'...because my mother in particular took a lively part in church affairs, I never from my earliest age assumed that churchgoers were becessarily morally superior to other people, since experience showed me they were not.'
PD James, Time to be in Earnest: A Fragment of Autobiography, p.87.
'For now he knew that though God might save every other man, Gib Dawe He could not save. Once he had seen his sin as a thing that clung close as his shadow clung to his heels; now he knew that it was the very stuff of his soul. Never could he, a leaking bucket not to be mended, retain God's saving Grace, however freely outpoured. Never could he, that heavy lump of sin, do any other than sink, and sink again, however often Christ, walking on the waves, should stretch His hand to lift and bring him safe.
He did not know that though the bucket be leaky it matters not at all when it is deep in the deep sea, and the water both without it and within. He did not know, because he was too proud to know, that a man must endure to sink, and sink again, but always crying upon God, never for shame ceasing to cry, until the day when he shall find himself lifted by the bland swell of that power, inward, secret, as little to be known as to be doubted, the power of omnipotent grace in tranquil irresistible operation.'
'If you are true to "yourself", you will end up a complete mess. The challenge is to take the "self" you find within, and to choose wisely which impulses and desires to follow, and which ones to resist.'
Tom Wright in Brian S Rosner, Known by God: A Biblical Theology of Personal Identity, p.25.
'Some people undergo their heaviest temptations at the beginning of their conversion; some towards the end of their course; others are greatly troubled all their lives; while there are some whose temptations are but light. This is in accordance with the wisdom and justice of God's ordinance, who weighs the condition and merits of every man, and disposes all things for the salvation of those whom He chooses.'
'One of the best presents anyone can give you is the name of a writer whose books they believe will be "you" - and they are. Someone you would almost certainly never have found for yourself. They expand your horizons, they enrich you, they lead you forward, they chime with truths you already know and confirm them, they share new truths of their own with you.'
Susan Hill, Jacob's Room is Full of Books: A Year of Reading, p.247.
'...the Bible's view of doubt is wonderfully nuanced. In many circles, skepticism and doubt are considered an absolute, unmitigated good. On the other hand, in a lot of conservative and traditional religious circles, any and all questioning or doubting is thought to be bad. If you are in a church youth group and you have questions about the Bible, the youth leader may mark at you, "You shouldn't doubt! You have to have faith."
What you have in the Bible is neither view. There is a kind of doubt that is the sign of a closed mind, and there is a kind of doubt that is the sign of an open mind. Some doubt seeks answers, and some doubt is a defense against the possibility of answers. There are people like Mary who are open to the truth and are willing to relinquish sovereignty over their lives if they can be shown that the truth is other than they thought. And there are those like Zechariah who use doubts as a way of staying in control of their lives and keeping their minds closed. What kind of doubt do you have?'