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 Practical atheism

Can you only quote what others have said? Are you expert in saints who have passed? Or perhaps you can quote the popular preachers of the day? The real question perhaps should be, " What has God said to me?" Out of a living relationship comes life, out of practical atheism comes Frank

It is not enough to hold that God did great things for our fathers: not enough to pride ourselves on the inheritance of victories of faith: not enough to build the sepulchres of those who were martyred by men unwilling as we may be to hear new voices of a living God. Our duty is to see whether God is with us; whether we expect great things from Him; whether we do not practically place Him far off, forgetting that if He is, He is about us, speaking to us words which have not been heard
before, guiding us to paths on which earlier generations have not been able to enter. There is, most terrible thought, a practical atheism, orthodox in language and reverent in bearing, which can enter a Christian Church and charm the conscience to rest with shadowy traditions, an atheism which grows insensibly within us if we separate what cannot be separated with impunity, the secular from the divine, the past and the future from the present, earth from heaven, the things of Caesar from the things of God.
... Brooke Foss Westcott (1825-1901), The Historic Faith,
New York: The Macmillan Company, 1883, p. 40-41

 2011/5/22 9:20

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