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 Roland Allen Quotes
34 Famous Quotes by Roland Allen
12/29/1868 - 6/9/1947
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About Roland Allen

Commemoration of Richard Meux Benson, Founder of the Society of St John the Evangelist, 1915 It will perhaps be said that in our present state of schism this assertion of [spiritual] principle [of oneness] can give us no definite guidance for action, can provide us with no clear programme, and must remain unfruitful. Surely that is not wholly true. It certainly must help us if we recognize that it is the presence of the Holy Spirit which creates a unity which we can never create. If men believe in the existence of this unity, they may begin to desire it, and desiring it to seek for it, and seeking it to find it. If, when they find it, they refuse to deny it, in due time, by ways now unsearchable, they will surely return to external communion.

Christianity Quotes, by Roland Allen

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It is not true that the assertion of spiritual principle is vain because we can not see at the moment how to express that principle in action. It would assuredly make a difference if Christians, in their approach one to another, realized that, in spite of appearances, they were in fact one. If, in their seeking after external reunion, they realized that they were seeking not to create a unity which does not yet exist, but to find an expression for a unity which does exist, which is indeed the one elemental reality, they would approach one another in a better frame of mind. The common recognition of the principle would in itself be a unifying force of great value, and would dispose those who shared it to approach questions of difference in a spirit of unity which would immensely assist their deliberations.

Christianity Quotes, by Roland Allen

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Feast of David, Bishop of Menevia, Patron of Wales, c.601 To preach the Gospel requires that the preacher should believe that he is sent to those whom he is addressing at the moment, because God has among them those whom He is at the moment calling; it requires that the speaker should expect a response.

Christianity Quotes, by Roland Allen

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What men turn to is more important than what they turn from, even if that to which they turn is only a higher moral truth; but to turn to Christ is far more important than to turn to higher moral truth: it is to turn the face towards Him in whom is all moral truth; it is to turn to HIm in whom is not only the virtue which corresponds to the known vice from which the penitent wishes to flee, but all virtue; it is to turn the face to all holiness, all purity, all grace. It was this repentance which the apostles preached after Pentecost.

Christianity Quotes, by Roland Allen

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Commemoration of Martyrs of Papua New Guinea, 1942 The apostles were moved, not so much by an intellectual apprehension, as by a spiritual illumination. They met men, and the need of those men whom they met cried aloud to them. Their own desire for the revelation of the glory of Jesus in the salvation of men went out towards those whom they met, and was immediately answered by the recognition of the need of those whom they met for Jesus Christ.

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Feast of William Tyndale, Translator of the Scriptures, Martyr, 1536 Christ had given the apostles a world-wide commission, embracing all the nations; but intellectually they did not understand what He meant. They found that out as they followed the impulse of the Spirit.

Christianity Quotes, by Roland Allen

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The whole point of the story of Cornelius and of the admission of the Gentiles lies in the fact that these people had not accepted what up to that moment had been considered a necessary part of the Christian teaching. The question was whether they could be admitted without accepting the teaching and undergoing the rite. It was that question which was settled by the acknowledgement that they had received the Holy Spirit... The difficulty today is that Christians acknowledge that others have the Spirit, and yet do not recognize that they ought to be, and must be -- because spiritually they are -- in communion with one another. Men who hold a theory of the Church which excludes from communion those whom they admit to have the Spirit of Christ simply proclaim that their theory is in flat contradiction to the spiritual fact.

Christianity Quotes, by Roland Allen

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Among our own people also the church sorely needs clergy in close touch with the ordinary life of the laity, living the life of ordinary men, sharing their difficulties and understanding their trials by close personal experience. Stipendiary clergy cut off by training and life from that common experience are constantly struggling to get close to the laity by wearing lay clothing, sharing in lay amusements, and organizing lay clubs; but they never quite succeed. To get close to men, it is necessary really to share their experience, and to share their experience is to share it by being in it, not merely to come as near to it as possible without being in it.

Christianity Quotes, by Roland Allen

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In the world to which the Apostles preached their new message, religion had not been the solace of the weary, the medicine of the sick, the strength of the sin-laden, the enlightenment of the ignorant: It was the privilege of the healthy and the instructed. The sick and the ignorant were excluded. They were under the bondage of evil demons. "This people which knoweth not the law are accursed", was the common doctrine of Jews and Greeks. The philosophers addressed themselves only to the well-to-do, the intellectual, and the pure. To the mysteries were invited only those who had clean hands and sound understanding. It was a constant marvel to the heathen that the Christians called the sick and the sinful.

Christianity Quotes, by Roland Allen

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In arriving at a decision in a question of doubt, the apostles in the Acts were guided solely by their sense of the Spirit behind the action, not by any speculations as to consequences which might ensue. And so they found the truth. Gradually the results of the action manifested themselves, and, seeing them, they perceived what they had really done, and learnt the meaning of the truth revealed in the action. But if, from fear of the consequences, they had checked or forbidden the action, they would have lost this revelation. They would have missed the way to truth.

Christianity Quotes, by Roland Allen

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There is in St. Paul's definite, soul-stirring assertion of the wrath of God and the reality of the judgment at hand, a truth more profound than any that underlies our somewhat enfeebled ideas of universal benevolence and the determined progress of the race. There is something more true in his denunciation of idolatry as sin than in our denial that it is possible for a man to worship an idol, or in our suggestion that all idolatry is only a road to spiritual worship of the one true God... One day, I think, we shall return to these stern doctrines, realizing in them a truth more profound than we now know, and then we shall preach them with conviction, and, being convinced ourselves, we shall convince others.

Christianity Quotes, by Roland Allen

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Missionary zeal does not grow out of intellectual beliefs, nor out of theological arguments, but out of love. If I do not love a person I am not moved to help him by proofs that he is in need; if I do love him, I wait for no proof of a special need to urge me to help him. Knowledge of Christ is so rich a treasure that the spirit of love must necessarily desire to impart it. The mere assurance that others have it not is sufficient proof of their need. This spirit of love throws aside intellectual arguments that they can do very well without it. But if this spirit is not present, a man is easily persuaded that to impart a knowledge of Christianity (for it is noteworthy that such men always speak of Christianity rather than of Christ) is not necessary -- nay, is superfluous expense of energy which might be better used in other ways.

Christianity Quotes, by Roland Allen

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Pentecost The Spirit is Love expressed towards man as redeeming love, and the Spirit is truth, and the Spirit is the Holy Spirit. Redemption is inconceivable without truth and holiness. But the mere fact that the Holy Spirit's first recorded action in the gospels is an expression of redeeming love should cause us to suspect a teaching which represents His work as primarily, if not solely, the sanctification of our own souls to the practical exclusion of His activity in us towards others. It is important to teach of Him as the Spirit of holiness; it is also important to teach of Him as the Spirit which in us labours for the salvation of men everywhere.

Christianity Quotes, by Roland Allen

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Commemoration of John & Henry Venn, Priests, Evangelical Divines, 1813, 1873 If we allow the consideration of heathen morality and heathen religion to absolve us from the duty of preaching the gospel we are really deposing Christ from His throne in our own souls. If we admit that men can do very well without Christ, we accept the Saviour only as a luxury for ourselves. If they can do very well without Christ, then so could we. This is to turn our backs upon the Christ of the gospels and the Christ of Acts and to turn our faces towards law, morality, philosophy, natural religion. We look at the moral teaching of some of the heathen nations and we find it higher than we had expected... Or we look at morality in Christian lands, and we begin to wonder whether our practice is really much higher than theirs, and we say, "They are very well as they are. Leave them alone." When we so speak and think we are treating the question of the salvation of men exactly as we should have treated it had Christ never appeared in the world at all. It is an essentially pre-Christian attitude, and implies that the Son of God has not been delivered for our salvation. It suggests that the one and only way of salvation known to me is to keep the commandments. That was indeed true before the coming of the Son of God, before the Passion, before the Resurrection, before Pentecost; but after Pentecost that is no longer true. After Pentecost, the answer to any man who inquires the way of salvation is no longer "Keep the law," but "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.".

Christianity Quotes, by Roland Allen

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Continuing a series on the church: We must not admit for one moment the truth of a statement often made, that the man who devotes himself to the establishment of the church, declining to be involved in all sorts of activities for the improvement of social conditions, is indifferent to, or heedless of, the sufferings and injustices under which men suffer. He is nothing of the kind: he is simply a man who is sure of his foundation, and is convinced that the only way to any true advancement is spiritual, and is Christ; and therefore he persists, in spite of all appearances, in clinging to Christ as the only foundation, and in building all his hopes for the future on the acceptance of Christ. He is not content with attacks upon symptoms of evil; they seem to him superficial: he goes to the roots. He cannot be content with teaching men Christian principles of conduct, "Christian ideals of social life" -- still less with the establishment of colleges and clubs. Nothing but Christ Himself, faith in Christ, the obedience of Christ, seems to him equal to the need, and nothing else is his work but the establishment of that foundation. In doing this he is not showing indifference to social evils, he is not standing aloof from beneficent movements; he is actively engaged in laying the axe to the roots of the trees which bear the evil. That is not indifference.

Christianity Quotes, by Roland Allen

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The missionary work of the non-professional missionary is essentially to live his daily life in Christ, and therefore with a difference, and to be able to explain, or at least to state, the reason and cause of the difference to men who see it... His preaching is essentially private conversation, and has at the back of it facts, facts of a life which explain and illustrate and enforce his words... It is such missionary work, done consciously and deliberately as missionary, that the world needs today. Everybody, Christian and pagan alike, respects such work; and, when it is so done, men wonder, and inquire into the secret of a life which they instinctively admire and covet for themselves... The spirit which inspires love of others and efforts after their well-being, both in body and soul, they cannot but admire and covet -- unless, indeed, seeing that it would reform their own lives, they dread and hate it, because they do not desire to be reformed. In either case, it works.

Christianity Quotes, by Roland Allen

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Feast of Benedict of Nursia, Father of Western Monasticism, c.550 Continuing a short series on education: We demand, as [St. Paul] did, that the candidate must be of good moral character -- at least, so far as that he can produce testimonials to his good conduct. We demand, as the apostle demanded, that he must hold fast the faithful word -- at least, so far as that he shall not write deliberate heresy in his examination papers, and shall profess belief in the Creed. We demand, as he demanded, that the candidate must be apt to teach -- at least, so far as an examination of his verbal memory can prove that he knows what he ought to teach. But there is some difference between the "without reproach" of the apostle and our testimonials; and there is a difference between the holding fast of the faith by a man tried in the furnace of life, and the soundness in the faith of a youth fresh from a theological school; and the aptness to teach of a man of experience and social authority is not quite the same thing as the aptness to teach of a young man who has just passed an examination in the subject-matter.

Christianity Quotes, by Roland Allen

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This total and entire conversion of the inner man, this absolute doing away of the old and acceptance of the new life, being in its nature a real breach and not a formal one, necessarily involved a corresponding outward breach with the old form of life. Of this breach Baptism was the sacrament. In Baptism the change was effected and realized in fact. Baptism was not a mere formal external act, a symbol of a spiritual fact which was already complete without it. A Spiritual conversion which was not also a conversion of life was no conversion at all, but a delusion... With the heart man believes, with the mouth he confesses; but a mouth which does not confess disproves the existence of a heart that believes. The soul cannot be God's and the life not God's at the same time. The soul can not be recreated and the life remain unchanged. The spiritual breach is proved and realized and completed in the outward breach. Where there is no outward change, it is safe to deny an inward change. Faith without Baptism and all that Baptism involved was consequently no part of St. Paul's teaching.

Christianity Quotes, by Roland Allen

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Of course all advance depends upon money, when we depend upon paid workers for any advance. Teach men as one of their first lessons in the gospel that pastoral work and evangelistic work ought to be paid, and will they not believe it? They would all believe it if the Holy Ghost did not dispute our teaching. It is a powerful proof of the presence and grace of the Holy Ghost that they do not all believe it and act accordingly.

Christianity Quotes, by Roland Allen

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[St. Paul] always contrived to bring his hearers to a point. There was none of the indeterminate, inconclusive talking which we are apt to describe as "sowing the seed". Our idea of sowing the seed seems to be rather like scattering wheat out of a balloon... Occasionally, of course, grains of wheat scattered out of a balloon will fall upon ploughed and fertile land and will spring up and bear fruit; but it is a casual method of sowing. Paul did not scatter seeds, he planted. He so dealt with his hearers that he brought them speedily and directly to a point of decision, and then he demanded of them that they should make a choice and act on their choice. In this way he kept the moral issue clearly before them, and made them realize that his preaching was not merely a novel and interesting doctrine, but a life. (Continued tomorrow).

Christianity Quotes, by Roland Allen

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The possibility of rejection was ever present. St. Paul did not establish himself in a place and go on preaching for years to men who refused to act on his teaching. When once he had brought them to a point where decision was clear, he reminded that they should make their choice. If they rejected him, he rejected them... He did not simply "go away"; he openly rejected those who showed themselves unworthy of his teaching. It was part of the Gospel that men might "judge themselves unworthy of eternal life". It is a question which needs serious consideration whether the Gospel can be truly preached if this element is left out.

Christianity Quotes, by Roland Allen

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The first Epistle (to the Thessalonians) was written about a year after St. Paul's preaching in the city where, according to Prof. [William] Ramsay's calculation, he had laboured for only five months. Thus his stay had not been long enough for him to do more than teach the fundamental truths which seemed to him of the first importance: all the circumstances of his visit were still fresh in his memory and he was recalling to the minds of his readers what he had taught them by word of mouth. Now in that Epistle we get an extraordinarily clear and coherent account of simple mission-preaching not only implied but definitely expressed. (Continued tomorrow).

Christianity Quotes, by Roland Allen

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Briefly, that teaching contains the following elements: (1) There is one living and true God (i.9); (2) Idolatry is sinful and must be forsaken (i.9); (3) The wrath of God is ready to be revealed against the heathen for their impurity (iv.6), and against the Jews for their rejection of Christ and their opposition to the Gospel (ii.15,16); (4) The judgment will come suddenly and unexpectedly (v.2,3); (5) Jesus, the Son of God (i.1O), given over to death (v.10), and raised from the dead (iv.14), is the Saviour from the wrath of God (i.10); (6) The Kingdom of Jesus is now set up and all men are invited to enter it (ii.12); (7) Those who believe and turn to God are now expecting the coming of the Savior who will return from Heaven to receive them (i.10; iv.15-17); (8) Meanwhile, their life must be pure (iv.1-8), useful (iv.11-12), and watchful (v.14-8); (9) To that end, God has given them His Holy Spirit (iv.8; v.19). (Continued tomorrow).

Christianity Quotes, by Roland Allen

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Commemoration of Denys, Bishop of Paris, & his Companions, Martyrs, 258 Commemoration of Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln, Philosopher, Scientist, 1253 This Gospel accords perfectly with the account which St. Paul gives of his preaching in the last address to the Ephesian elders, and it contains all the elements which are to be found in all the sermons and in all the notices of St. Paul's preaching in the Acts, except only the answers to the objections against the Gospel, and the proofs of its truth, which would be manifestly out of place in writing to Christians.

Christianity Quotes, by Roland Allen

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To preach the Gospel requires that the preacher should believe that he is sent to those whom he is addressing at the moment, because God has among them those whom He is at the moment calling; it requires that the speaker should expect a response.

Miscellaneous Quotes, by Roland Allen

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