favorite quotes



"Today we are bombarded with a theology of certitude. I don’t find much biblical support for the stance of “God told me and I’m telling you, and if you don’t believe as I do, you’re doomed.” A sort of “My god can whip your “god” posture. From Abraham, going out by faith not knowing where he was being sent, to Jesus before the cross, beseeching the Father for a better way, there was always more inquiring faith than conceited certainty."

"Let every congregation adopt one person who lives on the streets. Ask no questions as to their worthiness. Who among us is worthy? Just find them lodging, a job, friends – give them hope. That would solve the problem of people living on the streets."

"Miss Velma Westbury used to say, 'If you just love the folks that’s easy to love, that really ain’t no love at all.' She said, 'If you love one, you have to love ‘em all.' That is the radical message of Easter. That is the glad tidings of Christmas…. Of course, some folks said Miss Velma was crazy." 
-- Will Campbell

"In this real world of sweat and dirt, it seems to me that when a view of things is 'noble,' that ought to count as a presumption against its truth, and as a philosophic disqualification. The prince of darkness may be a gentleman, as we are told he is, but whatever the God of earth and heaven is, he can surely be no gentleman. His menial services are needed in the dust of our human trails, even more than his dignity is needed in the empyrean."
-- William James

"More than any time in history mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness, the other to total extinction. Let us pray that we have the wisdom to choose correctly."
-- Woody Allen

"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."
-- Charles Darwin

“Jesus does not give recipes that show the way to God as other teachers of religion do. He is Himself the way."

“To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.”  
-- Karl Barth

"Interruption, incoherence, surprise are the ordinary conditions of our life. They have become real needs for many people, whose minds are no longer fed...by anything but sudden changes and constantly renewed stimuli...We can no longer bear anything that lasts. We no longer know how to make boredom bear fruit."

"So the whole question comes down to this: can the human mind master what the human mind as made?"
-- Paul Valery

"When the forms of an old culture are dying, the new culture is created by a few people who are not afraid to be insecure" 
Rudolf Bahro

"A very few, as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men, serve the state with their conscience also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part, and they are commonly treated as enemies by it." 
Henry David Thoreau

"Let us offer, then, as a working principle the following: no statement, theological or otherwise, should be made that would not be credible in the presence of burning children."
-- Irving Greenberg said, speaking about the Shoah

"Dwell on the past and you will lose an eye. Forget the past and you will lose both eyes."
-- A Russian proverb

“In the sorry ranks of the revisionists, the loss of anything identifiably Christian is now almost complete”
“What is undeniable is that when comforts and convenience sap our energies and idealism, inactivity secretes sloth in to our minds like a poison in the blood.”
"Because it lacks the element of outrage, the modern church needs to be reminded that, if her life and institutions are being strangled by a dying culture, then she is choking on the very truths which she has herself betrayed."
-- Os Guinness
"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."
What persuades men and women to mistake each other from time to time for gods or vermin is ideology. One can understand well enough how human beings may struggle and murder for good material reasons—reasons connected, for instance, with their physical survival. It is much harder to grasp how they may come to do so in the name of something as apparently abstract as ideas. Yet ideas are what men and women live by, and will occasionally die for.
--Terry Eagleton
"If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change. In my view, science and Buddhism share a search for the truth and for understanding reality. By learning from science about aspects of reality where its understanding may be more advanced, I believe that Buddhism enriches its own worldview."
This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.
The true essence of humankind is kindness. There are other qualities which come from education or knowledge, but it is essential, if one wishes to be a genuine human being and impart satisfying meaning to one’s existence, to have a good heart. 
-- Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama
"No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do."  
-- Dorothy Day
“The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.”
“Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well.”
-- Jack London
"Innocence always calls mutely for protection when we would be so much wiser to guard ourselves against it: innocence is like a dumb leper who has lost his bell, wandering the world, meaning no harm."
"God created a number of possibilities in case some of his prototypes failed - that is the meaning of evolution." 
"Against the beautiful and the clever and the successful, one can wage a pitiless war, but not against the unattractive: then the millstone weighs on the breast." 
-- Graham Greene
“You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case.”
-- Ken Kesey
"Culture's worth huge, huge risks. Without culture we're all totalitarian beasts."
"The final purpose of art is to intensify, even, if necessary, to exacerbate, the moral consciousness of people." 
-- Norman Mailer
"The body of truth
rots in the earth."
-- Jack Kerouac
"You must be the change you want to see in the world."
-- Mahatma Ghandi
[Talking about the spending of the federal government:]
"A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money."
-- Everett Dirksen 
"Those who lack talent expect things to happen without effort."
-- Eric Hoffer
"The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone."
-- Goethe
"The rule, acknowledged or not, seems to be that if we have great power we must use it. We would use a steam shovel to pick up a dime. We have experts who can prove there is no other way to do it."
-- Wendell Berry
"If the subject of art is not our maculate, fragile, and often pathetic humanity, what is the point of the exercise?"
-- David Mamet
"A spiritual conversation is going on, but the church isn’t invited." 
-- Sally Morgenthaler
"We cannot ask in behalf of Christ what Christ would not ask Himself if He were praying." 
 ~A.B. Simpson
'The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first." 
-- Blaise Pascal
"The renewal of the church will come from a new type of monasticism which only has in common with the old an uncompromising allegiance to the Sermon on the Mount. It is high time men and women banded together to do this."
"The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children."
-- Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“Those who have a 'why' to live, can bear with almost any 'how.'”
-- Viktor Frankl
. . . the discovery of true purpose is not any one person's job. It is the job of the gathered community . . to remind one another that the lives God is calling us to are the ones that we are living right now. 

-- Barbara Brown Taylor
I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. so i ran over and said "stop! don't do it!" "Why shouldn't I?" he said. I said, "Well, there's so much to live for!" He said, "Like what?" I said, "Well...are you religious or atheist?" He said, "Religious." I said, "Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?" He said, "Christian." I said, "Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?" He said, "Protestant." I said, "Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?" He said, "Baptist!" I said, "Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?" He said, "Baptist Church of God!" I said, "Me too! Are you original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?" He said, "Reformed Baptist Church of God!" I said, "Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?" He said, "Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915!" I said, "Die, heretic scum", and pushed him off. 
--Emo Phillips
A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. 
--William James
"Many belong to the church who do not belong to God. And many belong to  God who do not belong to the church."  
-- St. Augustine
"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. "  
-- Leo Tolstoy
"We read to know we are not alone."  
-- C.S. Lewis
"That man can destroy life is just as miraculous a feat as that he can create it, for life is the miracle, the inexplicable. In the act of destruction, man sets himself above life; he transcends himself as a creature. Thus, the ultimate choice for a man, inasmuch as he is driven to transcend himself, is to create or to destroy, to love or to hate."  
-- Erich Fromm
"God loves us exactly the way we are, and God loves us too much to let us stay like this." 
-- Anne Lamott
“The world is too dangerous for anything but truth, and too small for anything but love.” 
--William Sloan Coffin
“Writing and travel broaden your ass if not your mind and I like to write standing up.” 
--Ernest Hemingway
“Real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present.” 
“We come into the world laden with the weight of an infinite necessity.” 
“Virtue cannot separate itself from reality without becoming a principle of evil.” 
-- Albert Camus
“For a man who no longer has a homeland, writing becomes a place to live.” 
-- Theodor Adorno
“I . . . begin with the principle that all men are bores. Surely no one will prove himself so great a bore as to contradict me in this.”   
This is what is sad when one contemplates human life, that so many live out their lives in quiet lostness…they live, as it were, away from themselves and vanish like shadows. Their immortal souls are blown away, and they are not disquieted by the question of its immortality, because they are already disintegrated before they die.” 
-- Soren Kierkegaard

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