Engaging God’s World

I recently read Cornelius Plantinga’s Engaging God’s World. The book is in essence a theologically rich Bible overview covering creation, fall, redemption, and vocation. It’s different to other overviews I’ve read in that the treatments of each topic don’t just tell the story but consider it theologically, and then apply it to the Christian’s life. Plantinga is an excellent writer with a lovely turn of phrase and ability with metaphor. For preachers there are plenty of quotes, illustrations and metaphors to borrow to enrich our presentation of these theologically rich themes. Here are some of the bits I underlined:

“Well instructed Christians try not to offend the Holy Spirit by scorning truth in non-Christian authors over whom the Spirit has been brooding”

“Learning is a spiritual calling: properly done, it attaches us to God. In addition, the learned person has, so to speak,  more to be Christian with.

“Without costly action, hope can soften into sentimentality. With costly action, hope may harden into reality.”

“Evil is a kind of parasite on goodness . . . The physical power of the assailant comes from the gift of good health. Badness can’t be very bad without tapping deeply into goodness.”

“Satan goes to church more than anybody else because he knows that, at a particular time and place, a corrupt church can devastate the cause of the gospel.”

[citing Lewis Smedes] “the double treachery of self-deception: First we deceive ourselves, and then we convince ourselves that we are not deceiving ourselves.”

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