Thursday, 29 October 2015


'...idolatry was not in the first instance a cognitive error (believing in other gods) but a fallacy of the heart (yearning for control).' 
Richard Lints, Identity and Idolatry, p.86. 


'Humans are made by the divine artist as his reflections. The idols were made by the human artists, and in an ironic twist, the human artist became a reflection of the idol.' 
Richard Lints, Identity and Idolatry, p.81. 

Monday, 26 October 2015


'The key question of the Scriptures is, what will images reflect? Will the image of God (humankind) image God? It seems a simple question. Will the image of God find his or her identity in the reflection of God?'  
Richard Lints, Identity and Idolatry, p.42. 


'Idolatry is unmasked not by a sheer unmitigated self-criticism. Idolatry requires a light that illuminates its true character. Throughout the canon that "light" is none other that the true and living God.' 
Richard Lints, Identity and Idolatry, p.41. 


'If all claims about God, including the claim that he does not exist, derive from ulterior motives, then atheism is susceptible to the critique of ulterior motives as well.' 
Richard Lints, Identity and Idolatry, p.41. 


'Looking for good reasons to believe in idols is a category mistake. We are attracted to idols not on rational grounds but rather as means to gratify desires. We believe in idols because we want to, even as an alcoholic is attracted to alcohol because he wants it. There is rational consideration only in the very vaguest of senses.' 
Richard Lints, Identity and Idolatry, p.40. 


'Addictions are complex, progressive and often disabling. But addictions are entered into voluntarily and often without much forethought. They do not begin with raging compulsion. But somehow mysteriously desire turns into compulsion and addicts lose a sense of their former identity. What drives the addiction is a longing for satisfaction. This desire for fulfillment runs deep in the human heart. Satisfaction, however, is not to be had simply anywhere or with anyone. It is part of the hardwiring of the human heart that satisfaction will be found in that which is finally good and true and beautiful, namely God.'  
Richard Lints, Identity and Idolatry, p.40.  


'The root metaphor for Israel's relationship to God and idols is that of the marital relationships. As husband and wife are forbidden to have sexual relations with any other partner, so Israel is forbidden from worshiping any but their true bridegroom.' 
Richard Lints, Identity and Idolatry, p.36. 

Tuesday, 20 October 2015


'Not until the law has bruised and smitten us we will admit our need of the gospel to bind our wounds. Not until the law has arrested and imprisoned us we will pine for Christ to set us free. Not until the law has condemned and killed us will we call upon Christ for justification and life. Not until the law has driven us to despair of ourselves will we ever believe in Jesus. Not until the law has humbled us even to hell will we turn to the gospel to raise us to heaven.' 
John Stott, Galatians, p.93. 


'It is only when one submits to the law that one can speak of grace...I don't think it is Christian to want to get to the New Testament too soon and too directly.'
Dietrich Bonhoeffer in John Stott, Galatians, p.93.  


'Satan would have us prove ourselves holy by the law, which God gave to prove us sinners.' 
Andrew Jukes in John Stott, Galatians, p.90. 


'The language of "image" argues for a dependence upon an "original".'
Richard Lints, Identity and Idolatry, p.29.  


'The irony of identity is that by looking away from ourselves we are more likely to discover our identity.' 
Richard Lints, Identity and Idolatry: The image of God and its inversion, p.11. 

Monday, 19 October 2015


'We have given the first place to the doctrine in which our religion is contained, since our salvation begins with it. But, it must enter our hearts and pass along to our daily living, and so transform us into itself that it may not be unfruitful for us...'
John Calvin in Timothy Lane, Living without Worry,  p.115. 

Tuesday, 13 October 2015


'...the law is like a cage. If it has bars, it can keep a lion from eating the lamb, but it can't prevent the lion from wanting to eat the lamb.'
Thomas R Schreiner, Galatians, p.252. 


'A child may be born heir to a great fortune and yet never be aware of his riches; may live childish, die childish, and never know the greatness of his possessions. And so also a man may be a babe in Christ's family, think as a babe, speak as a babe, and, though saved, never enjoy a lively hope, or know the real privileges of his inheritance.' 
JC Ryle in Timothy Lane, Living without Worry,  p.84. 


'I compare the troubles which we have to undergo in the course of a year - to a great bundle of sticks, far too large for us to lift. But God does not require us to carry the whole bundle at once. He mercifully unties the bundle, and gives us first one stick, which we are to carry today; and then another, which we are to carry tomorrow, and so forth. We can easily manage our troubles, if we would only carry the trouble appointed for each day. But the load will be too heavy for us - if we carry yesterday's burden again today, and then add the burden of tomorrow to the weight, before we are required to bear it.' 
John Newton in Timothy Lane, Living without Worry: How to replace anxiety with peace, p.78. 

Tuesday, 6 October 2015


'We learn most, it seems, from those with whom we differ. They may see what we have missed. They may see correctly what we have misperceived. And even when we are convinced that the misconceptions are theirs, the raising of fresh questions invigorates our reading of familiar texts...' 
Stephen Westerholm, Justification Reconsidered, p.vii. 

Sunday, 4 October 2015


When God at first made man,
Having a glass of blessings standing by,
“Let us,” said he, “pour on him all we can.
Let the world’s riches, which dispersèd lie,
   Contract into a span.”

   So strength first made a way;
Then beauty flowed, then wisdom, honour, pleasure.
When almost all was out, God made a stay,
Perceiving that, alone of all his treasure,
   Rest in the bottom lay.

   “For if I should,” said he,
“Bestow this jewel also on my creature,
He would adore my gifts instead of me,
And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature;
   So both should losers be.

   “Yet let him keep the rest,
But keep them with repining restlessness;
Let him be rich and weary, that at least,
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness
   May toss him to my breast.”

George Herbert. On line at:


'Christians do not believe marriage and family exist for themselves, but rather serve the ends of the more determinative community called church. The assumption that the family is an end in itself can only make the family and marriage more personally destructive. When families exist for no reason other than their own existence, they become quasi-churches, which ask sacrifices far too great for insufficient reasons.' 
Stanley Hauerwas in Christine O Colon and Bonnie E Field, Singled Out, p.221. 


'It is no easy task to walk this earth and find peace. Inside of us, it would seem, something is at odds with the very rhythm of things and we are forever restless, dissatisfied, frustrated, and aching. We are so overcharged with desire that it is hard to come to simple rest. Desire is always stronger than satisfaction.' 
Ronald Rolheiser in Christine O Colon and Bonnie E Field, Singled Out, p.216. 


'Jesus gives us the perfect model for social sexuality. His gentleness and concern for the marginalizes smash the stupid stereotypes of male machismo. His strength and courage overturn the sticky sentimental notions of "Jesus meek and mild." He kept his social sexuality distinct from his genital sexuality by relating in powerfully wholesome, upbuilding, nongenital ways with persons of both sexes.' 
Marva Dawn in Christine O Colon and Bonnie E Field, Singled Out, p.214. 


'In its maturity, sexuality is about giving oneself over to community, friendship, family, service, creativity, humor, delight, and martyrdom so that, with God, we can help bring life into the world.' 
Ronald Rolheiser in Christine O Colon & Bonnie E Field, Singled Out,  p.214. 

Friday, 2 October 2015


'The archaeology of grief is not ordered. It is more like earth under a spade, turning up things you had forgotten. Surprising things come to light: not simply memories, but states of minds, emotions, older ways of seeing the world.' 
Helen Macdonald, H is for Hawk, p.199. 


'We carry the lives we've imagined as we carry the lives we have, and sometimes a reckoning comes of all of the lives we have lost.' 
Helen Macdonald, H is for Hawk, p.129. 


'Falling in love is a desolating experience, but not when it is with a countryside.'
TH White in Helen Macdonald, H is for Hawk, p.39. 


'The cure for loneliness is solitude.'
Marianne Moore in Helen Macdonald, H is for Hawk, p.32. 


'For weeks I felt I was made of dully burning metal. That's what it was like; so much that I was convinced, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that if you'd put me on a bed or a chair I would have burned right through.' 
Helen Macdonald, H is for Hawk, p.15. 


'Here's a word. Bereavement. Or, Bereaved. Bereft. It's from the Old English bereafian. meaning "to deprive of, take away, seize, rob." Robbed. Seized. It happens to everyone. But you feel it alone.' 
Helen Macdonald, H is for Hawk, p.13. 


'Looking for goshawks is like looking for grace; it comes, but not often, and you don't get to say when or how.' 
Helen Macdonald, H is for Hawk, p.5.