Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sabbath reading

"There is none righteous, not even one; There is none who understands,
there is none who seeks for God; All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good. There is not even one."

"Their throat is an open grave, with their tongues they keep deceiving."

"The poison of asps is under their lips";

"Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness";

"Their feet are swift to shed blood, destruction and misery are in their paths, and the path of peace have they not known."

"There is no fear of God before their eyes."

Romans 3:10-18

The above passage was written by Paul, addressing the human condition. In the past I've heard that Paul was referring to the Pharisees when he wrote this, but in the hard-to-digest, but very meaty book "Renovation of the Heart", Dallas Willard purports that "the Pharisee only makes the true human condition more obvious by all his protestations of righteousness and his flamboyant religiosity." Ouch!

Here's another quote from the book, expounding on v. 18, "There is no fear of God before their eyes. Fear of God, the Proverb tells us, is the beginning of wisdom (Pro. 9:10). Although not the end or the outcome of wisdom, to be sure, it is the indispensable beginning, I believe, and the principle part. One begins to get smart when he or she fears being crosswise of God; fear of not doing what he wants and not being as he requires."

"Fear is the anticipation of harm. The intelligent person recognizes that his or her well-being lies in being in harmony with God and what God is doing in the kingdom. God is not mean, but he is dangerous. It is the same with great forces he has placed in reality. Electricity and nuclear power, for example, are not mean, but they are dangerous. One who does not, in a certain sense, "worry" about God, simply isn't smart. And that is the point of the verse."

This book is about spiritual maturity and getting serious about having the character of Christ. It's not full of cliches or formulas, but emphasizes the marred divinity in each of us. It feels trite (and dishonest) to say I'm enjoying it, but it rings true (unfortunately.)

Are you reading anything that is helping grow your spiritual life? I'd love to hear about it.


Dayna said...

Oh, Debbie, this is so timely. Thank you for sharing it.

Yes, I am reading Shadow of the Almighty, by Elisabeth Elliot, and will soon start to re-read Profiting From the Word, by A.W. Pink. The former is challenging me where I am right now -- a spoiled American princess adjusting to the inconveniences that define Africa. The latter is a feast of wisdom concerning the right application of Scripture to our lives. I need the reminder, and these authors serve to compensate for a dearth of mentors.

Sarah said...

Oh, I LOVE Romans! Basically Paul gets the whole world of sinners in Chapter 3. In Chapter 1 he gets the gentiles ("Who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.") In Chapter 2 he gets the Jews. And then in Chapter 3 he just gets the whole world in case we didn't fall into either of those categories. I love Romans!

I am reading Calvin's Sermons on Ephesians: excellent; The Letters of Samuel Rutherford which are so heart-warming; The Marvelous Riches of Savoring Christ: Letters from Miss Ruth Bryan that are like getting a letter from a dear friend. I am so enjoying this book. I really hope it never ends! And I always have a little bit of Owen going on which is always wonderful.

Cheaper by the Baker's Dozen said...

Dayna, anything by Pink is profitable - and Sarah, you're an amazing young woman (you remind me so much of my Brite :) I've not heard of Letters from Miss Ruth Bryan. Is that a P&R book? I could use some letters from a dear friend!

Anonymous said...

During Lent, I picked up a book at my local Christian book store entitled: A Clearing Season by Sarah Parsons. She is a young author - I have enjoyed the book and found it wonderfully challenging.
Quote: 'Fear, pain, anger- God can take all these. God wants to hear all our feelings, wants to come close to our hearts no matter what they contain. By allowing our hearts to break open even a little, we begin to live more authentically, openly and abundantly.'

Good post!

Anonymous said...

Sketch of Home by Suzanne Clark. It's more theological poetry than poetic theology, which may not suit your bent. But I don't know what I'd do without it. It's the sort of book you take on a walk, read a few lines of under a tree, and remember those lines forever.

Cheaper by the Baker's Dozen said...

Leah, your book reminds me of something Anne of Green Gables would read while crossing the Field of Shining Light :) I'm reading that book again right now with five 5th grade girls and we are enjoying the dramatic language.

I'll have to check out both of the Blair sisters recommendations.

mommyx12 said...

I've been reading John chap 14 over and over. I love it and I hope to claim the promises there. Pretty much a scary thought when we think of what Paul says. A great post.

amanda said...

I nominated you for a Sweet Blog award here:

busymomof10 said...

Stopped by hoping to see a new blog post! I'm sure you are BUSY wrapping up your school year. Maybe you will have more time to blog this summer, in between cleaning out closets and swimming in your pool??? ;)