Wednesday, 29 July 2009


'"But please, please - won't you - can't you give me something that will cure Mother?" Up till then he had been looking at the Lion's great feet and the huge claws on them; now, in his despair, he looked up at his face. What he saw puzzled him as much as anything in his whole life. For the tawny face was bent down near his own and (wonder of wonders) great shining tears stood in the Lion's eyes. They were such big, bright tears compared with Digory's own that for a moment he felt as if the Lion must really be sorrier about his Mother than he was himself.
"My son, my son," said Aslan. "I know. Grief is great."
CS Lewis, The Magician's Nephew, p.57 of The Complete Chronicles of Narnia.

Friday, 24 July 2009


'Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sinne.
But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
If I lack'd any thing.

A guest, I answer'd, worthy to be here:
Love said, You shall be he.
I the unkinde, ungratefull? Ah my deare,
I cannot look on thee.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
Who made the eyes but I?

Truth Lord, but I have marr'd them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.
And know you not, sayes Love, who bore the blame?
My deare, then I will serve.
You must sit down, sayes Love, and taste my meat:
So I did sit down and eat.'
George Herbert in The Oxford Book of English Verse, p.154.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009


'"Well he and his wife had both been devout evangelicals for a while. They had these two kids and then she had an incredible job giving birth to the next one. The upshot was that she lost her religion - with a vengeance - and walked out on him, taking these three daughters with her. Faith, Hope and Brenda."'
Jonathan Coe, What a carve up! p.149.


'For some reason I have never lost faith, not since I was a young child, in the power of letters to transform my existence. The mere sight of an envelope on my doormat can still flood me with anticipation, however transitory. Brown envelopes rarely do this, it has to be said; window envelopes, never. But then there is the white, handwritten envelope, that glorious rectangle of pure possibility...'
Jonathan Coe, What a carve up! p.155.

Monday, 20 July 2009


'Trusting testimony is not an irrational act of faith that leaves critical rationality aside; it is, on the contrary, the rationally appropriate way of responding to authentic testimony. Gospels understood as testimony are the entirely appropriate means of access to the historical reality of Jesus.'
Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony, p.5.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009


'...a good laugh is a mighty good thing, and rather too scarce a good thing; the more's the pity. So, if any one man, in his own proper person, afford stuff for a good joke to anybody, let him not be backward, but let him cheerfully allow himself to spend or be spent in that way. And the man that has anything bountifully laughable about him, be sure there is more in that man than you perhaps think for.'
Herman Melleville, Moby Dick, p.33.


'Work hard, and play hard, but never confuse the two.'
Margaret Carson in DA Carson, Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor, p.93.


'It is rare for me to finish a sermon without feeling somewhere between slightly discouraged and moderately depressed that I have not preached with more unction, that I have not articulated these glorious truths more powerfully and with greater insight, and so forth. But I cannot allow that to drive me to despair; rather it must drive me to a greater grasp of the simple and profound truth that we preach and visit and serve under the gospel of grace, and God accepts me because of his Son. I must learn to accept myself not because of my putative successes but because of the merits of God's Son. The ministry is so open-ended that one never feels that all possible work has been done, or done as well as one might like. There are always more people to visit, more studying to be done, more preparation to do. What Christians must do, what Christian leaders must do, is constantly remember that we serve our God and Maker and Redeemer under the gospel of grace.'
DA Carson, Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor, p.92.


'All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.'
JRR Tolkien in DA Carson, Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor: The Life and Reflections of Tom Carson, p.13.


'...the most beautiful words ever written or said: His Father, when he saw him coming, ran to meet him.'
Tobias Wolff, Old School, p.195.


'The beauty of a fragment is that it still supports the hope of brilliant completeness.'
Tobias Wolff, Old School, p.8.