Wednesday, 22 January 2014


' is designed by God, not as a means of self-gratification, but as a means of self-donation...'
Timothy Keller, Center Church, p.128. 

Tuesday, 21 January 2014


'There has been an event lurking in the background of our life - intensely interesting but unimportant to us personally - the break up of the Christian church in Great Britain. The rejection of the revised Prayer Book by Parliament and the consequently unseemly controversy which has raged among the ecclesiastics - the revelation of an indifferent and almost scornful public opinion - has awakened the English public to the fact that the English are no longer Christians in any real sense of the word. No one troubles to assert this fact, and no one denies it. What is becoming near a public scandal is the paucity of candidates alike for the Anglican priesthood and for the Free Church ministry. Meanwhile Dean Inge openly advises in the pages of a profane journal, that no candidate for order now believes in the supernatural element of the Christian faith....How long this queer state of mind, the Church, with its creed and its rites, its pomps and its ceremonies, can continue part of the British Constitution is difficult to foretell!' 
Beatrice Webb, Diary Entry for 2nd May 1928 in Ruth Winstone (Ed.), Events, Dear Boy, Events: A Political Diary of Britain from Woolf to Campbell, p.29.

Friday, 10 January 2014


'The religion and the environmentalism of the highly industrialized countries are a bottom a sham, because they make it their business to fight against something that they do not really wish to destroy. We all live by robbing nature, but our standard of living demands that the robbery shall continue.
We must achieve the character and acquire the skills to live much poorer than we do. We must waste less. We must do more for ourselves and for each other. It is either that or continue merely to think and talk about changes that we are inviting catastrophe to make. 
The great obstacle is simply this: the conviction that we cannot change because we are dependent on what is wrong. But that is the addict's excuse, and we know that it will not do.' 
Wendell Berry, 'Word and Flesh' in What Are People For?., p.201. 


'The question that must be addressed, therefore, is not how to care for the planet, but how to care for each of the planet's millions of human and natural neighborhoods, each of its millions of small pieces and parcels of land, each one of which is in some precious way different from all of the pothers. Our understandable wish to preserve the planet must somehow be reduced to the scale of our competence - that is, to the wish to preserve all of its humble households and neighborhoods.'
Wendell Berry, 'Word and Flesh' in What Are People For?, p.200.  

Thursday, 9 January 2014


'The responsibility to confess sin and expose the darkness lies with the person who has committed the sin. It's not the job of spiritual mentors to to go on a spiritual fishing expedition to reel in a confession from those those they are trying to help. A person passively waiting to provide answers to specific questions is in a far different place spiritually than a person who is willing to take the initiative to expose their struggles in the pure light of day. In other words, keep the responsibility where it belongs and simply invite the person to share where they have sinned and need help.' 
Heath Lambert, Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace, p.54. 

Monday, 6 January 2014


'...our "sexual revolution" is mostly an industrial phenomenon, in which the body is used as an idea of pleasure or a pleasure machine with the aim of "freeing" natural pleasure from natural consequence. Like any other industrial enterprise, industrial sexuality seeks to conquer nature by exploiting it and ignoring the consequences, by denying any connection between nature and spirit or body and soul, and by evading social responsibility. The spiritual, physical, and economic costs of this "freedom" are immense, and are characteristically belittled or ignored.'
Wendell Berry, 'Feminism, the Body, and the Machine' in What Are People For?, p.191.  


'We do not need to plan or devise a "world of the future"; if we take care of the world of the present, the future will have received full justice from us. A good future is implicit in the soils, forests, grasslands, marshes, deserts, mountains, rivers, lakes, and oceans that we have now, and in the good things of human culture that we have now; the only valid "futurology" available to us is to take care of those things. We have no need to contrive and dabble at "the future of the human race"; we have the same pressing need that we have always had - to love, care for, and teach our children.' 
Wendell Berry, 'Feminism, the Body, and the Machine' in What Are People For?, p.188. 


'Marriage, in what is evidently its most popular version, is now on the one hand an intimate "relationship" involving (ideally) two successful careerists in the same bed, and on the other hand a sort of private political system in which rights and interests must be constantly asserted and defended. Marriage, in other words, has now taken the form of divorce: a prolonged and impassioned negotiation as to how things should be divided. During their understandably temporary association, the "married" couple will typically consume a large quantity of merchandise and a large portion of each other.' 
Wendell Berry, 'Feminism, the Body, and the Machine' in What Are People For?, p.180. 

Sunday, 5 January 2014


' is no wonder that the women were first at the Cradle and the last at the Cross. They had never known a man like this Man - there never has been such another. A prophet and teacher who never nagged at them, never flattered or coaxed or patronised; who never made arch jokes about them, never treated them either as "The women, God help us!" or "The ladies, God bless them!"; who rebuked without querulousness and praised without condescension; who took their questions and arguments seriously; who never mapped out their sphere for them, never urged them to be feminine or jeered at them for being female; who had no axe to grind an uneasy male dignity to defend; who took them as he found them and was completely unself-conscious There is no act, no sermon, no parable in the whole Gospel that borrows its pungency from female perversity; nobody could possibly guess from the words and deeds of Jesus that there was anything "funny" about woman's nature.' 
Dorothy L Sayers, 'The Human-Not-Quite-Human' in Are Women Human?p.68. 


'...the fundamental thing is that women are more like men than anything else in the world. They are human beings.' 
Dorothy L Sayers, 'The Human-Not-Quite-Human' in Are Women Human? Astute and witty essays on the role of women in society, p.53. 


'A man once asked me - it is true that it was at the end of a very good dinner, and the compliment conveyed might have been to do with the circumstances - how I manged in my books to write such natural conversations between men when they were by themselves. Was I, by any chance, a  member of a large, mixed family with a lot of male friends? I replied that, on the contrary, I was an only child and had practically never seen or spoken to any men of my own age till I was about twenty-five. "Well," said the man, "I shouldn't have expected a woman [meaning me] to have been able to make it so convincing." I replied that I had coped with this difficult problem by making my men talk, as far as possible like ordinary human beings. This aspect of the matter seemed to surprise the other speaker; he said no more, but took it away to chew it over. One of these days it might quite likely occur to him that woman, as well as men, when left to themselves, talk very much like human beings also.' 
Dorothy L Sayers, 'Are Women Human?' in Are Women Human?, p.48. 


'"What," men have asked distractedly from the beginning of time, "what on earth do women want?" I do not know that women, as women, want anything in particular, but as human beings they want, my good men, exactly what you want yourselves: interesting occupation, reasonable freedom for their pleasures, and a sufficient emotional outlet. What form the occupation, the pleasures and the emotion may take, depends entirely upon the individual. You know that this is so with yourselves - why will you not believe that it is so with us?' 
Dorothy L Sayers, 'Are Women Human?' in Are Women Human? Astute and witty essays on the role of women in society, p.44. 

Friday, 3 January 2014


'A major and too-little-remarked evil in our time is the systematic degradation of the imagination. The imagination is among the chief glories of the human. When ijt is healthy and energetic, it ushers us into adoration and wonder, into the mysteries of God. When it is neurotic and sluggish, it turns people, millions of them, into parasites, copycats, and couch potatoes.' 
Eugene H Peterson, Under the Unpredictable Plant, p.171. 


'We who are made in the "image" of God have, as a consequence, imag-ination. Imagination is the capacity to make connections between the visible and the invisible, between heaven and earth., between the present and past, between present and future. For Christians, whose largest investment is in the invisible, the imagination is indispensable, for its is only by means of the imagination that we can see the reality whole, in context. "What the imagination does with reality is the reality we live by."' 
Eugene H Peterson, Under the Unpredictable Plant, p.170. 


'Pastoral work is fundamentally creative work. The section of the Creed in which we set up ecclesiastical shop is the third beginning with "I believe in the Holy Spirit." If this is so, if we in fact believe in the Holy Spirit, then we must not at the same time try to moonlight as efficiency experts in religion. We cannot nurture the life of the Spirit in a parishioner while holding a stopwatch. We cannot apply time management techniques to the development of souls.' 
Eugene H Peterson, Life Under the Unpredictable Plant, p.165. 


'Sometimes a question does that, pulls an answer out of us that we didn't know was there, but the moment we hear it we know immediately it is exactly true, more true than if we had had a week to formulate an answer.' 
Eugene H Peterson, Under the Unpredictable Plant, p.163. 


'Anger is most useful as a diagnostic tool. When anger erupts in us, it is a signal that something is wrong. Something sin't working right. There is evil or incompetence or stupidity lurking about. Anger is our sixth sense for sensing out wrong in the neighborhood. Diagnostically it is virtually infallible, and we learn to trust it. Anger is infused by a moral/spiritual intensity that carries conviction: when we are angry, we know we are on to something that matters, that really counts...
What anger fails to do, though, is tell us whether the wrong is outside or inside us. We usually begin by assuming that the wrong is outside us - our spouse or our child or our God has done something wrong, and we are angry... But when we track the anger carefully, we often find it leads to a wrong within us - wrong information, inadequate understanding, undeveloped heart.'
Eugene H Peterson, Under the Unpredictable Plant, p.157.