Forever Captivated

jesus-washing-the-disciples-feetIn Christ the ideas of the gospel are guaranteed by the fact of Christ. Here are not unrealized ideas floating upon the horizon of men’s thinking, but ideas become personalized, looking at us with loving eyes and touching us with warm redemptive touch. A correct code of morals leaves us absolutely cold . . . We cannot commune with a sunbeam, or say our prayers to the force of gravity, or bow down to the multiplication table, however true they may be . . . Religion may be the driest thing in the world, but when Religion comes to us bending in lowly services, healing our wounds of body and soul, speaking to our drooping spirits and making them alive again, and showing us the Father, then we bow at the feet of Religion forever captivated.

–E. Stanley Jones,
Christ at the Round Table

Far beyond what we imagined

christ-dancing_heimo-christian-haikalaIt is startling to discover how many people there are who heartily dislike and despise Christianity without having the faintest notion what it is. If you tell them, they cannot believe . . . that anything so interesting, so exciting and so dramatic can be the orthodox creed of the Church.
        –Dorothy Sayer

The Transformation of Tolstoy

leon_tolstoyFor thirty five years of my life I was, in the proper understanding of the word, nihilist, a man who believed in nothing. Five years ago my faith came to me. I believed in the doctrine of Jesus Christ and my whole life underwent a sudden transformation. Life and death ceased to be evil. Instead of despair, I tasted joy and happiness that death could not take away.
        — Leo Tolstoy

It Just Might be True

run-awayMany people run from God and vehemently deny His existence. His presence terrifies them. It should. They have seriously offended the High King of heaven. They cannot find God for the same reason a thief cannot find a policeman.

However, there’s something vitally important and absurdly wonderful that God-avoiders need to know. The Supreme Judge did the unthinkable to fix the huge mess we are in. His Son paid the death penalty of His rebel creatures’ misdeeds, shedding His own blood on a cross to bring them back into His grace and favor. And He has sent out a notice, called the gospel, that He wants to welcome them back, forgive them, adopt them into His family, and invite them into His eternal banquet!

It’s either the craziest thing that’s ever been heard, or the best news ever broken on Planet Earth.

God-deniers need to consider the fascinating possibility that it might be true.

–J. O. Schulz

The Man Who Made the World

jesus4[The Gospel] is nothing less than the loud assertion that this mysterious maker of the world has visited his world in person. It declares that really and even recently, or right in the middle of historic times, there did walk into the world this original invisible being; about whom the thinkers make theories and the mythologists hand down myths; the Man Who Made the World. That such a higher personality exists behind all things had indeed always been implied by all the best thinkers, as well as by all the most beautiful legends. But nothing of this sort had ever been implied in any of them . . . The most that any religious prophet had said was that he was the true servant of such a being. The most that any visionary had ever said was that men might catch glimpses of the glory of that spiritual being; or much more often of lesser spiritual beings. The most that any primitive myth had even suggested was that the Creator was present at the Creation. But that the Creator was present . . . and talked with tax-collectors and government officials in the detailed daily life of the Roman Empire, and that this fact continued to be firmly asserted by the whole of that great civilisation for more than a thousand years– that is something utterly unlike anything else in nature. It is the one great startling statement that man has made since he spoke his first articulate word . . . It would be easy to concentrate on it as a case of isolated insanity; but it makes nothing but dust and nonsense of comparative religion.

-G. K. Chesterton,
The Everlasting Man

Leaving the receiver of the hook

 

Phone off hookTo evade the Son of Man, to look the other way, to pretend you haven’t noticed, to become suddenly absorbed in something on the other side of the street, to leave the receiver off the telephone because it might be He who was ringing up, to leave unopened certain letters in a strange handwriting because they might be from Him — this is a different matter. You may not be certain yet whether you ought to be a Christian; but you do know you ought to be a Man, not an ostrich, hiding its head in the sand.

–C. S. Lewis