J.B. Phillips is best known for his translation of the New Testament, which he began during the War while he was a young Anglican vicar. He also wrote a number of small, practical books for “ordinary” believers. One of these was a little book titled New Testament Christianity, published in 1956.
I picked the book up on my annual pilgrimage to Powell’s Books, in downtown Portland. This is a great little book. I’ll write more on it in the coming weeks. For now, here’s a taster (pg. 99):
We may be full of joy, but we are not here for our amusement. We are here to be used as instruments in God’s purpose. It is a fine thing to know that we are ‘right with God,’ ‘converted,’ ‘born again,’ and all the rest of it, but after a while such experiences become stale an unsatisfying unless we are passing the Good News on to others, positively assisting the work of the Church, or definitely bringing to bear upon actual human situations the pattern of Christian living.
This means in effect that each Christian must ask himself, ‘Am I myself outward-looking in my Christian experience, or am I content to remain in a safe ‘Christian rut?’ The recovery of the Church’s power rests ultimately upon the individual Christian’s answer to such a question.
More to come later …