Monday, 29 May 2017

HERBERT'S BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION

'The parson's method in handling of a text consists in two parts: first, a plain and evident declaration of the meaning of the texts; and secondly, some choice observations drawn out of the whole text as it lies entire and unbroken in the Scripture itself.' 
George Herbert, The Country Pastor, p.206. 

TARGETED PREACHING

'When he preacheth he procures attention by all possible art, both by earnestness of speech (it being natural to men to think that where is much earnestness there is something that is worth hearing), and by a diligent and busy cast of his eyes upon his auditors,, with letting them know that he observes who marks and who not; and with particularizing of his speech - now to the younger sort, then to the elder; now to the poor, and now to the rich. This is for you, and This is for you; for particulars ever touch and awake more than generals.' 
George Herbert, The Country Pastor, p.204. 

THE NEED FOR ILLUSTRATIONS

'The Country Parson is full of all knowledge. They say that it is an ill mason that refuseth any stone; and that there is no knowledge, but in a skillful hand serves either positively as it is, or else to illustrate some other knowledge. He condescends even to the knowledge of tilling and pasturage, and makes great use of them in teaching, because people by what they understand are best led to what they understand not.'
George Herbert, The Country Pastor (in The Complete English Works), p.200. 

Sunday, 28 May 2017

POST-MODERNISM

'The hub of postmodern life strategy is not identity building but avoidance of fixation.'
Zygmunt Bauman in Rod Dreher, The Benedict Option, p.66. 

Saturday, 27 May 2017

PRAYER AS THE THE BULWARK OF FAITH

'The 1960s media theorist Marshall McLuhan, a practicing Christian, once said that everyone he knew who had lost his faith began by ceasing to pray. If we are to live rightly ordered Christian lives, then prayer must be the basis of everything we do.' 
Rod Dreher, The Benedict Option, p.60. 

A VISION FOR A CHRISTIAN FUTURE?

'Could it be that the best way to fight the flood is to stop...stop fighting. the flood? That is, to quit piling up sandbags and to build an ark in which to shelter until the water recedes and we can put our feet on dry land again? Rather than wasting energy and resources fighting unwinnable political battles, we should instead work on building communities, institutions, and networks of resistance than can outwit, outlast and eventually overcome the occupation.' 
Rod Dreher, The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation, p.12. 

Friday, 26 May 2017

THE TRUE POET

'The man who has had the time to think enough,
The central man, the human globe, responsive
As a mirror with a voice, the man of glass,
Who in a million diamonds sums us up.'
Wallace Steven in John Drury, Muisc at Midnight, p.328. 

UNDERSTANDING POETRY

'...the only real way to understand poetry is to know the life and beliefs of the poet.'
Elizabeth Bishop in John Drury, Music at Midnight:  The Life and Poetry of George Herbert, p.322.

A SOUL-BOOK

'Now and again in a lifetime a friend introduces you to a writer and you discover a soul-book, a work that engraves itself on your heart: one you read over and over, falling in love with it more deeply each time.' 
Roger Deakin, Wildwood, p.268. 

THE BEAUTY OF A BLUEBELL

'I do not think I have ever seen anything more beautiful than the bluebell I have been looking at. I know the beauty of our Lord by it.' 
Gerard Manley Hopkins in Roger Deakin, Wildwood, p.39.