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Maxioms by Lesslie Newbigin

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Commemoration of Swithun, Bishop of Winchester, c.862 Commemoration of Bonaventure, Franciscan Friar, Bishop, Peacemaker, 1274 We must frankly face read more

Commemoration of Swithun, Bishop of Winchester, c.862 Commemoration of Bonaventure, Franciscan Friar, Bishop, Peacemaker, 1274 We must frankly face the fact that there is in this teaching a revolutionary element which could be dangerously subversive of our existing ways of thought. Let us admit that it is part of the fallen human nature of ecclesiastics, no less than of others in responsible positions, to desire always criteria of judgement which can be used without making too heavy demands upon the delicate faculty of spiritual discernment, clear-cut rules by which we may hope to be saved from making mistakes -- or rather, from being obviously and personally responsible for the mistakes. We are uncomfortable without definite principles by which we may guide our steps. We fear uncharted country, and the fanatics of all kinds who, upon the alleged authority of the Holy Spirit, summon us with strident cries in all directions simultaneously. Only those who have never borne the heavy burden of pastoral responsibility will mock at the cautious spirit of the ecclesiastic.

by Lesslie Newbigin Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Commemoration of Brigid, Abbess of Kildare, c.525 We can all call to mind movements which have begun as pure read more

Commemoration of Brigid, Abbess of Kildare, c.525 We can all call to mind movements which have begun as pure upsurges of fresh spiritual vitality, breaking through and revolting against the hardened structure of the older body, and claiming, in the name of the Spirit, liberty from outward forms and institutions. And we have seen how rapidly they develop their own forms, their own structures of thought, of language, and of organisation. It would surely be a very unbiblical view of human nature and history to think -- as we so often, in our pagan way, do -- that this is just an example of the tendency of all things to slide down from a golden age to an age of iron, to identify the spiritual with the disembodied, and to regard visible structure as equivalent to sin. We must rather recognise here a testimony to the fact that Christianity is, in its very heart and essence, not a disembodied spirituality, but life in a visible fellowship, a life which makes such total claim upon us, and so engages our total powers, that nothing less than the closest and most binding association of men with one another can serve its purpose.

by Lesslie Newbigin Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Feast of Mary, Martha & Lazarus, Companions of Our Lord There is a covenant, ... and God is faithful read more

Feast of Mary, Martha & Lazarus, Companions of Our Lord There is a covenant, ... and God is faithful to His covenant. But the substance of that covenant is all pure mercy and grace. If men presume to claim for themselves, upon the basis of the covenant, some relationship with God other than that of the sinner needing God's grace, the covenant has been perverted. And when that has happened, God, in the sovereign freedom of His grace, destroy these pretensions, calls "No people" to be His people, breaks off natural branches and grafts in wild slips, filling them with the life that is His own life imparted to man. There is no law in His Kingdom save the law of pure grace. That is why they come from east and west to sit down with Abraham and Isaac, while the sons of the Kingdom are cast out; for the sons of the Kingdom have no place there unless they are willing to sit down with all whom the Lord of the feast shall call, and to receive His mercy in exactly the same way as the publicans and sinners.

by Lesslie Newbigin Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Commemoration of Phillips Brooks, Bishop of Massachusetts, spritual writer, 1893 We feel that other churches must accept, as read more

Commemoration of Phillips Brooks, Bishop of Massachusetts, spritual writer, 1893 We feel that other churches must accept, as the pre-conditions of fellowship, such changes as will bring them into conformity with ourselves in matters which we regard as essential, and that a failure to insist on this will involve compromise in regard to what is essential to the Church's being. But for precisely the same reason, we cannot admit a demand from others for any changes in ourselves which would seem to imply a denial that we already possess the esse of the Church.

by Lesslie Newbigin Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Commemoration of Cecile Isherwood, Founder of the Community of the Resurrection, Grahamstown, South Africa, 1906 The problem of read more

Commemoration of Cecile Isherwood, Founder of the Community of the Resurrection, Grahamstown, South Africa, 1906 The problem of how an unholy concourse of sinful men and women can be in truth the body of Christ is the same as the problem of how a sinful man can at the same time be accepted as a child of God... Our present situation arises precisely from the fact that this fundamental insight, which the Reformers applied to the position of the Christian man, was not followed through in its application to the nature of the Christian church.

by Lesslie Newbigin Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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