It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood…who spends himself in a worthy cause…and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.
Behind and within all the different images and symbols Christians may use for God—Creator, Father, Redeemer, Word, Spirit—the most fundamental, the deepest truth Christians can speak of God is that God is the source and power of relationships.
Paul F. Knitter
Millions of evangelicals, thinking they are honoring the Scriptures, are interpreting the Scriptures on questions of science and world affairs in ways that fundamentally contradict the deeper, broader, and historically well-established meanings of the Bible itself.
Mark A. Noll,
The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind
The Evangelical Protestant mind has never relished complexity. Indeed its crusading genius, whether in religion or politics, has always tended toward an over-simplification of issues and the substitution of inspiration and zeal for critical analysis and serious reflection; this was good for a rural frontier society, not good for today.
The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours.
Jonathan Edwards, 1741,
“Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”
I know what I know, but I also know what I don’t know, whereas very many ignorant men are sure. Their certainty is simply organized ignorance, and for that, the world suffers.
While the boots of the soldiers of the most powerful army in the world resounded in the streets of occupied Jerusalem, an uneducated fisherman from the north of Palestine declared, “God has made this Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). The man Jesus of Nazareth has been taken to heaven in glory, where he is now exalted as the Son of the Most High God. The meaning of a continuing incarnation is revealed in all its splendor: in the person of the eternal Son, the Triune God has taken up humanity into his being for ever. Jesus is God, and God is nothing apart from or contrary to who he is revealed to be in Jesus.
Gerrit Scott Dawson,
The Church will gain true courage and genuine significance whenever and wherever it is firmly resolved to resign the false courage and counterfeit significance—the courage of large numbers, of moral qualities, of activistic programs, of effect on and appreciation from those without—with the intent of putting its sole confidence in what founds and preserves it as it unites in lending an open ear to what God has spoken.
Karl Barth, God in Action
If we look for the happy ending in this world and according to the standards of this world, we’ll never find it. We can’t earn it; we don’t deserve it; there’s no way we can acquire it, no matter how many merit badges we manage to pile up.
The Rock That Is Higher