5 Quotes By James Madison In “Humility”

HumilityI thoroughly enjoyed Dr. David Bobb’s book Humility (you can read my full book review by clicking here). The book was partially a challenge for us to cultivate this virtue in our individual lives and in the fabric of our nation. So Dr. Bobb uses several biographies of notable Americans to illustrate the power of humility. These are some quotes by James Madison.

“Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every of Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.” —James Madison

“The aim of every political constitution is, or ought to be, first to obtain for rulers men who possess most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of the society, and in the next place, to take the most effectual precautions for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold their public trust.” —James Madison

“As there is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust, so there are other qualities in human nature which justify a certain portion of esteem and confidence. Republican government presupposes the existence of these qualities in a higher degree than any other form.” —James Madison

“Before any man can be considered as a member of a Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe.” —James Madison

“Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks—no form of government can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea.” —James Madison

Thursdays With Oswald—Don’t Try To Persuade

ChambersThis is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

Don’t Try To Persuade

     You can’t persuade a man to believe in God; belief in God is not an act of the intellect, it is a moral creation produced by the interaction of God’s Spirit and my spirit in willing obedience; intellect comes in afterwards to explain what has happened. 

From Conformed To His Image

I love reading and studying apologetics, but it’s important to remember that I’m not reading these arguments to persuade someone to believe in Jesus. Oswald Chambers is right on target: no one can be be persuaded to believe.

The Bible says that faith in Christ comes through hearing God’s Word. So I unabashedly share as much Scripture as I can, refraining from adding my own commentary. The Word speaks for itself. As Charles Spurgeon said, “How do I defend the Bible? I treat it like a lion. I let it out of its cage and it defends itself.”

The apologetic training comes in handy after someone has already placed their faith in Christ to explain what has happened. It works like this:

The Bible → Faith in Christ. 

Apologetics → Understanding my faith.

4 Quotes By & About George Washington In “Humility”

HumilityI thoroughly enjoyed Dr. David Bobb’s book Humility (you can read my full book review by clicking here). The book was partially a challenge for us to cultivate this virtue in our individual lives and in the fabric of our nation. So Dr. Bobb uses several biographies of notable Americans to illustrate the power of humility. These are some quotes by and about George Washington.

“In [George] Washington’s early haste to achieve greatness, he sometimes let his ambition outpace virtue. He gradually realized this, and he calibrated his actions accordingly. Rather than just cloaking his ambition, Washington recognized that the more he served others and the cause of justice, the more his success would matter. The less his ambition was about his own fame, the more he would deserve the honors he received. Virtue in this sense, he discovered, can be its own reward.” —David Bobb

“I consider it an indispensable duty to close this last solemn act of my official life, by commending the interests of our dearest country to the protection of Almighty God, and those who have the superintendence of them, to His holy keeping.” —George Washington’s resignation speech

“I hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain (what I consider the most enviable of all titles) the character of an honest man, as well as prove (what I desire to be considered in reality) that I am.” —George Washington 

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” —George Washington’s farewell address

Maintain Sexual Discretion

Sexual discretionI’m always saddened when I hear of Christians who stumble in sexual sin. Whether it’s a real relationship with someone not their spouse or a virtual relationship with pornography, the pain and consequences are heart-wrenching.

King Solomon offers some sage advice to help us have victory in this area, which is summed up in just two words: maintain discretion (Proverbs 5:2). These are among his opening words before he describes the sweeter-than-honey, smoother-than-oil allure of sexual temptation.

This phrase—maintain discretion—emphasizes a strategy that is designed and thought-out prior to the moment of temptation: “maintain” means to keep close at hand and ready to use. This is the complete opposite of deciding in the moment. “The Moment” is usually emotionally-charged, intellectually-lacking, and comes at the most inopportune time when you’re at your most vulnerable point.

Solomon says to have a plan in place ahead of time to “keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house” (v. 8).

An even better plan is to make the relationship with your spouse (or future spouse) something so exciting and fulfilling (vv. 15-19) that any momentary temptation appears puny, shallow, and even abhorrent by contrast.

Wisdom is helpful in “the moment,” but it’s even more effective in keeping you away from “the moment.” You don’t have to be a victim of sexual sin, you CAN maintain discretion.

Links & Quotes

link quote

Some great reading I found today.

Dr. James Dobson won a big lawsuit against ObamaCare. Read more here.

“People are always saying it’s the other person’s fault, the other one who needs to change. That is why I believe no amount of counseling will have an impact until God’s people resolve something. We all have to make this our sincere, daily prayer: ‘O God, change me.’ We spend far too much time praying, ‘God, change my circumstances; change my coworkers; change my family situation; change the conditions in my life.’ Yet we seldom pray this most important prayer: ‘Change me, Lord. The real trouble isn’t my spouse, my sibling, my friend. I’m the one who stands in need of prayer.’” —David Wilkerson

[VIDEO] Margaret Sanger of Planned Parenthood on film saying women should stop having babies.

[INFOGRAPHIC] How creative people in history used their time.

6 Quotes From Profound Thinkers From “Humility”

HumilityI thoroughly enjoyed Dr. David Bobb’s book Humility (you can read my full book review by clicking here). The book was partially a challenge for us to cultivate this virtue in our individual lives and in the fabric of our nation. These are some noteworthy quotes from some noteworthy thinkers that Dr. Bobb referenced.

“This way is first humility, second humility, third humility … if humility does not precede and accompany and follow every good work we do, and if it is not set before us to look upon, and beside us to lean upon, and behind us to fence us in, pride will wrest from our hand any good deed we do while we are in the very act of taking pleasure in it.” —Augustine 

“But devout humility makes the mind subject to what is superior. Nothing is superior to God; and that is why humility exalts the mind by making it subject to God.” —Augustine

“Real wisdom is never pretending to seem to know what one does not know.” —Plato

“The Christian virtues are not natural and reasonable virtues of a golden mean but radical virtues of grace.” —Karl Löwith

“Nothing more certainly makes a man ridiculous than an over-forwardness to display his excellencies.” —John Witherspoon

“Smoke has no weight.” —Augustine

Impertinent Poems (book review)

Impertinent PoemsImpertinent Poems is a lovely collection of poetry from Edmund Vance Cooke. In case you left your dictionary at home, “impertinent” implies someone is a bit brash and out of line, so you might almost think that these poems are a bit cheeky.

And they are. Sort of.

Cooke does poke and prod his readers to take a good, long, honest look in the mirror in a way that’s almost too pointed. But then you realize that his finger is pointed squarely at his own reflection in the mirror, and we are almost listening in as he talks to himself.

Some of the poems are fun, some make you laugh, some seem a bit out of date (remember: these poems were written nearly 100 years ago), but all of them will make you think. And that is the beauty of well-written poetry.

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