A novel, according to my tastes, does not come into the first class unless it contains some person whom one can thoroughly love, and if a pretty woman all the better.Charles Darwin
Last night T and I attended the funeral of a good friend’s mother. The young pastor gave a wonderful homily, and the words he said that hit me with the greatest impact were these, spoken to him many years ago by the woman who had died:
“You don’t have to compromise because you don’t have to survive.”
Every Christian business, every Christian college, every Christian school, every Christian non-profit, every Christian artist, every Christian church, and every Christian home needs to engrave these words on a plaque and hang it on the most prominent wall available.
I would like to… accuse Marx of plagiarism. His critique of capitalism is, in essence, the biblical concern for widows and orphans, stripped of its theological foundations and applied to the conditions of modernity.Merold Westphal, Suspicion and Faith, p. 203 (qtd. in Keller, The Reason for God, p. 59
The Trinity is proof of a witty God, gently letting us know that we have brains enough to understand our world, but not His.P. J. O’Rourke
In danger of life, our own or others, in self defense, if it the only way of saving our identity in a crisis. We must speak and write and think and teach and testify when we and our mind would disintegrate without it. We speak lest we go mad.Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, Fruit of Lips, p. 30
Speaking for myself, I can say that this is fairly accurate.
We can’t throw our hearts away. We can’t get a new heart, or at least we cannot get a new heart on our own. If I were to make a decision to throw my old heart away, that decision would have to be made by my old heart. And if my old heart could do something as wonderful as throwing my old heart away, what is the need for a new heart?Douglas Wilson, Ploductivity
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God…
The late Thomas Roche, Jr. was a professor of English at Princeton. I know of him through his book The Kindly Flame, a commentary on Book III of The Faerie Queene. When he died a few months ago, several Princeton scholars assembled their memories of him, and I particularly love this one from Sarah Anderson:
On the day and at the hour, Tom entered the classroom and claimed the students’ attention: he bowed slightly, and he did not so much shrug his cloak from his shoulders, as twirl it slightly, so it reposed perfectly upon a chair. As he read, Spenser’s Merlin gleamed before us. The ligature between all that Tom knew — of Spenser, epic, Neoplatonism, a medieval and a newer world — was simply in Tom’s voice.
Human beings have overwhelmingly powerful cravings for novelty and unanimity. We want new problems to face, because we’re tired of the old ones: they bore us, and remind us of our failures to solve them. And, especially in times of stress, we crave environments in which dissent is silenced and even mere difference is erased. We call that “solidarity,” but it‘s more like an instinctual bullying. You must attend to the thing I am attending to. I despise both of those tendencies. They’ve turned everyone into attention muggers.Alan Jacobs
Anything’s possible. Or ifSally Thomas, “New Year’s Day”
Impossible, still possibly worth doing.