Archives For Quotes

Marilynne Robinson Robinson wonders if the reason people prefer Rush Limbaugh and “Jay Leno” (no longer a current example) is because they instruct viewers as to what it is “cool to think.”

The present dominance of aspersion and ridicule in American public life is a reflex of the fact that we are assumed to want, and in many cases perhaps do want, attitude much more than information. If an unhealthy percentage of the population gets its news from Jay Leno or Rush Limbaugh, it is because they are arbiters of attitude. They instruct viewers as to what, within their affinity groups, it is safe to say and cool to think. That is, they short-circuit the function of individual judgment and obviate the exercise of individual conscience. So it is to a greater or lesser degree with the media in general. It is painful to watch decent and distinguished people struggle to function politically in this non-rational and valueless environment.

“For Truly Important Problems”

Chris —  January 13, 2013

Seth Godin:

You know something is important when you’re willing to let someone else take the credit if that’s what it takes to get it done.

Or, in the words of the Apostle Paul:

What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Philippians 1:18.

Cornelius Plantinga:

It must be an odd feeling to be thankful to nobody in particular. Christians in public institutions often see this odd thing happening on Thanksgiving Day. Everyone in the institution seems to be thankful ‘in general.’ It’s very strange. It’s a little like being married in general (Cornelius Plantina, Jr in Assurances of the Heart).”

Thomas Oden:

There is a fantasy abroad that the Christian community can have a center without a circumference. Since we gather around Jesus, it is argued, it is our center, not our boundaries, that matter. But this is the persistent illusion of complulsive hypertolerationism. A community with no boundaries can neither have a center nor be a community (Thomas Oden, ‘Why We Believe in Heresy,’ Christianity Today, March 4, 1996).

Tolerance defined by Chesterton

Chris —  August 20, 2011

G.K. Chesterton:

Tolerance is the virtue of people who don’t believe anything.*

Quoted in The American Hour, by Os Guinness, New York: The Free Press, A Division of macmillan, Inc, 1993, page 174).

Cornelius Plantinga:

Moses emerges with God’s Ten Commandments, a set of requirements that people have to fulfill not in order to get rescued by God from slavery, but because they have been rescued.

Stated succinctly, the imperative of the Christian life (be godly) follows the indicative (we have been freed from sin).

Why not put your Ipad down, step through the wardrobe door, and into the wonderful world of a library?

At the very least, read the below quote from E.B. White.

Alan Jacobs, an author I thoroughly enjoy reading, writes:

At the always-wonderful Letters of Note, some lovely responses from writers asked to tell the children of Troy, Michigan what’s good about a library. My favorite response is E. B. White’s, tinged as it is with that gentle melancholy that characterizes most of his writing and that children responded to surprisingly well:

A library is many things. It’s a place to go, to get in out of the rain. It’s a place to go if you want to sit and think. But particularly it is a place where books live, and where you can get in touch with other people, and other thoughts, through books. If you want to find out about something, the information is in the reference books — the dictionaries, the encyclopedias, the atlases. If you like to be told a story, the library is the place to go. Books hold most of the secrets of the world, most of the thoughts that men and women have had. And when you are reading a book, you and the author are alone together — just the two of you. A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people — people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.

I was just privileged to spend a week studying with George Guthrie, Haddon Robinson, and a wonderful group of fellow pastors.

Darryl Dash, who takes better notes than I, posted one moment from our time together. Haddon Robinson says that there are five questions that matter:

  1. Is there a God?
  2. Has he revealed himself?
  3. Did he reveal himself in Jesus?
  4. Did the death of Jesus on the cross do anything for anyone else?
  5. Did Jesus rise from the dead?

If you start with the last question, he says, it answers all the others.

Saved from God

Chris —  May 2, 2011

R.C. Sproul:

. . . I said, “Do you want to know what you are saved from? In a word, you are saved from God.” They just gasped and to this day when I attend that convention people come up to me and say, “I had never thought of that until I heard your message.” It is God who saves people from God because his wrath is stored up against the day of wrath, and he most certainly will demonstrate, as he has demonstrated his love toward us “in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  (Commentary on Romans, 161, emphasis added).

Sproule references Romans 5:8 in making his point, but John 3:36 also comes to mind:

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him (John 3:36).

“Not grudging obedience”

Chris —  April 28, 2011

One immediately notices the influence of Philippians 4:4-9 in the below verses and perhaps echos of Acts 2:42 and Hebrews 11.

John Frame:

Grudging obedience is not what he desires of us.  It may be better than no obedience at all, but it is seriously defective. We should seek, not only to obey him, but also to delight in obedience. That delight comes from prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, through immersion in the words of Scripture and the hearts of the great saints of redemptive history, and through the fellowship of the church in Word and sacrament.  The Doctrine of the Christian Life, 306.