John Newton’s Words Stab Deeply

While this could easily be said of Mr. Newton’s more famous words, the song “Amazing Grace”, I presently refer to a bit I recently heard via a Justin Taylor message titled A New Kind of Christianity? A Look at the Emerging Church Movement.

Mr. Taylor masterfully used the following Newton quote in the context of how to engage the emergent church movement,

As to your opponent, I wish that before you set pen to paper against him and during the whole time you’re preparing your answer, you may commend him by earnest prayer to the Lord’s teaching and blessing.

This practice will have a direct tendency to conciliate your heart to love and pity him. And such a disposition will have a good influence upon every page you write.

If he is a believer, in a little while you will meet in heaven. He will be nearer to you than the nearest friend you have upon the earth is to you now. Anticipate that period in your thoughts.

If he is an unconverted person, he is a more proper object of your compassion than your anger. Alas, he knows not what he does but you know who has made you differ.