Each Monday, we share quotes we found encouraging, convicting, thought-provoking, or all of the above.
From Bavinck's Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 2, talking about the Trinity, and specifically, God's fatherhood:
The scriptural name "Father" is a much better description of the personal property of the first person. Implied in the word "fatherhood" is a positive relation to the second person. The name "Father" is even more appropriate than the word "God," for the latter is a general name signifying transcendent dignity, but the name "Father," like that of YHWH in the Old Testament, is a proper name, an attribute describing a personal property of God. Those who deny to God the name "Father" dishonor him even more than those who deny his creation. This name of "Father," accordingly, is not a metaphor derived from the earth and attributed to God. Exactly the opposite is true: fatherhood on earth is but a distant and vague reflection of the fatherhood of God (Eph. 3:14-15).
Some thoughts on conflict from Forbearance: A Theological Ethic for a Disagreeable Church by James Calvin Davis:
Forbearance is not built on a fear of conflict, but on a desire to work through conflict in a healthy way. Surely it is impossible to completely avoid conflict in any human community, even a church. Conflict is a natural by-produce of an association of persons who are not carbon copies of each other...
In a society whose citizens care deeply about truth and justice, conflict is the inevitable consequence of incompatible but equally passionate perspectives. Similarly, a church that does not care enough about anything to be conflicted is one that does not take seriously its commitment to belief, character, mission, or duty... The cultivation of forbearance assumes a community of Christians who care deeply about matters of belief and practice, and it does not require ambivalence to principle in order to extend forbearance to others. If anything, to talk of "bearing with" another implies that we often remain unconvinced by their opposition to us. But the physical connotation embedded in "bearing with" another lends us the image of carrying one another through difficult times, and this mutual accord speaks to the distinctive Christian character of the approach to conflict I am commending. Forbearance is more than modus vivendi, an ideological cease-fire. It is instead a positive commitment to living with the productive discomfort of difference as a reflection of the grace of God.
Here's a poem by Richard Baxter (1615 – 1691):
Lord, It Belongs Not to My Care
Lord, it belongs not to my care
Whether I die or live;
To love and serve Thee is my share,
And this Thy grace must give.
If life be long, I will be glad,
That I may long obey;
If short, yet why should I be sad
To welcome endless day?
Christ leads me through no darker rooms
Than He went through before;
He that unto God’s kingdom comes
Must enter by this door.
Come, Lord, when grace hath made me meet
Thy blessèd face to see;
For if Thy work on earth be sweet
What will Thy glory be!
Then I shall end my sad complaints
And weary sinful days,
And join with the triumphant saints
That sing my Savior’s praise.
My knowledge of that life is small,
The eye of faith is dim;
But ’tis enough that Christ knows all,
And I shall be with Him.