The Appeal of Premillennialism

“Certainly the power of the premillennial vision cannot be doubted. Even though it was pessimistic about this world, its heightened supernaturalism produced a strong sense of hope and optimism anchored in the world to come. It taught people to deny this world and live in light of the world to come.”

-Walter Unger in “‘Ernestly Contending for the Faith’: The Role of the Niagara Bible Conference in the Emergence of American Fundamentalism,” p. 207

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Haldeman on Doctrine

There are three important things every preacher should preach. The first thing is doctrine. The second thing is doctrine. The third and pre-eminent thing is doctrine. The church is starving to death for the want of it, the preachers are becoming emasculated apologists for lack of it, and the world, looking on, is laughing at a limp, genuflecting thing calling itself modern Christianity and for want of vertebrate strength, unable to stand alone.

– I. M. Haldeman in “Christianity”

Worship and Ritual

‘Worship is better seen as the point of concentration at which the whole of Christian life comes into ritual focus . . . I am not using ‘ritual’ in the pejorative sense of ‘mere ritual’ . . . On my sense of the word, even those communities which pride themselves on their freedom from ‘ritual’ will generally be found to use ritual; only they will not be aware of it, and so will be unable either to enjoy its pleasures to the full or to be properly vigilant about its dangers.”

Geoffrey Wainwright ‘Doxology’

Calvin’s a priori of Scripture

Now, in describing the world as a mirror in which we ought to behold God, I would not be understood to assert, either that our eyes are sufficiently clear-sighted to discern what the fabric of heaven and earth represents, or that the knowledge to be hence attained is sufficient for salvation. . . . For the Scripture as our guide and teacher, he not only makes those things plain which would otherwise escape our notice, but almost compels us to behold them; as if he had assisted our dull sight with spectacles.

– From “Argument” in Calvin’s commentary on the book of Genesis.

An admirable model of teaching in A. H. Strong

The constructive mind is of a higher order than the destructive. The proclamation of positive truth wins converts where the denunciation of error attracts only transient attention. Wordsworth said well that ” we live by admiration, hope, and love.” I determined to mark out for myself a new course as a teacher. I set out to be a man of faith, to be a great believer, to hold the truth in love, and to make love my helper in all my intercourse with students. I was gifted with a fellow-feeling for the young. I put myself side by side with my scholars, assumed no dignity, insisted on no technical rights or prerogatives, made my instruction familiar and interesting, and, above all, infused it with all manner of practical religious suggestion and stimulus to faith and prayer. I have always rejoiced to teach theology because I could talk about everything in heaven and earth and under the earth and could make all things illustrate the greatness of Christ and the power of his gospel. I have made a pulpit out of a professor’s chair and have tried to be a pastor to my pupils.

— Augustus Hopkins Strong. Autobiography of Augustus Hopkins Strong, p. 221.

A Hymn to God the Father – John Donne

Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun,
Which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt thou forgive that sin, through which I run,
And do run still, though still I do deplore?
When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
For I have more.

Wilt thou forgive that sin which I have won
Others to sin, and made my sin their door?
Wilt thou forgive that sin which I did shun
A year or two, but wallow’d in, a score?
When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
For I have more.

I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun
My last thread, I shall perish on the shore;
But swear by thyself, that at my death thy Son
Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore;
And, having done that, thou hast done;
I fear no more.

by John Donne