Table of Contents

Author Lee Hinman (leehinman@fastmail.com)
Latest Update 2018-11-05 16:17:13


Some of these are taken from Kindle highlights, but copied here because I don't trust Amazon not to remove the feature at a later date.

If you're reading this you might say "why did you highlight that particular part?", well, sometimes it is because of the beauty of the language, other times it is because of the meaning of the text, I haven't really explain which is which for each quote, but you get the idea at least.

People Quotes

J.R.R. Tolkien, on "escapism" in literature

Evidently we are faced by a misuse of words, and also by a confusion of thought. Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if, when he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls? The world outside has not become less real because the prisoner cannot see it. In using escape this way the critics have chosen the wrong word, and what is more, they are confusing . . . the Escape of the Prisoner with the Flight of the Deserter.

Northrop Frye, Words with power

On the level of belief alone, it is not possible to distinguish what we believe from what we believe we believe; our actions alone show what we really believe.

James Shelley

What does it mean to my sense of self when every idea I have is instantly, habitually followed up by "Now, how will I broadcast this on the internet?"

Rich Hickey

A bad design with a complete test suite is still a bad design.

Michel de Certeau - The practice of everyday life

To walk is to lack a place. It is the indefinite process of being absent and in search of a proper. The moving about that the city multiplies and concentrates makes the city itself an immense social experiment of lacking a place - an experience that is, to be sure, broken up into countless tiny deportations (displacements and walks), compensated for by the relationships and intersections of these exoduses that intertwine and create an urban fabric, and placed under the sign of what ought to be, ultimately, the place but is only a name, the City.

Paul Tillich

Language … has created the word "loneliness" to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the work "solitude" to express the glory of being alone.

Thomas Merton

When solitude was a problem, I had no solitude. When it ceased to be a problem I found I already possessed it, and could have possessed it all along.

A definition of "social capital" that I thought was interesting and worth noting:

Sara Joy Proppe

In fact, research has demonstrated that people are more likely to thrive when socially embedded in a particular neighbourhood. Neighbours come to know one another and amass social capital. Social capital is a collective resource for members of a community to tackle mundane and systemic problems together through shared networks, information, and feelings of trust and reciprocity.

John Adams to the Massachusetts Militia, 11th Oct 1798

Because We have no Government armed with Power capable of contending with human Passions unbridled by … morality and Religion. Avarice, Ambition … Revenge or Galantry, would break the strongest Cords of our Constitution as a Whale goes through a Net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other

Soren Kierkegaard

Casuistry is Pharisaism in the domain of knowledge

Strangely enough, my imagination works best when I'm sitting by myself in a large gathering, where bustle and noise provide a substrate for my will to hold on to its object; without those surroundings it bleeds to death in the enervating embrace of a vague idea.

There are those who traffic so irresponsibly and disgracefully in the ideas they snap up from others that they should be charged with illegal trafficking in lost and found.

Man hardly ever makes use of the freedoms he has, such as the freedom of thought; in compensation he demands freedom of speech instead.

The terrible thing about the absolute spiritual incapacity from which I am suffering at the present tense is that it is coupled with a consuming desire, with a spiritual passion - and yet so formless that I do not even know what I long for.

Speaking about Lessing:

… he had in addition a most unusual gift for explaining what he himself had understood. There he stopped. Nowadays one goes further and explains more than one has understood.

Concluding Unscientific Postscripts

he who has an objective Christianity and none other, is eo ipso a pagan, for Christianity is precisely an affair of spirit, and so of subjectivity, and so of inwardness.

Every man is by nature designed to become a thinker - honor and praise to the God who created man in his own image! God cannot be held responsible if habit, and routine, and want of passion, and affection, and gossiping with friends and neighbors, little by little ruin most men, so that they become thoughtless - and base their eternal happiness on this, that, and the other; not perceiving that what they say about their eternal happiness is an affection, precisely because it is passionless, which is also the reason why it can be so beautifully supported by arguments as slender as toothpicks.

Or where an individual, who in the ordinary course loves silence, secretly find the mysterious way to the solitude of some forsaken human being, and here finds time and place for the brief word which nevertheless is so indescribably cheering and refreshing: does not such a speaker produce an equally great effort, or rather one infinitely greater, than the admired orator who is rewarded with tumultuous applause - and why?

For an objective reflection the truth becomes an object, something objective, and thought must be pointed away from the subject. For a subjective reflection the truth becomes a matter of appropriation, of inwardness, of subjectivity, and thought must probe more and more deeply into the subject and his subjectivity.

… the abstract definition of the truth as an identity of thought and being.

When the question of truth is raised in an objective manner, reflection is directed objectively to the truth, as an object to which the knower is related. Reflection is not focused upon the relationship, however, but upon the question of whether it is the truth to which the knower is related. If only the object to which he is related is the truth, the subject is accounted to be in the truth. When the question of truth is raised subjectively, reflection is directly subjectively to the nature of the individual's relationship; if only the mode of this relationship is in the truth, the individual is in the truth even if he should happen to be thus related to what is not true.

Subjective knowledge counts every delay a deadly peril, and the decisions so infinitely important and so instantly pressing that it is as if the opportunity had already passed.

G K Chesterton

A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth: this has been exactly reversed. Nowadays the part of a man that a man does assert is exactly the part he ought not to assert-himself. The part he doubts is exactly the part he ought not to doubt…

For the old humility made a man doubtful about his efforts, which might make him work harder. But the new humility makes a man doubtful about his aims, which will make him stop working altogether.

Quotes from unknown authors

Don't talk about rap; it's not important. Don't talk about anyone famous; it isn't important. And by the way, don't tell me it is important, because that would mean I'm ignoring something important, and that's … uncomfortable. That's surrender.

But the scribbling modern philosophy holds passion in contempt; and yet passion is the culmination of existence for an existing individual - and we are all of us existing individuals.

A poem, about sleep, or the lack thereof -

Sleep, fare friend, for what have I traded thee?
A weary mind, a distant soul, a derelict quandary.
I exist, yet am dull, dreary, and shoddy.
And so feel all ignoring the wisdom of the body.

A poem by Benjamin Chase, after William Wordsworth -

The phone is too much with us, now and soon.
Searching and scrolling, we bypass our powers.
Little we live in moments that are ours—
we’ve given here away, forgotten boon.
The photo eclipses the actual moon.
Video lapses the blooming flower.
It all uploads like a captured hour—
what we have missed will be our ruin.
Well, as for me, I’d rather be
a man alive, in body outworn.
So might I, standing in truly me,
feel joy as joy, sorrowing forlorn.
See that which is the very thing I see,
until it ends or ending comes to me.

Book Quotes

Finding Truth


Both materialism and pantheism define ultimate reality in non-personal terms—and therefore both fail to account for human personhood. Thus they end up denying, denigrating, and devaluing the unique features of human persons.

For the early scientists, the image of God was not a dry doctrine to which they gave merely cognitive assent. Nor was it a purely private “faith.” They treated it as a public truth, the epistemological foundation for the entire scientific enterprise. Their goal, they said, was to think God’s thoughts after him.

How to Think: A Survival Guide for a World at Odds


“Very simply,” Robinson writes, “it is a great example of our collective eagerness to disparage without knowledge or information about the thing disparaged, when the reward is the pleasure of sharing an attitude one knows is socially approved.”

The more useful a term is for marking my inclusion in a group, the less interested I will be in testing the validity of my use of that term against—well, against any kind of standard.

“When there is so much to be known, when there are so many fields of knowledge in which the same words are used with different meanings, when everyone knows a little about a great many things, it becomes increasingly difficult for anyone to know whether he knows what he is talking about or not.”

When we do not know, or when we do not know enough, we tend always to substitute emotions for thoughts.

(Social bonding is cemented by shared emotion, shared emotion generates social bonding. It’s a feedback loop from which reflection is excluded.)

To think independently of other human beings is impossible, and if it were possible it would be undesirable. Thinking is necessarily, thoroughly, and wonderfully social. Everything you think is a response to what someone else has thought and said.

The whole person must be engaged, all the faculties present and accounted for, in order for real thinking to take place. Indeed, this for Mill is what it means to have character: to be fully alive in all your parts and therefore ready to perceive the world as it is—and to act responsibly toward it.

This is thinking: the power to be finely aware and richly responsible. We just need to learn how to be more aware, how to act more responsibly.

“Smart people have a problem, especially (although not only) when you put them in large groups. That problem is an ability to convincingly rationalize nearly anything.”

The only real remedy for the dangers of false belonging is the true belonging to, true membership in, a fellowship of people who are not so much like-minded as like-hearted.

As long as someone remains to you merely “the other,” the RCO (Repugnant Cultural Other), accessible through technology but not truly present to you in full humanness, then the temptations of Bulverism will always be right at hand.

When people cease to be people because they are, to us, merely representatives or mouthpieces of positions we want to eradicate, then we, in our zeal to win, have sacrificed empathy: we have declined the opportunity to understand other people’s desires, principles, fears. And that is a great price to pay for supposed “victory” in debate.

Saving Leonardo


For when moral convictions are reduced to arbitrary preferences, then they can no longer be debated rationally. Persuasion gives way to propaganda. Politics becomes little more than marketing. Political operators resort to emotional manipulation, using slick rhetoric and advertising techniques to bypass people’s minds and “hook” their feelings.

“To say people should be intentional about their worldview is like Socrates’ dictum that the unexamined life is not worth living. It means we ought to examine our fundamental convictions about what is true, and then try to live consistently on that basis in every area of life.”

Total Truth


The metaphor of God’s “mask” presses home the fact that our vocation is not something we do for God—which would put the burden on us to perform and achieve. Instead, it is a way we participate in God’s work. For God Himself is engaged not only in the work of salvation but also in the work of preserving and maintaining His creation.

Against the Greek conception, we must insist that evil and disorder are not intrinsic in the material world but are caused by human sin, which takes God’s good creation and distorts it to evil purposes.

That’s why Paul can write, “Nothing is unclean in itself” (Rom. 14:14). It becomes unclean only when sinners use it to express their rebellion against God.

In evangelism, our task is to bring people face to face with this contradiction—between what a person says he believes and what his whole life is telling him.

In any field, the way to construct a Christian worldview perspective is to ask three sets of questions:

  1. CREATION: How was this aspect of the world originally created? What was its original nature and purpose?
  2. FALL: How has it been twisted and distorted by the Fall? How has it been corrupted by sin and false worldviews? Cut off from God, creation tends to be either divinized or demonized—made into either an idol or an evil.
  3. REDEMPTION: How can we bring this aspect of the world under the Lordship of Christ, restoring it to its original, created purpose?

One of the ways we can check out a truth claim is to submit it to the practical test. But pragmatic success does not make a claim true. As with all “isms,” pragmatism fastens upon one aspect of reality and elevates it into a system that reduces everything else to a single dimension.

Only by recognizing the source of various trends can we craft the tools to correct them. We need to diagnose the way historical patterns continue to shape the way we operate our churches and ministries. History holds up a mirror to the way we think and act today.

The truth is that men will be drawn back into family life only when they are convinced that being a good husband and father is a manly thing to do; that parental duty and sacrifice are masculine virtues; that marital love and fidelity are not female standards imposed upon men externally, but an integral part of the male character—something inherent and original, created by God.

The Uttermost Star


When God has something really vital to say to man, He says it in a language that requires no translation or interpretation. He says it in a way that all men can comprehend.

Escape from Reason


We are in the position of having rejected the nineteenth and twentieth century systems of thought, of having outworn them without having transcended them with new truth, or discovered anything of comparable magnitude to take their place.”

People often ask which is better—American or BBC television. What do you want—to be entertained to death or to be killed with wisely planted blows?

Cries of the Heart


One of the most valuable roles music plays is to build the reservoir of our memories. It serves as a rewind button that brings back the past in a fond remembrance. In that sense, it helps connect life’s dreams to life’s accomplishments.

The lowest point of pride is reached when an excuse to explain a choice is not even sought because the choice itself is deemed sufficient explanation for any action. "My right," we read, writ large, a dozen times a day. Such a person has placed himself or herself beyond reach.

Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science


It is Scripture that has the final authority, not our understanding of it. It is a sad spectacle, and one that brings discredit on the Christian message, when those who profess to believe that message belie their profession by fighting among themselves or caricaturing others, rather than engaging in respectful discussion through which all sides might just learn something.

Scripture has the primary authority. Experience and science have helped decide between the possible interpretations that Scripture allows.

The Galileo incident teaches us that we should be humble enough to distinguish between what the Bible says and our interpretations of it. The biblical text might just be more sophisticated than we first imagined, and we might therefore be in danger of using it to support ideas that it never intended to teach. The Bible could be understood to teach that the earth was fixed. But it does not have to be understood that way. At least, Galileo thought so in his day, and history has subsequently proved him right.

Lack of belief in God is no more a guarantee of scientific orthodoxy than is belief in God. What is clear, concerning both Galileo’s time and ours, is that criticism of a reigning scientific paradigm is fraught with risk, no matter who engages in it.



But evil men under pretext that God can do any thing, are so bold as to say any thing when it serves their turn, though they think it untrue; It is the part of a wise man, to believe them no further, than right reason makes that which they say, appear credible.

the Future being but a fiction of the mind, applying the sequels of actions Past, to the actions that are Present; which with most certainty is done by him that has most Experience; but not with certainty enough.

Intellectuals Don't Need God and Other Modern Myths: Building Bridges to Faith Through Apologetics


The effective apologist is one who listens before speaking and who makes every effort to link the resources of the Christian apologetic tradition both to the needs of that person and to the level of that person’s ability to handle argumentation and imagery.

No-one can speak without revealing himself; and the reality which he posits is identified with himself. Thus the word…confers intelligibility upon the thing, and it discloses the character of the person who utters the word.

The Great Divorce


They say of some temporal suffering, “No future bliss can make up for it,” not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory.

Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God's Work


If the point of work is to serve and exalt ourselves, then our work inevitably becomes less about the work and more about us. Our aggressiveness will eventually become abuse, our drive will become burnout, and our self-sufficiency will become self-loathing.

Just because you cannot realize your highest aspirations in work does not mean you have chosen wrongly, or are not called to your profession, or that you should spend your life looking for the perfect career that is devoid of frustration. That would be a fruitless search for anyone. You should expect to be regularly frustrated in your work even though you may be in exactly the right vocation.



"For instance, when materialism leads men to complete fatalism (as it generally does), it is quite idle to pretend that it is in any sense a liberating force. It is absurd to say that you are especially advancing freedom when you only use free thought to destroy free will."

"It may be added that the same blank and bankruptcy can be observed in all fierce and terrible types of literature, especially in satire. Satire may be mad and anarchic, but it presupposes an admitted superiority in certain things over others; it presupposes a standard."

"Keeping to one woman is a small price for so much as seeing one woman. To complain that I could only be married once was like complaining that I had only been born once."

This I believe is actually a quote from G.K. Chesterton:

"Oscar Wilde said that sunsets were not valued because we could not pay for sunsets. But Oscar Wilde was wrong; we can pay for sunsets. We can pay for them by not being Oscar Wilde."

"It is a good exercise, in empty or ugly hours of the day, to look at anything, the coal-scuttle or the book-case, and think how happy one could be to have brought it out of the sinking ship on to the solitary island. But it is a better exercise still to remember how all things have had this hair-breadth escape: everything has been saved from a wreck."

Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit


"Miracles are never an end in themselves; they are always a means to point to and accomplish something greater."

"Do you believe you exist not for your own pleasure but to help people know the love of Jesus and to come fully alive in Him? If so, then that will shape how you live your life in the place where you are."

The Complete Works of William Wordsworth


"Low and rustic life was generally chosen because in that situation the essential passions of the heart find a better soil in which they can attain their maturity, are less under restraint, and speak a plainer and more emphatic language; because in that situation our elementary feelings exist in a state of greater simplicity and consequently may be more accurately contemplated and more forcibly communicated; because the manners of rural life germinate from those elementary feelings; and from the necessary character of rural occupations are more easily comprehended; and are more durable; and lastly, because in that situation the passions of men are incorporated with the beautiful and permanent forms of nature."

"For all good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings;"



I found cheerfulness to be like life itself—not to be created by any argument.

"The twilight sank around, and infolded me with sleep. I slept as I had not slept for months. I did not awake till late in the morning; when, refreshed in body and mind, I rose as from the death that wipes out the sadness of life, and then dies itself in the new morrow."

"… and find that relief in constant motion, which is the hope of all active minds when invaded by distress."

But I cannot tell whether she looked more of statue or more of woman; she seemed removed into that region of phantasy where all is intensely vivid, but nothing clearly defined.

"I knew now, that it is by loving, and not by being loved, that one can come nearest the soul of another; yea, that, where two love, it is the loving of each other, and not the being loved by each other, that originates and perfects and assures their blessedness."

"I have a strange feeling sometimes, that I am a ghost, sent into the world to minister to my fellow men, or, rather, to repair the wrongs I have already done"

The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare


"You've got that eternal idiotic idea that if anarchy came it would come from the poor. Why should it? The poor have been rebels, but they have never been anarchists; they have more interest than anyone else in there being some decent government. The poor man really has a stake in the country. The rich man hasn't; he can go away to New Guinea in a yacht. The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all."

The Hobbit


"Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are uncomfortable, palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a deal of telling anyway."

The Everlasting Man


"If there is one fact we really can prove, from the history that we really do know, it is that despotism can be a development, often a late development and very often indeed the end of societies that have been highly democratic. A despotism may almost be defined as a tired democracy. As fatigue falls on a community, the citizens are less inclined for that eternal vigilance which has truly been called the price of liberty; and they prefer to arm only one single sentinel to watch the city while they sleep."

"Democracy is a thing which is always breaking down through the complexity of civilization. Anyone who likes may state it by saying that democracy is the foe of civilization."

"As to what it means, a man will learn far more about it by lying on his back in a field and merely looking at the sky than by reading all the libraries even of the most learned and valuable folklore. He will know what is meant by saying that the sky ought to be nearer to us than it is, that perhaps it was once nearer than it is, that it is not a thing merely alien and abysmal but in some fashion sundered from us and saying farewell."

That Hideous Strength (Space Trilogy, Book 3)


I suppose the mere fact of being walled in gave the Wood part of its peculiar quality, for when a thing is enclosed, the mind does not willingly regard it as common.

"But when alone—really alone—everyone is a child: or no one?" Youth and age touch only the surface of our lives.

"I happen to believe that you can’t study men; you can only get to know them, which is quite a different thing. Because you study them, you want to make the lower orders govern the country and listen to classical music, which is balderdash. You also want to take away from them everything which makes life worth living and not only from them but from everyone except a parcel of prigs and professors.”

"Perhaps the winter morning sunlight affected him all the more because he had never been taught to regard it as specially beautiful and it therefore worked on his senses without interference."

"for his education had had the curious effect of making things that he read and wrote more real to him than things he saw."

“Everyone begins as a child by liking Weather. You learn the art of disliking it as you grow up. Haven’t you ever noticed it on a snowy day? The grown-ups are all going about with long faces, but look at the children—and the dogs? They know what snow’s made for.”

"you do not fail in obedience through lack of love, but have lost love because you never attempted obedience."

"Those who are enjoying something, or suffering something together, are companions. Those who enjoy or suffer one another, are not."

Perelandra: (Space Trilogy, Book 2)


"Where can you taste the joy of obeying unless He bids you do something for which His bidding is the only reason?"

"Our mythology is based on a solider reality than we dream: but it is also at an almost infinite distance from that base. And when they told him this, Ransom at last understood why mythology was what it was—gleams of celestial strength and beauty falling on a jungle of filth and imbecility."

"We have learned better than that, and know it more, for it is waking that understands sleep and not sleep that understands waking. There is an ignorance of evil that comes from being young: there is a darker ignorance that comes from doing it, as men by sleeping lose the knowledge of sleep."

Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy, Book 1)

"A pleasure is full grown only when it is remembered. You are speaking, Hmn, as if the pleasure were one thing and the memory another. It is all one thing."

The Club of Queer Trades


"there is no element in modern life that is more lamentable than the fact that the modern man has to seek all artistic existence in a sedentary state."

Mushrooms on the Moor


"If a man wants to feel that the world is wide, and a good place to live in, he must be for ever and for ever sampling infinity. He must shun the books that he dearly wants to buy, and buy the books he would do anything to shun."

"It is a courtesy that we extend to the unknown. We do not know whether the joys that never visited us were really great or small, so we gallantly allow them the benefit of the doubt."

"Theophile Gautier has a striking word concerning this perilous proclivity. 'Whatever is of real use to man,' he says, 'was invented from the beginning of the world, and all the people who have come along since have worn their brains out to find something new, but have made no improvements. Change is far from being progress;"

The Brothers Karamazov


"After this cruel analysis the learned of this world have nothing left of all that was sacred of old. But they have only analyzed the parts and overlooked the whole, and indeed their blindness is marvelous."

"For even those who have renounced Christianity and attack it, in their inmost being still follow the Christian ideal, for hitherto neither their subtlety nor the ardor of their hearts has been able to create a higher ideal of man and of virtue than the ideal given by Christ of old."

"And why did you begin 'as stupidly as you could'?" asked Alyosha, looking dreamily at him. "To begin with, for the sake of being Russian. Russian conversations on such subjects are always carried on inconceivably stupidly. And secondly, the stupider one is, the closer one is to reality. The stupider one is, the clearer one is. Stupidity is brief and artless, while intelligence wriggles and hides itself. Intelligence is a knave, but stupidity is honest and straightforward. I've led the conversation to my despair, and the more stupidly I have presented it, the better for me."

"Thou didst crave for free love and not the base raptures of the slave before the might that has overawed him for ever."

"God raises Job again, gives him wealth again. Many years pass by, and he has other children and loves them. But how could he love those new ones when those first children are no more, when he has lost them? Remembering them, how could he be fully happy with those new ones, however dear the new ones might be? But he could, he could. It's the great mystery of human life that old grief passes gradually into quiet, tender joy. The mild serenity of age takes the place of the riotous blood of youth. I bless the rising sun each day, and, as before, my hearts sings to meet it, but now I love even more its setting, its long slanting rays and the soft, tender, gentle memories that come with them, the dear images from the whole of my long, happy life—and over all the Divine Truth, softening, reconciling, forgiving!"

"Sometimes even if he has to do it alone, and his conduct seems to be crazy, a man must set an example, and so draw men's souls out of their solitude, and spur them to some act of brotherly love, that the great idea may not die."

The Pilgrim's Progress


From the introduction, speaking about the reading of "weighty books":

"this may seem somber at times, but the day you hear that you have cancer, or that your child is blind, or that a mob is coming, you turn away from the chipper books to the weighty ones that were written on the precipice of eternity where the fragrance of heaven and the stench of hell are both in the air."

The Pursuit of God


"How tragic that we in this dark day have had our seeking done for us by our teachers. Everything is made to center upon the initial act of "accepting" Christ (a term, incidentally, which is not found in the Bible) and we are note expected thereafter to cravy any further revelation of God to our souls. We have been snared in the coils of a spurious logic whcih[sic] insists that if we have found Him we need no more seek Him."

"They were prophets, not scribes, for the scribe tells us what he has read, and the prophet tells what he has seen."

"Their ideas are brain-deep, not life-deep. Wherever life touches them they repudiate their theories and live like other men."

"Imagination is not faith. The two are not only different from, but stand in sharp opposition to, each other. Imagination projects unreal images out of the mind and seeks to attach reality to them. Faith creates nothing; it simply reckons upon that which is already there."

"The idea of cultivation and exercise, so dear to the saints of old, has now no place in our total religious picture. It is too slow, too common. We now demand glamour and fast flowing dramatic action. A generation of Christians reared among push buttons and automatic machines is impatient of slower and less direct methods of reaching their goals. We have been trying to apply machine-age methods to our relations with God. We read our chapter, have our short devotions and rush away, hoping to make up for our deep inward bankruptcy by attending another gospel meeting or listening to another thrilling story told by a religious adventurer lately returned from afar."

The Four Men: A Farrago


"… for all companionship is good, but chance companionship is the best of all;"

"Only come westward with us and be our companion until we get to the place where the sun goes down, and discover what makes it so glorious.”

Grizzlebeard, speaking to the other three about the "worst thing":

“When friendship disappears then there is a space left open to that awful loneliness of the outside which is like the cold of space between the planets. It is an air in which men perish utterly. Absolute dereliction is the death of the soul; and the end of living is a great love abandoned.”

Sailor, speaking of visiting an Inn long remembered:

"nor will we return to emotions which in their day were perhaps but vaguely divine, but which the lapse of time has rendered sacred. It is the most perilous of human endeavours, is this attempt to return to the past; should it fail, it breeds the most woeful of human woes."

"Whatever you read in all the writings of men, and whatever you hear in all the speech of men, and whatever you notice in the eyes of men, of expression or reminiscence or desire, you will see nothing in any man’s speech or writing or expression to match that which marks his hunger for home. Those who seem to lack it are rather men satiated, who have never left their villages for a time long enough to let them know the craving and the necessity. Those who have despaired of it are the exiles, and the curse upon them is harder than any other curse that can fall upon men."

"So it is with philosophers, who will snarl and yowl and worry the clean world to no purpose, not even intending a solution of any sort or a discovery, but only the exercise of their vain clapper and clang."

"Youth was gone out apart; it was loved and regretted, and therefore no longer possessed."

Mere Christianity


"Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man."

"A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you."

"Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbour; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him."

The Intolerance of Tolerance


"Although a few things can be said in favor of the newer definition, the sad reality is that this new, contemporary tolerance is intrinsically intolerant. It is blind to its own shortcomings because it erroneously thinks it holds the moral high ground; it cannot be questioned because it has become part of the West's plausibility structure. Worse, this new tolerance is socially dangerous and is certainly intellectually debilitating. Even the good that it wishes to achieve is better accomplished in other ways."

"Toleration is the enduring of something disagreeable. Thus it is not indifference toward things that do not matter and it is not broad-minded celebration of differences."

"historically, toleration was tied to societies that had a shared moral vision and a conscience, while today it is far more tightly tied to individual freedom. Instead of protecting minority groups as part of public policy for the common good, the enforced sanction of individual freedom encourages, ironically, the centralization of power and fosters indifference to values other than the value of tolerance itself."

"One cannot legitimately defend intolerance by an appeal to infallibility, however, when that very claim to infallibility is precisely what is being challenged. And if one persists in this tactic, one is forced to concede that one's opponents are justified in their intolerance, when they are in power, granted that they perceive the infallibility of their own position, grounded in different authority."

"What the right ought to say on such matters is something like this: "Of course we are intolerant on these matters - just as we are intolerant of pedophilia, rape, and other evils where in our view we are dealing with moral matters that deserve the discrimination of the state.""

"Now I shall argue that many who espouse the new tolerance buy into one form or another of secularism as if it were a neutral stance, so that by implication those who adopt some other stance are narrow and intolerant."

"Despite these subtleties, however, those who think of themselves as secularists, whether in Europe or America, regularly view their position as morally neutral and therefore as intrinsically superior, so that that position ought to be supported by law, even if it means suppressing, by law, those who contest this view."

"The myth is not that secular people can be tolerant, for often they are. Rather, the myth of secular tolerance is that tolerance comes naturally to the secular person, whilst intolerance comes naturally to the religious person. The myth suggests that simply by virtue of being secular, one is somehow immune from the temptation to vilify and persecute "the other." This is a myth in the vulgar sense that it is a commonly held belief without solid foundation; but it is also a myth in the technical sense - a moral tale that sustains and nourishes the culture and beliefs of those who hold it."

This is actually a quote from Abraham Lincoln, in the book:

"But those who say they hate slavery, and are opposed to it, .. . where are they? Let us apply a few tests. You say that you think slavery is wrong, but you denounce all attempts to restrain it. Is there anything else you think wrong, that you are not willing to deal with as a wrong? Why are you so careful, so tender of this wrong and no other? You will not let us do a single thing as if it was wrong; there is no place where you will allow it to be even called wrong! We must not call it wrong in the Free States, because it is not there, and we must not call it wrong in the Slave States because it is there; we must not call it wrong in politics because that is bringing morality into politics, and we must not call it wrong in the pulpit because that is bringing politics into religion … and there is no single place, according to you, where a wrong thing can be called a wrong thing!"

G. K. Chesterton is reputed to have said, "Tolerance is the virtue of a man without convictions."

"Because I may be mistaken in my beliefs, and you may be mistaken in yours, a framework in which our views can be disseminated and argued about is surely something that is of benefit to us both. As a result of such arguments each of us may be able to review his opinions and the reasons that he has for holding them, and the strength with which he holds them…. [It] might be argued that toleration is necessary precisely to avoid a collapse into scepticism. Worse, a belief which can only maintain itself by not tolerating its rivals is likely to be viewed sceptically by opponents and cynically by its proponents."

The Reason for God


"A faith without some doubts is like a human body without any antibodies in it. People who blithely go through life too busy or indifferent to ask hard questions about why they believe as they do will find themselves defenseless against either the experience of tragedy or the probing questions of a smart skeptic. A person’s faith can collapse almost overnight if she has failed over the years to listen patiently to her own doubts, which should only be discarded after long reflection."

One of the defining quotes of a book, in my opinion:

"I commend two processes to my readers. I urge skeptics to wrestle with the unexamined “blind faith” on which skepticism is based, and to see how hard it is to justify those beliefs to those who do not share them. I also urge believers to wrestle with their personal and culture’s objections to the faith. At the end of each process, even if you remain the skeptic or believer you have been, you will hold your own position with both greater clarity and greater humility. Then there will be an understanding, sympathy, and respect for the other side that did not exist before. Believers and nonbelievers will rise to the level of disagreement rather than simply denouncing one another. This happens when each side has learned to represent the other’s argument in its strongest and most positive form. Only then is it safe and fair to disagree with it. That achieves civility in a pluralistic society, which is no small thing."

"If we get our very identity, our sense of worth, from our political position, then politics is not really about politics, it is about us."

"I think it should be stated that Dostoevsky does not say it will be possible to justify the evil itself. Evil may be used by God to bring about even greater good than if it had not occurred, but it nonetheless remains evil, and therefore inexcusable and unjustifiable in itself."

What's Wrong with the World


"We all feel angry with an irreligious priesthood; but some of us would go mad with disgust at a really religious one."

"A man who thinks much about success must be the drowsiest sentimentalist; for he must be always looking back. If he only likes victory he must always come late for the battle."

"Compromise used to mean that half a loaf was better than no bread. Among modern statesmen it really seems to mean that half a loaf is better than a whole loaf."

"The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried."

"The electrical engineer has to be a very electrical engineer, or he is outstripped by engineers yet more electrical."

"A man must be partly a one-idead man, because he is a one-weaponed man—and he is flung naked into the fight. The world's demand comes to him direct; to his wife indirectly. In short, he must (as the books on Success say) give "his best"; and what a small part of a man "his best" is! His second and third best are often much better. If he is the first violin he must fiddle for life; he must not remember that he is a fine fourth bagpipe, a fair fifteenth billiard-cue, a foil, a fountain pen, a hand at whist, a gun, and an image of God."

The religious basis of government was not so much that people put their trust in princes, as that they did not put their trust in any child of man.

The Problem of Pain


"My own idea, for what it is worth, is that all sadness which is not either arising from the repentance of a concrete sin and hastening towards concrete amendment or restitution, or else arising from pity and hastening to active assistance, is simply bad; and I think we all sin by needlessly disobeying the apostolic injunction to ‘rejoice’ as much as by anything else."

"The world is a dance in which good, descending from God, is disturbed by evil arising from the creatures, and the resulting conflict is resolved by God’s own assumption of the suffering nature which evil produces."

"We have recently been told by the scientists that we have no right to expect that the real universe should be picturable, and that if we make mental pictures to illustrate quantum physics we are moving further away from reality, not nearer to it. We have clearly even less right to demand that the highest spiritual realities should be picturable, or even explicable in terms of our abstract thought."

"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."

"Or as a friend of mine said, ‘We regard God as an airman regards his parachute; its there for emergencies but he hopes he’ll never have to use it.’"

"To say that God ‘need not have tried the experiment’ is to say that because God knows, the thing known by God need not exist."

"even if pain itself was of no spiritual value, yet, if fear and pity were, pain would have to exist in order that there should be something to be feared and pitied. And that fear and pity help us in our return to obedience and charity is not to be doubted."

"Those who would most scornfully repudiate Christianity as a mere ‘opiate of the people’ have a contempt for the rich, that is, for all mankind except the poor. They regard the poor as the only people worth preserving from ‘liquidation’, and place in them the only hope of the human race. But this is not compatible with a belief that the effects of poverty on those who suffer it are wholly evil; it even implies that they are good."

"I answer that suffering is not good in itself. What is good in any painful experience is, for the sufferer, his submission to the will of God,"

"The demand that God should forgive such a man while he remains what he is, is based on a confusion between condoning and forgiving. To condone an evil is simply to ignore it, to treat it as if it were good. But forgiveness needs to be accepted as well as offered if it is to be complete: and a man who admit’s no guilt can accept no forgiveness."

Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream


"The modern-day gospel says, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. Therefore, follow these steps, and you can be saved.” Meanwhile, the biblical gospel says, “You are an enemy of God, dead in your sin, and in your present state of rebellion, you are not even able to see that you need life, much less to cause yourself to come to life. Therefore, you are radically dependent on God to do something in your life that you could never do.” The former sells books and draws crowds. The latter saves souls. Which is more important?"

"As long as you and I understand salvation as checking off a box to get to God, we will find ourselves in the meaningless sea of world religions that actually condemn the human race by exalting our supposed ability to get to God. On the other hand, when you and I realize that we are morally evil, dead in sin, and deserving of God’s wrath with no way out on our own, we begin to discover our desperate need for Christ."

"That is why none of these man-made catch phrases are in the Bible. You will not find a verse in Scripture where people are told to “bow your heads, close your eyes, and repeat after me.” You will not find a place where a superstitious sinner’s prayer is even mentioned. And you will not find an emphasis on accepting Jesus. We have taken the infinitely glorious Son of God, who endured the infinitely terrible wrath of God and who now reigns as the infinitely worthy Lord of all, and we have reduced him to a poor, puny Savior who is just begging for us to accept him."

"I’m at a point now where if preachers can’t come up with something other than inspirational speeches, then maybe they should just read from the Word for their sermon. The Spirit is good to work with just that."

"Why would we ever want to settle for Christianity according to our ability or settle for church according to our resources?"

"Our great need is to fall before an almighty Father day and night and to plead for him to show his radical power in and through us, enabling us to accomplish for his glory what we could never imagine in our own strength."

"The message of biblical Christianity is “God loves me so that I might make him—his ways, his salvation, his glory, and his greatness—known among all nations.” Now God is the object of our faith, and Christianity centers around him. We are not the end of the gospel; God is."

More Than a Theory: Revealing a Testable Model for Creation (Reasons to Believe)


"The Bible explicitly declares that the physical world is not an illusion and that nature's record reliably reveals truth (see for example Numbers 23:19; Psalm 12:6; 19:1-4,7-8;119:160; Romans 1:18-20; Hebrews 6:18). Scientific evidence for an ancient universe and Earth" cannot be swept under the proverbial rug."

"An additional RTB commitment is the most important-a commitment to follow, regardless of personal cost, wherever the evidence leads."

The Book of Tea


"But, after all, what great doctrine is there which is easy to expound? The ancient sages never put their teachings in systematic form. They spoke in paradoxes, for they were afraid of uttering half-truths. They began by talking like fools and ended by making their hearers wise."

"The whole ideal of Teaism is a result of this Zen conception of greatness in the smallest incidents of life."

Author: Lee Hinman

Created: 2018-11-05 Mon 16:17