I keep telling Shirley MacLaine, “You can’t go around telling people you are God.” It’s a very difficult concept to accept.
—Oprah Winfrey in the New York Times Magazine (June 11, 1989)
A No-Compromise Issue
If our language has appeared to some strong and severe, or even intemperate, let the gentlemen pause for a moment and reflect on the importance and gravity of the subject.… We had to deal with human life. In a matter of less importance we could entertain no compromise.
—The American Medical Association, 1871, in a report opposing abortion. Quoted in Marvin Olasky’s The Press and Abortion, 1838–1988
Except in times of war or illness, moral awakening is as hard to come by as a winning number in the New Jersey lottery.
—Lewis H. Lapham in Money and Class in America
Reaching For The Moon
High expectations are easily stated, may be rationalized as evidence of superior spirituality, and drive most leaders nuts. It takes genuine skill and insight by an institution to set reasonable expectations. There are not enough spell-binding preachers in the world to get every congregation excited every Sunday. Likewise, there are not enough articulate profs to make every basic class an exciting brush with the hidden mysteries of the universe. There are not enough Miss Americas to fulfill every Dogpatch yokel’s expectant dreams for marriage, or enough of anything to please everybody. No wonder God is so patient with the mediocre most of us; he made so many of us! and he can get his job done, too, if we let him!
—Lloyd H. Ahlem in The Covenant Companion (June 1987)
When a simple majority won’t do
Ideally, when Christians meet, as Christians, to take counsel together, their purpose is not—or should not be—to ascertain ...1
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