Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Rachel Held Evans:

According to Jesus, the purpose of the Bible is to help us love God and our neighbors better.  If love is Jesus' definition of "biblical," then perhaps it should be ours as well.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Heather Sellers:

I could be kind to her, but I was done colluding.  I was starting a new life.

You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know, p. 120

Monday, July 29, 2013

Anne Lamott:

We're individuals in time and space who are often gravely lost, and then miraculously, in art, found.

Help, Thanks, Wow, p. 81-82

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Frank Schaeffer:

Beauty and love expressed in art, poetry, and religion are among the things that last.

Patience With God, p. 65

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Rita Mae Brown:

The differing forms of oppression -- sexism, racism, religious persecution or hating homosexuals -- are the same meat but different gravy.  Sadly, many people in these disparate groups don't understand how much they have in common with one another.  It's like a reverse snob game: Who is the most oppressed?  Hey, who cares?  Pain is pain.

Rita Will, p. 464

Friday, July 26, 2013

Rob Bell:

For many people in our world, the opposite of faith is doubt.  The goal, then, within this understanding, is to eliminate doubt.  But faith and doubt aren't opposites.  Doubt is often a sign that your faith has a pulse, that it's alive and well and exploring and searching.  Faith and doubt aren't opposites; they are, it turns out, excellent dance partners.

What We Talk About When We Talk About God, p. 92

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Eugene Ionesco:

A writer never has a vacation.  For a writer life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Rachel Held Evans:

So, does this mean understanding God through His Word is an impossible task?  Is there nothing left to do but shrug and give up, knowing we'll never really "get" what the Bible is saying, let alone agree on it?  Not at all.  The best thing to do with our bias is to acknowledge it head-on -- and then proceed with humility as we search for the Bible's meaning in community.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

William Blake:

I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's; I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Anne Lamott:

Wow comes in all shapes and sizes, like people ... A lowercase wow might be seeing a kid execute a dive at a town pool, or coming upon a blanket of poppies in the field that was destroyed by grass fire last summer.  And then there are the uppercase Wows.  Yosemite.  Fireworks.  Watching puppies being born at the neighbors' when you were six.

Help, Thanks, Wow, p. 74

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Frank Schaeffer:

How curious that the Calvinist wing of the Protestant religion finds it soul mate in the atheist's determinism.  Both get rid of free will theoretically while demanding that their followers choose to go out and save the world with correct thinking.

Patience With God, p. 48

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Rita Mae Brown:

It was odd, living in a place that held nothing of your own, but I learned that wherever my books and cats are, that's home.

Rita Will, p. 314

Friday, July 19, 2013

Anna Quindlen:

Can we ever value the wealth of our spirit more than the size of our salaries?

Grinnell College Commencement Address

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Anne Lamott:

When we are stunned to the place beyond words, we're finally starting to get somewhere ... When we are stunned to the place beyond words, when an aspect of life takes us away from being able to chip away at something until it's down to a manageable size and then to file it nicely away, when all we can say in response is "Wow," that's a prayer.

Help, Thanks, Wow, p. 73

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Rachel Held Evans:

We can learn a lot from our Jewish friends in this regard.  My friend Ahava, an Orthodox Jew, likes to say that if three Jews are in a room, you can expect to find four opinions.

When discussing the Hebrew Scriptures (what we know as the Old Testament), Jews not only tolerate but celebrate a diversity of perspectives.  In fact, they are quite comfortable allowing differing interpretations to coexist, as long as the interpretations are sensible and in keeping with the fundamentals of the faith.  Rather than fighting to get everyone on the exact same page, they treat differences as learning opportunities to see the biblical text in a new light.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Rita Mae Brown:

The damage of oppression is that it robs you of your individuality.  You're just a faggot.  Or whatever -- fill in the blank.  Everything you do is seen through the prism of your gayness or your womanness or your blackness by some people.

Rita Will, p. 392

Monday, July 15, 2013

Leo Tolstoy:

Nothing can make our life, or the lives of other people, more beautiful than perpetual kindness.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Frank Schaeffer:

I believe that the ideological opposites I'll be talking about -- atheism and fundamentalist religion -- often share the same fallacy: truth claims that reek of false certainties.

Patience With God, p. xv

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Mark Noll:

The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind.

The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind

Friday, July 12, 2013

Samuel Johnson:

The disturbers of happiness are our desires, our griefs, and our fears.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Anne Lamott:

Wow, because you are almost speechless, but not quite.  You can manage, barely, one syllable. 

Help, Thanks, Wow, p. 73

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Rachel Held Evans:

And we're not supposed to engage the Bible all on our own, either.  We're meant to prayerfully engage it alongside our brothers and sisters in the faith.  When we remain open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the input of others who have their own experiences and insights, we can understand Scripture far better than we would on our own.

Of course, we won't always agree on how to interpret some of the most complex and confusing passages.  But these tensions, in the end, are what keep us humble.  They remind us that our interpretations are only as inerrant as we are.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Rita Mae Brown:

You can't participate in any group of people, much less a family, if you aren't truthful.

Rita Will, p. 218

Monday, July 8, 2013

Adam Gurri:

The perfect balance is committing to only those crafts that you can perform with satisfaction even if you have to do so in utter obscurity.  Then, put your work out in public as part of the process itself -- if you're making homebrew beer or an Arduino hack, make a video or write about the process as a means to think harder about the details of it.  If you're a writer, think of putting it online as simply having the work backed up in one more place.  In this way, you open yourself up to the spectrum of possibilities, ranging from utter obscurity at one end to global fame at the other.  Far more likely is something closer to the obscurity end but much more satisfying -- that you will draw the attention of a relative few who share your interests.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Frank Schaeffer:

When talking about the unknowable, pretending to have the facts is about as useful as winning a medal from the Wizard of Oz.

Patience With God, p. xv

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Emma L. E. Rees:

For until we have a language and a platform for talking honestly about women's bodies and sexual drives, we're doomed into a cycle of objectification and silence.

"Not Seeing the C-Word (Or Even the V-Word)"

Friday, July 5, 2013

John Shore:

We read because it's awesome to climb into someone else's heart and mind, to know what they know -- to, for just a moment or two, become them.  And if the book we have read is a great one, then on some weird cellular level we are permanently altered by it; for the rest of our lives, we are a little more like the author of that great book.

"The Heart of a Moralist: Dan Savage’s 'American Savage'

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Anne Lamott:

Sin is not the adult bookstore on the corner.  It is the hard heart, the lack of generosity, and all the isms, racism and sexism and so forth.

Help, Thanks, Wow, p. 62

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Rachel Held Evans:

This is what I love about the Bible.  It's meant to be a conversation-starter, not a conversation-ender.  Think about it: If the Bible were a straightforward list of rules upon which we could all agree, there would be no Sunday school, no Bible studies, no seminaries, no 2:30 a.m. dorm room debates about predestination and free will -- because there would be nothing to talk about.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Rita Mae Brown:

A human being must learn at a very young age how to connect to other human beings.  Our technologies are driving us apart, only connecting us in terms of information, not in terms of emotions.

Rita Will, p. 138

Monday, July 1, 2013

Frank Schaeffer:

Fill a church with a thousand people moaning, "Lord have mercy," or pack a million pilgrims on their hajj around that rock, or fill a classroom with students applauding someone's declaration of atheism, and each member of the group can say to himself or herself, "So many of us can't be wrong!  There must be something to this!"

Patience With God, p. xii