Category : Notable & Quotable

Food for Thought from Dallas Willard

“We live in a culture that has, for centuries now, cultivated the idea that the skeptical person is always smarter than one who believes. You can almost be as stupid as a cabbage as long as you doubt.”

–Dallas Willard, Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God (IVP, 2012), p.283

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * Religion News & Commentary, Books, Evangelicals, Notable & Quotable, Other Churches

Wilfred McClay on America, freedom and place

“We embrace freedom because we believe fervently in the fullest breadth of individual human possibility, and share a deep conviction that no one’s horizons in life should be dictated by the conditions of his or her birth. Nothing is more quintessentially American than that conviction. But interestingly the word ‘place’ rarely plays any role in this freedom narrative, and in fact, what role it plays tends to be negative.”

–Wilfred McClay in Wilfred M. McClay and Ted V. McAllister, eds., Why Place Matters: Geography, Identity, and Civic Life in Modern America (New York: New Atlantis, 2014) p.6

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Books, Notable & Quotable

William Booth on the chief danger that confronts the coming century

“The chief danger that confronts the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, heaven without hell.”

–just quoted by Bishop Ken Clarke at the South Carolina Clergy Conference

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * General Interest, Church History, Notable & Quotable

Food for Thought from G K Chesterton at the beginning of the Day

The great ideals of the past failed not by being outlived (which must mean over-lived), but by not being lived enough. Mankind has not passed through the Middle Ages. Rather mankind has retreated from the Middle Ages in reaction and rout. The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.

–What’s Wrong With The World (CreateSpace Independent Publishing reprint of the 1910 original) p. 23

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Books, Church History, Notable & Quotable

Wisdom from M. Scott Peck on a Sunday Morning

“Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”

–M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Travelled

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Books, Notable & Quotable, Psychology

Notable and Quotable–Thank God for AA Milne

“What day is it?”, asked Winnie the Pooh “It’s today,” squeaked Piglet “My favorite day,” said Pooh”

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Books, Children, Notable & Quotable

Food for Thought from J.R.R. Tolkien for a Thursday

‘Despair, or folly?’ said Gandalf. ‘It is not despair, for despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not. It is wisdom to recognize necessity, when all other courses have been weighed, though as folly it may appear to those who cling to false hope. Well, let folly be our cloak, a veil before the eyes of the Enemy!

–J.R.R. Tolkien The Fellowship of the Ring: Being the First Part of The Lord of the Rings (Mariner Books 2012 reissue of the 1954 original), p. 302 (emphasis mine)

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Anthropology, Books, Christology, Eschatology, Notable & Quotable, Theology

Notable and Quotable–Henry Ford for Tough Times

When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it

–Henry Ford

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * General Interest, Anthropology, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, History, Notable & Quotable, Psychology, Theology

Notable and Quotable–America a nation of people "unmoored"

Films about being adrift seem to suit the national mood: “All Is Lost” is one of a spate of movies this season, including “Gravity,” about Americans unmoored.

–From a profile article on Robert Redford in this week’s New York Times

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, Movies & Television, Notable & Quotable, Psychology

Notable and Quotable

What the heart loves, the will chooses and the mind justifies

. –The Rev. Dr. Ashley Null, summarizing one aspect of Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer’s theology

Posted in * General Interest, Anthropology, Notable & Quotable, Theology

Food for Thought from Charles Dickens

That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But, it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been.

Charles Dickens (1812-1870), Great Expectations, Chapter 9

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, History, Notable & Quotable, Poetry & Literature

Notable and Quotable

The Church of Nigeria has about 17 million members and Uganda another 8 million. As in other African provinces, most members in these two countries are regular churchgoers.

The Church of England counts about 26 million baptised members, but says only about a million of them attend services every Sunday.

Reuters from a story last week entitled “African Anglicans denounce Church of England gay bishop rule”

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * General Interest, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church of Nigeria, Church of Uganda, Notable & Quotable

Notable and Quotable

I decided I can’t pay a person to rewind time, so I may as well get over it

–American tennis player Serena Williams

Posted in * General Interest, Anthropology, Eschatology, Notable & Quotable, Theology

"It came on the world with a wind and rush of running messengers"

Right in the middle of all these things [in the first century ancient Near East] stands up an enormous exception. It is quite unlike anything else. It is a thing final like the trump of doom, though it is also a piece of good news; or news that seems too good to be true. It is nothing less than the loud assertion that this mysterious maker of the world has visited his world in person…..

It came on the world with a wind and rush of running messengers proclaiming that apocalyptic portent, and it is not unduly fanciful to say that they are running still. What puzzles the world, and its wise philosophers and fanciful pagan poets, about the priests and people of the Catholic Church is that they still behave as if they were messengers. A messenger does not dream about what his message might be, or argue about what it probably would be; he delivers it as it is. It is not a theory or a fancy but a fact. It is not relevant to this intentionally rudimentary outline to prove in detail that it is a fact; but merely to point out that these messengers do deal with it as men deal with a fact. All that is condemned in Catholic tradition, authority, and dogmatism and the refusal to retract and modify, are but the natural human attributes of a man with a message relating to a fact. I desire to avoid in this last summary all the controversial complexities that may once more cloud the simple lines of that strange story; which I have already called, in words that are much too weak, the strangest story in the world. I desire merely to mark those main lines and specially to mark where the great line is really to be drawn. The religion of the world, in its right proportions, is not divided into fine shades of mysticism or more or less rational forms of mythology. It is divided by the line between the men who are bringing that message and the men who have not yet heard it, or cannot yet believe it.

–G.K. Chesterton The Everlasting Man (Radford, Va.; Wilder Publications, 2008 edition of the 1925 original), pp.173-174

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Advent, Books, Christmas, Christology, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Notable & Quotable, Theology

Powerful Wisdom on the Nature of the Church by J.F. Powers on the 50th Anniversary of Vatican II

“This is a big old ship, Bill. She creaks, she rocks, she rolls, and at times she makes you want to throw up. But she gets where she’s going. Always has, always will, until the end of time. With or without you.”

–J.F. Powers’ Wheat that Springeth Green (New York: New York Review Books Classics edition of the 1988 original, 2000), p. 170

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Books, Ecclesiology, Notable & Quotable, Theology

Food for Thought from Peter Drucker

“The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.”

–Peter Drucker (1909-2005)

Posted in * General Interest, Notable & Quotable

Who is the One who Said–"Be Kind; Everyone You Meet is Fighting a Hard Battle"?

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, History, Notable & Quotable

Notable and Quotable

We typically seek first to be understood. Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. They’re either speaking or preparing to speak. They’re filtering everything through their own paradigms, reading their autobiography into other people’s lives.”

–Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (New York: Free Press [Simon & Schuster], 2004 revised ed.), p. 239

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Books, Notable & Quotable, Psychology

A Quote from Difficult Times–Guess the Speaker and the Date

Never perhaps in all history””certainly never within the recollection of living men and women””has the world and civilization been so shaken to its very foundations; never before in all the world have those things which enabled men to perceive the finger of God in things on the earth been so assaulted and outraged and obscured as in the cruelties and terror of the world war. Never in the memory of living men and woemn has the world been in so shattered and chaotic a condition in its social and economic aspects as it is to-day. The horrors of the aftermath of war,””pestilence, famine, starvation, loss of family and friends, and means of livelihood””bear down upon countless of thousands of the people of the world. Perhaps it is not strange that under these burdens many in the agony and bitterness of despair are tempted to cry out that they are forsaken. And when in their despair they cry out, Where is God?, perhaps it is not surprising that many new and strange preachers should spring up to lure men away with fair promises and false hopes, and with misguided exhortation to say: “Follow me, and I will show you a new way to the Promised Land”; and others, inspired by the Devil himself to say: “Let us destroy this world with its civilization and divide the spoils among ourselves.”

Just as commerce and industry stagger and reel in the receding wave from an unsound prosperity, just as economic currents when turned from their natural channels swirl round and round in a whirlpool of confusion threatening to draw to destruction in the vortex much of the world’s economic fabric, so too, do the resulting passions and despair of men and women tend to tear them away from the moorings of their old faith and to cast them adrift to be tossed hither and thither, the prey of the winds and the whims of every passing hour.

No fair googling or researching first, etc.–take a guess. Then see who it is and read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, History, Notable & Quotable

Notable and Quotable

”˜This is not just a “theological formula”. If we left it out, we would have a Word of God that is separated from God; we would make God the prisoner of our thoughts or theologies. We would have a Word with which we could operate, a Word we could “use”, a Word we could judge. But it could not be the Word of God, the Word which operates with us, uses us, and judges us. Our work in the Church, therefore, can only be a service to this one life-giving Word of God. The clearest expression of this truth is the fact that there is no other way to preach than to preach an “expository sermon”, and even this is not a guarantee’.

—Dietrich Ritschl, A Theology of Proclamation (Richmond: John Knox Press, 1960), pp. 67-68

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * General Interest, Notable & Quotable, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Notable and Quotable (II)

Lack of gratitude is one of the driving forces of unbelief.

–Douglas Wlion, Books and Culture, May/June 2011 edition, p.8

Posted in * General Interest, Notable & Quotable, Pastoral Theology, Theology

Notable and Quotable (II)

“The cruellest lies are often told in silence.”

–Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginibus Puerisque (1881)

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Notable & Quotable, Poetry & Literature

Notable and Quotable

Jay Leno on undecided voters: “Do we vote for the people who got us into this mess, or the people who can’t get us out of this mess?”

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * General Interest, House of Representatives, Humor / Trivia, Notable & Quotable, Politics in General, Senate, State Government

Notable and Quotable

Wisdom is the power to see and the inclination to choose the best and highest goal, together with the surest means of attaining it.

–J.I.Packer, Knowing God

Posted in * General Interest, Notable & Quotable, Pastoral Theology, Theology

Notable and Quotable (II)–You need to Guess who it Is

Q. Could you give us a brief definition of “the gospel”?

A. I could try taking a Pauline angle. When Paul talks about “the gospel,” he means “the good news that the crucified and risen Jesus is the Messiah of Israel and therefore the Lord of the world.” Now, that’s about as brief as you can do it.

The reason that’s good news”¦ In the Roman Empire, when a new emperor came to the throne, there’d obviously been a time of uncertainty. Somebody’s just died. Is there going to be chaos? Is society going to collapse? Are we going to have pirates ruling the seas? Are we going to have no food to eat? And the good news is, we have an emperor and his name is such and such. So, we’re going to have justice and peace and prosperity, and isn’t that great?!

Now, of course, most people in the Roman Empire knew that was rubbish because it was just another old jumped-up aristocrat who was going to do the same as the other ones had done. But that was the rhetoric.

Paul slices straight in with the Isaianic message: Good news! God is becoming King and he is doing it through Jesus! And therefore, phew! God’s justice, God’s peace, God’s world is going to be renewed.

And in the middle of that, of course, it’s good news for you and me. But that’s the derivative from, or the corollary of the good news which is a message about Jesus that has a second-order effect on me and you and us. But the gospel is not itself about you are this sort of a person and this can happen to you. That’s the result of the gospel rather than the gospel itself.

It’s very clear in Romans. Romans 1:3-4: This is the gospel. It’s the message about Jesus Christ descended from David, designated Son of God in power, and then Romans 1:16-17 which says very clearly: “I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God unto salvation.” That is, salvation is the result of the gospel, not the center of the gospel itself.

Please guess who is speaking before you look and find the answer.

Posted in * General Interest, Notable & Quotable

Notable and Quotable (II)

I was afraid of a united Church; it makes a mighty power, the mightiest conceivable, and then when it by and by gets into selfish hands, as it is always bound to do, it means death to human liberty and paralysis to human thought.

–Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Chapter X

Posted in * General Interest, Notable & Quotable

Notable and Quotable (I)

A few years ago, bone fide good guy Richard Smucker (the current co-CEO of Smucker’s and a fourth generation Smucker) found a letter written by his father which sums up in practical terms what it means to appreciate and express gratitude:

–Say “thank you.”

–Listen with full attention.

–Look for the good in others.

–Have a sense of humor.

–William F. Baker and Michael O’Malley, Leading with Kindness: How Good People Consistently Get Superior Results (New York: Amacom, 2008), page 54

Posted in * General Interest, Notable & Quotable

Notable and Quotable

You can always tell a real friend: When you have made a fool of yourself, he doesn’t feel you’ve done a permanent job.

–Laurence J. Peter in the March 2009 Reader’s Digest, page 184

Posted in * General Interest, Notable & Quotable

Notable and Quotable (I)

You don’t play to win.

California-based artist and video-game designer John O’Neill has gone back to basics with an old-fashioned board game with a twist: It’s meant to shake up the preconceived notions of “winning” and “losing.” Paradice combines the strategic challenge of checkers or chess with a thoughtful new approach to competition. A favorite at eco-conscious festivals, Paradice is a game for two to four players who switch roles between Giver and Taker as the game progresses. In the end, the Giver wins by bringing all the “humans” on the board eye to eye. The game embodies the philosophy it teaches: The set is constructed of sustainably harvested wood and nontoxic dyes. Paradice also comes in an elegant version made from hand-poured resin.

— Liz Seymour, USAirways Magazine August 2008

Posted in * General Interest, Notable & Quotable

Notable and Quotable

“Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even when everyone is for it.”

–William Penn (1644-1718), also quoted by yours truly in this past Sunday’s sermon

Posted in * General Interest, Notable & Quotable