Things I Wish I’d Said, 2

Here are some insightful statements I’ve come across in recent weeks. Many are from T4G, which I enjoyed very much. (Links to all the T4G “talks” are available at Andy Naselli’s place.)

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This statement from Mark Dever’s T4G message is on-target:

“Pragmatism is more of a danger to evangelical Christians than Open Theism will ever be.”

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This is a summary of a statement by Lig Duncan from his T4G message and may not be an exact quote. Duncan suggests that the claim of many that they are stepping away from doctrinal questions is really untrue and impossible:

“Everyone is theological and everyone does Systematic Theology. The question is whether they will do it poorly or well.”

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Good thoughts from John MacArthur’s T4G message (again, they may be paraphrases rather than exact quotations):

“Soft preaching makes hard people. Hard preaching makes soft people.”

“Paul said, ‘I become all things to all men.’ But his message did not.”

“Never offer Jesus as the One willing to fulfill the sinner’s natural desires. Assault his sinful desires; don’t pander to them.”

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John Piper on the chief blessing of our salvation:

“The best gift of the gospel is not the forgiveness of sins. The best gift of the gospel is not the imputed righteousness of Christ. The best gift of the gospel is not eternal life. The best gift of the gospel is seeing and savoring the supremacy of Christ himself. The greatest reward of the cross is knowing the supremacy of Christ.” (Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, 43; this is the gist of another helpful book by Piper, God Is the Gospel.)

Note: I’ve thought of this principle in theological terms, as well: justification is not an end in itself, but is rather the means toward the even greater blessing of reconciliation. What a rich thought!

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This counsel for writers from C. S. Lewis is infinitely useful. Well, it’s very useful, anyway.

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William Booth gives some sound advice regarding the danger of pushing our daughters aggressively toward marriage and motherhood; it’s a message Christian parents need to consider:

“Don’t instill, or allow anybody else to instill into the hearts of your girls the idea that marriage is the chief end of life. If you do, don’t be surprised if they get engaged to the first empty, useless fool they come across.” (quoted by Joshua Harris in I Kissed Dating Goodbye, p. 84)

Note: Reading this book has been bitter and sweet. It’s a must-read for all parents, especially parents of young children. I just wish I or my parents had read it sooner. I hope to post more on it later. Read it.

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I can’t remember who made this comment to me, but it rings true:

“Pacifying discontent or angry people is less like disarming a bomb and more like lengthening a fuze.”

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I’ll end with one that’s a bit rough, but very funny:

“Just because you’ve always done it that way doesn’t mean it’s not incredibly stupid.” (The “Tradition” De-motivator)

Also, check out the new t-shirt from despair.com. Nice. I posted on De-motivators here. Funny stuff.)

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2 Responses

  1. Chris,

    Your description of “bitter and sweet” with regard to Josh Harris’ writing is what my wife and I have experienced as well. His writing has really transformed how we are approaching many things with our kids.

    It’s kinda strange, actually…on this issue (modesty, dating, etc., etc.) it’s as if Harris and the Sovereign Grace folks end up at the same point that the exteme legalistic branch of fundamentalism would like to be at (modest young people who desire their parents input on important life decisions). They just come at it from polar opposite motivations, which IMO makes all the difference in the world. I hope that makes sense…kind of a hard thought to communicate in a brief comment.

    At any rate, Harris’ writing on family issues has been a great blessing and challenge.

    BTW, 2 of my 3 children are boys (12 and 10). I’d love to have them meet a couple of your daughters in about 15 years :)

  2. Good. Thanks for these quotables.

    Gives me an interesting sense of things from out here in Idaho.

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