“The heavenly citizens are all weak, imperfect, failing, faith-people who ought to have been perfected by appropriating God’s grace, who ought to have lived as saints, yet people for whom the thing has gone to pieces so that they are now without any merit or comfort except to hasten to the Comforter and in everything rely on God. Often , indeed, we are ashamed because of what we are and confess that we are poor Christians, but if we rely on the Lord and live the hidden life in God, confessing ourselves to be pilgrims and strangers, he is not ashamed to own us as his own. Well, do we know our weaknesses and failures, but if we cannot live without him we are nevertheless blessed, for our life in the faith does not rest on any shifting sand, but on the sure rock which shall not pass away.”
From a sermon "Strangers and Guests", C V Bowman 1868-1937 third president of the Evangelical Covenant Church. From The Word is Near To you: Sermons, Lectures, and Bible discussions by representative early leaders in the Evangelical Covenant church, trans. and Ed. Herbert E. Palmquist, Covenant Press, 1974.
I used this quote in the conclusion to my sermon yesterday at Reconciler. I ended up preaching on humility.
I am posting this quote because it exemplifies the approach to faith that has exemplified what I call the best of the Evangelical Covenant Church. It was in discovering this sort of heritage that kept me in the Covenant and thus a Protestant. Also this quotes reflects the sort of ecclesial reflection that causes me to make connections between Lutheran Pietism (especially how it manifests in the Covenant) and catholic and orthodox theology.