The CCEL Times 3.6 (June 2, 2008)

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In This Issue:

From the Director

What
do you do to relax? I tend to have a favorite activity that changes
every few weeks or months. At different times, I might work on the yard
or house, solve a crossword puzzle or Sudoku, go for a long bike ride,
or read a book. A couple of years ago I had a hovercraft phase
that lasted for several months. At other times I have had a CCEL
proofreading project that I would work on for an hour a day or so. I
like the proofreading projects because in addition to serving as a
relaxing change of pace, they also give me motivation to spend time
each day reading something good—and they serve the millions of CCEL
users around the world at the same time!

Are you interested in reading a good book and serving the world at the same time? Pick out a good book at the CCEL and proofread
it! I recommend printing out 20 pages of the PDF version and working on
that with pen in hand. You can make corrections online using the
"correct an error on this page" link that appears at the bottom of CCEL
book pages when you are logged in. We can also keep track of how many
times pages have been proofed with the "I have proofed this page" link.
The goal is to proof each book at least twice. We have set up a group at the CCEL where you can find out more.

Harry Plantinga
Director of the CCEL

Featured Classic

Catechetical Lectures of Cyril of Jerusalem (c.313–386)
Reviewed by Lester Ruth

Can
a theologian be a good pastor or evangelist? Can an effective,
church-growing evangelist be theological? Can a caring pastor preach
doctrine in a relevant way? Is it possible for one person to be a
dynamic evangelist, pastor, and theologian all at once? Many today
would answer “no.�

That’s why looking at Cyril, the
fourth century bishop of Jerusalem, is so helpful. In his addresses to
the baptismal candidates in his church, he does a masterful job of
weaving together solid theology, effective evangelism, and nurturing
pastoral care. Whatever Cyril’s vestments actually were like (who
knows exactly what a fourth century bishop would have worn?), he did
wear simultaneously the metaphorical caps of evangelist, pastor, and
theologian as he prepared new Christians for their baptism at Easter
and preached to them the meaning of the sacraments afterward.

Cyril’s
catechetical lectures raise questions that are still important: What do
people need to know to be active Christian disciples? What’s the
appropriate threshold for baptizing someone? Is “buying into� the
commonly held doctrines of the church essential in evangelizing
someone? Cyril’s answer is a resounding “yes.�

Read the complete review at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship
Read this classic at the CCEL

Featured Hymn

"And Can It Be" by Charles Wesley

—from the new Hymnary, developed by the CCEL and co-sponsored by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (read more about the Hymnary)

In
a compact poetic manner, this text exclaims the mystery of God’s grace
extended to sinners who turn to Christ in faith. These sinners receive
the righteousness of Christ and can approach the Lord’s throne in
confidence. Such is the amazing love of God in Christ! Charles Wesley
(b. Epworth, Lincolnshire, England, 1707; d. Marylebone, London,
England, 1788) wrote his powerful and joyful hymn text in 1738 in the
days immediately following his conversion to belief in Christ (May 21);
he sang it with his brother John (b. Epworth, 1703; d. London, 1791)
shortly after John’s "Aldersgate experience." …

Like so many
of Charles Wesley’s hymn texts, "And Can It Be" is full of allusions to
and quotations from Scripture; a few of the more obvious texts are
Philippians 2:7, Acts 12:6-8, Romans 8:1, and Hebrews 4:16. Wesley’s
use of metaphors is also noteworthy—he deftly contrasts light and
darkness, life and death, slavery and freedom, and especially Christ’s
righteousness and our unrighteousness.

Read more about this hymn at the Hymnary
Find more hymns by this composer at the Hymnary

Featured Book Group

Christian Mysticism: A Study on Practical Applications

Update from this group:

We have just finished studying Practical Mysticism,
a book about mysticism addressed to non-Christians by Evelyn Underhill.
Those that are just joining the group are encouraged to start with this
book. Remember that this is an ongoing study and that there is no rush
to finish any book or section before you are ready too.

We are now studying the "Cloud of Unknowing".

After we finish putting up the notes for the "Cloud" we will approach either the "Dark Night of the Soul" by Saint John of the Cross or "Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi" by Ugolino.

Read or Join this Book Study Group
More Book Study Groups from the CCEL

Usage Hint

Browse By Format

You can browse the CCEL by file format. On the home page, under "Browse Library," click "By Format." Select a file format—such as MP3, alm Docbook, or ThML—and you’ll see a list of all books available in that format.

Previous Usage Hint

Classic Reflections

Classic Reflections for the Season of Pentecost

[The
Spirit’s] operations, what are they? For majesty ineffable, and for
numbers innumerable. … [The Spirit] existed; He pre-existed; He
co-existed with the Father and the Son before the ages. … Is it
Christ’s advent? The Spirit is forerunner. Is there the incarnate
presence? The Spirit is inseparable. Working of miracles, and gifts of
healing are through the Holy Spirit. Demons were driven out by the
Spirit of God. The devil was brought to naught by the presence of the
Spirit. Remission of sins was by the gift of the Spirit, for ‘ye were
washed, ye were sanctified … in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,
and in the holy Spirit of our God.’ There is close relationship with
God through the Spirit, for ‘God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son
into your hearts, crying Abba, Father.’ The resurrection from the dead
is effected by the operation of the Spirit, for ‘Thou sendest forth thy
spirit, they are created; and Thou renewest the face of the earth’.

— from De Spiritu Sanctu, by Basil (c.329 – 379)

Read this classic at the CCEL
Read a brief review of this classic at the CCEL

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