Great quotes

"We take for granted our liberty to proclaim the Gospel... but we are not promised that liberty in the New Testament at all.... Christian churches often thrive best... when their human liberty is jeopardised.... The church is not called to subsidise the state any more than she is called to work against it.... We are to submit to whatever regime we happen to be under - submit to it, not sponsor, or oppose it.... There are no conditions on earth in which the Christian church cannot survive.... Do not think that the church is smothered in [persecuted] countries. She is more likely to be smothered by wealth, ease and complacency" (64-66).

On social or political reform
"The New Testament... is not to be sidetracked trying to achieve what can only be achieved by Christians becoming their true selves in the church and in the world, and letting that influence work itself into society.... 'Do you not want the church to make impacts on the state?' With all my heart: but not that way. Her influence is indirect, not direct, and is always most powerful when she is attending to her own work" (67-68).

On preaching the Word TODAY
"it may be that... you are in the process of absorbing... the solid teaching of the Puritan writers... and have acquired a detachment from the present day, and even a cold disdainful attitude towards it that makes you exceedingly unattractive and forbidding. What a pity.... Whereas some of the present-day 17th-century 'boys' manage to compose their faces to look like morose old men - not a bit like some of the 17th-century divines themselves, if you had seen them romping at home with their children.... Perhaps you... are a Wesley man... you have a class-meeting complex.... But maybe... you live in the early 19th century.... taking the whole Bible and filing it down to one fine point... namely, the Sabbath Day. This is the whole law; there is no other.... But have I still missed the mark?... Your Elysian Fields are the 1859 revival.... You are a Moody and Sankey man...." (69-73).

"Even if we teach the whole Word, but do so through the eyes and mind and outlook of other days, refusing to allow the living Spirit of God to make it shine in contemporary colors, then our teaching or preaching will be stale, flat and unprofitable" (76).

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