Monday, June 29, 2009
"...The great and important article of faith, called 'the forgiveness of sins'...is the one great and difficult art of a Christian, where he will have enough to learn as long as he lives, so that he need not look for anything new, higher or better. ...For this is, as has been said, the skill and the wisdom of the Christian, but it is so high and great that even all the beloved Apostles could not speak enough of it; and yet it meets the painful misfortune that no art is mastered as soon as this. There is no greater theme for a preacher than the grace of God and the forgiveness of sin, yet we are such wicked people, that, when we have once heard or read it, we think we know it, are immediately masters and doctors, keep looking for something greater, as though we had done everything , and thus we made new factions and divisions. I have now been teaching and studying this subject with all diligence for many years (more than any one of those who imagine they know it all), in preaching, writing, and reading, yet I cannot boast of having mastered it and am glad that I still remain a pupil with those who are just beginning to learn" (Luther The Righteousness of the World and of the Christian, and the Power on Earth to Forgive Sins Sermon Points 1, 12, 13).
Monday, June 22, 2009
"Do they desire to join me in thanksgiving when they hear how, by your gift, I have come close to you, and do they pray for me when they hear how I am held back by my own weight? ...A brotherly mind will love in me what you teach to be lovable, and will regret in me what you teach to be regrettable. This is a mark of a Christian brother's mind, not an outsider's--not that of 'the sons of aliens whose mouth speaks vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of iniquity' (Ps. 143:7 f.). A brotherly person rejoices on my account when he approves me, but when he disapproves, he is loving me. To such people I will reveal myself. They will take heart from my good traits, and sigh with sadness at my bad ones. My good points are instilled by you and are your gifts. My bad points are my faults and your judgements on them. Let them take heart from the one and regret the other. Let both praise and tears ascend in your sight from brotherly hearts, your censers. ...But you Lord...Make perfect my imperfections (Augustine Confessions Bk. X. iv. (5).
Monday, June 15, 2009
"A moral person [that is outside of Christ (my emphasis)] has a secret antipathy against grace: he hates vice, and he hates grace as much as vice. The snake has a fine colour, but a sting" (Watson A body of divinity Pg. 243 1986 edition).
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
"The human race is inquisitive about other people's lives, but negligent to correct their own. Why do they demand to hear from me what I am when they refuse to hear from you what they are" (Augustine Confessions Book X iii (3)?