Here I will slowly and over time build a list of my favorite quotes from various theologians. These are quotes that have greatly impacted my thinking as a Christian. These quotes are presented in the order discovered.
“We ought zealously to apply ourselves both to read and to hearken to Scripture if indeed we want to receive any gain and benefit from the Spirit of God… If any Spirit, passing over the wisdom of God’s Word, foists another doctrine upon us, he justly deserves to be suspected of vanity and lying. What then? Since ‘Satan disguises himself as an angel of light’, what authority will the Spirit have among us, unless he be discerned by a certain mark? …Yet, indeed, [some] contend that it is not worthy of the Spirit of God, to whom all things ought to be subject, himself to be subject to Scripture. As if, indeed, this were ignominy (My note: that is, a public shame or disgrace) for the Holy Spirit to be everywhere equal and in conformity with himself, to agree with himself in all things, and to vary in nothing! To be sure, if the Spirit were judged by the rule of men, or of angels, or of anything else, then one would have to regard him as degraded, or if you like, reduced to bondage; but when he is compared with himself, who will on this account say that injustice is done him? Nevertheless, he is thus put to a test, I confess, but a test by which it pleased him to establish his majesty among us… Lest under his sign the spirit of Satan should creep in, he would have us recognize him in his own image which he has stamped upon the Scriptures. He is the Author of the Scriptures: he cannot and differ from himself. Hence he must ever remain just as he once revealed himself there. This is no affront to him, unless perchance we consider it honorable for him to decline or degenerate from himself.”
—John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, Library of Christian Classics (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1960), I.ix.2.
“The very denial of divine existence evinces [shows clearly] by its eagerness and effort the firmness with which the idea of God is entrenched in man’s constitution. A chimera or nonentity would never evoke such a passionate antagonism as is expressed in the reasonings of atheism. Were there no God, absolute indifference toward the notion would be the mood of all mankind, and no arguments either for or against it would be constructed.”
—William G. T. Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, ed. Alan W. Gomes, 3rd ed. (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 2003), 75.
“When we come together in the name of God, it is not to hear merry songs and to be fed with wind—that is, with vain and unprofitable curiosity—but to receive spiritual nourishment. For God will have nothing preached in his name but that which will profit and edify the hearers, nothing but that which contains good matter.”
—“‘Pure Preaching of the Word’ (2Timothy 2:16-18) – John Calvin,” accessed January 9, 2017, https://www.the-highway.com/Pure_Preaching.html.
“That man is as stupid as he is rotten, who thinks that somehow by parading his vices he can turn them into virtues.”
—Haddon Robinson (Stainley Williams. Dr. Haddon Robinson – Parable of the Pharisee and Publican (Luke 18), n.d. Accessed January 8, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVAzHJoDLr4.)
“You will never have an end of contentions, if you are disposed to contend with a combative person until you have vanquished him; for though vanquished a hundred times, he would argue still.”
—John Calvin, Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:16
“It is impossible to make abstract Scripture the rule of faith for either an individual or a denomination. No Christian body has ever subscribed to the Bible merely as a printed book. A person who should write his name on the blank leaf of the Bible and say that his doctrinal belief was between the covers, would convey no definite information as to his creed. He might be a Socinian, or a Calvinist, or anywhere between these extremes.”
—William G. T. Shedd, Calvinism: Pure and Mixed (New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1893), 152–53.
“As I look at the next generation…a nation of people who are ‘triggered’ and need ‘safe spaces’ is not going to be leading [and] is not even going to stay in the free world. A people like that [is] far too easily enslaved, because they will trade liberty—which is based upon responsibility and maturity—for a feeling of safety and comfort. And that is exactly what’s going on in our culture.”
—James R. White (Alpha & Omega Ministries. My Thoughts on the State of Our Culture and the 2016 Election Part 1, 2016. Accessed January 14, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gkWDjDi9-M&feature=youtu.be&t=5m21s.)
“Those who wish to prove to unbelievers that Scripture is the Word of God are acting
foolishly, for only by faith can this be known.”
—John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, Library of Christian Classics (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1960), I.viii.13.
“Reason must not be listened to when it complains of not being able to comprehend the mysteries of the faith. For how can the infinite be comprehended by the infinite? Therefore the wish to reject mysteries because they cannot be comprehended by reason is a sin not only against faith but also against reason which acknowledges itself to be finite and far inferior to those sublime mysteries.”
—Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology: First through Tenth Topics, ed. James T. Dennis, trans. George Musgrave Giger, vol. 1 (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 1992), 30.
“Ignorance of providence is the ultimate of all miseries; the highest blessedness lies in the knowledge of it.”
—John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, Library of Christian Classics (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1960), I.xvii.11.
“Nothing is of greater importance to sound faith and life than understanding of several of God’s attributes of greatness. It is not enough to have a feeling for God or even a love for Him. We need an intellectual apprehension of His characteristics—attributes as they are usually called.”
—Robert Duncan Culver, Systematic Theology: Biblical and Historical (Fearn, Ross-shire: Christian Focus Publications, 2005), 83.
“In a sense, the very fury of modern atheists (Feuerbach, Lenin, Nietzsche, et al) indicates not so much that there is no God but that many sinful men do not like Him very well.”
—Robert Duncan Culver, Systematic Theology: Biblical and Historical (Ross-shire, UK: Mentor, 2005), 41.
“He who made me is good, and he is my good. Before him I rejoice for all these goods out of which I had my being even as a child. But in this was my sin, that not in him but in his creatures, in myself and others, did I seek pleasure, honors, and truths.”
—St. Augustine of Hippo, The Confessions of Saint Augustine, trans. John K. Ryan (New York, NY: Image, 2014), 22 (I.xx.31).
“All of us who read strive to trace out and understand what he whom we read actually meant, and since we believe him to speak the truth, we dare not assert that he spoke anything we know or think to be false. Therefore, while every man tries to understand in Holy Scripture what the author understood therein, what wrong is there if anyone understand what you, O light of all truthful minds, reveal to him as true, even if the author he reads did not understand this, since he also understood a truth, though not this truth?”
—St. Augustine of Hippo, The Confessions of Saint Augustine, trans. John K. Ryan (New York, NY: Image, 2014), 287 (XII.xviii.27).