Archive for the ‘ Quotes/Zitate ’ Category

Leon Morris on Freedom

„Conventional Christianity tends to settle down into a rigidly defined way of life. Anyone who transgresses accepted taboos is apt to be looked on as no more than nominally Christian. Hard and fast patterns tend to be laid down. Even the radically minded are not immune. They tend to see their ‚free‘ way as the only Christian way and they are highly critical of stuffy conservatives. It is easy for all of us to prate or our freedom while we settle into a restricted existence which is really a slavery of our own manufacture.“ (Leon Morris; The Atonement; Chapter 5: Redemption)

Lewis on Calvinism

Found here:

On Calvinism. Both the statement that our final destination is already settled and the view that it still may be either Heaven or Hell, seem to me to imply the ultimate reality of Time, which I don’t believe in. The controversy is one I can’t join on either side for I think that in the real (Timeless) world it is meaningless. (pp. 117-8)

All that Calvinist question—Free-Will and Predestination, is to my mind undiscussable, insoluble. Of course (say us) if a man repents God will accept him. Ah yes, (say they) but the fact of his repenting shows that God has already moved him to do so. This at any rate leaves us with the fact that in any concrete case the question never arrives as a practical one. But I suspect it is really a meaningless question. The difference between Freedom and Necessity is fairly clear on the bodily level: we know the difference between making our teeth chatter on purpose and just finding them chattering with cold. It begins to be less clear when we talk of human love (leaving out the erotic kind). ‘Do I like him because I choose or because I must?’—there are cases where this has an answer, but others where it seems to me to mean nothing. When we carry it up to relations between God and Man, has the distinction perhaps become nonsensical? After all, when we are most free, it is only with a freedom God has given us: and when our will is most influenced by Grace, it is still our will. And if what our will does is not ‘voluntary’, and if ‘voluntary’ does not mean ‘free’, what are we talking about? I’d leave it all alone. (p. 186)

Agnostic?

„There is an admirable air of humility about the statement that the truth is much greater than any one person or any one religious tradition can grasp. The statement is no doubt true, but it can be used against the truth when it is used to neutralizie any affirmation of the truth. How does the speaker know that the trutz is so much greater than this particular affirmation of it – for example, that „Jesus Christ is the truth“? What privileged access to reality does he have? In the famous story of the blind men and the elephant, so often quoted in the interests of religious agnosticism, the real point of the story is constantly overlooked. The story is told from the point of view of the king and his courtiers, who are not blind but can see that the blind men are unable to grasp the full reality of the elephant and are only able to get hold of part of the truth. (…) If the king were also blind there would be no story. The story is told by the  king, and it is the immensly arrogant claim of one who sees the full truth which all the world’s religions are only groping after. It embodies the claim to know the full reality which relativizes all the claims of the religions and philosophies.“ (Lesslie Newbigin; The Gospel in a Pluralist Society)

Talk to yourself.

Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them but they are talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you. Now this man’s treatment [in this psalm] was this: instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. ‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul?’ he asks. His soul had been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says: ‘Self, listen for moment, I will speak to you.’
… This self of ours… has got to be handled. Do not listen to him; turn on him; speak to him; condemn him; upbraid him; exhort him; encourage him; remind him of what you know, instead of listening placidly to him and allowing him to drag you down and depress you. For that is what he will always do if you allow him to be in control. The devil takes hold of self and uses it in order to depress us. We must stand up as this man did and say, “Why art thou cast down? Why are thou disquieted within me? Stop being so! Hope though in God, for I shall yet praise Him…” – Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression p. 20, 21

Gottes größtes Geschenk/God’s greatest gift

„Wenn nun schon ihr, die ihr böse seid, euren Kindern gebt, was gut ist, wie viel mehr wird euer Vater im Himmel den Heiligen Geist denen geben, die ihn bitten.“ (Lukas 11,13)

Das will sagen: Die Gabe Gottes ist Gott selbst. Das „Gute“, das er uns schenkt, ist er selber. An dieser Stelle wird überraschend sichtbar, worum es im Beten wirklich geht: nicht um dies oder das, sondern dass Gott sich uns schenken will – das ist die Gabe aller Gaben, das „allein Notwendige“. Das Gebet ist ein Weg, um allmählich unsere Wünsche zu reinigen, zu korrigieren, und langsam zu erkennen, was uns wirklich nottut: Gott und sein Geist.

„If now you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.“ (Luke 11:13)

This is saying: the gift of God is God himself. The „good“ that he gives us is he himself. In this passage it becomes surprisingly obvious what prayer is all about: not about this or that, but that God wants to give himself to us. That is the gift of all gifts, the „only thing that this needed“. Prayer is a way to slowly purify and correct our desires, and to realize step by step what we truely need: God and his Spirit.

(Jesus von Nazareth, Papst Benedikt XVI; Jesus of Nazareth, Pope Benedict XVI)

In the world – not of it

Fine quote from Archbishop Charles Chaput:

„For forty years, Catholics have heard a steady chorus of how we need to be open to the world, learn from the world, honor the good things in the world, and be more humble in our approach to the world. All of this is true. God created the world, and He loves it, and He sent His only Son to redeem it.
But at the same time, God wills that the world should be converted and sanctified, not worshiped. In his Gospel, Saint John describes the “world” as everything that is aligned against God. Jesus shed His blood on the cross because that was the price of redeeming the world—from its sins and our sins. The cross was real. Christ’s suffering was real. And if the world isn’t a holier place today than yesterday, it’s because we Catholics have chosen the unreality of the world and its distractions over the reality of the cross.
We’ve assimilated. We’ve been too comfortable and accommodating. We’ve listened to the world too politely when it lies about abortion, or contraception, or divorce, or the death penalty, or our obligations to the poor, or the rights of undocumented workers, or the real meaning of pluralism, or our international responsibilities—and we haven’t shouted out the truth.
The world is a powerful and attractive teacher, but while it can often give us what we want, it can’t give us what we need. We need God.“

(from ‚The Church as Mother and Teacher‘)

Protestant Catholic

A brilliant insight from Helmut Richard Niebuhr (American Christian Ethicist and Theologians; 1894-1962) concerning the interdependence of Catholicism and Protestantism:

„The Church is protestant and catholic. This is not only to say that there is much historic Protestantism in those institutions called Catholic churches, and much historic Catholicism in the institutions called Protestant. It is also to say that the principle of protest against every tendency to confuse the symbol with what it symbolizes and the subject with the object, is a constituent element in the being of the community, even apart from the institutional organizations. The Church as the people of God, whether under the Old or the New Covenants, is always the party of protest against religion in the religious human world. It protests against every effort to bring the Infinite into the finite, the transcendent into the immanent, the Eternal into the temporal. The only finite symbol of God it tolerates is the symbol of emptiness—the empty Holy of Holies, the empty tomb. But protest has no meaning apart from what is protested against. The Church cannot be protestant without being catholic. The principle of catholicity—as the principle of incarnation rather than the principle of universality—is as much an ingredient of churchliness as is the principle of protest. Unless the Infinite is represented in finite form, unless the Word becomes flesh over and over again, though only as oral preaching, unless the risen Christ manifests himself in the visible forms of individual saintliness and communal authority there is no human relation to the Infinite and Transcendent. Negative and positive movements—the one in rejection of all that is little because God is great, the other in affirmation of the apparently insignificant because God is its creator, redeemer and inspirer; the one away from the world that is not God, the other toward the world of which he is Lord— must both be represented where the Church exists.“