Archive for the ‘friendship’ Category

18: 1 Being Exclusive

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

John Nelson Darby

A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment. Proverbs 18:1.

Two of the most influential theologians of the 19th-century were probably not men you would have felt comfortable with for any length of time. J.N. Darby and Arthur Pink each felt they had the corner on truth and had no use for anyone who didn’t hold their opinions and methods. It was a sad spectacle to see how each narrowed their circle and narrowed it again until almost no one remained in it. Darby, who had once been a leader in the Plymouth Brethren, formed his own small exclusive group of churches called Darbyites. Pink and his wife moved to an island to live alone, refusing association with any church at all, although issuing an influential teaching newsletter.

You have to realize that the men they were renouncing were of the caliber of George Mueller and D. L. Moody.

Contrast that with their Lord, who took a much broader view. When John told him “Master, we saw a man casting out devils in your name, and he does not follow us: and we forbade him, because he does not follow us.”

But Jesus said, “Don’t forbid him: for there is no man who will do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For whoever is not against us is for us.”

27:17 Friendship Power

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

<em>The Inklings</em> by Humphrey Carpenter.

The Inklings by Humphrey Carpenter.

Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

The Inklings were an informal group at Oxford University who gathered to talk, eat, share their work, and critique one another’s output. Several of them, such as Owen Barfield and Charles Williams, produced works of high value.

Among Christians, J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis remain the best known. Tolkien credited Lewis with encouraging him to finish The Lord of the Rings; and without the influence of Tolkien, C. S. Lewis would probably never have become a Christian or written the Christian works which brought him such prominence. Iron had certainly sharpened iron.

Those who followed Jesus were also sharpened. Thus we are told in Acts 4:13ff that the Pharisees saw that Peter and John were uneducated men and marveled at their boldness. “And they realized they had been with Jesus.” This is a sharpening any of us can experience if we allow Christ’s Spirit to work in us.