"In contrast to the godless future predicted by Nietzsche or our current atheistic prophets, the prophet Isaiah, even in the midst of warnings of exile, destruction, and suffering had a hope-filled vision of a world permeated with the presence of God: "The wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the kid, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child will lead them... they will not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11:6, 9). This vision of a God-filled future is what Christians hope for and work towards, even as we wrestle with the challenges and the difficulties of a God-famished world. The alternative is far less hopeful."
"We are not meant to leave things as they are; God commanded Adam and Eve to till and keep the garden and exercise dominion. Society and the soul need to be subjected to a constant, cultivating scrutiny: Are we living as we should? It’s not a question that can be easily answered, and therefore we’re duty bound to draw on all the intellectual resources at our disposal to try to formulate a humane answer, a true answer."
"The pull toward evil we feel when tested—a pull toward anger, striking out, or surrender to passion—does not “come from” God. That is, temptation is not located in the test but in our sin nature’s response to the test. If we realize God intends the test as a “good and perfect gift,” our perspective changes. Rather than view tests as temptation and give in, we can welcome tests as blessings intended to help us grow. James reminds us that God has given us a new birth (v. 18). That new life is the source of an inner power that will enable us to triumph not only over the circumstances but our sinful tendencies as well."
Richards, L. O. (1991). The Bible readers companion (electronic ed.) (p 871). Wheaton: Victor Books.
"Thinking of “others” in an abstract sense only is insufficient; we must get down to the nitty-gritty of true service. A famous philosopher wrote glowing words about educating children but abandoned his own. It was easy for him to love children in the abstract, but when it came down to practice, that was something else. Jesus thought of others and became a servant! Paul traces the steps in the humiliation of Christ: (1) He emptied Himself, laying aside the independent use of His own attributes as God; (2) He permanently became a human, in a sinless physical body; (3) He used that body to be a servant; (4) He took that body to the cross and willingly died."
Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Php 2:7). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.
"The Church is intolerant in principle because she believes; she is tolerant in practice because she loves. The enemies of the Church are tolerant in principle because they do not believe; they are intolerant in practice because they do not love."
HT: First Thoughts