We are all inhabitants of our world and our culture. We are all—myself included—taking a huge number of things for granted without ever giving them a second thought, rarely realising that the world could perhaps be quite different from the way it is.
What would the world look like if money worked entirely differently? What would a modern society look like without nation states? What would need to change to abolish poverty or provide truly equal opportunity? We simply don’t know.
The Big Picture is subtitled An Honest Examination of God, Science and Purpose, and for once you would be absolutely right to judge a book by its cover. It is an account of an intelligent, inquisitive, scientific mind asking itself how the world hangs together. Chapter 1 examines, at a popular and accessible level, the basics of logic and epistemology—without ever using the word—paying special attention to unspoken assumptions and the ways in which our thinking can be led astray.
The Christian is a person who makes it easy for others to believe in God.
Robert Murray M’Cheyne was born exactly 200 years ago, on the 21st of May 1813 in Edinburgh, to die only 29 years later. Like the one to whom he dedicated his life, Jesus of Nazareth, his influence was out of all proportion to his lifespan. His ministry was built on deep faith and holiness. It is quite likely that it was precisely his own struggle with illness as well as his brother’s early death that drove him to walk so closely in his Saviour’s footsteps.
Study universal holiness of life. Your whole usefulness depends on this, for your sermons last but an hour or two: your life preaches all week. If Satan can only make a covetous minister a lover of praise, of pleasure, of good eating, he has ruined your ministry. Give yourself to prayer, and get your texts, your thoughts, your words, from God.
I don’t have anything to say about M’Cheyne right now that others have not said a lot better, for example Piper in He Kissed the Rose and Felt the Thorn. I just want to pay tribute to this man who gave so many pastors a hunger for God-exalting holiness.
When you are reading a book in a dark room, and come to a difficult part, you take it to a window to get more light. So take your Bibles to Christ.