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J. B. Phillips Quotes

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J. B. Phillips ( 10 of 40 )

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Commemoration of John Bosco, Priest, Founder of the Salesian Teaching Order, 1888 Much of today's Christianity is almost completely read more

Commemoration of John Bosco, Priest, Founder of the Salesian Teaching Order, 1888 Much of today's Christianity is almost completely earthbound, and the words of Jesus about what follows this life are scarcely studied at all. This, I believe, is partly due to man's enormous technical successes, which make him feel master of the human situation. But it is also partly due to our scholars and experts. By the time they have finished with their dissection of the New Testament and with their explaining away as "myth" all that they find disquieting or unacceptable to the modern mind, the Christian way of life is little more than humanism with a slight tinge of religion.

by J. B. Phillips Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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So long as a man confines his ideas of Christ to a rather misty hero figure of long ago who read more

So long as a man confines his ideas of Christ to a rather misty hero figure of long ago who died a tragic death, and so long as his ideas of Christianity are bounded by what he calls the Sermon on the Mount (which he has almost certainly not read in its entirety since he became grown-up), then the living truth never has a chance to touch him. This is plainly what has happened to many otherwise intelligent people. Over the years I have had hundreds of conversations with people, many of them of higher intellectual calibre than my own, who quite obviously had no idea of what Christianity is really about. I was in no case trying to catch them out: I was simply and gently trying to find out what they knew about the New Testament. My conclusion was that they knew virtually nothing. This I find pathetic and somewhat horrifying. It means that the most important Event in human history is politely and quietly bypassed. For it is not as though the evidence had been examined and found unconvincing: it had simply never been examined.

by J. B. Phillips Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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We may with complete detachment study and form a judgement upon a religion, but we cannot maintain our detachment if read more

We may with complete detachment study and form a judgement upon a religion, but we cannot maintain our detachment if the subject of our inquiry proves to be God Himself. This is, of course, why many otherwise honest intellectual people will construct a neat by-pass around the claim of Jesus to be God. Being people of insight and imagination, they know perfectly well that once to accept such a claim as fact would mean a readjustment of their own purposes and values and affections which they may have no wish to make. To call Jesus the greatest Figure in History or the finest Moral Teacher the world has ever seen commits no one to anything. But once to allow the startled mind to accept as fact that this man is really focused-God may commit anyone to anything! There is every excuse for blundering in the dark, but in the light there is no cover from reality. It is because we strongly sense this, and not merely because we feel that the evidence is ancient and scanty, that we shrink from committing ourselves to such a far-reaching belief as that Jesus Christ was really God.

by J. B. Phillips Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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It is necessary to point out that our responsibility is a relative one only, for as we think of the read more

It is necessary to point out that our responsibility is a relative one only, for as we think of the world-wide disintegration of the human family, the prospect before us could easily fill us with alarm and despondency, if we were not sure first of the absolute sovereignty of God who (I speak reverently) knows what He is doing in conducting this enormous experiment that we call life.

by J. B. Phillips Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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From the crude cry which we have so often heard during the war years: "If there is a God, why read more

From the crude cry which we have so often heard during the war years: "If there is a God, why doesn't He stop Hitler?", to the unspoken questioning in many a Christian heart when a devoted servant of Christ dies from accident or disease at what seems to us a most inopportune moment, there is this universal longing for God to intervene, to show His hand, to vindicate His purpose. I do not pretend to understand the ways of God any more than the next man; but it is surely more fitting as well as more sensible for us to study what God does do and what He does not do as He works in and through the complex fabric of this disintegrated world, than to postulate what we think God ought to do and then feel demoralized and bitterly disappointed because He fails to fulfil what we expect of Him.

by J. B. Phillips Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Commemoration of Birinus, Bishop of Dorchester (Oxon), Apostle of Wessex, 650 In his enthusiasm, the evangelist often finds it read more

Commemoration of Birinus, Bishop of Dorchester (Oxon), Apostle of Wessex, 650 In his enthusiasm, the evangelist often finds it difficult seriously to imagine that anyone could be called not to be an evangelist. The man of vision and imagination finds it difficult to see the value of those who do no more than plod on faithfully along a well-tried road. The man whose concern is in personal dealing with people and leading them to understand God better finds it difficult to be patient with the theologian or the Christian philosopher whose work is in the quiet of a book-lined study. Yet the truth is that the wholeness which God is working to achieve is never complete in an individual, but through individuals living together as one body, each supplying the deficiencies of the others.

by J. B. Phillips Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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A man can not be "friends with" God on any other terms than complete obedience to Him, and that includes read more

A man can not be "friends with" God on any other terms than complete obedience to Him, and that includes being "friends with" his fellow man. Christ stated emphatically that it was quite impossible, in the nature of things, for a man to be at peace with God and at variance with his neighbor. This disquieting fact is often hushed up, but it is undeniable that Christ said it, and the truth of it is enshrined in the petition for forgiveness in the "Lord's Prayer.".

by J. B. Phillips Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Feast of All Saints What changed these very ordinary men (who were such cowards that they did not dare read more

Feast of All Saints What changed these very ordinary men (who were such cowards that they did not dare stand too near the cross in case they got involved) into heroes who would stop at nothing? A swindle? Hallucination? Spooky nonsense in a darkened room? Or Somebody quietly doing what He said He'd do -- walk right through death? What do YOU think?

by J. B. Phillips Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Feast of Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa, & his sister Macrina, Teachers, c.394 & c.379 It is a singularly unpleasant read more

Feast of Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa, & his sister Macrina, Teachers, c.394 & c.379 It is a singularly unpleasant thought that a book about Holy Communion is more likely to produce disagreement and controversy than one written on almost any other Christian subject. It seems a truly terrible thing that this Sacred Appointment, which was surely meant to unite, in actual practice divides Christians more sharply than any other part of their worship. Christians of various denominations may, and frequently do, work together on social projects, they may study the Scripture together, and they may ... pray together. But the moment attendance at the Lord's Table is suggested, up go the denominational barriers... I would make a strong plea that we do not exclude from the Lord's Table in our Church those who are undoubtedly sincere Christians. I cannot believe that to communicate together with our Lord should be regarded as the consummation, the final pinnacle, of the whole vast work of Reunion. Suppose it is the means and not the end. We might feel far more sharply the sin of our divisions and of our exclusiveness if we came humbly together to receive the Body and Blood of our Lord, and in that reception we might find such a quickening of our common devotion to Him that the divisions between us might be found not nearly so insuperable as we supposed.

by J. B. Phillips Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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Jesus once declared that God is "good to the ungrateful and the wicked" (St. Luke 6:35), and I remember preaching read more

Jesus once declared that God is "good to the ungrateful and the wicked" (St. Luke 6:35), and I remember preaching a sermon on this text to a horrified and even astonished congregation who simply refused to believe (so I gathered afterwards) in this astounding liberality of God. That God should be in a state of constant fury with the wicked seemed to them only right and proper, but that God should be kind towards those who were defying or disobeying His laws seemed to them a monstrous injustice. Yet I was but quoting the Son of God Himself, and I only comment here that the terrifying risks that God takes are part of His Nature. We do not need to explain or modify His unremitting love towards mankind.

by J. B. Phillips Found in: Christianity Quotes,
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