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George MacDonald on the Source of our Vocabulary

All words, then, belonging to the inner world of the mind, are of the imagination, are originally poetic words. The better, however, any such  word is fitted for the needs of humanity, the sooner it loses its poetic aspect by commonness of use. It ceases to be heard as a symbol, and appears only as a sign. Thus thousands of words which were originally poetic words owing their existence to the imagination, lose their vitality, and harden into mummies of prose. Not merely in literature does poetry come first, and prose afterwards, but poetry is the source of all the language that belongs to the inner world, whether it be of passion or of metaphysics, of psychology or of aspiration. No poetry comes by the elevation of prose; but the half of prose comes by the "massing into the common clay" of thousands of winged words, whence, like the lovely shells of by-gone ages, one is occasionally disinterred by some lover of speech, and held up to the light to show the play of colour in it

Sermon for Ascension, 2022

Why are we here this evening?  We are here to celebrate the ascension of Jesus, the Son of God, to the throne of David in heaven, so that he might rule over all things until the final consummation of salvation history.  We make Easter perhaps the biggest event of the year.  Yet - as my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Levi at East Brainerd Elementary, would have put it - she loved the word "behove" - it behoves us to understand that the main reason Jesus's resurrection was important was that it was the means to his ascension.  The whole point of Jesus coming back alive was so he could go back to his Father and be our living, reigning King.  And the Bible, literarily, cannot seem to say enough' about it  - stretching the Greek language to its limits - in order to describe how important this ascension to the throne of David is. Let us take a moment and just consider the trajectory of the history of Jesus toward this goal, so we can picture its importance to him and our salvat

J. I. Packer on Stott's Preaching

 

Stott's Comments on Preaching

 

Patience for fruit-bearing

 I'm working on my sermon for this Sunday (at St. Luke's, Blue Ridge), and it's on the parable of the Sower in Luke 8.  At the end, Jesus says, that the good ground brings for fruit "with patience."  Here's my comment right now: And lastly, we need the grace of patience.  We need it for lots of reasons, but here it's connected with the bearing of the fruit.  Why?  Well, farmers must be patient, must they not?  It can take months before the work you've put into a crop starts to bear the fruit you desire.  Bearing fruit takes time.  And the changes that God wants to work in our hearts through his word can certainly take time - even a lot of time.  That is why our watching and praying against the devil, the flesh, and the world has to be maintained.  That's why our seeking God's grace for the right heart and the grace of obedience has to be maintained.  It's because the fruit of the Word in our souls takes time.  There are times we wish God wo

Screwtape Read-Through

  Tomorrow evening, we start reading through   The Screwtape Letters   at Anglican Church of the Redeemer.  We'll meet bi-weekly, and I plan to post a 5 min. video here after each session to summarize what we've discussed.  See   cslewischattanooga.org   for more.

Christmas Day '21 Sermon - Isa 9

When the angel Gabriel came to the virgin Mary and announced God's call to her to be the mother of the long-looked for Messiah, it is of interest to us this morning as we celebrate his birth, that Gabriel seems to have read Isaiah chapter 9!  We have just read this wonderful prophecy of the birth of Jesus by the prophet Isaiah, given some 700 years before Jesus' birth. And there we were told that the Prince of Peace would assume the throne of David, establish his reign forever, and his kingdom would have no end.  Now listen to what Gabriel said:   Luke 1:30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” That's Isaiah