Lessons from the Life of Eric Liddell: #1: “Christian Character Really Does Matter”

Liddell

This is the first installment of a blog series announced here.

For those who knew the Olympic sprinter Eric Liddell personally, it was not his exceptional speed that was his most outstanding quality.   It was his exceptional Christian character.  Liddell took very seriously a verse that is largely dismissed by Christians today: “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt 5:48).

Dr. George Dorling, former flat mate of Liddell’s, recalled that this verse “was the standard by which he judged his actions…whenever he had not attained that perfection which Jesus commanded, then he recognized it as sin and took appropriate steps to put …

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The Forgotten Second Coming

second coming

As Christians, we are fond of reminding people that the Bible is a book of history.   It is not just a book of rules, nor a collection of philosophical treatises, but is decidedly a book about the past.  It is about what God has done in real time and space.  Indeed, that is the core of the Christmas message we have heard over the last month—two thousand years ago, God became man.

But often forgotten in our zeal to show that the Bible is a book about the past, is the reality that the Bible is also a book about the future. The Christian message is fundamentally eschatological (to use …

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Is Anyone More Holy Than Anyone Else? The Missing Category of the ‘Righteous Man’

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“No one is more holy than anyone else.”   That was the statement I heard in a recent sermon.  At first, I thought I must have misheard it.  But, I had not.  The point being made to the congregation was clear: abandon your ‘self-righteousness’ and recognize that you are no holier than the person in the pew next to you.

Now, statements like that sound compelling at first.  Humble, even.  After all, we are trained to go after those Pharisees among us (usually defined as anyone who appears to be holier than we are!).  Moreover, we have the reformed doctrine of total depravity entrenched in our minds, reminding us that our …

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