Friendship is a sheltering tree.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge In Spite of Freud and Marx

Freud once said that dreams are the royal road to the unconscious. This may or may not be the case. But I am convinced that religion is the royal road to the heart of a civilization, the clearest indicator of its hopes and terrors, the surest index of how it is changing . … Even that most famous of atheists, Karl Marx, after all, once said that religion is "the heart of a heartless world."

Harvey Cox, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, pd in Context

Crown Her

If man is the head, she [woman] is the crown, a crown to her husband, the crown of visible creation. The man was dust refined, but the woman was dust double-refined.

Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Bible (on Genesis 2:21-25)

Gospel Horticulture

Evangelists who … uproot the church as they know it … in their home country and set out to transplant that tree in foreign soil … demonstrate a great cultural insensitivity. Their efforts are going to bring them into conflict with the culture they hope to evangelize. It would be a wiser and far more effective strategy for them to think of the good news of salvation not as a tree but as a seed to be planted in other fields where soil conditions and local rains, winds, climate, minerals, and light will give a special size and shape to that which grows from the seed. The same seed would grow into different shapes and sizes if planted elsewhere.

William J. Byron, Jesuit Saturdays

New Beginnings

Nourish beginnings,
let us nourish beginnings.
Not all things are blest, but
the seeds of all things are blest.
The blessing is in the seed.

Muriel Rukeyser from "Elegy of Joy" in The Green Wave


Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.
Philo Of Alexandria True Vocation

A [person] knows when he has found his vocation when he stops thinking about how to live and begins to live. … When we are not living up to our true vocation, thought deadens our life, or substitutes itself for life, or gives in to life so that our life drowns out our thinking and stifles the voice of conscience. When we find our vocation—thought and life are one.

Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude

The Good, Bad, and Beautiful

The only human institutions that retain their identities over a thousand years are languages, cultures, and religions. Perhaps it is not coincidental that the most intractable human quarrels and the most imperishable artistic creations are alike rooted in our languages, our cultures, and our religions.

Freeman Dyson, Imagined Worlds

Radical Thought

It is not our responsibility "to make people 'Christians'" and get them baptized into a particular denomination, but rather to help people decide to follow Jesus and his radical message. Maybe this is why the New Testament writers only use "Christian" three times but "disciple" on 269 occasions!

Tom Getman, World Vision International, personal correspondence

Postmodern Faith

What we have left is a Christianity of tips and techniques: three steps for a good quiet time; four habits for effective marriage communication. It does not take your breath away, and if Christianity does not take your breath away, something else will. … When you live in a Christianity of tips and techniques, you trivialize sin. Sin is something external. It's running stop signs. It's drinking too much. It's smoking. But God calls sin adultery of the heart. It is what you give your heart away to other than the heart of God.

John Eldredge, Preaching Today

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