Friday, May 31, 2013

Sayers: the most helpful message

Friday, May 31, 2013
    [Jesus:] “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man ‘unclean’; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean.’”
    —Matthew 15:17-20 (NIV)
    [Surprisingly] the Christian Church now finds herself called upon to proclaim the old and hated doctrine of sin as a gospel of cheer and encouragement. The final tendency of the modern philosophies—hailed in their day as a release from the burden of sinfulness—has been to bind man hard and fast in the chains of an iron determinism. The influences of heredity and environment, of glandular make-up and the control exercised by the unconscious, of economic necessity and the mechanics of biological development, have all been invoked to assure man that he is not responsible for his misfortunes and therefore not to be held guilty. Evil has been represented as something imposed upon him from without, not made by him from within. The dreadful conclusion follows inevitably, that as he is not responsible for evil, he cannot alter it... Today, if we could really be persuaded that we are miserable sinners—that the trouble is not outside us bu! t inside us, and that therefore, by the grace of God, we can do something to put it right, we should receive that message as the most hopeful and heartening thing that can be imagined.
    ... Dorothy Leigh Sayers (1893-1957), Christian Letters to a Post-Christian World, Eerdmans, 1969, p. 41 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 15:17-20; 6:22-23; 12:34; 23:25-28; Mark 7:15,18-23; Luke 11:34-36; 17:20-21; Rom. 8:6-8; Eph. 3:20-21; Jas. 1:13-15
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, let Your redemption from sin be preached again.
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