Wednesday, 31 May 2017

THE BIBLE'S STORY

'The Bible is the story of how God the Father sends the Son and the Holy Spirit to save humanity by being God's own power and presence in person.' 
Fred Sanders, The Triune God, p.105. 

THE BIBLE AS A RIVER

'Holy Scripture, then, is like an immense river: the farther it flows, the greater it grows by the addition of many waters.'
Bonaventure in Fred Sanders, The Triune God, p.103. 

TRINITARIAN FOUNDATIONS

'...the first step toward the doctrine of the Trinity is to read the entire Bible as a whole...' 
Fred Sanders, The Triune God, p.101.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

THE TRINITY

'It is important to note that there is no moment when Jesus Christ expressly reveals this doctrine. It was overheard, rather than heard. It was simply that in the gradual process of intercourse with Him, His disciples came to recognize Father, Son, and Holy Ghost as included in their deepening and enlarging thought of God.' 
Charles Gore in Fred Sanders, The Triune God, p.73. 

Monday, 29 May 2017

HERBERT'S BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION

'The parson's method in handling of a text consists in two parts: first, a plain and evident declaration of the meaning of the texts; and secondly, some choice observations drawn out of the whole text as it lies entire and unbroken in the Scripture itself.' 
George Herbert, The Country Pastor, p.206. 

TARGETED PREACHING

'When he preacheth he procures attention by all possible art, both by earnestness of speech (it being natural to men to think that where is much earnestness there is something that is worth hearing), and by a diligent and busy cast of his eyes upon his auditors,, with letting them know that he observes who marks and who not; and with particularizing of his speech - now to the younger sort, then to the elder; now to the poor, and now to the rich. This is for you, and This is for you; for particulars ever touch and awake more than generals.' 
George Herbert, The Country Pastor, p.204. 

THE NEED FOR ILLUSTRATIONS

'The Country Parson is full of all knowledge. They say that it is an ill mason that refuseth any stone; and that there is no knowledge, but in a skillful hand serves either positively as it is, or else to illustrate some other knowledge. He condescends even to the knowledge of tilling and pasturage, and makes great use of them in teaching, because people by what they understand are best led to what they understand not.'
George Herbert, The Country Pastor (in The Complete English Works), p.200. 

Sunday, 28 May 2017

POST-MODERNISM

'The hub of postmodern life strategy is not identity building but avoidance of fixation.'
Zygmunt Bauman in Rod Dreher, The Benedict Option, p.66. 

Saturday, 27 May 2017

PRAYER AS THE THE BULWARK OF FAITH

'The 1960s media theorist Marshall McLuhan, a practicing Christian, once said that everyone he knew who had lost his faith began by ceasing to pray. If we are to live rightly ordered Christian lives, then prayer must be the basis of everything we do.' 
Rod Dreher, The Benedict Option, p.60. 

A VISION FOR A CHRISTIAN FUTURE?

'Could it be that the best way to fight the flood is to stop...stop fighting. the flood? That is, to quit piling up sandbags and to build an ark in which to shelter until the water recedes and we can put our feet on dry land again? Rather than wasting energy and resources fighting unwinnable political battles, we should instead work on building communities, institutions, and networks of resistance than can outwit, outlast and eventually overcome the occupation.' 
Rod Dreher, The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation, p.12. 

Friday, 26 May 2017

THE TRUE POET

'The man who has had the time to think enough,
The central man, the human globe, responsive
As a mirror with a voice, the man of glass,
Who in a million diamonds sums us up.'
Wallace Steven in John Drury, Muisc at Midnight, p.328. 

UNDERSTANDING POETRY

'...the only real way to understand poetry is to know the life and beliefs of the poet.'
Elizabeth Bishop in John Drury, Music at Midnight:  The Life and Poetry of George Herbert, p.322.

A SOUL-BOOK

'Now and again in a lifetime a friend introduces you to a writer and you discover a soul-book, a work that engraves itself on your heart: one you read over and over, falling in love with it more deeply each time.' 
Roger Deakin, Wildwood, p.268. 

THE BEAUTY OF A BLUEBELL

'I do not think I have ever seen anything more beautiful than the bluebell I have been looking at. I know the beauty of our Lord by it.' 
Gerard Manley Hopkins in Roger Deakin, Wildwood, p.39.

GETTING TO KNOW THE NEIGHBOURS

'There is no more intimate way of getting to know your neighbours than teaching their children.' 
Roger Deakin, Wildwood: A Journey Through Trees, p.4.

MODERN TECHNOLOGY

'I know this sounds like a conspiracy theory, but it's not really a theory, it's more of a hunch: a conspiracy feeling. We are surrendering the freedom to be human in exchange for the freedom to live in confected dreams: dreams in which nature is dead. except for the pretty bits, and bad things never happen and nobody dies, and there is nothing to life but entertainment and everything we see we can control, because we have created it.' 
Paul Kingsnorth, Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist, p.248. 

THE CHOICES AROUND IMMIGRATION

'The people of any nation will always want the right to control their own borders and decide on the direction of their culture, and England is no exception. But that majority has its own questions to answer, too. In a nation whose population is ageing, and whose people consistently demand more and cheaper stuff, who is going to do the heavy lifting? If you want a chap nanny and your cut-price supermarket vegetables picked in all weathers for the minimum wage, then someone has to do it. There is no doubt that large-scale immigration changes the shape, texture and potentially the identity of a nation, bit so do out-of-town retail parks, coffee chains, theme pubs, second homes, gentrified cities and privatised streets. If you don't want the population movement, you don't get the easy consumer lifestyle it facilitates. Which will you choose?' 
Paul Kingsnorth, Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist, p.206. 

WHEN ACCUSED OF BEING A "CRANK"

'A crank is a very elegant device. It's small, it's strong, it's lightweight, energy efficient, and it makes revolutions.' 
EF Schumacher in Paul Kingsnorth, Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist, p.126. 

HOME

'"Do you think it could be a general rule," Berry asked Synder towards the end of 1979, "that the only place one is urgently needed is at home?" I think it could be. I think it is.'
Wendell Berry in Paul Kingsnorth, Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist, p.106. 

HOW TO MAKE AN IMPACT

'...I thought for years that the best way to put a spanner in the consumer dystopia that is unfolding is to ground yourself in a place and learn to do things with your hands - actually learn to do them, not just write about learning to do them. Grow your own carrots, learn to use an axe and a scythe, know where the sun falls and what the trees do and what is growing in the laneways. Get to know your neighbors, put down roots and stay even when you don't want to stay. Be famous, as Gary Snyder so wonderfully suggested, for fifteen miles.' 
Paul Kingsnorth, Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist, p.105.

BRINGING ABOUT CHANGE

'Once you start thinking you are responsible for, or can influence, everything, you are lost. When you take responsibility for a specific something, on the other hand, it's possible you might get somewhere.'
Paul Kingsnorth, Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist, p.101. 

POETRY

'A function of poetry is to give words to intuitions that, if expressed in prose, would fall apart under their own flimsiness; to see what is coming and try and express it and not have it understood until everybody else can also see it, at which point they will claim that they saw it all along.'
Paul Kingsnorth, Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist, p.84. 

ENVIRONMENTALISM TODAY

'The weird and unintentional pincer movement of the failed left, with its class analysis of waterfalls and fresh air, and the managerial, carbon-uber-alles brigade has infiltrated, ironed out and reworked environmentalism for its own ends. Now it is not about the ridiculous beauty of coral, the mist over the fields at dawn. It is not about ecocentrism. It is not about reforging a connection between over-civilised people and the world outside their windows. It is not about living close to the land or valuing work for the sake of the world. It is not about attacking the self-absorbed conceits of the bubble that our civilsation has become. 
Today's environmentalism is about people. It is a consolation prize for a gaggle of washed-up Trots and at the same time, with an amusing irony, it is an adjunct to hyper-capitalism; the catalytic converter on the silver SUV of the global economy. It is an engineering challenge; a problem-solving device for people to whom the sight of a wild Pennine hilltop brings not feelings of transcendence but thoughts about the wasted potential for renewable energy. It is about saving civilisation from the results of its own actions; a desperate attempt to prevent Gaia from hiccuping and wiping out our coffee shops and broadband connections. It is our last hope.'  
Paul Kingsnorth, Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist, p.78.

IDEALISTIC BIAS

'The kind of people who are disgusted by an idealised past can often barely contain their enthusiasm for an idealised future.' 
Paul Kingsnorth, Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist, p.39.

SUICIDE

'Suicide is everywhere in this culture, under every stone and once you come to be part of that great, unspeakable clan of people that have been touched by it, you see this. Three years ago, my wife and I had a baby daughter. Before she was born I never noticed babies except when they annoyed me in cafes. Now I see babies everywhere. The streets are full of toddlers; they cascade from the doorways and overflow the drains. Experience changes you. Nothing else changes you.'
Paul Kingsnorth, Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist, p.16.

SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL

'Wherever something is wrong, something is too big.'
Leopald Kohr in Paul Kingsnorth, Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist, p.10. 

WHEN A FATHER CRIES

'It was the first time I saw my father cry. A childhood milestone, when another's tears are more unbearable than one's own.'
Philip Roth, The Plot Against America, p.113.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

THE TRINITY & THE BIBLE

;...the Trinity is in the Bible because the Bible is in the Trinity.'
Fred Sanders, The Triune God, p.44. 

THE TRINITY & REVELATION

'Knowledge of the Trinity is inside knowledge given by insiders.'
Fred Sanders, The Triune God, p.38. 

THEOLOGY

'Theology is not itself if it is not also praise.'
Fred Sanders, The Triune God, p.28.