Classic and contemporary excerpts


Paul suggests something striking in his chapter on love: that the opposite of love is not hate, but pride.… Paul says two things that love is: patient and kind. Patience implies a hopeful contentment with the present rather than an agitated, proud indignation that I don’t yet have what I think I deserve. Kindness requires that I give of myself rather than expect something of others.

—John Boykin in The Gospel of Coincidence


The Christian leader of the future is called to be completely irrelevant and to stand in this world with nothing to offer but his or her vulnerable self.

—Henri Nouwen in In the Name of Jesus


Two welfare mothers were charged with first degree murder in Miami. They left their children locked in a room and went out for a night on the town. The children got out and one of them drowned.… Bill Bennett tells the story of watching Oprah and seeing a single mother defend her active social life by saying that she needed a life. “In five minutes, I watched 5,000 years of civilization turned on its head.”

Roberto Rivera in his “Daily News Summary” (Sept. 13, 1995)


God was executed by people painfully like us, in a society very similar to our own … by a corrupt church, a timid politician, and a fickle proletariat led by professional agitators.

—Dorothy L. Sayers in The Man Born to Be King


The elite culture is so wedded to individualism, choice, secularity and freedom from restraint that it cannot accept the fact that religions are communities that operate in and out of the political arena on shared moral beliefs.

As [Stephen] Carter writes, the churches are intermediate institutions ...

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