'Of all the evidences of the real work of the Spirit, a habit of hearty private prayer is one of the most satisfactory that can be named. A man may preach from false motives. A man may write books, and make fine speeches, and seem diligent in good works, and yet be a Judas Iscariot. But a man seldom goes into his secret closet, and pours out his soul before God in secret, unless he is serious.'JC Ryle in Kevin DeYoung, Crazy Busy, p.11.
Wednesday, 24 September 2014
'The busyness that's bad is not the busyness of work, but the busyness that works hard at the wrong things. It's being busy trying to please people, busy trying to control others, busy trying to do things we haven't been called to do.'
Kevin DeYoung, Crazy Busy, p.102.
Sunday, 21 September 2014
'The dreams we have that refuse to die - dreams of freedom and beauty, of order and love, dreams that we can make a real difference in the world - come into their own when we put them within a framework of belief in a God who made the world and is going to sort it out once and for all, and wants to involve human beings in that process.'
Tom Wright, Virtue Reborn, p.xi.
Wednesday, 17 September 2014
'Parenting has become more complicated than it needs to be. It used to be, as far as I can tell, that Christian parents basically tried to feed their kids, clothe them, teach them about Jesus and keep them away from explosives. Now our kids have to sleep on their backs (no, wait, their tummies; no, never mind, their backs) while listening to Baby Mozart and surrounded by scenes of Starry, Starry Night. They have to be in piano lessons before they are five and can't leave the car seat until they are about 5 ft 6.'
Kevin DeYoung, Crazy Busy, p.67.
Monday, 15 September 2014
'...until the Reformation, people heard the Scriptures in church - and only in church. That meant the natural question when interpreting the Bible was, "What does this mean to us?" With the double-edged gift of Gutenberg's printing press, the process is often reduced merely to writing-reading. Now we read the Bible alone in our homes. This allows a communal process to become individualized. Worse, one can own the Word of God (meaning a book), rather than hear the Word of God, which is actually a communal act. The act of carrying around a book gives the individual the perception: I have the Word of God. Now instead of asking, "What does this mean to us?" our instinctive question is "What does it mean to me?" The shift to individual, reader-centered interpretation was natural, post-Gutenberg. But we must never lose sight of the implications of that shift.'
E Randolph Richards and Brandon J O'Brien, Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes, p.197.
'So anyone who thinks that he has understood the divine scriptures or any part of them, but cannot by his understanding build up this double love of God and neighbour, has not yet succeeded in understanding them.'
Augustine of Hippo in E Randolph Richards and Brandon J O'Brien, Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes, p.190.
Sunday, 14 September 2014
'When I...was living in a remote part of Indonesia, I was often awakened in the middle of the night by grave news: "Quick, come to the dormitory, so-and-so is dying." That will wake you up in a hurry. The first times it happened, I nearly killed myself dressing and running full speed through the dark to rescue a student from the precipice of death...only to discover that he or she had a cold. The old "take two pills and call me in the morning" approach literally was the best treatment. Hundreds of students were sped towards recovery by the thousands of of ibuprofen tablets I distributed.
A few years later, I discovered that students considered me a man of little faith. All I did was give them medicine! They would always pray for the student after I had left. In my worldview, we had quit praying for colds and ear infections a generation ago. We understood them, so God was no longer involved - although we never said it so crassly. This is a serious loss. We no longer had a loving Father watching over in the night. Our point is not that there is anything faithless about taking medicine. Our point is that at an unconscious level, our expectation that the universe operates according to natural laws excludes the possibility from our minds that God might intervene in our daily affairs.'
E Randolph Richards and Brandon J O'Brien, Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes, p.172.
'...the Christian life is more helpfully viewed as a journey along a road...to use Jesus' image. Along this road, there is a ditch on both sides. The goal is to avoid both ditches, which means that the difference between good instruction and bad instruction depends upon which ditch you have drifted toward. The problem with the Western view of a rule is that it has to always apply. But "veer right" is only good instruction if you're headed toward the ditch on the left.'
E Randolph Richards and Brandon J O'Brien, Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes, p.167.
Wednesday, 10 September 2014
'...Good hospital-ity is making your home a hospital. The idea is that friends and family and the wounded and weary people come to your home and leave helped and refreshed. And yet too often hospitality is a nerve-racking experience for hosts and guests alike. Instead of setting our guests at ease, we set them on edge by telling them how bad the food will be, and what a mess the house is, and how sorry we are for our kids' behaviour. We get worked up and crazy busy in all the wrong ways because we are more concerned with looking good than with doing good. So instead of our encouraging those we host, they feel compelled to encourage us with constant reassurances that everything is just fine.'
Kevin DeYoung, Crazy Busy, p.41.
'We've heard countless sermons warning us about the dangers of money. But the real danger comes after you spend the money. Once you own it you need to keep it clean, keep it working, and keep up with the latest improvements. If the worries of life don't swamp us, the upkeep will.'
Kevin DeYoung, Crazy Busy: A [Mercifully] Short Book about a [Really] Big Problem, p.30.
Tuesday, 9 September 2014
'We deceive ourselves when we think sin is individual and independent of a community's honor. Our individualism feeds the false sense that sin is merely an inner wrong - the private business between and God to be worked out on judgement day. Paul thought otherwise. He considered sin yeast that influences the whole batch of dough (1 Cor 5:6).'
E Randolph Richards and Brandon J O'Brien, Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understanding the Bible, p.132.
Monday, 1 September 2014
'Beauty is not just what we agree to call it, nor does it go away if we ignore it. We can't remake our values at will. There may of course be shifts in art theory, but that is distinct from beauty itself, and we cannot rid ourselves of the value of beauty by a decision in theory. In this, beauty is like other transcendental ideals, such as goodness. Societies may dispute what is to be considered good, but they cannot do away with the concept. What is more the concept is remarkably stable over time. Exactly what is to be considered good may shift around the edges, but the core remains unchanged. Similarly, exactly what is to be called beautiful may vary a little over time, but the core concepts of beauty remain, which is why we have no difficulty in appreciating the beauty of mediaeval or ancient art despite the passage of centuries. Art theory can pronounce the death of beauty, but in doing so it revives memories of King Canute.'
Ian McGilchrist, The Master and his Emissary, p.443.
'The single most common finding from a half a century's research on the correlates of life satisfaction, not only in the United States but around the world is that happiness is best predicted by the breadth and depth of one's social connections.'
Robert Putnam in Iain McGilchrist, The Master and his Emissary, p.435.