Wednesday, 30 April 2008


'In the light of the New Creation all miracles are like snowdrops - anticipations of the full spring and high summer wh. is slowly coming over the whole wintry field of space and time.'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), The Collected Letters of CS Lewis Vol II, p.649.

Saturday, 26 April 2008


' ...if a desired human quality does not seem to be coming naturally then the answer may be to stop fretting about how we might get it and instead ask what things we would do if we already had it; and then do them.'
Matthew Parris, Chance Witness, p.50.


'We cannot be known in isolation from our youth. It is then we felt most keenly, hoped most fervently, feared most anxiously, learned most quickly, absorbed most deeply, and took it all to heart. Prejudices and convictions, ambitions and tastes were rooted then. This is when our blind-spots were formed and also our sensitivities; our determination to see the world in certain ways.'
Matthew Parris, Chance Witness, p.xviii.

Friday, 25 April 2008


'"But who is Aslan? Do you know him?"
"Well - he knows me," said Edmund.'
CS Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, p.327 (in The Complete Chronicles of Narnia)


'"You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve," said Aslan. "And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth."'
CS Lewis, Prince Caspian, p.284 (in The Complete Chronicles of Narnia)

Tuesday, 22 April 2008


'Boasting is the response of pride to success. Self-pity is the response of pride to suffering. Boasting says, "I deserve admiration because I have achieved so much." Self-pity says, "I deserve admiration because I have sacrificed so much." Boasting is the voice of pride in the heart of the strong. Self-pity is the voice of pride in the heart of the weak. Boasting sounds self-sufficient. Self-pity sounds self-sacrificing. The reason self-pity does not look like pride is that it appears to be needy. But the need arises from a wounded ego, and the desire is not really for others to see them as helpless but heroes. The need that self-pity feels does not come from a sense of unworthiness but from a sense of unrecognized worthiness. It is the response of unapplauded pride.'
John Piper, What Jesus Demands from the World, p.126.

Monday, 21 April 2008


'It is part of the nature of a strong erotic passion - as distinct from a transient fit of appetite - that it makes more towering promises than any other emotion. No doubt all our desires make promises, but not so impressively. To be in love involves the almost irresistable conviction that one will go on being in love until one dies, and that possession of the beloved will confer, not merely frequent ecstacies, but settled, fruitful, deep-rooted, life-long happiness. Hence all seems to be at stake. If we miss this chance we shall have lived in vain. At the very thought of such doom we sink into fathomless depths of self-pity.'
CS Lewis, "We have no 'right to happiness'" in God in the Dock, p.106.


'When I was a youngster, all the progressive people were saying, "Why all this prudery? Let us treat sex just as we treat all our impulses." I was simple-minded enough to believe that they meant what they said. I have since discovered that they meant exactly the oposite. They meant that sex was to be treated as no other impulse has been treated by civilised people. All the others, we admit, have to be bridled. Absolute obedience to your instinct for self-preservation is what we call cowardice; to your acquisitive impulse, avarice. Even sleep must be resisted if you're a sentry. But every unkindness and breach of faith seems to be condoned provided that the object aimed at is "four bare legs in a bed"'
CS Lewis, "We have no 'right to happiness'" in God in the Dock, p.105.

Sunday, 20 April 2008


'"Well, Miss Matty! Men will be men. Every mother's son of them wishes to be considered Samson and Solomon rolled into one - too strong ever to be beaten or discomforted - too wise ever to be outwitted. If you will notice, they have always forseen events, though they never tell one for one's warning before the events happen; my father was a man, and I know the sex pretty well."'
Miss Pole in Elizabeth Gaskell, Cranford and other stories, p.117.

Friday, 18 April 2008


'Theology makes a difference. It is the infrastructure of our lives. Build it poorly and the building will eventually collapse in ruins. Build it well and you will be prepared for anything.'
Edward T. Welch, Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave, p.xvi.


'Keep always before your mind the greatness of your calling, that is to say, these two things: the immensity of the task before you, the infinitude of the resources at your disposal.'
BB Warfield, The Religious Life of Theological Students


'I will grant that, on the whole, churchgoers might be weaker psychologically and morally than non-churchgoers. That should be no more surprising than the fact that people sitting in a doctor's office are on the whole sicker than those who are not there. Churches rightly draw a higher proportion of needy people. They also have a great number of people whose lives have been completely turned around and filled by the joy of Christ.'
Timothy Keller, The Reason for God, p.236.


'Now what happens if you eliminate anything from the Bible that offends your sensibility and crosses you will? If you pick and choose what you want to believe and reject the rest, how will you ever have a God who can contradict you? You won't! You'll have a Stepford God! A God, essentially, of your own making, and not a God with whom you can have a relationship and genuine interaction. Only if your God can say things that outrage you and make you struggle (as in a real friendship or marriage!) will you know that you have gotten hold of a real God and not a figment of your imagination. So an authoritative Bible is not the enemy of a personal relationship with God. It is the precondition of it.'
Timothy Keller, The Reason for God, p.114.


'We modern people think of miracles as the suspension of the natural order, but Jesus meant them to be the restoration of the natural order. The Bible tells us that God did not originally make the world to have disease, hunger, and death in it. Jesus has come to redeem where it is wrong and heal the world where it is broken. His miracles are not just proofs that he has power but also wonderful foretastes of what he is going to do with that power. Jesus' miracles are not just a challenge to our minds, but a promise to our hearts that the world we all want is coming.'
Timothy Keller, The Reason for God, p.96.

Friday, 11 April 2008


'In the meantime, as one has learnt to swim only by acting on the assent in the teeth of all instinctive convinction, so we shall proceed to faith only by acting as if we had it. Adapting a passage in the Imitation one can say "What would I do now if I had full assurance that there was only a temporary trough", and having got the answer, go and do it.'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), Collected Letters Volume II, p.507.


'I know all about the despair of overcoming chronic temptations. It is not serious provided self-offended petulance, annoyance at breaking records, impatience etc doesn't get the upper hand. No amount of falls will really undo us if we keep on picking ourselves up each time. We shall of course be v. muddy and tattered children by the time we reach home. But the bathrooms are all ready, the towels put out, & the clean clothes are in the airing cupboard. The only fatal thing is to lose one's temper and give it up. It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present to us: it is the v. sign of His presence.'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), Collected Letters Volume II, p. 507.

Thursday, 10 April 2008


'I don't believe in The Problem of Pain as people discuss it in religion classes. At that level there is no problem, only a debate toy. The problem of pain I believe in is the pain that happens to one person at a time. Pain is a much more serious problem when it is reduced to proper, personal size. God did not send an earthquake to Guatemala; rather, Pedro, who lives there, lost his wife in an earthquake and seeks the purpose of God in the event.'
Thomas E. Scmidt, Straight or Narrow?, p.176.


‘Without communal eating, no human group can hold together.’
Christopher Alexander et al, A Pattern Language, p.697.


'It is only an abberation of our own sorry generation to equate the absence of sexual gratification with the absence of full personhood, the denial of being or the deprivation of joy.'
Thomas E. Schmidt, Staright or Narrow?, p. 168.


'The call is clear. If we are to walk in the way of Jesus, it is not the nuclear family that we need to promote but the hospitable family. We do not need people who love family values nearly as much as we need families who value love for people.'
Thomas E. Schmidt, Striaght & Narrow?, p.170.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008


'For most of us, moral survival is like crossing a choppy sea in an overturned boat. Get a little sleepy, or get a little reckless in your hold, and suddenly the boat and you are bobbing apart in cold, dark water. So you desperately scramble back, trusting that somehow, eventually, this boat will get you to land.
People who picture themselves as soggy sailors clinging to overturned boats are not apt to treat their fellow flotsam with contempt. Likewise the proclamation of Christian morality has no place for a righteous majority who scorn those who will not play by the rules. What is needed are unrighteous people who recognize the universal need to receive God's mercy and power for obedience, whatever's one particular distortion of God's intent for sexuality. The log must come out of the eye.'
Thomas E. Schmidt, Straight & Narrow?, p.55.

Sunday, 6 April 2008


'After all, nobody can say a word against Greek; it stamps a man at once as an educated gentleman.'
George Bernard Shaw, Major Barbara

Thursday, 3 April 2008


'I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek, more earnestly, His face.

I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He'd answer my request;
and by His love's constraining pow'r,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.

Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry pow'rs of hell
Assault my soul in every part.

Yea more, with his His own hand
He seemed intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

"Lord why is this," I trembling cried,
"Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?"
"'Tis in this way," the Lord replied,
"I answer prayer for grace and faith."

"These inward trials I emply,
From self and pride to set thee free
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may'st find thy all in Me."'
John Newton in John Piper & Justyn Taylor, The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World, p.120.


'What must you do if you lack the humility, love, joy, and confidence you need to face the life issues before you? You should not try to move on past the gospel to "more advanced" principles. Rather, you must shake yourself until more of the gospel "coins" drop and more of the fruit of the Spirit comes out. Until you do that, despite your sound doctrine you will be as selfish, scared, oversensitive, insensitive, and undisciplined as everyone else.'
Timothy Keller in John Piper & Justyn Taylor (Ed.), The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World, p. 112.


'What will commend the gospel are lives lived in obedience to the gospel and a community life that reflects God's triune community of love. People will not believe until they are genuinely open to exploring the truth about God. They become open as they see that it is good to know God. And they see that it is good to know God as they see the love of the Christian community.'
Tim Chester & Steve Timmis, Total Church, p.170.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008


'If sinners are disorientated, then they need reorientation. If their lives are characterized by death, loathing, and falsehood, then only the life, love and truth of God can set them free. If they are divided, broken, and self-alienated, then only Christ, torn apart and broken in their place, can restore them to God and to integrity. If they are self-loathing narcissists, then only the breath of the Spirit can replace hatred with love and self-obsession with adoration of God. Sin goes deep. It is complex and painful, tragic and wicked. Grace alone can reach the sinner, and love alone can win.'
David Field in David Peterson (Ed.), Holimness & Sexuality, p.87.