Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Like Breaking Off Flowers From Their Roots to Replant Them

I received my printed edition of new issue of The City, the Journal of Houston Baptist University, in the mail this week. I encourage you to have a look at this periodical, the entirety of which can be viewed online at www.civitate.org. The articles are always engaging and relevant. One of my favorite features is the first page, which always contains some classic piece of Christian writing on an important subject. This issue was no exception. The initial piece was by Huldrych Zwingli, a segment entitled "Of the Clarity and Certainty or Power of the Word of God," from Essays & Sermons of Huldrych Zwingli published around 1522. A full reproduction of this classic excerpt follows:

THE WORD OF GOD IS SO SURE AND STRONG that if God wills, all things are done the moment that He speaks His Word. For it is so living and powerful that even the things which are irrational immediately conform themselves to it, or to be more accurate, THINGS BOTH RATIONAL AND IRRATIONAL are fashioned and dispatched and constrained in conformity with its purpose. The proof may be found in GENESIS 1: "And God said, Let there be light; and there was light." Note how alive and strong the Word is, not merely ruling all things but creating out of nothings that which it wills. With God there is NO SUCH THING AS PAST OR FUTURE, but all things are naked and open to His eyes. He does not learn with time or forget with time, but with unerring knowledge and perception He sees all things present in eternity. It is in time that we who are temporal find the meaning and measure of longness or shortness. Yet what seems long to us is not long to God, but eternally present. If you think that God often fails to punish a wicked individual or nation, suffering their arrogance far too long, you are completely mistaken, for note they can never escape Him. THE WHOLE WORLD IS BEFORE HIM, WHERE THEN CAN THEY HIDE FROM HIS PRESENCE? Most certainly He will find them. And if you think that He does not punish or save according to His Word you are quite wrong. HIS WORD CAN NEVER BE UNDONE OR DESTROYED OR RESISTED. Oh you rascals! You who are not instructed or versed in the Gospel pick out verses from it without regard to their context, and wrest them according to your own desire. It is like breaking off a flower from its roots and trying to plant it in a garden. But that is not the way: you must plant IT WITH ROOTS AND THE SOIL IN WHICH IT IS EMBEDDED.

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