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Showing posts from July, 2007

Thoughts on the Spiritual Life - XXI - H. C. G. Moule

Chapter VI CONFLICT AND PEACE Eph. vi. 10-18; Phil. iv. 7. The title of this chapter presents a contrast, but it is a contrast full of harmony. The Peace and the Conflict of the believing Christian are things intended, in their true idea, not to take each other by turns, but to be intertwined, to bear habitually upon one another, to make the secret of one tenor of life, and that a life of chastened happiness. Let us look into the matter, in a brief study of the conflict and of the peace in question. I. THE CHRISTIAN’S CONFLICT Consider this first, and in the light of the passage quoted at the head of the chapter; with the recollection that it is a subject not only of importance, but of vital importance to every disciple. It is indeed “our life.” 1. The Ephesians passage asks to be read with full remembrance, first of its connexion . Have you ever remarked that connexion? To many readers, I believe, this pictur

Interpreting Parables

An excerpt from my sermon, The Seventh Sunday after Trinity: The word parable is a Greek word similar to parallel; it means to cast alongside; or lay alongside. It is an extended simile. It is a story, long or brief, that is of a familiar custom or occurrence in every day life. It is something familiar used to illustrate something less familiar. It will be true to life, though it may contain a slight symbolic element or something out of the ordinary as it seeks to make its point. If it is a story being laid next to something, then what is it being laid next to? It is laid next to whatever was being said or done in the context of the parable. For example, see Luke 13:11-21. On 18 & 19: As for the context: Jesus' efforts to bring in the kingdom are being opposed; he is facing adversaries. Now note the character of the mini-parable: it is a story from common, everyday experience. What’s the point? The irony of what a carelessly cast seed became.

Thoughts on the Spiritual Life - XX - H. C. G. Moule

Chapter V Concluded St Paul did so. It is a delightful “therefore” with which he pursues his story. “Most gladly therefore ,” therefore, because the Lord has said this, just for that reason, “will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me, may (literally) tabernacle upon me,” as the Shechinah-cloud upon the camp of Israel . And further, “ Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then am I strong.” How far does he stand beyond mere resignation, in its ordinary sense! He does not merely endure; he does not merely go on with a sigh, which would signify a longing for other circumstances. Ah, he knows what sighs, what groans are. But for him, surely, they have become things not of the inmost depth; not of the spiritual centre. The central consciousness now, in Christ, who is in him, is a profound and holy pleasure in the Lord’s choice of circumstanc

Hooker on Rome and Salvation

With the current controversy over the Pope's recent declarations in the air, I thought a reading of Toon's recent quotation from Hooker on the Roman Church would be interesting for us. Toon builds upon Hooker's comments about Rome to consider how we are to think of TEC.


If you are not familiar with the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality, you ought to have a look: These people are a source of information on the remedy of SSA (same sex attraction) and advocate the "right" of people to have a choice to change their life-styles and the need for the options before them to be more widely known. Their theme: Helping clients bring their desires and behaviors into harmony with their values.

Thoughts on the Spiritual Life - XIX - H. C. G. Moule

Chapter V, Continued But now comes in the glorious other side of the matter. The prayer was never granted. But how fruitful was that prayer! It was denied, yet answered. The Master’s “no” was not mere peremptory negative, decisive and perfectly authoritative as it was. It took the form of a positive assurance inestimably better; the form not only of a promise, let us observe, but of a present certainty of divine life and love. “My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” The weakness, of whatever special kind, so profoundly, so intensely felt by St Paul, so destructive in itself of his comfort, so obstructive in his work, was to be no unfavourable condition from his Master’s point of view. It was rather the true condition under which the Master’s indwelling strength was to work out its proper issues, so that “the patient” gave himself up to the process. And so, what was “sufficient” for St Paul ’s peace, and strength, and growth,

Thoughts on the Spiritual Life - XVIII - H. C. G. Moule

CHAPTER V. PLEASURE IN INFIRMITIES The subject of our last chapter connects itself with this, as the whole with the part. We have looked upon “circumstances” in their entirety as representing, as conveying, to the Christian the will of God. Here we have before us a special class of circumstances, or of conditions under which we meet them. In 2 Cor. xii. 7, 8, 9, we read a passage full of manifold instruction about the ways of Christ with His people in their life of grace and faith. St. Paul has been spiritually privileged to a degree inconceivable without the same experience. He has been present, it matters not how, in the Third Heaven, in Paradise, and has heard words there not to be reported by a mere human being; words, very possibly, expressive of eternal kindness and approval towards himself and his work. He returns from this more than Tabor to the plain of common life. And he is put at once under severe discipline; “the thorn in the flesh,” “the buffeting