I call upon You, Lord, God of Abraham and God of Isaac and God of Jacob and Israel, You who are the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God who, through the abundance of your mercy, was well-pleased towards us so that we may know You, who made heaven and earth, who rules over all, You who are the one and the true God, above whom there is no other God; You who, by our Lord Jesus Christ gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit, give to every one who reads this writing to know You, that You alone are God, to be strengthened in You, and to avoid every heretical and godless and impious teaching.

St Irenaeus of Lyons, Against the Heresies 3:6:4

Monday, April 5, 2010

Notable Quotables

A couple of quotes from this month’s Christianity Today sure jumped out at me.

The first one ironically came from Ted Olson’s “Quotation Marks” sidebar, p. 13. It was Benny Hinn complaining, “My wife has no biblical grounds for what she has done.” Frankly, I’m actually encouraged by this comment, that Hinn would concern himself over “biblical grounds” for anything is both remarkable and hopeful. How long have we made the same complaint against his message and ministry?!?

The second is from p. 35. Gerald McDermott, Jordan-Trexler Professor of Religion at Roanoke College, has an article called “On the Jesus Trail.” Therein Prof. McDermott surveys the continual influence of Jesus within the religious diversity of the Muslim, Judaic and Arabic Christian context of Palestine. Through a series of interviews, McDermott cites a Jewish convert, become Christian Pastor. Pastor Yossi Ovadia, of Galilee, was cited, saying,

“The English Christians I met had hearts for God and knew the Bible better than I did, even though I had grown up the son of a synagogue cantor. I started to envy them.”

Isn’t this exactly what God revealed would happen in the great mystery of redemption? Deut. 32:21 (Cf. Rom 10:19) promised that this would happen; that with “those who are not a nation...a foolish nation” [i.e., Gentiles] God would provoke Israel to a jealousy which would result in their inclusion in the New Covenant (Rom 11:11).

How exciting, that we can speak of biblical history in two ways: 1) in the sense of past events which are recorded for our salvation and edification in the Scriptures, and 2) in that we today are living-out, as it were, the history-future promised to come about in the power and reign of Christ through the Holy Spirit working in the Church!

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