Thursday, 25 December 2008


'...they treat each other with that unexplained reserve of people who have been together in the same place for quite a while but have never really taken to each other.'
Ferdinand Mount, Cold Cream: My Early Life and Other Mistakes, p.88.


'But just as she believed that somewhere outside the track of time, where past and future merged into an Eternal Present, there was another world, the world of Ultimate Reality, so too she must hope that somewhere in that other world there was a place for Vyne where its spirit still lived together with its creators.'
Phyllis Eleanor Sandeman, Tresure on Earth, p. 112.


'Its true that I've driven through a number of red lights on occasion, but on the other hand I've stopped at a lot of green ones but never gotten credit for it.'
Glenn Gould in Katie Hafner, A Romance on Three Legs, p.177.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008



'This was the moment when Before
Turned into After, and the future's
Uninvented timekeepers presented arms.

This was the moment when nothing
Happened. Only dull peace
Sprawled boringly over the earth.

This was the moment when even energetic Romans
Could find nothing better to do
Than counting heads in remote provinces.

And this was the moment
When a few farm workers and three
Members of an obscure Persian sect

Walked haphazard by starlight straight
Into the kingdom of heaven.'

UA Fanthorpe, Selected Poems, p.66.


'The deepest motive for our sanctification, for holy living and good works, is not our pyschology, not how I "feel" about God and Jesus. Nor is it even our faith. Rather, that profoundest of motives is the resurrection power of Christ, the new creation we are and have already been made part of in Christ by his Spirit.'
Richard B Gaffin Jr, By Faith, Not By Sight: Paul and the Order of Salvation, p. 78.


'We need more Christians who will lead lives of repentance, for repentance always challenges pride. If you're coming to God daily to confess to him how much you have sinned, you will find it hard to pretend that you are holier than everybody else. You'll find it hard to put on airs, to pose as the perfect Christian. When others accuse you of sin, you won't immediately jump to defend yourself, as if of course you could never do wrong and any accusation must be a misunderstanding. Rather, when someone accuses you of sin, you'll respond by thinking there is a high probability that the accusation is true...'
John Frame, Salvation Belongs to the Lord, p.199.


'Scripture cannot imagine anyone believing in Christ who wants at the same time to cling to his sin.'
John Frame, Salvation Belongs to the Lord, p.198.

Monday, 22 December 2008


'Sin is willful rejection of fellowship with God, by refusing to acknowledge him as creator and to live out of thankful dependence on him (Rom. 1:19-21a); it is a deep-seated recoil against the creator-creature relationship.'
Richard B Gaffin Jr., By Faith, Not By Sight: Paul and the Order of Salvation, p.30.


'Human nature is universally imbued with a desire for liberty, and a hatred of servitude.'
Julius Caesar in Tom Holland, Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic, p.xxix.

Sunday, 21 December 2008


'The wind and the rain recognized Jesus' voice. (They had heard it before, of course - it was the same voice that made them, in the very beginning). They listened to Jesus and they did what he said.'
Sally Lloyd-Jones, The Jesus Storybook Bible, p.242.

Friday, 19 December 2008


' our day Jesus might have framed the story as the parable of the good homosexual New Ager.'
Tom Hovestol, Extreme Righteousness, p.57.


'Warning Light #1: A Contemptuous View of Others.
Warning Light # 2: A Shallow Sense of Forgiveness.
Warning Light # 3: A Wrong Sense of Grace and Fairness.
Warning Light #4: An Unhealthy View of Failure.'
Tom Hovestol, Extreme Righteousness, p.50-53.


'The Pharisees are spiritual mirrors divinely given to us to reflect the condition of our hearts. What would we look like physically if we had no mirrors? We would be oblivious to our disheveled appearance. Eventually we would become convinced, simply out of ignorance of reality, that we looked good, when, in fact, we do not. We need to look at the spiritual mirror of the Pharisees and see ourselves.'
Tom Hovestol, Extreme Righteousness, p.45.


'To me the finest text of Scripture on parenting is the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15). Here a father, whose sons are both wayward, demonstates wise parenting. We are prone to identify only the younger sons as "prodigal." We are quick to see blatant rebellion and label it as sin. But if our children don't break the rules and maintain an active presence in the church, we are satisfied. We think we have done our job. The parable reminds us that there is a more sinister sin of the heart than active rebellion, passive rebellion.'
Tom Hovestol, Extreme Righteousness, p.43.


'The simple truth is that people can be good and be wrong. Early in my religious life I acquired the notion that those who believed Christ's truth were good and those who ignored or rejected it were bad. But life is not that simple. Sometimes those who hold to truth are scoundrels and those who affirm error are saintly. One can hold steadfastly to a system of half-truths and subtle distortions and still live a moral life. There is not a necessary connection between truth and apparent morality.'
Tom Hovestol, Extreme Righteousness, p.37.


'I almost could have mouthed the words of the apostle Paul (Philippians 3:4-6): "If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I have far more: circumcised the eighth day [churched from birth], of the nation of Israel [born in a Christian home in 'Christian America'], of the tribe of Benjamin [conservative, evangelical, fundamental], a Hebrew of Hebrews [a Christian's Christian]." As Paul was a Pharisee, I was also learned, disciplined, and devout. Like Paul I was zealous, having volunteered for Christian service at home and abroad. Paul wrote, "As for the righteousness which is in the Law, [I am] found blamless"; as far as people could see, I too lived an exemplary life.'
Tom Hovestol, Extreme Righteousness, p.12.

Monday, 15 December 2008


'Error, indeed, is never set forth in its naked deformity, lest, being thus exposed, it should at once be detected. But it is craftily decked out in an attractive dress so as, by its outward form, to make it appear to the inexperienced (ridiculous as the expression may seem) more true than truth itself.'
Irenaeus in Timothy George, Galatians (New American Commentary), p.103.

Thursday, 11 December 2008


'For just as the banner of an army is the sure sign by which one can know what kind of lord and army has taken to the field, so too the gospel is the sure sign by which one knows where Christ and his armies are encamped.'
Martin Luther in Alister E. McGrath, Reformation Thought, p.190.


'Superficial views of sin inevitably tend towards superficial views of the redemptive work of Christ.'
W.H. Griffith Thomas, Principles of Theology: An Introduction to the Thirty Nine Articles, p.174.

Monday, 8 December 2008


'There are two basic narrative identities at work among professing Christians. The first is what I call the moral performance narrative identity. These are people who in their heart of hearts say, I obey therefore I am accepted by God. The second is what I will call the grace narrative identity. This basic operating principle is, I am accepted by God through Christ; therefore I obey.'
Timothy Keller, Christianity Today (December 2008), p.52.


'Humility is so shy. If you begin talking about it, it leaves.'
Timothy Keller, Christianity Today (December 2008), p.51.

Thursday, 4 December 2008


'In the valley of suffering, despair and bitterness are brewed. But there also character is made. The valley of suffering is the vale of soul-making.'
Nicholas Wolterstorff, Lament for a Son, p.97.


'Love in our world is suffering love. Some do not suffer much, though, for they do not love much. Suffering is for the loving. If I hadn't loved him, there wouldn't be this agony.
This, said Jesus, is the command of the Holy One: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." In commanding us to love, God invites us to suffer.'
Nicholas Wolterstorff, Lament for a Son, p.89.


'Who then are the mourners? The mourners are those who have caught a glimpse of God's new day, who ache with all their being for that day's coming, and who break out into tears when confronted with its absence. They are the ones who realize that in God's realm of peace there is no one blind and who ache whenever they see someone unseeing. They are the ones who realize that in God's realm there is no one hungry and who ache whenever they see someone starving. They are the ones who realize that in God's realm there is no one falsely accused and who ache whenever they see someone imprisoned unjustly. They are the ones who realize that in God's realm there is no one who fails to see God and who ache whenever they see someone unbelieving. They are the ones who realize that in God's realm there is no one who suffers oppression and who ache whenever they see someone beat down. They are the ones who realize that in God's realm there is no one without dignity and who ache whenever they see someone treated with indignity. They are the ones who realize that in God's realm of peace there is neither death nor tears and who ache whenever they see someone crying tears over death. The mourners are aching visionaries.'
Nicholas Wolterstorff, Lament for a Son, p.85.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008


'Death is the great leveller, so our writers have always told us. Of course they are right. But they have neglected to mention the uniqueness of each death - and the solitude of suffering which accompanies that uniqueness. We say, "I know how you're feeling." But we don't.'
Nicholas Wolterstorff, Lament for a Son, p.25.


'It's so wrong, so profoundly wrong, for a child to die before its parents. It's hard enough to bury our parents. But that we expect. Our parents belong to our past, our children belong to our future. We do not visualize our future without them. How can I bury my son, my future, one of the next in line? He was meant to bury me!'
Nicholas Wolsterstorff, Lament for a Son, p.16.


'We took him too much for granted. Perhaps we all take each other too much for granted. The routines of life distract us; our own pursuits make us oblivious; our anxieties and sorrows, unmindful. The beauties of the familiar go unremarked. We do not treasure each other enough.'
Nicholas Wolterstorff, Lament for a Son, p.13.