The blinding glory of the holiness of God

All inadequate doctrines of the atonement are due to inadequate doctrines of God and man. If we bring God down to our level and raise ourselves to his, then of course we see no need for a radical salvation, let alone for a radical atonement to secure it. When, on the other hand, we have glimpsed the blinding glory of the holiness of God, and have been so convicted of our sin by the Holy Spirit that we tremble before God and acknowledge what we are, namely ‘hell deserving sinners’, then and only then does the necessity of the cross appear so obvious that we are astonished we never saw it before.
— John Stott, The Cross of Christ, 109

The shadowy place between belief and unbelief

In October a news report came out concerning a small Norwegian town, deeply tucked between steep mountains, that is stuck in shadowy darkness for six months of the year. In order to bring more light into town they installed mirrors - yes, mirrors - on a nearby hillside to reflect the sun into town. You can read more hereThough it is an imperfect analogy, I was struck by how similar this is to how we often view following Jesus. 

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Dallas Willard on Jesus as the smartest man. Ever.

At the literally mundane level Jesus knew how to transform the molecular structure of water to make it wine, that knowledge also allowed him to take a few pieces of bread and some little fish and feed thousands of people. He could create matter from the energy that he knew how to access from the heavens right where he was. He knew how to transform the tissues of the human body from sickness to health and from death of life. He knew how to suspend gravity, interrupt weather patterns, eliminate unfruitful trees without saw or ax he only needed a word. Surely he must be amused at what Nobel prizes are awarded for today. In the ethical domain he had an understanding of life that has influenced world thought more than any other. Death was not something imposed on him by others, he explained to his followers in a moment of crisis that he could at any time call on 72,000 angels to do whatever he wanted…he plainly said nobody takes my life, I lay it down by choice…All these things show Jesus cognitive and practical mastery of every phase of reality: physical, moral and spiritual…Saying Jesus is Lord can mean little in practice for anyone who has to hesitate in saying Jesus is smart…he is not just nice, he is brilliant, he is the smartest man who has ever lived. He is now supervising the entire course of human history while simultaneously preparing the rest of the universe for our future role in it. He always has the best information on everything and certainly on the things that matter most in the human life.
— Dallas Willard, Divine Conspiracy