Monday, November 5, 2018

Quotes of Note

Each Monday, we share quotes we found encouraging, convicting, thought-provoking, or all of the above.


I just began reading Depression, Anxiety, and the Christian Life: Practical Wisdom From Richard Baxter. It promises to be good:
For the past century and more the notion has been abroad in evangelical circles that the effect of being born again through faith in Jesus Christ will always be a life marked by spiritual euphoria: constant cheerfulness, exuberance, confidence, and high spirits stemming from the knowledge that the God of grace, the sovereign triune Lord, is always actively on one's side. Indeed he is, and the picture drawn is an attractive and happy one -- but see what it leaves out! Certainly triumphant joy in the Lord is a characteristic feature of a healthy Christian life. But Christians, like other people, live in and through bodies -- bodies that from time to time malfunction, get sick, wear out, and finally die; and physical factors, without without spiritual slippages, can at any stage bring on, among other things, depression in its various forms. Some in the past have gone so far as to diagnose depression in Christians as always a sign of unbelief or something major sin, but this is not right.


This quote is from Born to Wander by Michelle Van Loon. This book intrigued me, and I'm glad I started reading it as I've been reminded recently that Christians are "strangers and pilgrims" whose citizenship in heaven. (Heb. 11:3, Phil 3:20)
There is something familiar to every human being about the distress of damaged relationships, the disorientation of relocation, and the soul-altering grief of loss. The things in this world that mark us as wanderers point to our exile from Eden and scattering from Babel. They leave us with a sense of homesickness that not even the coziest home or the most joyous family reunion can every dispel. (pg. 27)
Early church fathers said the state of humankind was that of the homo viator (traveler, pilgrim). We have been born to wander. The questions of where we're from or where we're going are clarified by this truth. They become: "Are we moving towards God or wandering away from him?" It is an unsettling question. Those who crave nostalgia or long to live in bunkers of contentment may not be interested in answering it. But for the wanders, the question is a reminder that exile has a purpose that goes far beyond tell us what our next zip code is to be. (pg. 28)


I have a two commentaries on Hebrews, but neither of them answered a question I had about Hebrews 1:2. (None of my study bibles answered it either.) How is it, I wanted to know, that the Son is appointed heir to all things? Doesn't he own everything automatically, since (as the verse goes on to say) he created everything?

Then I remembered I have a set of Calvin's Commentaries, too. And guess what? He answered the question for me.
But the word heir is ascribed to Christ as manifested in the flesh; for being made man, he put on our nature, and as such received this heirship, and that for this purpose, that he might restore to us what we had lost in Adam. For God had at the beginning constituted man, as his Son, the heir of all good things; but through sin the first man became alienated from God, and deprived himself and his posterity of all good things, as well as of the favor of God. We hence only then begin to enjoy by right the good things of God, when Christ, the universal heir, admits to a union with himself; for he is an heir that he may endow us with his riches. 
In other words, the incarnate Son became heir as the representative human, and in union with him, we receive the inheritance we lost in the fall of Adam. It's as our representative that he is appointed heir to all things.

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