C. FitzSimons Allison

Trust in an Age of Arrogance by C. FitzSimons Allison (Paperback ...

C. FitzSimons Allison is a retired Episcopal Priest. He has been known as the Rector of Grace Episcopal Church in New York, as well as Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina. Dr. Allison is known as an outspoken Anglican for the Gospel of grace. Some of his best known works are:

  • The Cruelty of Heresy: An Affirmation of Christian Orthodoxy
  • Trust in an Age of Arrogance
  • and my favorite – The Rise of Moralism

Quotes

“When Christianity is reduced to be like Jesus, it loses its grace and becomes a mere law that can be obeyed only by inflated confidence in human nature’s ability to fulfill all obligations and/ or by lowering the law to levels that one can obey.” – C. FitzSimons Allison (Trust in an Age of Arrogance)

“One of the spiritual hazards of scholarship is that it can become Gnostic. A lifetime of submersion in conceptual and subtle complexities with an ever more sophisticated vocabulary can seduce some of the best scholars into elitism, inept pedagogy, and irrelevance.” – C. FitzSimons Allison (The Cruelty of Heresy)

“Neither creeds nor correct doctrines are the objects of our faith. They did not die for our salvation. Yet, as faithful guidelines to the inevitable implications of scripture and boundaries for what can be called authentic Christianity, they are far more important than is currently appreciated. There are symbols that point to God but, like dogs being trained to fetch, we look at the trainer’s finger rather than toward that to which the finger points. Faithfulness to correct doctrine and loyalty to the creeds is not the same thing as trust in the God whom the creeds describe. This is the perennial temptation of orthodoxy itself. It is like tennis players who mark off the court, put up the net, sit down and call that “tennis.” – C. FitzSimons Allison (The Cruelty of Heresy)

“Christianity did not and cannot start with people who have forsaken sin. It receives them and begins to free them from the bondage that is sin.” – C. FitzSimons Allison (The Cruelty of Heresy)

“St. Paul established the guidelines for all subsequent orthodoxy that race, nationality, degree of servitude, and gender are not barriers to identification with Christ’s saving humanity…” – C. FitzSimons Allison (The Cruelty of Heresy)

“Ye shall be as gods” is as flattering now as it has been since the Garden of Eden. ‘All is one,’ ‘all is God,’ and ‘all is well’ is as attractive to adults as dessert before dinner is to a child. Would the realities of the Balkans, inner-city blight, troubled marriages, rebellious children, and irresponsible parents be any less difficult to solve if we all believed we were gods? On the contrary, humans trying to be gods is precisely what is wrong in the Balkins, our cities, our marriages, our children, our parents, and in ourselves.” – C. FitzSimons Allison (The Cruelty of Heresy)

“A common expression: ‘heaven for the climate, but hell for the company” is an indication how people react to Pharisaical Christians. They would rather be in hell with other sinners than in heaven with those who thought that they were good enough to be there.” – C. FitzSimons Allison (Trust in an Age of Arrogance)

“If our hope lies in human ability to make all things right, the tendency is to believe that some historical action, program or ideal could bring the ultimate victory for which everyone yearns. No matter how commendable and beneficial such programs or ideals, they will inevitably become occasions of dangerous and destructive idols.” – C. FitzSimons Allison (Trust in an Age of Arrogance)

“The saints testify that the deeper into sanctification one goes the clearer one sees one’s sins. The more majestic the vision of God the more unworthy sinners see themselves in his reflection…confidence…may be a mere product of limited self-knowledge or a small god.” – C. FitzSimons Allison (Trust in an Age of Arrogance)

“The Sermon on the Mount is not a blue print for society or an individual’s rule of life. It is an introduction to the passion, and invitation to Good Friday.” – C. FitzSimons Allison (Trust in an Age of Arrogance)

“The Sermon is not some elevated ideal that we are to stretch and strive for, but a window through which to see God’s kingdom. It is not a set of rules by which to live but a vision which enables us to die to self. This vision empties us of any confidence or trust in our own center. Humility is the only appropriate posture before the cost of God’s love at the crucifixion. ” – C. FitzSimons Allison (Trust in an Age of Arrogance)

“Clergy often make the mistake of thinking, when they preach from one of the Gospels, that they are preaching good news. Most of the gospel material is not gospel but what leads up to the good news of Good Friday and Easter. A large part of the Gospels is conviction of sinners, rebuke of Israel’s unfaithfulness, disappointments of expectation, and declaring salvation as a human impossibility.” – C. FitzSimons Allison (Trust in an Age of Arrogance)

“The Sermon on the Mount is the necessary, rigorous, and devastating purging of Pharisee yeast. It’s chemotherapy for the Pharisee cancer. Any confidence in one’s own righteousness before God has no authentic way to wiggle through chapters 5-7 of St. Matthew. Any genuine pilgrimage through this Sermon leaves us bereft of self-righteousness, with no pedestals from which to judge other sinners. Jesus, in these passages, leaves us in the only posture legitimately possible on Good Friday: on our knees with empty hands to receive the incomparable and desperately needed mercy of God.” – C. FitzSimons Allison (Trust in an Age of Arrogance)

“The Sermon on the Mount is a deeper unfolding of the law of Moses. It leaves no hope that human goodness can replace (or make waste of) the costly betrayal, rejection, passion, suffering, death, and resurrection of God’s action in Jesus Christ.” – C. FitzSimons Allison (Trust in an Age of Arrogance)

“The trust that there will be justice is a Christian trust. But it includes justice for us as well, which none of us can endure. As long as I trust that my relative goodness needs less mercy than that of the murderous Idi Amin (genocidal dictator of Uganda), I am where Charles Wesley was prior to his conversion. This is not to say that there are no significant differences between Amin’s atrocities and my sins. But when the gold medal Olympic swimmer, Josh Davis, and I are in a boat together, fishing in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and the boat sinks, it is ultimately unimportant that Josh can swim a great deal better and longer than I can. We both drown. God’s justice is bigger than the Pacific Ocean.” – C. FitzSimons Allison (Trust in an Age of Arrogance)

“One can understand the caution in telling people of God’s unmerited mercy, forgiveness and love, lest people get the impression that it is unnecessary to behave. This reaction to the gospel has been with us since the beginning, ‘Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?’ Fear of antinomianism seems always to be a justification for Pharisaism.” – C. FitzSimons Allison (Trust in an Age of Arrogance)

“Inasmuch as we are sinners, we see ourselves as the center of all we survey. We hope, we wish, we want to have whatever we desire. And we believe that being able to have or to do what we want is freedom. We tell such lies as ‘we are born free,’ he’s free to choose to take revenge or to forgive, he’s free to get drunk or stay sober, she’s free to commit suicide or to renew her hope, terrorists are free to kill innocent people or to refrain from doing so. Each destructive choice is made from bondage. Drunkenness, suicide, vengeance, and mass murder are instances of bondage, not freedom. Having no restraints is not freedom but license, a state of hazardous slavery.” C. FitzSimons Allison (Trust in an Age of Arrogance)

“The fact is that our freedom lies in God’s will and his service. The mystery lies in the final triumph of justice, mercy, and love and how we are, or are not, a part of that victory. Our human nature persists in attempting to abolish the mystery by the lie that in our freedom it is we who choose to have the faith that saves. Scripture and the saints have unanimously insisted otherwise: God has chosen us and our faith is his gift, not our accomplishment.” – C. FitzSimons Allison (Trust in an Age of Arrogance)

“When we realize before God that we have deserved no forgiveness, yet are forgiven, the heavy burdens of hatred, resentment, and bitterness are removed from our souls.” – C. FitzSimons Allison (Trust in an Age of Arrogance)

“When one begins with the false assumption of being free, all concern will be involved with how to keep such freedom in check, how to control sin. The result is the deadly religion of the Pharisee. If one begins with the assumption of bondage, the concern will be how to proclaim the gospel story in kindness, patience, and love so that people are enabled to be set free.” – C. FitzSimons Allison (Trust in an Age of Arrogance)

“When Christianity is reduced to a religion of control, an endeavor to keep order by condemning sinners are giving no word that enables us to escape our bondage, it loses all joy and love. People will naturally turn away from such an atmosphere and seek the worldliness of the Sadducee rather than the joylessness of the Pharisee.” – C. FitzSimons Allison (Trust in an Age of Arrogance)

“Christians are justified by the righteousness of Christ whereby they dwell in him and are thus acceptable to God, but this is not on account of any inherit righteousness of their own. The righteousness of sanctification is that whereby we grow in grace by virtue of being in Christ. It is a grateful response to a gratuitous justification.” – C. FitzSimons Allison (The Rise of Moralism)

“The righteousness whereby we are accepted by God is the righteousness of Christ imputed to us when we are incorporated in Christ.” – C. FitzSimons Allison (The Rise of Moralism)

“Man’s righteousness is from God and cannot be clothed with any semblance of merit or worthiness, nor can it be a casual condition for the free gift of justification.” – C. FitzSimons Allison (The Rise of Moralism)

“…it requires intolerable pride to assume that there is within us a righteousness of our own that makes us acceptable to God and righteous in his sight.” – C. FitzSimons Allison (The Rise of Moralism)

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