I'm a big quote collector, so I thought I'd post a bunch for your reading enjoyment. This one's gonna be long...it's been simmering a looooong time...sorry not to put it in any discernable order, I simply mustn't take the time right now. Enjoy.
First, my favorite quotable people:
Rev. Barbara Crafton (sign up for daily "e-mo" meditations)
"Nothing forms us better than the simple discipline of showing up in the place where what we want to be can be found."
"Life is improvisational. Other people have lines in your play. God has lots of lines. You don't know what any of them are in advance. So stay alert. Listen up. And enjoy the show. "
"Of course you have to plan for the future, as best you can. Of course you have to clean up the messes you made in the past, as best you can. But you can't live in either place. We only live now. If 'now' is a place of pain, be present to it and let it be a piercing reminder of that for which you long. Let it burn the extraneous nonsense right out of you, as it certainly will do, leaving only the gold of what is truly important. If 'now' is a place of sunshine, be present to it. There will be other moments when you will need the memory of it.
Dr. John Goldingay (my OT prof; read with British accent for authenticity)
"You are not chosen because you are great. You are chosen because you are wrong. How much more splendid is what God achieves with the one who is not great."
How can God let people get away with so much? "That's God's problem, you see: God makes a commitment to you, and God has to keep the commitment!"
"If the gifts and promises of God are revocable, we're in deep shit."
"Just stand there, God will bless you in splendiferous ways, and the rest of the world will come and say wow! I'd like some of God please!"
Gail Ramshaw, Under the Tree of Life
“I know that for the feminist who quits the church, the New Testament writers are dead white males, and those who adopt their language are choosing to be buried alive, their mouth stopped by stale air and growing mould. But I am still testing the metaphors.”
“If religion is not about these mysteries, it might as well close up shop. If all we need are ethical systems and positive reinforcement, there are more straightforward ways to achieve such humanistic goals than the circles and swirls of religion.”
“If there is nothing greater than the self, nothing higher, nothing deeper, nothing divine, no community, we are of all creatures most to be pitied, having a mind to reach beyond ourselves, but with no beyond there to be reached.”
And other random wisdom I've picked up along the way:
The underlying democratic thesis of the Web allows for unheard-of opportunities to celebrate one's self. - Brian Williams (ABC News anchor)
"When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me." - Balmeet Singh (USC Sikh Student Association)
"My hairline isn't receding...it's maturing." - Joel (good times, dude)
"There are people in other religions who are being led by God's secret influence to concentrate on those parts of their religion which are in agreement with Christianity, and who thus belong to Christ without knowing it." - C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
"All the paths that lead to God end up at Jesus, but they do not all start with him." - Mark Heim (Is Christ the Only Way? Christian Faith in a Pluralistic World)
Hoc ergo non est Deus, si comprehendisti – Augustine
(If you comprehend what you are saying, you are not speaking God)
"Preach faith till you have it; and then, because you have it, you will preach faith." - Peter Bohler (close friend of the Wesleys)
"If you enroll as one of God's people, heaven is your country and God your lawgiver. And what are God's laws? You shall not kill, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. To him that strikes you on the one cheek, turn to him the other also." - Clement of Alexandria (an early church father, Protrepticus 10)
"What value can be assigned to a philosophy which thinks that everything happens by fate? It is a belief for old women, and ignorant old women at that."--Cicero
"A saint is a dead sinner whose life has been carefully edited." - Fr. Jim Heft
"The terror of death...is not that it is the end or boundary in a quantitative temporal sense, but rather that it is the limit of that which is by nature without limits...there is heard in death the eternal God's contradiction of finite creatures that exalt themselves to limitlessness…Death in the biblical sense is not our death as mammals but our death as those who want to be divine and thus have to learn that we are human." - Helmut Thielicke (Living with Death)
"Christianity has been reduced to a choice, not a life. [True] Christianity is not 'have you accepted Jesus?' but rather 'how are you today with your Lord?'" - Dr. Todd Johnson (Shape of Liturgical Theology class)
The one whom I bow to only knows to whom I bow
When I attempt the ineffable Name, murmuring Thou
And dream of Phaedian fantasies and embrace in heart
Symbols (I know) which cannot be the thing thou art.
Thus always, taken at their word, all prayers blaspheme
Worshipping with frail images of folk-lore dream,
And all in their praying, self-deceived, address
The coinage of their own unquiet thoughts, unless
Thou in magnetic mercy to Thyself divert
Our arrows, aimed, unskillfully, beyond desert;
And all are idolators, crying unheard
To a deaf idol, if thou take them at their word.
Take not, O Lord, our literal sense. Lord, in thy great,
Unspoken speech our limping metaphor translate.
- C.S. Lewis, "A Footnote To All Prayers"
"We too often forget that faith is a matter of questioning and struggle before it becomes one of certitude and peace. You have to doubt and reject everything else in order to believe firmly in Christ, and after you have begun to believe, your faith itself must be tested and purified. Christianity is not merely a set of forgone conclusions. Faith tends to be defeated by the burning presence of God in mystery, and seeks refuge from him, flying to comfortable social forms and safe convictions in which purification is no longer an inner battle but a matter of outward gesture." - Thomas Merton
"Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love." - Claude Monet
"Christianity is a liturgical religion. The Church is first of all a worshipping community. Worship comes first, doctrine and discipline second." - Georges Florovsky
"Faith is many things -- a tool, a routine, a belief, a reason not to slit your wrists. But it isn't a style, no matter what you've been led to think." - Laurel Snyder (Killing the Buddha)
"Our calling as pastors is not to act as emotional terrorists." - Dr. Francis Bridger (Grief, Loss, Death & Dying class) and Dr. Bridger on Jurgen Moltmann: "who's written more books than I've had dinners."
"We shall sleep until He comes and knocks on our little grave, saying: 'Dr. Martin, get up!' Then I shall rise up in a moment and shall be eternally merry with Him." – Martin Luther
“I’m a Christian married to a Jew living in a Muslim country trying to follow God's will. We're the massively dysfunctional family of Abraham.” – Sis Levin
“Where your investments are, there your heart will be, and where your heart is, that's how you see.” Dr. Glen Stassen (Christian Ethics class)
“These hurricanes that are coming are not, ‘Oh dear, we have a rainstorm,’ they're ‘Oh dear, we have greed.’ Let's do a little repenting, people.” – Dr. Stassen
“We say God is love but we behave as if God is hate…God is love, and if you are not love, you are not a godly person.” – Dr. Hassan Hathout (Muslim scholar)
“Love means deeds, not good wishes.” – Sheikh Saadullah Khan
This little Babe so few days old,
Is come to rifle Satan's fold;
All hell doth at his presence quake,
Though he himself for cold do shake;
For in this weak unarmed wise
The gates of hell he will surprise.
- Robert Southwell, c.1561-95
"luminous beings are we, not this crude matter...” - yoda