Since total conformity to the moral law is something that has never shown any sign of arriving soon, God has decided not to count on it as a means for finally cleaning up the mess we have made. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. He has taken the cleanup entirely into his own hands. He has just gone and done it without waiting for us; and he invites us to simply trust that he has it all accomplished for us in Jesus—and to proclaim that trust by acting as if we really believed it.
That same Christ event signals unequivocally that Christians need not fear the wrath of God at the end of the age—indeed, far from it. A God who is prepared to offer up his son to suffer and die in order to effect atonement for sinful humanity—free atonement no less!—is clearly utterly benevolent. This is a God of love, not a God of punishment. If anything, then, this God will defend the hapless Christian against accusations issuing from any other actor, whether human or superhuman! (And if God is on your side, who can really stand against you?)
The Deliverance of God, 608
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
This is the “wonderful exchange” by which Christ takes what is ours (our broken lives and unworthy prayers), sanctifies them, offers them without spot or wrinkle to the Father, and gives them back to us, that we might “feed” upon him in thanksgiving. He takes our prayers and makes them his prayers, and he makes his prayers our prayers, and we know our prayers are heard “for Jesus’ sake.” This is life in the Spirit, worship understood in terms of solo gratia [grace alone]. This is the Trinitarian nature of all true worship and communion.
James B. Torrance
Worship, Community and the
Triune God of Grace, 15
Heaven is the creation inconceivable to man; earth is the creation conceivable to him.
Dogmatics in Outline, 61
Where law rules, one is preoccupied with his own behavior, while grace causes us to be preoccupied with Jesus.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Life is neither good nor evil; but only a place for good or evil.
Don’t count the days; make the days count.
Our hope for salvation does not lie in the fact that we hold on to God’s hand, as if our decision and act were the principal part of the economy of hope. Rather, our hope for salvation lies primarily in the fact that God’s hand in the humanity of Jesus Christ has already reached out for, found and held fast to our hand.
The Resurrection of Ministry, 133
The only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little farther down our particular path than we have yet got ourselves.
E. M. Forster
Intimacy between friends involves a nondominant love, as well as vulnerability. With a true friend we can share the deepest places of our hearts, the dark as well as the light. I have friends whose secrets will go to the grave with me, as mine with them. We listen, we share, we laugh, we accept. We seldom give advice, and when we do, it is for love, not power. We play together, and this is a special delight for me in my mid-seventies, to have friends with whom I can play with the enthusiasm and whole-heartedness of a child.
A friend said to me, “Madeleine, you should see your face when you play Ping-Pong.”
I looked at her questioningly.
“You look just like a child.”
Penguins and Golden Calves, 24