Randomness: The Ongoing Saga

Issue 80a

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Issue 80a
Issue 80b
Library at Alexandria (81)

Quotations from a Year Abroad



Whether we rebel openly or hypocritically, the human problem is a heart problem.

-Ed Nelson, talk on Romans 2:1-16 at training in Otford, England


The Devil is not such a kind devil.

-Giacomo Kim, talk on Spiritual Warfare, training in Otford, England


Worship is the fuel and goal in missions.

-John Piper (quoted by Giacomo in abovementioned talk)


Selections from the Fruity Notebook


But as many as hold the foundation which is precious, although they hold it but weakly and as it were by a slender thread, although they frame many base and unsuitable things upon it, things that cannot abide the trial of the fire, yet shall they pass the fiery trial and be saved, who indeed have builded themselves upon the rock which is the foundation of the Church.

-Richard Hooker, A Learned Discourse of Justification


The river still chattered on to him, a babbling procession of the best stories in the world, sent from the heart of the earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea.

-Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows


Salvation is past tense in that, through the death and Resurrection of Christ, we have been saved.  It is present tense, for we must also be being saved by our active participation through faith in our union with Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Salvation is also future tense, for we must yet be saved at His glorious Second Coming.

-What Orthodox Christians Believe


…as helpful as sermons may be, they can never offer a proper substitute for worship.

-What Orthodox Christians Believe


Selections from the Diderot Notebook


…churchmen who look at God, so to speak, through the wrong end of the telescope, so reducing him to pigmy proportions, cannot hope to end up as more than pigmy Christians, and clear-sighted people naturally want something better than this.

-J I Packer, Knowing God


Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as is this truth of the incarnation.

-J I Packer, Knowing God


Feeling that Peter was on his way back, the Neverland had again woke to life.  We ought to use the pluperfect and say wakened, but woke is better and was always used by Peter.

-J M Barrie, Peter Pan


The pirate attack had been a complete surprise; sure proof that the unscrupulous Hook had conducted it improperly, for to surprise redskins fairly is beyond the wit of the white man.

-J M Barrie,  Peter Pan


A disciple says, ‘I hear you.  It’s the nuttiest thing I ever heard of.  It’s risky.  I’ll look like a fool, but I’ll do it.  Because my life is no longer committed to doing my thing but your thing.’

-Rebecca Manley Pippert, Out of the Saltshaker


The day that Christ brings everything on heaven and earth together, justice and peace will kiss each other, relationships will make sense, and there will be a rightness in the order of things.

-Bob Morris, “The Mystery Revealed, Ephesians 1:8-10,” Ephesians Devotions from urbana.org


Many are the afflictions of the righteous, and the Lord delivers him out of them all.  But you know, Leah, sometimes He doesn’t deliver us out of our hardships but through them.

-the father in The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver


That is surely childhood’s end, when you look at a thing like a rabbit needing skinned and have to say: “Nobody else is going to do this.”

-Leah in The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver


These glorious things—words—are man’s right alone. …Without words we should know no more of each other’s hearts and thoughts than the dog knows of his fellow dog…for, if you will consider, you always think to yourself in words, though you do not speak them aloud; and without them all our thoughts would be mere blind longings, feelings which we could not understand ourselves.

-Charles Kingsley, quoted by John Stott in You Can Trust the Bible


As people who live in North America, self-absorbed and preoccupied with ensuring ourselves of a stable country, the next mortgage payment or finding a cheap can of tuna, we need to rediscover the heroic faith that refuses to compromise on spiritual essentials.

-Bob Morris, “Martyrdom: The Ultimate Challenge” on urbana.org


Christianity is not the conclusion of a philosophical debate on the origins of the universe: it is a catastrophic historical event following on the long spiritual preparation of humanity

-C S Lewis, The Problem of Pain


There is in the world a very aged rioter and demagogue who breaks into the most refined retreats with the dreadful information that all men are brothers, and wherever this leveler went on his pale horse it was Father Brown’s trade to follow.

-G K Chesterton, “The Queer Feet,” in The Innocence of Father Brown


Besides, even the most spiritually advanced—perhaps especially the most spiritually advanced—need frequent times of laughter and play and good fun.

-Richard Foster, Prayer


In a profound sense, Christianity without the resurrection is not simply Christianity without its final chapter.  It is not Christianity at all.

-Gerald O’Collins, The Easter Jesus quoted in Lee Strobel, The Case for Easter


Who will grant me to rest content in you?  To whom shall I turn for the gift of your coming into my heart and filling it to the brim, so that I may forget all the wrong I have done and embrace you alone, my only source of good?
-St Augustine, Confessions


It is important to distinguish between recognizing that we as Christians have something to learn from people of other faiths, and thinking that God’s revelation and salvation itself needs to be corrected or supplemented by other faiths.  We should be humble enough to be challenged in many ways by other religions, but at the same time, convinced and confident in the adequacy and finality of the biblical witness to God and Christ.

-Goldsmith & Wright, Anglican Evangelical Assembly paper, 1992, quoted in Ishmael My Brother, by Anne Cooper


The proud cannot find you, even though by dint of study they have skill to number stars and grains of sand, to measure the tracts of constellations and trace the paths of planets.

-St. Augustine, Confessions


That is what the Church is: the gathering round the same table of the Last, Mystical Supper; the supper without which we cannot have salvation.  It is only through this that Man is united with God, the Real Life.  In this way, we are freed from the realm of death, where we belong after the fall, that is, the separation of Man from God.

-Rev. Andreas Michaelidis, The Creed


When he has finished censing, the Deacon puts away the censer.

-rubrics in The Divine Liturgy of Our Father Among the Saints John Chrysostom


We will never have time for prayer—we must make time.

-Richard Foster, Prayer


I do not reject exclusion because of a contingent preference for a certain kind of society…. I reject exclusion because the prophets, evangelists, and apostles tell me that this is a wrong way to treat human beings, any human being, anywhere, and I am persuaded to have good reasons to believe them.

-Miroslav Volf, Exclusion and Embrace


Selections from the Spiral Notebook


Faith in Christianity is based on evidence.  It is reasonable faith.  Faith in the Christian sense goes beyond reason but not against it.

-Paul E. Little, Know Why You Believe


It is a profound irony that the Son of God visited this planet and one of the chief complaints against him was that he was not religious enough.

-Rebecca Manley Pippert, Out of the Saltshaker


Be prepared to look God in the eye when Christ comes again.

-Bishop Clive Handford, sermon at St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral, Nicosia


To seek God’s glory is to pray, “Thicken the air with your presence; make it misty with your majesty.  Part heaven’s drapes, and let your nature spill forth.  God, show us God.”

-Max Lucado, It’s not About Me


He who does not know the truth cannot truly have faith; for by nature knowledge precedes faith.

-St. Mark the Ascetic, “200 Texts on the Spiritual Law,” The Philokalia


Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable?  Quite easily, I should think.  All nonsense questions are unanswerable.  How many hours in a mile?  Is yellow square or round?  Probably half the questions we ask—half our great theological and metaphysical problems—are like that.

-C S Lewis, A Grief Observed


The most incredible thing about miracles is that they happen.

-G K Chesterton, “The Blue Cross,”  The Innocence of Father Brown


Not to teach a man who is ripe: waste of man.  To teach a man who is not ripe: waste of words.

-Confucius, quoted by Anthony de Mello in The Song of the Bird

Copyright 2006 Matthew Hoskin

Annus Quinque
(Year Five)