Poetry Saturday—Plea To Science

Ella Wheeler WilcoxO Science, reaching backward through the distance,
   Most earnest child of God,
Exposing all the secrets of existence,
   With thy divining rod,
I bid thee speed up to the heights supernal,
   Clear thinker, ne’er sufficed;
Go seek and bind the laws and truths eternal,
   But leave me Christ.

Upon the vanity of pious sages
   Let in the light of day;
Breaking down the superstitions of all ages—
   Thrust bigotry away;
Stride on, and bid all stubborn foes defiance,
   Let Truth and Reason reign:
But I beseech the, O Immortal Science,
   Let Christ remain.

What canst thou give to help me bear my crosses,
   In place of Him, my Lord?
And what to recompense for all my losses,
   And bring me sweet reward?
Thou couldst not with thy clear, cold eyes of reason,
   Thou couldst not comfort me
Like One who passed through that tear-blotted season
   In sad Gethsemane!

Through all the weary, wearing hours of sorrow,
   What word that thou hast said
Would make me strong to wait for some tomorrow
   When I should find my dead?
When I am weak, and desolate, and lonely—
   And prone to follow wrong?
Not thou, O Science—Christ, my Savior, only
   Can make me strong.

Thou art so cold, so lofty, and so distant,
   Though great my need might be,
No prayer, however constant and persistent,
   Couldst bring thee down to me.
Christ stands so near, to help me through each hour,
   To guide me day by day
O Science, sweeping all before thy power—
   Leave Christ, I pray! —Ella Wheeler Wilcox

6 Quotes From Billy Graham On Faith

BillyGrahamI recently read The Quotable Billy Graham (you can read my book review here), and I was struck by how relevant his words are, even 50 years after they were spoken. Here are a few quotes on faith.

“I wonder if the church has not failed this generation of young people by failing to make the Christian faith the thrilling, joyful, triumphant experience that it really is.”

“You best demonstrate your faith in a bank by putting your money in it. You best show your faith in the doctor by trusting him in times of illness. You best prove your faith in a boat by getting aboard. You best demonstrate your faith in Christ by trusting Him with your life and receiving Him unconditionally as your Savior.”

“One of the differences I have with some theologians is that they try to reduce the whole content of the Christian faith to an intellectual gymnastic exercise. Christianity cannot be reduced to reason alone.”

“We are rich in the things that perish, but poor and the things of the spirit. We are rich in gadgets, but poor in faith. We are rich in goods, but poor in grace. We are rich in know-how, but poor in character. We are rich in words, but poor in deeds.”

“If you are a Christian, there is no excuse for not having daily victory in your life by renouncing sin and by faith letting the Spirit of God have control of your life.”

“Whenever anyone asks me how I can be so certain about who and what God really is, I am reminded of the story of the little boy who was out flying a kite. It was a very fine day for kite flying, the wind was brisk and large billowy clouds were blowing across the sky. The kite went up and up until it was entirely hidden by the clouds.
‘What are you doing?’ a man asked the little boy.
‘I’m flying a kite,’ he replied.
‘Flying a kite, are you?’ the man said. ‘How can you be sure? You can’t see your kite.’
‘No,’ said the boy, ‘I can’t see it, but every little while I feel a tug, so I know for sure that it’s there!’
“Don’t take anyone else’s word for God. Find Him for yourself, and then you too will know by the wonderful, warm tug on your heartstrings that He is there for sure.”

Links & Quotes

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“One profound biblical insight we need to know is that our heart exploits our mind to justify what the heart wants. That is, our deepest desires precede the rational functioning of our minds and incline the mind to perceive and think in a way that will make the desires look right.” —John Piper

“‘No hope’ is a cry which no human tongue should utter, which no human heart should heed. May God grant us grace whenever we get an opportunity to go and tell all we meet with that are bowed down, ‘There is lifting up.’ And tell them where it is likewise. Tell them it is only at the Cross. Tell them it is through the precious blood. Tell them it is to be had for nothing, through simply trusting Christ. Tell them it is of free grace, that no merits of theirs are wanted, that no good things are they to bring, but that they may come just as they are, and find lifting up in Christ.” —Charles Spurgeon

“We must not be naïve about the power of reason. Reason can only do so much. No one can be reasoned into believing the Gospel. That requires a work of the Spirit of God, a work of faith. Reason can clear the way for faith, but it cannot engender it. Only God can do that. … So, even as we reason with our unbelieving friends, we must remember that only if God the Spirit works with our words—and if our words are faithful to the Word of God—will are friends come to faith in Jesus Christ. Reason is a tool, but the Holy Spirit is the power for faith and eternal life.” —T.M. Moore

“The best reason to brand someone with a pejorative label is to push them away, to forestall useful conversation, to turn them into the other. Much more useful: Identify the behavior that’s counter-productive. When we talk about the behavior, we have a chance to make change happen. What would happen if the behavior stopped? When we call someone misogynist or racist or sexist or a capitalist, a socialist or an abstract expressionist, what are we hoping for? Every one of us is on the ‘ist’ spectrum, so the label becomes meaningless. Meaningless labels are noise, noise that lasts. If that person stopped acting like a _____ist, what would change? Because if there’s nothing we want to change, the labeling is useless. And if there’s a change that needs to be made, let’s talk about what it is.” —Seth Godin

Does anyone else find this statement ironic? “Christ, what does this mean?” says Greger Larson, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Oxford, UK. Let me contrast two words: Christ (as in Jesus, the Son of God) and evolutionary (as in, don’t believe in God). Even the supposed God-deniers cannot help but evoke His name!

For anyone who works with students, Tim Elmore shares three balancing acts we all need to keep in mind.

Nancy Pearcey has an eye-opening post about the transgender fascination in our culture. In part, she writes: “The worldview implicit in the transgender movement is that our physical bodies have no particular value—that our biology is irrelevant to who we are as persons…. It is a worldview that drives a wedge between one’s body and one’s sense of self, which exerts a self-alienating, fragmenting effect on the human personality….” Please read Transgender Politics Vs. The Facts Of Life.

Links & Quotes

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“In this version of the Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11:2-4) Jesus says, ‘When you pray say’ … and then in verse 4 He includes this petition, ‘and forgive us our sins.’ So, if you connect the beginning of the prayer with the middle, what He says is, ‘Whenever you pray say … forgive us our sins.’ I take this to mean that this should be as much a part of all our praying as ‘Hallowed be Thy name.’ Which means that Jesus assumes that we need to seek forgiveness virtually every time we pray. In other words, we are always sinners. … It doesn’t matter how obedient we have been before we pray. We always come to the Lord as sinners—all of us. And God does not turn away the prayers of sinners when they pray like this.” —John Piper

“What if I say that it is not unjust but according to law that when a woman gets into debt her husband should bear it? And with the church of God sinning, it was but right that her Husband, who had espoused her unto Himself, should become the debtor on her behalf. The Lord Jesus stood in the relationship of a married Husband unto His church, and it was not, therefore, a strange thing that He should bear her burdens.” —Charles Spurgeon

“We can have confidence in our ability, through reason, to help our unbelieving friends consider the Good News of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom. We know this because God Himself is reasonable, and we believe He commends the use of reason in making Himself and His will known to men.” —T.M. Moore

“Listen to your conscience. Don’t be afraid not to join the mob—if you feel inside it’s wrong. Don’t confuse being ‘soft’ with seeing the other guy’s point of view. … Avoid self-righteously turning on a friend, but have your friendship mean enough that you would be willing to share with your friend your judgment. Don’t assign away your judgment to achieve power.” —George H.W. Bush, in a letter to his sons during the Watergate scandal

Some interesting lessons in Fast Company’s list of the 50 most well-liked CEOs in the United States.

“satan has tripped up many Christians by convincing them they’ve lost something in the Lord.” But David Wilkerson urges us to forget those things!

If you are praying for one of your loved ones to accept Jesus as their Savior, Tim Dilena has an encouraging word for you in The Amazing Now Becomes More Amazing.

[VIDEO] Conrad Mbewe shows how the so-called prosperity gospel isn’t honest with the entirety of Scripture—

Links & Quotes

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“Such is the Christ with Whom we have to do, full of grace and truth. Let us draw near; let us keep near; let us allow Him to pour out His love on us; let us bring others to Him to be partakers of the same overflowing love.” —Horatius Bonar

“O soul, if you trust Christ, the blood is on your brow today; before the eye of God there is no condemnation. Why, then, do you need to fear? You are safe, for the blood secures every soul that once is sheltered thereby. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, but if you believe not, trust where you may, you shall be damned.” —Charles Spurgeon

“I can’t believe that there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four Cs. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence.” —Walt Disney

“You have a body. But it is not yours. ‘You have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body’ [1 Corinthians 6:20]. You are always in a temple. Always worship [1 Corinthians 10:31].” —John Piper

Speaking of our bodies, more young men are having heart attacks. Check this out to protect your health.

Have you ever thought about God being reasonable? T.M. Moore has an insightful post on this—God Who Reasons.

Brett Kunkle shares a great apologetic piece on an early and reliable account of Christ’s resurrection.

Taking a Sabbath rest is a reward, not a restriction.

[VIDEO] God wrote a book—

Links & Quotes

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Some great reading & watching from this weekend…

What it means to fight like a man.

[INFOGRAPHIC] The most popular Book of all time.

“Christians are priests, but how priests if they offer no sacrifice? Christians are lights, but how are they lights unless they shine for others? Christians are sent into the world, even as Christ was sent into the world, but how are they sent unless they are sent to pray? Christians are meant not only to be blessed themselves, but in them shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, but how if you refuse to pray?” —Charles Spurgeon

“Reason does not know that salvation must come down from above; we want to work up from below so that the satisfaction is rendered by us.” —Martin Luther

“No matter the society or culture, the city or town, God has never lacked the power to work through available people to glorify His name.” —Jim Cymbala

Chilly Chilton has a very timely message: My Take On Mark Driscoll & Acts 29.

[FREE EBOOK] I love the graphics and Bible study tools from The Overview Bible Project. Check out the free ebook they are offering on the apostles.

[VIDEO] John Maxwell says, “You cannot be full of yourself and focused on others.” Check out his video on humility.

12 Noteworthy Quotes From “There Is A God”

There Is A GodAs I said in my book review of Anthony Flew’s There Is A God, the real value of this book is in the arguments which contributed to Flew’s shift from atheism to theism. You can read my full book review by clicking here.

Frankly, it’s hard to share a lot of the quotes because the context of the full argument would be lacking, but I’ve been sharing a few of them over several posts. To wrap up this series, here are several other noteworthy quotes from this thought-provoking book.

“I would have liked to convince my father that I had found what he had been looking for, the ineffable something he had longed for all his life. I would have liked to persuade him that the search for God does not have to be in vain. But it was hopeless. He had known too many blind Christians, bleak moralists who sucked the joy from life and persuaded their opponents; he would never have been able to see the truth they were hiding.” —Katherine Tait, daughter of Bertrand Russell 

“Nothing can penetrate the loneliness of the human heart except the highest intensity of the sort of love the religious teachers have preached.” —Bertrand Russell

“In sum, to the Being who he considered to be the explanation of the world and its broad form, Aristotle ascribed the following attributes: immutability, immateriality, omnipotence, omniscience, oneness or indivisibility, perfect goodness and necessary existence. There is an impressive correspondence between this set of attributes and those traditionally ascribed to God within the Judaeo-Christian tradition. It is one that fully justifies us in viewing Aristotle as having had the same Divine Being in mind as the cause of the world that is the object of worship of these two religions.” —David Conway

“There can never be any real opposition between religion and science; for the one is the complement of the other. … Religion and natural science are fighting the joint battle in an incessant, never relaxing crusade against skepticism and against dogmatism, against unbelief and superstition … and therefore ‘On to God!’” —Max Planck

“God is a mathematician of a very high order and He used advanced mathematics in constructing the universe.” —Paul A.M. Dirac 

“Reason tells me of the extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capability of looking far backwards and far into the futurity, as a result of blind chance or necessity. When thus reflecting I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of mine; and I deserve to be called a Theist.” —Charles Darwin

“Science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview. … Even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith the existence of a lawlike order in nature that is at least in part comprehensible to us.” —Paul Davies, Templeton Prize winner 

“It is crazy to postulate a trillion (casually unconnected) universes to explain the features of one universe, when postulating one entity (God) will do the job.” —Richard Swinburne

“The problem of how meaningful or semantic information can emerge spontaneously from a collection of mindless molecules subject to blind and purposeless forces percents a deep conceptual challenge.” —Paul Davies 

“One feature of life, though, remains certain: Life could not have evolved without a genetic mechanism—one able to store, replicate, and transmit to its progeny information that can change with time. … Precisely how the first genetic machinery involved also persists as an unresolved issue.” —Antonia Lazcano

“The world is rational. The order of the world reflects the order of the supreme mind governing it.” —Kurt Gödel

“The reality of rationality cannot be evaded with any appeal to natural selection. Natural selection presupposes the existence of physical entities that interact according to specific laws and of a code that manages the processes of life. And to talk of natural selection is to assume that there is some logic to what is happening in nature (adaptation) and that we are capable of understanding this logic.” —Roy Abraham Varghese

  • You can read some direct quotes from Anthony Flew by clicking here.
  • Some Albert Einstein quotes can be found by clicking here.
  • A fascinating mathematical explanation from Gerald Schroeder is found by clicking here.
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