I really like that phrase "rush forward through the midst of despair" but to be truthful I'm not really in the midst of despair these days. Perhaps its because of White Horse Inn that I'm not in despair... although it probably started with Os Guinness and his book "Dining With the Devil" . (His more recent book "Prophetic Untimeliness" is even better.)
CHURCH GROWTH ACCORDING TO CALVIN
Related program: "Selling Jesus" and "Mega-Churches Respond to the Reveal Study" May 18, 2008 and December 7, 2008 (If you can't find the programs here you can always try Luke Elliot.)
...the restoration of the church is the work of God, and no more depends on the hopes and opinions of men, than the resurrection of the dead, or any other miracle. Here, therefore, we are not to wait for facility of action, either from the will of men, or the temper of the times, but must rush forward through the midst of despair. It is the will of our Master that his gospel be preached. Let us obey his command, and follow whithersoever he calls.
What the success will be it is not ours to inquire. Our only duty is to wish for what is best, and beseech it of the Lord in prayer; to strive with all zeal, solicitude, and diligence, to bring about the desired result, and at the same time to submit with patience to whatever that result may be. Groundless, therefore, is the charge brought against us of no having done all the good which we wished, and which was to be desired. God bids us plant and water. We have done so. He alone gives the increase. What, then, if he chooses not to give according to our wish? If it is clear that we have faithfully done our part, let not our adversaries require more of us: if the result is unfavorable, let them expostulate with God.
Thursday, January 01, 2009
And the answer is...
For those of you who were wondering who I quoted in my last prayer letter, it was John Calvin... via http://www.whitehorseinn.org/