Category: Faith (Page 1 of 4)

Paul writing his epistles, attributed to Valentin de Boulogne

Rhetoric in Romans 1

The opening chapter of Paul’s letter to the church in Rome is, sadly, perhaps best known today for being one of the battleground texts in the debate on human sexuality raging in many quarters of the western Christian church. And when the minutiae of the text become the subject of debate, the larger thrust sometimes disappears from view. So also, often but not always, here.

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Crown of thorns, nails, rope

Abandonment

In that hour, everyone abandoned him. All had fled. Peter had denied him three times. Even his Father withdrew to pour out the cup: foaming wine, well mixedMy God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Jesus has now many who love his heavenly kingdom, but few who carry his cross. He has many who desire consolation, but few who desire tribulation. He finds more to share his table, few his fasting. All wish to rejoice with him, few want to bear anything for him. Many follow Jesus to the breaking of bread, but few to drinking the cup of suffering. Many revere his miracles, few follow the shame of his cross. Many love Jesus so long as adversity does not befall them. Many praise and bless him, so long as they receive some consolations from him. But if Jesus should hide Himself and leave them for a little while, they fall into complaining or deep dejection.

But those who love Jesus for Jesus’ sake, and not for any consolation of their own, bless him in all tribulation and anguish of heart, just as in the highest consolation. And if it is his will never to give consolation, they would nevertheless always praise him, and always wish to be grateful.
Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, 11.1f

Pulpit view in Rugby Baptist Church

Appointment at Rugby Baptist

Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Psalm 16:5-8 (NIV)

My family and I had an exhausting and thoroughly enjoyable time last weekend at Rugby Baptist Church. The congregation have now called me to the post of Associate Minister. We accepted with joy, excitement, and a deep sense of the Lord’s leading on this. As Michael Bochenski put it, “it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us…”

From his book Prevailing Prayer:

Some people think God does not like to be troubled with our constant coming and asking. The way to trouble God is not to come at all.DWIGHT L MOODY

The price the church paid for coming in from the margins to the centre was allowing Jesus to be pushed out from the centre to the margins.STUART MURRAY

Speaking in The Naked Anabaptist about the establishment of Christianity as the imperial faith by emperor Constantine.

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