Randomness: The Ongoing Saga

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Issue 80b
Library at Alexandria (81)

Quotations from a Year Abroad
Part II

The First Blue Notebook


Spiritus Ubi Vult Spirat.  – The spirit (breath) blows (breathes) where it wishes.

-Motto of Cyprus College


It was then, with the Scriptures and prayer as their main weapons, backed up by the love, their burning zeal to share their faith with others, and the sheer quality of their living and dying that the early Christians set out to evangelize the world.

-Michael Green, Evangelism in the Early Church


You are deep, unfathomably deep.

You cannot be a shallow person;

God does not make shallow people.

You can, if you choose, close your

Own mind to the depths within you.

But you cannot be shallow.

-Lewis Smedes, quoted as Lyndsay Buehler’s e-mail signature


A Muslim who accepts Jesus Christ as Lord must therefore reject his or her former religion, which explicitly denies Christ as God.  Christianity is not the fulfillment of Islam’s hope, but it rejects Islam at its core.

-Ergun Mehmet Caner and Emir Fethi Caner, Unveiling Islam



The Qur’an contains many words of wisdom and pieces of good advice.  What is lacking is the promise of life everlasting.

- Ergun Mehmet Caner and Emir Fethi Caner, Unveiling Islam


Evangelism is never proclamation in a vacuum; but always to people, and the message must be given in terms that make sense to them.

-Michael Green, Evangelism in the Early Church


It assures us that the character of the God whose will controls the universe is to be spelled out in terms of Jesus Christ.  He is no arbitrary power, no capricious force, no pitiless indifferent Fate.  His nature is Love … His title to Lordshipe can be interpreted only in terms of self-denying service to others.

-Ralph Martin, Carmen Christi, quoted by Michael Green in Evangelism in the Early Church


Of Paul in Athens: This is true apologetic, and also true evangelism, where the content of the gospel is preserved whilst the mode of expression is tuned to the ears of the recipients.

-Michael Green, Evangelism in the Early Church


Starbucks is more than just coffee, it’s a way of life.

-Rick Dugan, discussion on Globalisation and Cyprus


In all of my training, no one ever taught me how to share Christ through sex.

-Rick Dugan, after Globalisation and Cyprus


The head little old lady is a formidable woman, with a piercing gaze.

-Will Ferrey from his blog


It was somewhat to my chagrin the other day that I realized that I’m turning into my mother. Now, I have long since come to terms with the fact that I’ve become my father, but to realize at the tender age of twenty-two that one has assumed the characteristics of not one, but both of one’s parents is somewhat offputting.

-Will Ferrey from his blog


I know there is a way to glorify God and serve him while processing dirt

-Tosh Sinclair in an e-mail


It is important to stress this prime motive of loving gratitude to God because it is not infrequently assumed that the command of Christ to evangelize was the main driving force behind the Christian mission.  A great deal is made in some missionary writings of ‘The Great Commission’ in Matthew 28:18-20.  No doubt this was important.  Obedience to the Lord was the great new commandment Jesus had left to those who loved him: ‘If you love me, keep my commandments.” But in point of fact it is quoted very little in the writings of the second century.  Among the Apostolic Fathers it comes only in the spurious longer recension of Ignatius.  Irenaeus quotes it once, in a context where he is speaking about the descent of the Spirit on the Church.  This is interesting, for it shows that the command was not seen as a new legalism, the duty incumbent upon all Christians, but rather what Roland Allen called a ‘spiritual’ as opposed to a ‘legal’ command.  No sanctions are attached to it.  It is rather associated with the promised presence of Christ on the mission, which ‘is not a reward offered to those who obey; it is rather the assurance that those who are commanded will be able to obey.’

-Michael Green, Evangelism in the Early Church


Mission…was grounded in the very nature of a God who gave.

-Michael Green, Evangelism in the Early Church


In terms of OCF, we’ve decided to amend the club constitution and become Unitarian.  This trinity stuff is just too complex.

-Elliot Rossiter in an e-mail


Think nothing and do nothing without a purpose directed to God.  For to journey without direction is wasted effort.

-St. Mark the Ascetic, “On the Spiritual Law: Two Hundred Texts,” The Philokalia


Because God’s justice is inexorable, it is hard to obtain forgiveness for sins committed with complete deliberation.

-St. Mark the Ascetic, “On the Spiritual Law:  Two Hundred Texts,” The Philokalia


Neighbours are very free with advice, but our own judgment is best.

-St. Mark the Ascetic, “On the Spiritual Law: Two Hundred Texts,” The Philokalia


Me: It’s good that you ask questions, ‘cause I’m a little vague.  In my brain.

Shannon: That’s called being a guy.


Jesus has the whole world to save.  What does he do?  He hangs out with 12 men.

-Shannon Lamb to the Cyprus Team


The need is not the call.

-Mother Teresa, quoted by Shannon Lamb


Hinduism is more a culture than a creed.

-Radhakrishnan, quoted in “Hinduism,” in The World’s Religions, a Lion Handbook


Although many in the West regard yoga simply as a discipline which strengthens the body and provides relaxation and a quiet mind, in the context of Hinduism it is the means by which a person strives for salvation.  This is achieved when the dualism of self and Brahman is overcome and all selfhood is lost in the streams of being.

-Raymond Hammer, “Roots: The Development of Hindu Religion,” in in The World’s Religions, a Lion Handbook


An unjust judge, one who has no interest in seeing right triumph over wrong, is by biblical standards a monstrosity.

-J I Packer, Knowing God


His [God’s] judgment is according to truth—factual truth as well as moral truth.

-J I Packer, Knowing God


Retribution: the rendering to persons what they have deserved; for this is the essence of the judge’s task.

-J I Packer, Knowing God


Moral indifference would be an imperfection in god, not a perfection.

-J I Packer, Knowing God


Ask as simply and trustfully as a child asks bread.  You can do this because ‘God hath sent forth the Spirit of his son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.’  This Spirit is in you to give you childlike confidence.  In the faith of His praying in you, ask for the power of that Holy Spirit everywhere.  Mention places or circles where you specially ask it to be seen.

-Andrew Murray, A 31-Day Guide to Prayer


Sex is not just about your body; it’s a spiritual thing.

-Rick Dugan, “Sex in Cyprus


The biblical emphasis is less on human despair than on belief in God and the assurance of abundant life in heaven, if not on earth.

-Gary R. Collins, Christian Counselling


Telling a person “You shouldn’t feel depressed,” does nothing to relieve the depression and often adds guilt since most of us cannot change our feelings at will.

-Gary R. Collins, Christian Counselling


Lord, our God, whose might is beyond compare and whose glory is beyond understanding, whose mercy is without measure and whose love for mankind is beyond all telling, look upon us…, Master, according to your loving kindness, and bestow on us and on those who pray with us your acts of rich mercy and compassion.

  For to you belong all glory, honour, and worship, to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages.  AMEN.

-St. John Chrysostom, from The Divine Liturgy


The Second Blue Notebook


Cataphatic theology tells us what God is.  Apophatic theology tells us what God is not.  The latter is closer to the truth.  It is not easy to say what God is.  On the contrary, it is impossible.  That is why we said above that the Holy Spirit is neither holy nor spirit.  What apophatic theology means is that it is impossible to have the true concept of holy or spirit in our mind.  Finally, we might as well say that the general concept of spirit is close to the concept of immaterial.  It exists but it is immaterial.  Of course, this can never be conceived by those that the concept of reality is only the one that can be perceived and nothing else.  For them, the concept of spirit does not belong to the ‘field’ of reality.  For them, the spirit belongs to the realm of fantasy.

-Rev. Andreas Michailidis, The Creed


This theory says that: yes the Church is one.  As the tree has one trunk but many branches so is it with the Church.  It is one but with many branches which are the various denominations that exist.  If that was combined with what the deacon or the priest says just before the Creed is recited, then everything would be all right.  The statement…says: ‘Let us love one another, that with one mind we may confess.’  Is there such a thing: one mind?  If there is, then the theory of the tree with the branches is right.  Yet, things are not so at all.  There is not one mind.  And this is the actual problem.  And there is not one mind because there is no love that would unite us with one another.

-Rev. Andreas Michailidis, The Creed


Man was created by God in order for Man to become god by grace. …The fault does not lie with the fact that Man tried to become god, but with the fact that he tried it prematurely.  Man was not ready to become god yet.  The potentiality of his to become god, does not mean that Man was to decide when and how that would be achieved.

-Rev. Andreas Michailidis, The Creed


Each Sura (except the ninth) begins with the words BISMILLAH RAHIMAN IRRAHIM—“In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.”  Rahiman and rahim are words more intense than the superlative degree in English, and refer to different aspects of God’s attribute of mercy.

-Ishmael My Brother, compiled by Anne Cooper


We must remember that the enemy is not tradition itself but the complete dependence upon tradition and routine to the point where we disengage from thoughtful, purposeful, intentional intimacy.

-Bruxy Cavey, The End of Religion


Some things are just made into certain things.  I’ve been made a boy.  You’ve been made a girl.  It’s been made a pen.

-John answering young Anna (Why?) by the pool in Calafell


Sermon Notes


Forget finding the will of God.  Do the work of God.

-Rick Dugan, NIC, April 23, 2006


One of the main things about being the people of God is to make babies.

-Rick Dugan, NIC, March 12, 2006


I’m Joan, and I’m a disciple of Jesus Christ cunningly disguised as a student.

-quoted by Roy Symons, NIC, February 12, 2006


The disciples were expecting a kingdom, but Jesus said you’re gonna get a cross instead.

-Rick Dugan, NIC, November 27, 2005


There is nothing immoral about dying. … My death will be just and will be fair.

-Rick Dugan, NIC, October 23, 2005




This is authentic Roman rebar.

-Rick in Salamis


I find it awkward to walk up to strangers in cafes and say, “What’s my name?”

-Ann Carter discussing ministry


I want to have sex everywhere.

-Andrew Bowers

Copyright 2006, Matthew Hoskin

Annus Quinque
(Year Five)