Archives For Quotes

Children are coached on how to jump through a thousand scholastic hoops. Yet by far the most important decisions they will make are about whom to marry and whom to befriend, what to love and what to despise, and how to control impulses. On these matters, they are almost entirely on their own. We are good at talking about material incentives, but bad about talking about emotions and intuitions. We are good at teaching technical skills, but when it comes to the most important things, like character, we have almost nothing to say.

– David Brooks, The Social Animal

Teaching Character

Error never shows itself in its naked reality, in order not to be discovered. On the contrary, it dresses elegantly, so that the unwary may be led to believe that it is more truthful than truth itself.
Irenaeus of Lyons

Error is Never Naked

Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy’s will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.

– Screwtape (senior Demon) to Wormwood (junior Tempter) in The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

And Still Obeys

…hermeneutics nourishes respect as respect for the otherness of the Other…[citing Gadamer:] ‘It is the Other who breaks into my ego-centredness and gives me something to understand.’…interpreters conditioned by their own embeddeness in specific times, cultures, and theological or secular traditions need to listen, rather than seeking to ‘master’ the Other by netting it within their own prior system of concepts and categories. This premature assimilation of the Other into one’s own prior grooves of habituated thought constitutes the ‘control’ and advance commandeering that Gadamer calls ‘Method.’

– Anthony Thiselton, Promise, 133-34.

The Otherness of the Other

Biblical scholarship in general has suffered from a preoccupation with the referential aspects of language and with the factual information that can be extracted from a text. Such an attitude is especially detrimental to the study of poetic and mythological material, which is expressive language, articulating feelings and attitudes, rather than describing reality in an objective way. The apocalyptic literature provides a rather clear example of language that is expressive rather than referential, symbolic rather than factual.

Collins, Apocalyptic Imagination, 17

Expressive Language

Jesus is the the Champion of the Kingdom of God (Mk 3:27), the Initiator of the Kingdom (Mt 11:12), the Instrument of the Kingdom (Mt 12:28), the Representative of the Kingdom (Lk 17:20-21), the Mediator of the Kingdom (Mk 2:18), the Bearer of the Kingdom (Mt 11:5), the Revealer of the Kingdom (Mt 13:16-17).

~ G.R. Beasley-Murray, Jesus and the Kingdom of God (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1986), 145–6.

Jesus and the Kingdom