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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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  • Recommended Reading

The Unsubdued Will

A. W. Pink

Quoting A. W. Pink (1886–1952):

“A person who is vain and self-important, who pushes to the fore seeking the notice of others, who parades his fancied knowledge and attainments, has not learned of Him who is “meek and lowly in heart.” One who is hypersensitive, who is deeply hurt if some one slights her, who resents a word of reproof no matter how kindly spoken, betrays the lack of a humble and teachable spirit. One who frets over disappointments, murmurs each time his will is crossed and rebels against the dispensations of Providence, exhibits a will which has not been Divinely subdued.”

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Madison On Self-Government

March 4: James Madison begins the first of two...

James Madison

Quoting James Madison:

“We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”

“Narrow-Minded Theology”

Ary Scheffer: The Temptation of Christ, 1854

Temptation of Christ

Every heresy began at one time with some little departure from the truth.  You might begin with a little vague talk about “love” that ends with the doctrine of universal salvation and denies the existence of hell.  A small seed may grow into a giant tree.  J. C. Ryle writes of the danger of false doctrine in the church:

False doctrine does not meet men face to face, and proclaim that it is false.  It does not blow a trumpet before it, and endeavor openly to turn us away from the truth as it is in Jesus.  It does not come before men in broad day, and summon them to surrender.  It approaches us secretly, quietly, insidiously, plausibly, and in such a way as to disarm man’s suspicion, and throw him off his guard.  It is the wolf in sheep’s clothing, and Satan in the garb of an angel of light, who have always proved the most dangerous foes of the Church of Christ. . . .

I consider the most dangerous champion of [false doctrine] is not the man who tells you openly that he wants you to lay aside any part of the truth, and to become a free-thinker and a skeptic.  It is the man who begins with quietly insinuating doubts as to the position that we ought to take up about religion, doubts whether we ought to be so positive in saying “this is truth, and that falsehood,” doubts whether we ought to think men wrong who differ from us on religious opinions, since they may after all be as much right as we are.

It is the man who tells us we ought not to condemn anybody’s views, lest we err on the side of the lack of love.  It is the man who always begins talking in a vague way about God being a God of love, and hints that we ought to believe perhaps that all men, whatever doctrine they profess, will be saved.  It is the man who is ever reminding us that we ought to take care how we think lightly of men of powerful minds, and great intellects (though they are deists and skeptics), who do not think as we do, and that, after all, “great minds are all more or less, taught of God!”

It is the man who is ever harping on the difficulties of inspiration, and raising questions whether all men may not be found saved in the end, and whether all may not be right in the sight of God.  It is the man who crowns this kind of talk by a few calm sneers against what he is pleased to call “old-fashioned views,” and “narrow-minded theology,” and “bigotry,” and the “lack of liberality and love,” in the present day.  But when men begin to speak to us in this kind of way, then is the time to stand upon our guard. (Pharisees and Sadducees)

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