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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Most Underlined

Other than books of the Bible, there is no book I've read more often than Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, by J. I. Packer.

I probably read it once yearly, and run out of ink every so many sentences are underlined.

If you've never worked through it, I really recommend you do. I don't care if you tiptoe through the tulips or if you are a Free Will Baptist or any other stripe; you'd benefit greatly from thinking through the book.

Read a few chapters on the plane is a sampling of what I underlined:

"Always and everywhere the servants of Christ are under orders to evangelize."
(first sentence of the introduction)

"...the recognition of God's sovereignty is the basis of your prayers."

"The prayer of a Christian is not an attempt to force God's hand, but a humble acknowledgement of helplessness and dependence."

"When you pray for unconverted people, you do so on the assumption that it is in God's power to bring them to faith."

"God's sovereignty and man's responsibility are taught to us side by side in the same Bible; sometimes, indeed, in the same text." (Luke 22.22 for example)

"The Creator has told us that He is both a sovereign Lord and a righteous judge...Why do we hesitate to take His word for it?"

"...the power that saves is not in the instrument: it is in the hand of the One who uses the instrument."

"It is right to recognize our responsibility to engage in aggressive evangelism...It is not right when we regard ourselves as responsible for securing converts."

"Unconcern and inaction with regard to evangelism are always, therefore, inexcusable."

Regarding the "arguments" between those who would at some level identify as "Calvinists" and others who would stress the Arminian view, I consider this one of the more insightful and important sentences in the book:

"On our feet we may have arguments about it,
on our knees we are all agreed."

The book was first published in 1961...and deserves the word "classic." But in reality I think it is one of those titles that many talk about, many refer to, many have read a few chapters...but not all that many have read the whole book.

Be in the