Over the years I have seen lists of Best this or Best that. Some years ago I saw this News.com feature on the '25 best Movie Entertainment Oscar quotes'.
That had me pondering on the most poignant Christian quotes. I wrote a similar piece way back in 2012 and thought I might update it.
Christian leaders through the centuries have made profound statements. Having done Church History, earning 1st Class Honours and winning the Christian History Prize at seminary (albeit over 40 years ago at Morling), I thought that I'd check out "Christian Quotes" on Google guessing I might find a hand full of the most famous 1st and 2nd century quotes.
Alas, what came up astonished me, there were literally hundreds of web site and ministries that featured Christian Quotes and rather than selecting a few I recalled from my seminary years, it became something of a research problem as to where to begin and what one might dare to leave out in this article.
Initially, I thought of Polycarp in 120AD, who when being led to be burnt at the stake he said that in his 96 years he had never denied his Lord. We can think of Tertullian in the 3rd century who exclaimed that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church. From memory I could fill this article with such quotes – the Cappodecian fathers, Justin, Cyril, Ambrose, Augustine to name but a few.
That would be all too easy and any theologian reading this would be well aware of these famous quotations, and therefore I thought it more appropriate to dig a little and find quotes that are a little out of the ordinary.
Many use quotes in their messages. Quotes can provide a real life reality that words spoken, however brilliant the thought, do not quite emphasise the point. The philosophical message is very important and quotes are often philosophical in nature.
In the 14 years we spent in Moruya at the Basil Sellers House respite facility for Australian Institute of Sport elite athletes, one of the privileges was to meet with them. Seeking their responses to philosophical questions provided remarkable doors into their hearts.
Questions such as at a supermarket and asking the employee to point out which isle I might find the Packet of Ambition. Or, the Can of Honesty. Or the Box of Humility. Or the Container of Integrity. Or the Jar of Loyalty. Or the Bottle of Trusted Relationship.
It was pretty obvious to them that they were facing philosophical issues - none of these could be seen or touched, and yet these are the most important things in our lives. Christian Faith too is one of these, and perhaps for the very first time, it dawned upon them that this too was as valid for their lives as those listed above.
"Wanna be a rebel. Read your Bible. No one does that anymore, You'll be sure to stick out." John Wylie.
"Many good purposes and intentions lie in the church graveyard." Mathew Henry.
"One great power of sin is that it blinds men so that they do not recognise its true character." Andrew Murray.
In Scripture the visitation of an angel is always alarming; it has to begin by saying "Fear not."
"We can stand affliction better than we can prosperity, for in prosperity we forget God." D L Moody
"To enjoy sensuous pleasures daily is no evidence of spirituality. On the contrary, those who go on with God and disregard their own feelings are the truly spiritual ones." Watchman Nee.
"Before an individual can be saved, he must first learn that he cannot save himself." M. R. DeHaan, M.D. (My wife Delma of 40 years says that a person must first recognise they are not a Christian. This is how she became a follower of Jesus.)
"Christ is a substitute for everything, but nothing is a substitute for Christ." Dr. H. A. Ironside
"God's work done God's way will never lack God's supply." Hudson Taylor.
"And Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees." William Cowper.
"It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible!" President George Washington
"If thou wouldst rule well, thou must rule for God, and to do that, thou must be ruled by him. Those who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants." William Penn
"The Law and the Gospel are two keys. The Law is the key that shutteth up all men under condemnation, and the Gospel is the key which opens the door and lets them out." William Tyndale
And finally one of mine that has been republished many times when in sports ministry from my seminars around the world as the Australian cricket team chaplain (17 years Ret).
It’s this, “we're in a battle for the minds of young people and this is often philosophical in nature”. Hence my emphasis now on young people having their 'voice' heard as young writers in the young writer program with Christian Today.
Dr Mark Tronson - a 4 min video
Chairman – Well-Being Australia
Baptist Minister 45 years
- 1984 - Australian cricket team chaplain 17 years (Ret)
- 2001 - Life After Cricket (18 years Ret)
- 2009 - Olympic Ministry Medal – presented by Carl Lewis
- 2019 - The Gutenberg - (ARPA Christian Media premier award)
Gutenberg video - 2min 14sec
Married to Delma for 45 years with 4 children and 6 grand children