Tuesday, 29 September 2015


'No, I thought, growing more rebellious, life has its own laws and it is for me to defend myself against whatever comes along, without going snivelling to God about my sin, my own or other people's. How would it profit a man if he got into a tight place to call the people who put him there miserable sinners? Or himself a miserable sinner? I disliked the levelling aspect of this sinnerdom, it was like a cricket match played in a drizzle, where everyone had an excuse - and what a dull excuse! - for playing badly. Life was meant to test a man, bring out his courage, initiative, resource; and I longed, I thought, to be tested: I did not want to fall on my knees and call myself a miserable sinner.' 
LP Hartley, The Go-Between, p.69. 

Monday, 28 September 2015


'The married Christian ultimately should trust that his or her survival is guaranteed in the resurrection; the single Christain ultimately must trust in the resurrection. The married, after all, can fall back on the passage of the family name to children, and on being remembered by children. But singles mount the high wire of faith without the net of children and their memory. If singles live on, it will be because there is a resurrection. And of they are remembered, they will be remembered by the family called church.' 
Rodney Clapp in Christine A Colon & Bonnie E Field, Singled Out, p.170. 

Sunday, 27 September 2015


'He that can apprehend and consider vice with all her baits and seeming pleasures, and yet abstain, and yet distinguish, and yet prefer that which is truly better, he is the true wayfaring Christian. I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreatehed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race.' 
John Milton in Christine A Colon & Bonnie E Field, Singled Out: Why Celibacy MustBe Reinvented in Today's Church, p.108. 

Tuesday, 15 September 2015


'A friend recently described an incident with her father who suffered from progressively severe dementia, and who had almost completely lost the power to communicate. A televised act of worship was being shown and on impluse my friend said to her father, "Do you still pray, Dad?"
To her surprise he responded with a distinct "Yes".
"What do you say to God when you pray?"
"I say...(long pause)...Hello..."
No more was forthcoming, but no more needed to be said.' 
John Wyatt, Matters of Life & Death: Human dilemmas in the light of the Christian faith, p.237. 


'A real man is someone who lays down his life for the women in his life. Defining gender in terms of relationship to the other gender means that many of the things that we may think are masculine- or feminine-defining really are not. You might have a group of guys in one place who do similar things, but as soon as you go outside that group, you might find a perfectly good man who doesn't do the same thing. So that cannot be what masculinity is. The error is to think about manliness in isolation. Gender is made for relationship. Take it out of relationship - you lose what it is.' 
Sam A Andreades, Engendered, p.141.

Saturday, 12 September 2015


'If even the Bible cannot talk about it without some inelegenace, maybe clumsiness is inherent in the matter itself. Let me suggest that this is indeed the case. Clumsiness is endemic because of what gender really is: a fundamental element of bearing the image of God. Gender is hard to understand because God is hard to understand.' 
Sam A Andreades, Engendered: God's Gift of Gender Difference in Relationship, p.37. 

Friday, 11 September 2015


'When I looked at him I could feel a grin coming across my soul.'
Wendell Berry, 'The Discovery of Kentucky' in That Distant Land, p.261.


'Curbing personal dreams for a greater good is a defining mark of civilization.' 
Tony Little, An Intelligent Person's Guide to Education, p.10. 

Thursday, 10 September 2015


'Let's enter into partnerships to pray together, memorize God's Word together, read and study Scripture together, and do good deeds together. That is how iron sharpens iron. The iron blade becomes dull and rusty when we simply wallow together in a losing battle of willpower or when we meet together for the sole purpose of beating each other up. Accountability is about developing spiritual disciples, not about eliminating sinful behaviors. Wouldn't you like to have an accountability relationship like that?' 
Steve Gerali, The Struggle, p.155. 

Monday, 7 September 2015


'...the modern market economy does not mature into forms of settled relationships. On the contrary, it is a dynamic force demanding ever greater adaptability and complexity in people's lives. On the consumption side, it is in the system's self-interest to create appetities that can never be satisfied and always stand poised to switch to the next big thing. On the production side, the same self-interest demands that economic organizations show little real loyalty to the people who are working for them. In the mdoern firm's striving for operational efficiency and effectiveness, everyone and everything must be ultimately disposable. Because of their higher salaries, retirement benefits, and health costs, employess with a long-term commitment to the organization can appear as little more than a financial drain on the bottom line. Not surprisingly, today's workers have realized that to survive, they must reciprocate with the same lack of institutional loyalty.' 
Hugh Heclo, On Thinking Institutionally, p.167. 

Friday, 4 September 2015


'To be willing to submit to what has been received is a distinctly unfashionable idea in contemporary society. That is why the canon of Western literary classics has aroused such controversy in modern academia. It is why in all the arts, modern critics have had a field day cutting the masters down to size and declaring "genius" to be merely a socially constructed category. Scratch below the surface and you will see that the difficulty is not really that the allegedly "great" works were created by European white males. If Shakespeare was someday discovered to be  black woman, the problem with honoring the excellence of the classics would still be the same. It would be the problem of submitting to the authority of Shakespeare and his, or her, brilliance.' 
Hugh Heclo, On Thinking Institutionally, p. 100. 


'It is a profoundly erroneous truism, repeated by all the copybooks, and by eminent people when they are making speeches, that we should cultivate the habit of thinking of what we are doing. The precise opposite is the case. Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations we can perform without thinking about them.'
Alfred North Whitehead in Hugh Heclo, On Thinking Institutionally, p.97. 


'To think scientifically is to trust whole-heartedly that the presumed order of the natural world is accessible to man's scientific investigation - that any truths about the nature of things expressed in empirical data can actually be grasped by the powers of the human mind. The social institution of science, with its framework of moral agency and purpose, shows that among the most incomprehensible things about the universe is the fact that there is a creature in it that should imagine it is comprehensible.' 
Hugh Heclo, On Thinking Institutionally, p.88.