"Conflict is never pretty and always entails agony; and there are those who hold that in the church all conflict should be avoided at all costs and tranquility should be purchased at any price, and they deem such clotted calm the very peace of God. But the evangelists' account of the contradicted Christ tells us plainly that the church cannot avoid conflict if she be the church of Christ. It tells us that men must take the agony of conflict and bear the brunt of controversy if they are the Christ's. We cluck our disapproval of the bitter controversies of the past and rejoice that such things can no longer happen here. Perhaps our reluctance to face conflict is one of the reasons why we see so puny a Christ and think our God and His kingdom so small."
"'When God begins a thing,' Luther says somewhere, 'it always looks as if nothing will come of it.' He chooses out the least of all nations to be His peculiar people. He makes His Messiah a Servant who goes down in defeat and death. And His kingdom comes as an unspectacular 'stone cut by no human hand,' no match for the bright and splendid and mighty magnitude of the powers of this world. And so His revelation always strikes sparks of contradiction when it comes to man...'"