Quotes Sampler

Here is a selection of independent quotations from books I am reading. I hope they offer as much food for thought for you as they have for me!

“Naomi holds nothing back from her God. She blasts God with the full weight of her anger and misery. She pounds her fists against God’s chest. She yells in his face. She lays all the blame at his feet. Ruth could never do that with Moloch.” (Buchanan, God Walk)

“Once we understand what omnipotence is, we can begin to understand that God couldn’t eradicate evil without eradicating us. It is indisputable that humanity is one of the major causes of evil and suffering in our world.” (Broom, Without God)

“What you care about shapes what you feel. Your emotions are always expressing the things you love, value, and treasure, whether you understand them or not.” (Smith and Groves, Untangling Emotions)

“You might say that our emotions are like relational price tags, communicating the value we place on things.” (Smith and Groves, Untangling Emotions)

Quotes Sampler

Here is a selection of independent quotations from books I am reading. I hope they offer as much food for thought for you as they have for me!

St. Augustine: Solvitur ambulando. “It is solved by walking.” (Quoted in Buchanan, God Walk)

“Many people view God’s laws as oppressive restrictions, but for Christians, they are the instructions for the dance with God that leads to our flourishing, not our enslavement.” (Broom, Without God)

“Here is the big idea: Our negative emotions, like God’s, play a necessary role in our lives. They tell us that something is wrong. Just as happiness, joy, peace, and contentment look around and conclude that things are as they ought to be, so disgust, annoyance, discouragement, and fury are designed to identify places where this fallen world is fallen, where disorder, damage, and destruction have broken something we rightly hold precious. Evaluating the world as fractured and being moved in response are deeply Christian experiences.” (Groves and Smith, Untangling Emotions)

Quotes Sampler

Here is a selection of independent quotations from books I am reading. I hope they offer as much food for thought for you as they have for me!

“If skeptics were as skeptical of their religious doubts as they are towards religious belief, then they wouldn’t be a skeptic. How could they? Their skeptical assumptions are unable to pass their own standards. Therefore, it is no more narrow-minded to claim that one truth is right than it is to claim that one way to think about all truth is right. The truth is, the skeptic’s position is just as exclusive and narrow as the religious positions they criticize.” (Broom, Without God, 53)

“The world may or may not need another cookbook, but it needs all the lovers— amateurs—it can get. It is a gorgeous old place, full of clownish graces and beautiful drolleries, and it has enough textures, tastes, and smells to keep us intrigued for more time than we have. Unfortunately, however, our response to its loveliness is not always delight: It is, far more often than it should be, boredom. And that is not only odd, it is tragic; for boredom is not neutral—it is the fertilizing principle of unloveliness.” (Capon, Supper of the Lamb, 3)

“Doctrines are not God: they are only a kind of map. But that map is based on the experience of hundreds of people who really were in touch with God—experiences compared with which any thrills or pious feelings you and I are likely to get on our own are very elementary and very confused.” (Lewis, Mere Christianity, 154)

Quotes Sampler

Here is a selection of independent quotations from books I am reading. I hope they offer as much food for thought for you as they have for me!

Dr. JoAnn E. Manson of the Harvard Medical School says, “If there was a pill that people could take that would nearly cut in half the risk of stroke, diabetes, heart disease, reduce the risk of cognitive decline, depression, reduce stress, improve emotional well-being—everyone would be clamoring to take it, it would be flying off the shelf. But that pill, that magic potion, really is available to everyone in the form of thirty minutes a day of brisk walking.” (Buchanan, God Walk)

“But the new rebel is a Sceptic, and will not entirely trust anything. He has no loyalty; therefore he can never be really a revolutionist. And the fact that he doubts everything really gets in his way when he wants to denounce anything. For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind; and the modern revolutionist doubts not only the institution he denounces, but the doctrine by which he denounces it . . . As a politician, he will cry out that war is a waste of life, and then, as a philosopher, that all life is waste of time . . . The man of this school goes first to a political meeting, where he complains that savages are treated as if they were beasts; then he takes his hat and umbrella and goes on to a scientific meeting, where he proves that they practically are beasts . . . In his book on politics he attacks men for trampling on morality; in his book on ethics he attacks morality for trampling on men. Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything he has lost his right to rebel against anything.” (G. K. Chesterton quoted in Broom, Without God)

“You were made in the image of God himself, and that means you were made to see the world as he sees it, to respond as he responds, to hate what he hates, and to be bothered by what brings him displeasure.” (Groves and Smith, Untangling Emotions)

Quotes Sampler

Here is a selection of independent quotations from books I am reading. I hope they offer as much food for thought for you as they have for me!

“I find I must borrow yet another parable from George MacDonald. Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of—throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” (C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)

“Jesus is the temple, John writes. God’s signposts have always pointed to Jesus. The temple is a copy; Jesus is the original. Worship is now centered on him. His body and his blood became our way to pass through the veil that quarantined the Most Holy Place. If you want to see something more magnificent than the glimmering temple that once stood over all Jerusalem, look at Jesus.” (Welch, Created to Draw Near)

Quotes Sampler

Here is a selection of independent quotations from books I am reading. I hope they offer as much food for thought for you as they have for me!

“There, then, is the role of the amateur: to look the world back to grace. There, too, is the necessity of his work: His tribe must be in short supply; his job has gone begging. The world looks as if it has been left in the custody of a pack of trolls.” (Capon, Supper of the Lamb, 4)

“Stefano says, ‘Two French people are a partnership. Three Englishmen make a team. Four Italians are five different political parties. We never agree’.” (Rick Steves, Postcards from Europe, loc 2878)

“There seem, in fact, to be only two views we can hold about awe. Either it is a mere twist in the human mind, corresponding to nothing objective and serving no biological function, yet showing no tendency to disappear from that mind at its fullest development in poet, philosopher, or saint: or else it is a direct experience of the really supernatural, to which the name Revelation might properly be given” (Lewis, Problem of Pain, 9)

“There is a difference between receiving wisdom and feeling wise. It may well be that when we pray for wisdom, we feel none the wiser for having done so. But that is not the same as saying we have not received wisdom. Verse 5 is a promise. When we ask with the sincerity of heart that James urges on us, “it will be given”. This means that God’s wisdom will direct us in the decisions we then go on to make. We may not feel any more confident, but God will protect us from folly. Whether or not we feel or perceive it at the time, God will have given us wisdom.” (Allberry, James for You)

Quotes Sampler

Here is a selection of independent quotations from books I am reading. I hope they offer as much food for thought for you as they have for me!

“Thus Romans 8:28 must be seen within the context of the redemptive purposes of God. In all things—in our suffering, groaning, hoping, waiting; in “trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword” (Rom 8:35)—in all things God is working “for the good of those who love him.” That “good” is the final and complete realization of God’s love for creation, incarnated in Christ, from which nothing can separate us (Rom 8:39).

“In all these things,” Paul is convinced, we can be “more than conquerors” (Rom 8:37). Not on the basis of our efforts, nor on the basis of blind faith, nor through a kind of stoic resignation, but rather “through him who loved us” (Rom 8:37) and called us “according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28). That good and loving purpose finds its completion when the whole creation, including our bodies, is freed from bondage to decay.”

(Hard sayings of the Bible, Romans 8:28)

“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” (H. L. Mencken)

“If the universe is so bad, or even half so bad, how on earth did human beings ever come to attribute it to the activity of a wise and good Creator?” (Lewis, Problem of Pain, 5)

Why missions? Three more reasons

When we consider the reason behind missions, often we first think of the Great Commission, and we should. When Jesus gives us a direct command, we listen and obey. Otherwise, according to him, we are foolish and cannot count ourselves among his followers (Matt 7). Therefore, the words which we have in Matthew 28 ought to be quite clear in our minds:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (ESV)

But there are other reasons why. As Piper points out in his book Let the Nations Be Glad, “Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man.“ We participate in missions as a form of worship and to point others to the One worthy of worship.

There are many such reasons why we ought to participate in missions, but I would like to outline three others. These are not the primary reasons. These are not forgotten reasons. These are not the three reasons which will forever transform your future. They are just three more which I can forget if I don’t take time to consider them periodically. And really, these are three lessons I have learned from our overly generous support team (and that is not hyperbole).

Here they are, in no particularly theological order.

– We are investing in our future. The answers to tomorrows theological questions will most likely come from Africa or Asia, not from North America. Not all of them, but many of them probably will. Most likely your children or grandchildren’s future will be shaped by the ideas from those continents.

Consider history. The most influential theologians of all history have not come from North America, but from all over the world. This is for several reasons, one of which that there was very little writing going on in North America in the early years of the Church, no matter what the LDS try to say. But also because Church History teaches us that there has not been one continent, nation, or cultural group which has provided a consistent witness to Scripture. I don’t know all the reasons, but it appears to me that there is a natural growth from acceptance of God’s revelation, transformation of individuals, then the culture, a time of prosperity, a falling away from God and embracing other gods, and then a return to an apathy or outright rebellion. That was the path of the Israelites, and that is a simplified version of the path we have seen worked out over the past two thousands years.

So investing in missions is participating in our own spiritual future. We are recognizing that God’s family is multi-colored and we are part of that. We need what our brothers and sisters in Christ can teach us about Him. So we invest our time, our money, our Christian workers, and our own energy into taking the Gospel to places that today seem spiritual dark, but in time might be where the light is brightest.

– We are investing in our hearts. When you are part of what is going on around the world, you will see it and that will change your heart. In the financial world we call it diversifying. Give time, prayer, money, encouragement to those who are ministering in other places and you will be blessed. That is what the Philippians learned from Paul (Phil 4). When things are going really well in your local church, your foreign workers rejoice and are encouraged, especially so when they are going through a discouraging time in their sphere of ministry. And when the churches around the world are flourishing and people are coming to know Christ, you will be encouraged and be able to praise God, even if you feel like things have stalled back home.

– We are investing in our souls. Giving is a form of unshackling my soul from the love of money. Whether locally or globally, I need to regularly give out more than what is comfortable in order to keep my soul from feeling the effects of “filthy lucre”. Some days it feels like I spend my time just trying to unravel that constricting serpent from my soul, and an effective way to do that is to grit my teeth and give. And an odd thing happens, what starts as a sheer act of the will turns into a blessing (Acts 20).

Book Review: A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Mary

De Chirico, Leonardo. A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Mary: Mother of God

Point: The Roman Catholic teaching about Mary ultimately leads one’s attention and heart away from Jesus and the Gospel.

Path: De Chirico, in this concise work, walks the reader through the Biblical teaching of Mary, the Early Church’s teaching about Mary, a historical theology of the Catholic belief of Mary, and the current developments in Mariology. He then highlights the crucial problems and points us back to a biblical view of Mary.

Sources: The author cites numerous councils, sermons, commentaries, and prayers within the Catholic faith.

Agreement: This was a very helpful resource to see the basic view of what Catholicism teaches, not necessary what every Catholic believes. I think the two essential components for me were: 1) What we pray we eventually believe. And 2) the summary of the principles of singularity, fittingness, eminence, and analogy or likeness to Christ. Those two concepts were worth the read.

Personal App: I must recognize how liturgy fashions belief, in my friends who are Catholics, and in my own.

Favorite Quote: “Is there a way to bring all these Mariological strands together? Condensing entire libraries of books, and distilling centuries of reflection and observation, here is a list of principles that need to be taken into account if one is to understand the logic of Mariological development. They are provided by Gabriel Maria Roschini (1900–1977), a Roman Catholic professor of Mariology, author of a four volume standard Mariology in Latin, and a twentieth century leading authority in this field of study. Here they are: Being the Holy Virgin an altogether singular creature, belonging to a specific order in herself, she rightly claims altogether singular privileges that are precluded to any other creature (principle of singularity). All those perfections which are fitting to the dignity of the Mother of God need to be attributed to the Holy Virgin provided that they can be somehow traced from revelation and are not contrary to faith nor reason (principle of fittingness). All the privileges of nature, grace and glory given by God to the other saints must have been given also to the Holy Virgin, being her the Queen of the saints (principle of eminence). Privileges analogous to the various privileges of the humanity of Christ are possessed correspondingly by the most blessed Virgin and according to the condition of the one and the other (principle of analogy or likeness to Christ).21 Singularity, fittingness, eminence and analogy to Christ. Each on its own terms, and interwoven together, they form the Mariological quadrilateral that moved the development of the combination between devotion and doctrine.”

Stars: 4 out of 5

It would be worth another read and I would recommend it to someone who:

has come out of Catholicism

Is interested in what Catholicism teaches