Classic and contemporary excerpts.

Passion for fidelity

The instinct of fidelity is perhaps the deepest instinct in the great complex we call sex. Where there is real sex there is the underlying passion for fidelity.

D. H. Lawrence, quoted in Sexual Intimacy: Love and Play

Religion and politics

The problem isn’t how to keep religion out of politics but how to subject political life to spiritual criticism without losing sight of the tension between the political and spiritual realms because politics unavoidably rests on some measure of coercion. It can never become a perfect realm of love and justice, but neither can it be dismissed as the work of the Devil.

Christopher Lasch in TIKKUN

Inseparable companions

Faith binds man to Christ. Hope sets this faith open to the comprehensive future of Christ. Hope is therefore the “inseparable companion” of faith.… Without faith’s knowledge of Christ, hope becomes a utopia and remains hanging in the air. But without hope, faith falls to pieces, becomes a fainthearted and ultimately a dead faith. It is through faith that man finds the path of true life, but it is only hope that keeps him on that path.

Jürgen Moltmann in Theology of Hope

Returning to “Go”

The oft-enjoyed game of Monopoly has one card that is discovered occasionally when someone lands on “Chance”: “Return to ‘Go’—Collect $200.” The irony of the directive is that in one respect it seems to penalize, but in another it rewards. And so it is with God. There may be no way to forget the foolishness of our blind pursuits that end in cul-de-sacs, but the God we began with … will seek us … and draw us back to the beginning.

Jack Hay ford in Worship His Majesty

No “no” in TV land

Many of our adolescents and young adults cannot “just say no” to drugs because their whole approach to life has been shaped by television, the land where “no” does not exist.

William V. Shannon in the Tampa Tribune-Times (May 8, 1988)

There’s nothing like a baby

A baby is God’s opinion that life should go on. A book that does nothing to you is dead. A baby, whether it does anything to you, represents life. If a bad fire should break out in this house and I had my choice of saving the library or the babies, I would save what is alive. Never will a time come when the most marvelous recent invention is as marvelous as a newborn baby. The finest of our precision watches, the most supercolossal of our supercargo planes, don’t compare with a newborn baby in the number and ingenuity of coils and springs, in the flow and change of chemical solutions, in timing devices and interrelated parts that are irreplaceable. The baby here is very modern. Strictly. Yet it is also the oldest of the ancients.

Carl Sandburg in Remembrance Rock

Obstacles are a given

Opposition is a fact: the Christian who is not conscious of being opposed had better watch himself for he is in danger.

J. 1. Packer in Knowing God

Whose tune?

Unless Christian scholars affirm the truth of Christianity in the context of public reason, rival religions will not respect its claim to universal truth or consider it worthy of a universal hearing. It is not enough that biblical theists mount a soapbox in a pluralistic society to declare that evangelicals offer their own unique perspective on life, that the Christian outlook has as much right to representation as do the multiple modern alternatives, and that we shall blow our trumpet as loudly as others, because no one any longer can be sure of the right tune.

Carl F. H. Henry in a speech on the occasion of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the founding of Northern Baptist Theological Seminary

The worst crimes

The greatest crimes are caused by surfeit, not by want. Men do not become tyrants in order that they may not suffer cold.

Aristotle in Poetics

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