Quotes by Bruce Shelley

Bruce Shelley

The most treasured hymns of the church have always treated Christ as an Object of Worship. We find the beating heart of Christian experience not in the church’s creed but in its music.


Theology can be dull, or much worse, it can be ruthless. In Christianity, however, the answer to bad theology can never be no theology. It must be good theology. God gave us minds, and surely he expects us to use them in thinking about his truth.


Christians can hope because faith always reaches beyond earthly circumstances. Its confidence is in a person. And no other person in recorded history has influenced more people in as many conditions over so long a time as Jesus Christ. The shades and tones of his image seem to shift with the needs of men: the Jewish Messiah of the believing remnant, the Wisdom of the Greek apologist, the...


If Luther’s ultimate text was “the just shall live by faith,” Calvin’s was, “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Calvin saw the old doctrine of predestination—taught by Paul, Augustine, and Luther—as a source of religious devotion. More than a problem of the mind, Calvin considered divine election to eternal life the deepest source of confidence, humility, and moral...


In one sense, of course, Christians created the canon. Their decisions concerning the books were a part of history. In another sense, however, they were only recognising those writings that had made their authority felt in the churches. The shape of the New Testament shows that the early churches’ primary aim was to submit fully to the teachings of the apostles. In that purpose they shapes the...


Heretics, in fact, served the church in an unintended way. Their pioneering attempts to state the truth forced the church to shape “good theology”—a rounded systematic statement of biblical revelation.


Ten thousand people telling a lie do not turn the lie into truth


In a sense England had two reformations, a constitutional one under King Henry VIII (1509-1547) and a theological one under the Puritans almost a century later.


More Christians worshiped in Anglican churches in Nigeria each week than in all the Episcopal and Anglican churches of Britain, Europe, and North America combined. There were ten times more Assemblies of God members in Latin America than in the United States. There were more Baptists in Congo than in Great Britain. And there were more people in church every Sunday in communist China than in...


“We seek more and more privacy, and feel more and more alienated and lonely when we get it.” (Philip Slater) We compete rather than cooperate; we avoid rather than engage; we play it cool, and thereby make “the world a little colder”


The mere fact of separation does not of itself constitute schism. It is possible to be divided at many points and still be united in Christ.


The devil, when it is to his advantage, is democratic


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