Monday, March 16, 2015

Book Review: No Little People

No Little People. Francis A. Schaeffer. 2003. Crossway. 239 pages. [Source: Bought]

No Little People is a collection of sixteen sermons by Francis A. Schaeffer. This was my first time to read Schaeffer, and, it was a WONDERFUL introduction. The sixteen sermons are as follows:

  • No Little People, No Little Places
  • The Hand of God
  • The Weakness of God's Servants
  • The Lord's Work in the Lord's Way
  • Walking Through the Mud
  • Joseph
  • The Ark, The Mercy-Seat, and the Incense Altar
  • David: Lawful and Unlawful Vindication
  • Elijah and Elisha
  • The Three Men in the Fiery Furnace
  • What Difference Has Looking Made? (A Christmas Study)
  • Jesus Only
  • The Water of Life
  • The Book of Revelation: Future, Yet a Unity with the Present
  • What Is Enough
  • Ash Heap Lives
I've been sharing some quotes as I read this one, sharing them in my Quotes from the Cloud posts. I've found the book to be excellent. I've just LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it. It is a collection of sermons. Some sermons I've absolutely LOVED and found rich in truth and packed with insights. Other sermons I've thought were good, but, not necessarily amazing. I think there is something to speak to every reader certainly. One sermon might really touch you and meet your need for the day. But it wouldn't have to be the same sermon for everyone! I do think the book would give you a good idea on whether you like Schaeffer, and if you want to read more.

No Little People, No Little Places
Each Christian is to be a rod of God in the place of God for him. We must remember throughout our lives that in God’s sight there are no little people and no little places. Only one thing is important: to be consecrated persons in God’s place for us, at each moment. Those who think of themselves as little people in little places, if committed to Christ and living under His Lordship in the whole of life, may, by God’s grace, change the flow of our generation.
The Weakness of God's Servants
If someone asked us, “What is the Bible?” we probably would not begin our answer by saying, “The Bible is a realistic book.” Yet in the twentieth century this might be the best place to start—to stress the realism of the Bible in contrast to the romanticism which characterizes the twentieth-century concept of religion. To most modern people, truth is to be sought through some sort of leap from which we extract our own personal religious experiences. Many feel that the Bible should portray a romantic view of life, but the Bible is actually the most realistic book in the world. It does not glibly say, “God’s in His heaven—all’s right with the world!” It faces the world’s dilemmas squarely. Yet, unlike modern realism which ends in despair, it has answers for the dilemmas. And, unlike modern romanticism, its answers are not optimism without a sufficient base, not hope hung in a vacuum. So we should say at once to twentieth-century people: the Bible is a tough-fibered book.
Bible-believing Christians should never have the reaction designated by the term shocked. There is a type of Christian who constantly draws himself or herself up and declares, “I am shocked.” If he is, he is not reacting to reality as he should, for it is as much against the teaching of Scripture to romanticize men, himself or others as to explain away sin. We should not be surprised when a man demonstrates he is a sinner because, after all, we know that all men are sinners. When someone sits down to talk with me, I should convey to him (even if I do not express it in words) the attitude that he and I are both sinners. Nothing will help you as much in meeting people, no matter how far out they are or how caught they are in the modern awfulness, than for them to perceive in you the attitude “we are both sinners.” This does not mean that we minimize sin, but we can still exhibit that we understand him because we stand in the same place. We can say “us” rather than just “you.” To project shock as though we are better slams the door shut. Each of us does not need to look beyond himself to know that men and women are sinners.
Walking Through the Mud
To the extent that I am not conformed to the teaching of the Bible, the Word of God in my life, I am entrapped in the mire of the world. To the extent that I am not living on biblical principles, I am walking through mud and getting dirty. The same thing is true of the Christian congregation or Christian group. We must call sin sin, and resist it, not just explain it away psychologically.
The Ark, The Mercy-Seat, and the Incense Altar
It was Luther, when translating the Old Testament into German, who first used the term mercy-seat. It is a beautiful poetic phrase, but it also accurately communicates what the lid on the ark really was, a place of mercy. Yet if a person does not know the Hebrew word being translated, mercy-seat may confuse, because this word actually means the atonement cover—a covering not like a jar lid, but a covering in the sense of atonement. This is emphasized by the fact that Hebrews 9:5, in speaking of the “cherubim of glory shadowing the mercy seat,” uses a Greek word which means the propitiatory. Our hearts should well up when we consider Luther’s poetic translation of the term, and yet we must understand the term’s real force, the propitiatory, the atonement. The propitiatory covering was exactly the same size as the box. They matched. The atonement exactly covered the law. God is holy (He is always holy, He never ceases being holy), and God is love. Both must be affirmed. God is holy, God is love. Neither is primary, neither is secondary. Exodus 25:22 contains an important clause: “and there I will meet with thee.” God did not meet the Jews at the level of the law. He met them at the level of the mercy-seat. Undoubtedly, this is why Luther, loving the Lord as he did, called the covering the mercy-seat. He understood that this is where God meets everybody who is met by Him.
Jesus Only
The call to a nonChristian is to make Jesus the center of his life. The call to Christians is to remember that He is the center.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

1 comment:

hopeinbrazil said...

Wonderful quotes. Thanks for sharing this book review.