Friday, October 28, 2011

The souls of the old

Dale Ralph Evans writing in The Wisdom and the Folly, page 115, and referring to Solomon's gradual turn towards other gods because of his relationship by marriage to so many foreign women: 

We must take a moment to be frightened.  'When Solomon was old...'  How that text ought to goad older believers to pray the last petition of the Lord's Prayer [deliver us from evil].  Is there not a warning to churches as well, who have a fixation on youth ministry and a love affair with young marrieds and/or young families?   Need we not exercise far more vigilance over our over-sixties crowd, many of whom will doubtless meet the major troubles of their lives in their final years? 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lack of imagination

Our deficiency is not motivation or money, but imagination.  Our ability to live Christianly and be the church corporately has failed because we do not believe it is possible.... Wanting to obey Christ but lacking his imagination, we reinterpret the mission of the church through the only framework comprehensible to us -- the one we've inherited from consumer culture.

Skye Jethani
The Divine Commodity

Friday, October 21, 2011

Seeking the excluded

Christ opens up the idea of a system that seeks always to find those who are excluded from the system that is in power.  The Christian "worldview" is thus manifested as always seeking out those who have been rejected from the worldviews that have authority.  The way this works itself out in practice is that whatever political or religious idea is dominating the society at any given time, Christianity seeks out those who are excluded by it, the one sheep who is not in the pen, the one coin not in the purse, those who have not been invited to the party, the nobodies, the nothings.

Peter Rollings
The Fidelity of Betrayal

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Skepticism—like relativism—tends to eliminate personal or moral responsibility since truth (which is crucial to knowledge) is systematically being ignored or evaded….We should consider the personal, motivational questions which, while not being an argument against skepticism, raise important issues that may be driving the skeptical enterprise.  Blanket skepticism is an affliction of the mind that needs curing.

How Do You Know You’re Not Wrong? (pp. 28-29) by Paul Copan


‎"I have always found it a mistake to attempt to complete a manuscript in one day. I like to do part of it--enough to get the theme well on to my mind--and then go to bed with the work half-done. I do not consciously review the matter during the night: yet I invariably wake up with a batch of ideas that were not there the previous day."
Ships of Pearl, 16, by F W Boreham. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

So how should Christians live in society?

Very carefully; but, I would also say, joyfully.  That's the most important thing Christians can do.  They should live in the United States, for example, without pretending they are at home here because they are not at home anywhere.  Every social order is going to give Christians peculiar challenges.  Christians belong to a worldwide church that has great and varied resources; they're not trapped in any one country.  Their home is part of a movable feast.

Stanley Hauerwas
The Hauerwas Reader

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Different aspects of love

The love for equals is a human thing -- of friend for friend, brother for brother. It is to love what is loving and lovely. The world smiles. The love for the less fortunate is a beautiful thing -- the love for those who suffer, for those who are poor, the sick, the failures, the unlovely. This is compassion, and it touches the heart of the world. The love for the more fortunate is a rare thing -- to love those who succeed where we fail, to rejoice without envy with those who rejoice, the love of the poor for the rich, of the black man for the white man. The world is always bewildered by its saints. And then there is the love for the enemy -- the love for the one who does not love you but mocks, threatens, and inflicts pain. The tortured’s love for the torturer. This is God’s love. It conquers the world.

Frederick Buechner
The Magnificent Defeat

Friday, October 07, 2011

RIP Steve Jobs

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything -- all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure -- these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Steve Jobs
"2005 Stanford University Commencement Address"

Wednesday, October 05, 2011


Until I learn to listen -- to the Scriptures, to those around me, to my own underlying life messages, to the wisdom of those who have already maneuvered successfully around the dangers of a life that is unmotivated and unmeaningful -- I will really have nothing whatever to say about life myself.  To live without listening is not to live at all; it is simply to drift in my own backwater.

Joan Chittister
Wisdom Distilled from the Daily

Waking up alone

There is all the difference in the world between waking up in a single bed and waking up in a double bed with nobody on the other side. Many in our Western culture may be atheists or agnostics, but they still find themselves wondering why the other side of the bed still feels warm, and the sheets a little rumpled. And I think this is true in ways that were not the case even ten, let alone thirty years ago.

N T Wright (source not known, but possibly The Future of Preaching, Geoffrey Stevenson, editor, (SCM Press, 2010), p. 138

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Ministry is impossible

As ministers we ought to speak of God. We are human, however, and so cannot speak of God. We ought therefore to recognize both our obligation and our inability and by that very recognition give God the glory. This is our perplexity. The rest of our task fades into insignificance in comparison.

Karl Barth, in ‘The Task of the Ministry’ in The Word of God and the Word of Man (pg 186)