Tuesday, March 27, 2007

John Newton quote:

“Whenever and wherever the doctrines of free grace and justification by faith have prevailed in the Christian Church; and according to the degree of clearness with which they have been enforced, the practical duties of Christianity have flourished in the same proportion. Wherever they have declined, or been tempered with the reasonings and expedients of men, either from a well meant, though mistaken fear, lest they should be abused, or from a desire to accommodate the Gospel, and render it more palatable to the depraved taste of the world, the consequence has always been, an equal declension in practice. So long as the Gospel of Christ is maintained without adulteration, it if found sufficient for every valuable purpose; but when the wisdom of man is permitted to add to the perfect work of God, a wide door is opened for innumerable mischiefs.”

A Review of Ecclesiastical History

(Courtesy of Mary C. Zahl)

4 comments:

Paul Zahl said...

We all owe Mary Zahl a debt of gratitude for bringing to our attention this defining quote from The Rev. John Newton. Mary, incidentally, is the person portrayed in the photograph, which was taken a few weeks in the "Shark Reef" Aquarium in Las Vegas.
Mary also made a brief appearance in the film "Lady in the Lake", a part of which was filmed in a suburb of Pittsburgh.

Mike Burton said...

Good quote.

I can't imagine, though, why Newton would think that humankind, with it's rich history of spreading peace and truth and love to the ends of the earth, couldn't improve on what the Spirit is doing.

I mean, just look at the track record!

We've managed to make Christianity fit our needs and wants and hidden desires so well!

We've come a long way. baby!

colton said...

thanks john and mary. i love this one!!!

AMvL said...

Yes, but what of “practical teaching?” You know, something like 5 points we can apply to our lives based on the story of Enoch, with the points spelling out the acronym ENOCH?