hence to be divisive. And this has had a strong tendency to dampen serious discussion of theological issues in most groups, and hence to strengthen the general anti-intellectual bias inherent in much of revivalistic Pietism... “Fundamentalism” in America, among other things, was a movement that tried to recall these denominations to theological and confessional self consciousness. But it was defeated in every major denomination, not so much by theological discussion and debate as by effective political manipulations directed by denominational leaders to the sterilizing of this “divisive” element.
    ... Sidney E. Mead (1904-1999), Church History, v. XXIII, American Society of Church History, 1953, p. 291-320 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 16:15-16; 18:15-17; 21:24-27; John 3:2; 12:42-43; 19:38; 2 Cor. 12:20
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, strengthen Your people that they may not be shamed into silence.
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Friday, November 27, 2020

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Drury: the style and content of churches

Friday, November 27, 2020
Meditation:
    Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.
    —Proverbs 3:34 (KJV)
Quotation:
    We are building many splendid churches in this country, but we are not providing leaders to run them. I would rather have a wooden church with a splendid parson, than a splendid church with a wooden parson.
    ... Samuel Smith Drury (1878-1938), included in Leaves of Gold, Evan S. Coslett & Clyde Francis Lytle, ed. [1948], Honesdale, Pa.: Coslett Publishing Company, 1938, p. 62 (see the book)
    See also Num. 12:3; Prov. 3:34; Mark 10:43-44; Phil. 4:12
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You are sovereign over our strength and fortunes.
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Thursday, November 26, 2020

Calvin: God's providence

Thursday, November 26, 2020
    Commemoration of Isaac Watts, Hymnwriter, 1748
    Thanksgiving (U.S.)
Meditation:
    Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.
    —2 Corinthians 9:10 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Whenever we call God the Creator of heaven and earth, let us at the same time reflect, that the dispensation of all those things which he has made is in his own power, and that we are his children, whom he has received into his charge and custody, to be supported and educated; so that we may expect every blessing from him alone, and cherish a certain hope that he will never suffer us to want those things which are necessary to our well-being, that our hope may depend on no other; that, whatever we need or desire, our prayers may be directed to him, and that, from whatever quarter we receive any advantage, we may acknowledge it to be his benefit, and confess it with thanksgiving; that, being allured with such great sweetness of goodness and beneficence, we may study to love and worship him with all our hearts.
    ... John Calvin (1509-1564), The Institutes of the Christian Religion, v. I [1559], tr. John Allen, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1921, I.xiv.22, p. 170 (see the book)
    See also Gen. 1:29-30; 8:21-22; Deut. 10:18; Ps. 23:1; 85:12; Matt. 7:11; 2 Cor. 9:8-10
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, for Your continual provision for Your people, we give You thanks and praise.
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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Augustine: Thy word, visible

Wednesday, November 25, 2020
    Commemoration of Katherine of Alexandria, Martyr, 4th century
Meditation:
    My lover is like a gazelle or a young stag. Look! There he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, peering through the lattice.
    —Song of Solomon 2:9 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Thy word remaineth for ever, which word now appeareth unto us in the riddle of the clouds, and through the mirror of the heavens, not as it is: because that even we, though the well beloved of thy Son, yet it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. He looked through the lattice of our flesh and he spake us fair, yea, he set us on fire, and we hasten on his scent. But when he shall appear, then shall we be like him, for we shall see him as he is: as he is, Lord, will our sight be, though the time be not yet.
    ... St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), Confessions [397], Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1886, XIII.xv, p. 366 (see the book)
    See also Song of Solomon 1:3; 2:9; Isa. 40:6-8; 1 Cor. 13:12; 1 John 3:2
Quiet time reflection:
    Your people shall become the fulfillment of Your promises, Lord.
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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Paton: the meaning of "almighty"

Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Meditation:
    Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.
    —Genesis 2:1-2 (NIV)
Quotation:
    We ought indeed to expect to find the works of God in such things as the advance of knowledge. Knowledge of the physical universe is not to be thought of as irrelevant to Christian faith [simply] because it does not lead to saving knowledge of God. In so far as it is concerned with God’s creation, physical science is a fitting study for God’s children. Moreover, the advance of scientific knowledge does negatively correct and enlarge theological notions—at the least, the geologists and astrophysicists have helped us to rid ourselves of parochial notions of God, and filled in some of the meaning of such phrases as “almighty.”
    ... David M. Paton (1913-1992), Christian Missions and the Judgment of God, London: SCM Press, 1953, p. 17 (see the book)
    See also Gen. 1:1; 2:1-2; Ps. 8:3-4; 19:1-5; Heb. 11:3
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, Your creation reflects Your goodness.
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Monday, November 23, 2020

Bridge: evangelism is an attitude

Monday, November 23, 2020
    Commemoration of Clement, Bishop of Rome, Martyr, c.100
Meditation:
    [Jesus to the twelve:] “As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”
    —Matthew 10:7-8 (NIV)
Quotation:
    Evangelism is not an activity at all. It is rather an attitude of mind behind all Christian activity. Evangelism is not a list of certain things done, but the spirit in which they are done. That is precisely why it cannot be organized. It is perhaps best described as an attitude of mind towards God and the world—an attitude which the Church must recover if she is to be true to her Lord, and to seize hold of the present opportunity.
    ... C. Gordon Bridge, Evangelism: Some principles and experiments, London: SPCK, 1937, p. 8 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 10:7-8; Luke 10:9; 16:16; Acts 4:1-4
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, move Your people to evangelize depending on You alone.
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