quote: on faith, hope, and love

Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope.

Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith.

Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we must be saved by love.

No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint. Therefore we must be saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness.

Reinhold Niebuhr

links to 5 helpful posts

1. Miracles as Experienced Reality

“If we want to understand and appreciate discourse concerning miracles in the pages of the New Testament, then from the start we must grasp that the miraculous is not an incidental or disposable component of the Christian religion; it is rather the heart and the entire point of the Christian religion.”

2. You Can’t Love God Directly by Richard Beck

“Given, then, that God is a spirit, we can’t love God directly. Oh, we can try, but we’ll find that our ‘love’ struggles to find traction and purchase in this unseen ‘spiritual’ space. Trying to love God directly Gnosticizes our love, shifts love away from tangible, physical expressions toward something vague and abstract. A ‘spiritual’ love that doesn’t have a material object or outlet tends to reduce to mere sentiment.”

3. You came to mind again today; I prayed for you by Joe McKeever

“Is that good or not good? I cannot imagine there being anything wrong with it, and we will not know until we get to Heaven if God heard and answered. But that’s pretty much the case with all the rest of my prayers too, so I’m good with that.”

4. Ein Keshatot, the Golan Heights’ Hidden Archaeological Gem Opens to Public

“The synagogue, with its ornately carved basalt Torah ark, was built in the 1st century but extensively renovated some 500 years later. … The building, which collapsed in the catastrophic earthquake of 749 CE, measured 18 meters long by 13 meters wide, and is calculated to have been 12 meters high. That impressive size made it one of the biggest of the 30 ancient synagogues discovered in the Golan Heights.”

5. Joachim Ronneberg, Leader of Raid That Thwarted a Nazi Atomic Bomb, Dies at 99

“‘There is a lot of talk about ‘never again,’ but this is impossible if we don’t remember what happened back then,’ Mr. Ronneberg said.”

quote: how is it God reaches out to us?

 

“God is holy and just. In all his deeds, God is true to himself and faithful to his promises. In contrast, we act in opposition to our true selves and break our covenant promises. Rather than acknowledging God’s gifts with grateful hearts, we take our lives for granted; or, even worse, we use them as if we had created ourselves. When we ought to honor God by conforming to his holiness and justice, we follow our own foolish inclinations and reject the divine wisdom embodied in God’s law.

“Even if we admit that God has bridged the gaps between being and nothingness, between meaning and meaninglessness, why should the righteous and holy God reach out to an arrogant and ungrateful sinner? That which is nothing might at least arouse pity, since its pitiful state is not its own doing. But the ungrateful lawbreaker who considers himself wiser than God clearly deserves the consequences of his actions. Divine righteousness on one side and human unrighteousness on the other, God’s holiness above and our unholiness beneath – how can God bridge such chasms? And why would he do so if he could?

“To our amazement, God wills to have fellowship with the unrighteous: he chooses to save sinners from the consequences of their actions. … Why does God forgive sinners and reconcile them to himself by taking on their sin? Because he loves us with a love that ‘surpasses knowledge’ (Eph. 3.19), and that provokes our wonder and amazement.”

(Ron Highfield, Great Is the Lord: Theology for the Praise of God; pp. 175-176)