Mr. Standfast

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

April 13, 2004

A drizzly day here in northern New England, as you can see by the Portland Harborcam. I'm just getting my ship righted after a week or two of floundering. I don't know what this was all about, but I think the word for it is ennui. It latches onto me every now and again, especially if I'm embarking on a new project or something. A kind of oh-what's-the-use feeling sets in. The trick, I think, to overcoming this sort of thing is to take some small step toward your goal, then another. There's nothing like a sense of progress to lick the doldrums.

I continue to ponder the next chapter of my book (it still feels funny, and a little presumptuous, to say that), which is an overview of Biblical hope. This is the "project" mentioned above. Meanwhile, I want to take this opportunity to make note of a few new additions to the sidebar. Not only some new Bloggers (The Happy Husband, Jollyblogger, among others) but some new 'zines also (Commentary, Common-Place, First Things), as well as, under the "Odds & Ends" heading, Verse Daily, which is not a Bible verse but a poem per day.

And here's something neat. Artcyclopedia, which bills itself as a "Fine Art Search Engine," has a wonderful page of classic artistic representations of the Christ's Passion (here), as well as an interesting article on Mel Gibson's visual inspiration (Carravaggio). Great stuff.

Finally, how about a J. I. Packer quotation. I've begun re-reading Packer's great book, Knowing God. This book is so very quotable, I choose the following lines from the third chapter almost at random:

Knowing god is a matter of grace. It is a relationship in which the initiative throughout is with God--as it must be, since God is completely above us and we have so completely forfeited all claim on His favor by our sins. We do not make friends with God; God makes friends with us, bringing us to know Him by making His love known to us. Paul expresses this thought of the priority of grace in our knowledge of God when he writes to the Galatians, "now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God . . ." (Gal. 4:9). What comes to the surface in this qualifying clause is the apostle's sense that grace came first, and remains fundamental, in his readers' salvation. Their knowing God was the consequence of God's taking knowledge of them. They know Him by faith because He first singled them out by grace." p.36


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