Thursday, 26 September 2013


'Modern secular education is failing not because it doesn't teach who Ginger Rogers, Norman Mailer and a thousand other people are but because it has no moral, social or intellectual center. There is no set of idea of attitudes that permeates all parts of the curriculum. The curriculum is not, in fact, a "course of study" at all but a meaningless hodgepodge of subjects. It does not even put forward a clear vision of what constitutes an educated person, unless it is a person who possess "skills." In other word's a technocrats ideal - a person with no commitment and no point of view but with plenty of marketable skills.' 
Neil Postman in Steven Garber, The Fabric of Faithfulness, p.90. 

Monday, 23 September 2013


'...when there is a question as to whether a man is good, one does not ask what he believes, or what he hopes, but what he loves.'
Augustine of Hippo in Steven Garber, The Fabric of Faithfulness: Weaving together belief and behavior, p.35.  

Saturday, 21 September 2013


'...despite the speculations of some clinicians, the idea that it is healthy for an adolescent to identify with a sexuality has not been proved. Clinicians are fond of assuming that not adopting a label is unhealthy, that it may be an indication of possible psychological problems. An individual's reluctance to embrace a sexual identity, they say, suggests that the person is in denial, afraid to confront his or her sexual reality.  Yet how do we square this view with the overwhelming evidence - produced by these same clinicians - of alarmingly high levels of depression, substance abuse, dangerous sexual activities, and suicidality among these young people who self-identify as gay? Is it possible that self-identifying gay youth are more unhealthy that nonidentified same-sex attracted young adults? 
I believe this is entirely possible. Some gay teens come out "loud and proud" as an act of self-affirmation, and some nonidentified same-sex attracted young people, are in hiding for self-destructive reasons, But it is also true that some declare their sexuality as a cry for help from horrific circumstances and that others are psychologically healthy because they have base for self-definition other than sexuality that are more developmentally appropriate. 
Is it possible that our advice to same-sex attracted young people has been wrong, and that perhaps we should be encouraging not to identify as gay?'
Ritch C Savin-Williams, The New Gay Teenager, p.204. 


'...diversity is both the greatest treasure and the biggest hurdle in the field of what has come to be known as queer studies. In the current epoch of greater cultural visibility and political protection, any notion of the singularity of gayness should disappear. Yet the academy and government continue to allude to gays as a single entity. Gay lobbying and interest groups are just as guilty as this in their quest for political unity. The reality is that gay people are diverse and at times paradoxical in how they identify themselves, in their politics and political strategies, and in the degrees to which they assimilate or want to assimilate into mainstream culture.' 
Ritch C Savin-Williams, The New Gay Teenager, p.187. 


'Sexual identity models are example number one of the tendency to treat all gay people as the same, as a "separate species." Not only are these models wrong for most individuals with a same-sex orientation, they are also harmful because they keep us from understanding the diverse and ever-changing lives of contemporary teenagers. They foster archaic, male-centric views of gay development.'
Ritch C Savin-Williams, The New Gay Teenager, p.178.


'Descriptive terms, such as "same-sex attracted" and "homoerotic," name particular aspects of sexuality. They encourage discussion of a spectrum of sexualities rather than specific sexual categories. I also prefer them because of their neutrality and serviceability, their simplicity and naivete. An individual can be homoerotic in some sexual domains and not in others. Similarly, one can be little or greatly same-sex attracted, in varying degrees and in varying ways. Using descriptive terms for the behavior includes gay, lesbian, and bisexual young people as well as those who refuse or resist labels for sexual identity. It also includes a person's having one or many same-sex encounters. So, too, virgins who would like to be sexual and /or romantic relationship with others can be included. A teen with same-sex attractions can feel separate from straight and gay adult-centered worlds or feel part of them. Describing same-sex behavior, feelings, and attitudes carries neither positive nor negative qualities, although some teenagers would disagree with this assertion, given the negative views of homosexuality in their own world.' 
Ritch C Savin-Williams, The New Gay Teenager, p.8. 


'I don't worry about the wounds. When I go up there, which is my intention, the Big Judge will say to me, Where are your wounds? and if I say I haven't any, he will say, Was there nothing to fight for? I couldn't face that question.' 
Alan Paton, Ah, But Your Land is Beautiful, p.75. 

Wednesday, 18 September 2013


'There are few things that will reveal to you the full range of your sin, immaturity, weakness, and failure like ministry will. There are few things that will expose your weaknesses to others as consistently as ministry does. There are few endeavors that will put you under public expectancy and scrutiny like ministry does. There are few things that are as personally humbling as ministry is. There are few endeavors that have the power to produce in you such deep feelings of inadequacy as ministry does. There are few things that can be such a vat of self-doubt as ministry is. In your ministry there is a great temptation to be sidetracked and harmed by fear of you.'  
Paul David Tripp, Dangerous Calling, p.129.  

Tuesday, 17 September 2013


'...we have forgotten that pastoral ministry is war and that you will never live successfully in the pastorate if you live with a peacetime mentality. Permit me to explain. The fundamental battle of pastoral ministry is not with the shifting values of the surrounding culture. It is not the struggle with resistant people who don't seem to esteem the gospel. It is not the fight for the success of the ministries of the church. And it is not the constant struggle of resources and personnel to accomplish the mission. No the war of the pastorate is a deeply personal war. It is fought on the ground of the pastor's heart. It is a war of values, allegiances, and motivations. It is about subtle desires and foundational dreams. This war is the greatest threat to every pastor. Yet is a war that we often naively ignore or quickly forget in the busyness of local-church ministry.' 
Paul David Tripp, Dangerous Calling, p.98. 

Saturday, 14 September 2013


'Like so many men that consider their success incomplete, he was extraordinarily vain and consumed with a sense of his own importance.'
John Williams, Stoner, p.58. 

Wednesday, 11 September 2013


'Know this: if your eyes ever see or your ears ever hear the sin, weakness, or failure of your pastor, it should never be viewed as a hassle or an interruption; it is always grace. God loves that man and will expose his needs to you so that you can be part of his instrumentality of change and growth.' 
Paul David Tripp, Dangerous Calling: The Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry, p.95. 

Tuesday, 10 September 2013


'So we were all struck down. Because he would not tell one man, therefore the whole world knew.' 
Alan Paton, Too Late the Phalarope, p.196. 

Monday, 9 September 2013


'Celibacy for the kingdom is not a declaration that sex is "bad." It's a declaration that while sex can be awesome, there's something even better - infinitely better! Christian celibacy is a bold declaration that heaven is real, and it is worth selling everything to possess.' 
Christopher West, Fill These Hearts, p.172. 


'A modern mystic-nun, after giving a presentation in which she shared something of her experience of "nuptial union" with God, was rebuked by an agnostic psychologist: "You're sick!" he insisted. "What you really want is sex. But you're disguising your desire for sex with all this ridiculous talk about union with God." She responded firmly: "Oh no. I beg to differ. What the world really wants is union with God, but it's disguising that desire with all this ridiculous sex." Who do you think was right?' 
Christopher West, Fill These Hearts, p.171. 


'STARVATION DIET: If it feels good, it must be sinful.
FAST FOOD: If it feels good, do it.
BANQUET: If it feels good it's meant to be a preview of coming attractions.'
Christopher West, Fill These Hearts, p.164. 


'Unbridled indulgence in sex and alcohol are arguably the two most addictive pleasures offered by the fast food gospel. There's a reason for that: the joining of man and woman in "one flesh" and the joys of wine are two of the primary biblical images of heaven. We can't forget that Christ's first miracle was at a wedding feast - a celebration of the two becoming "one flesh" - where he enlivens the party with 150 gallons of "the best wine" (see John 2:1-11). Untwist the indulgences of the typical frat party - the abuse of sex and alcohol - and we find ourselves at the wedding feast of Cana, a true foreshadowing of heaven...' 
Christopher West, Fill These Hearts, p.162. 


'Love that hankers after what is merely pleasing and repeatable in a person will do just that: repeat itself with whoever possesses those pleasing qualities. In this case, the inherent "adventurousness" of love - the desire for expansion, growth, and new discoveries - will lead a person to take his delight in wandering from person to person. On the other hand, love that reaches the unrepeatable mystery of the other person is a love that's truly that: unrepeatable, stable, sure. It's an inexhaustible treasure that can't possibly be found elsewhere. In this case, love's inherent adventurousness finds its delight not in wandering from person to person, but from wandering ever more deeply into the heart of the one and only beloved.' 
Christopher West, Fill These Hearts, p.154. 

Sunday, 8 September 2013


'The little guy always dies so the big guy can live. That's the logic of the food chain: big fish eat little fish, much to the little fish's chagrin. But in the Christ-event, the "Big Fish" freely dies in order to offer himself as food for us minnows.' 
Christopher West, Fill These Hearts, p.117. 


'In Christ, man who made himself God encounters God who made himself man. Unrivaled self-importance and pride encounters unrivaled self-emptying and humility.' 
Christopher West, Fill These Hearts, p.116. 


'There is only one temptation...All particular temptations are expressions of this one original or "primordial" temptation. It is the temptation to believe that the fulfillment of the desires of the human heart depends entirely on us.' 
Lorenzo Albacete in Christopher West, Fill These Hearts, p.112.  


' was the nature of man and of creation, that some sound, long remembered from the days of innocence before the world's corruption, could open the door to the soul, flooding it with a sudden knowledge of the sadness and terror and beauty of man's home and the earth. But you could not keep such knowledge, you could not hold it in your hand like a flower or a book, for it came and went like the wind and the door of the soul would not say open, for maybe it was too great joy and sorrow for a man, and meant only for angels.' 
Alan Paton, Too Late the Phalarope, p.40. 

Friday, 6 September 2013


'We are not who the pornified media tell us we are. We are not valuable only if we can attract and arouse another's lust. In fact, lust devalues us by reducing us to the level of a thing to be used and discarded. Our true value, our true worth and dignity, comes from the fact that we have been chosen by Love and for Love, and that Love is an utterly gratuitous and free gift. We have been chosen to participate in infinite love, in love without measure, in ecstasy and bliss beyond imagining. This is what we desire. This is what we're designed and destined for. Somehow we know it. And this Love is ours is we would only open to it and receive "the gift."' 
Christopher West, Fill These Hearts, p.108. 


'...the purpose of sexual difference and the call to union is not only to reproduce the human species, although that an essential part of it. It's not only for the sake of human companionship, although that, too, is an essential part of it. The ultimate purpose of sexual difference and the call to union is signify the difference and call to union of the Creator and the creature, of Christ and his Church.' 
Christopher West , Fill These Hearts, p.93.  


'Did it ever occur to you that...human sexuality is derived from cosmic sexuality and not vice versa, that we are a local application of a universal principle? If not, please seriously consider the idea now, for it is one of the oldest and most widely held ideas in our history, and one of the happiest. It is a happy idea because it puts humanity into a more human universe. We fit; we are not freaks. What we are, everything else is also, though in different ways and different degrees. We are, to use the medieval image, a microcosm, a little cosmos; the universe is the macrocosm, the same pattern written large...[And this] means that sexuality goes all the way up and down the cosmic ladder.'
Peter Kreeft in Christopher West, Fill These Hearts, p.89.  

Thursday, 5 September 2013


'When you would fill a purse, knowing how large a present it is to hold, you stretch wide its cloth or leather: knowing how much you are to put in it, and seeing that the purse is small, you extend it to make more room. So by delaying [his gift] God strengthens our longing, through longing he expands our soul, and by expanding our soul he increases its capacity. So brethren, let us long, because we are to be filled...That is our life, to be trained by longing: and our training through the holy longing advances in the measure that our longings are detached from the love of this world...Let us stretch ourselves out towards him, that when he comes he may fill us full.' 
Augustine of Hippo in Christopher West, Fill These Hearts, p.77.  


'One of the things God wants to show us is that behind all our misdirected desires and lusts there is a legitimate desire God put there and wants to satisfy. Uncovering that legitimate desire and entrusting its satisfaction entirely to God is critical to our healing and wholeness.' 
Christopher West, Fill These Hearts, p.67. 


'Beyond the tears of sorrow and sadness that we shed in this life, hope brings tears of sweetness and joy. Hope may break through in a song, a sunset, a poem, a movie, an unexpected act of kindness,a good laugh, the birth of a child, the embrace of a loved one. And when these moments come (they can't really be manufactured, although we can dispose ourselves to them) we should drink them in...and listen. If we listen, we can almost hear a voice whispering to out hearts: "It is good to be here. Rest here for a while. Savor it. For this is a taste, a taste of what is to come. Let it lift you up. Let it fire you up. Let it give you hope. You're not crazy. You're not wrong to believe there's something more. You will not be unhappy. Have faith. Trust. Open to the gift. It's coming. Your desire for Life is not in vain."'
Christopher West, Fill These Hearts, p.61. 


'Christianity is the religion of desire - the religion that redeems eros  - and its saints are the ones who have had the courage to feel  the abyss of longing in their souls and in their bodies and to open that longing in "the groaning of prayer" to the One who alone can heal their "wound of love."'
Christopher West, Fill These Hearts, p.39. 

Monday, 2 September 2013


'...God made us as sexual beings - as men and women with a desire for union - precisely to tell the story of his love for us. In the biblical view, the fulfillment of love between the sexes is a great foreshadowing of something quite literally "out of this world" - the infinite bliss and ecstasy that awaits us in heaven.' 
Christopher West, Fill These Hearts: God, Sex and the Universal Longing, p.11.