'The key question of the Scriptures is, what will images reflect? Will the image of God (humankind) image God? It seems a simple question. Will the image of God find his or her identity in the reflection of God?'
'Idolatry is unmasked not by a sheer unmitigated self-criticism. Idolatry requires a light that illuminates its true character. Throughout the canon that "light" is none other that the true and living God.'
'Looking for good reasons to believe in idols is a category mistake. We are attracted to idols not on rational grounds but rather as means to gratify desires. We believe in idols because we want to, even as an alcoholic is attracted to alcohol because he wants it. There is rational consideration only in the very vaguest of senses.'
'Addictions are complex, progressive and often disabling. But addictions are entered into voluntarily and often without much forethought. They do not begin with raging compulsion. But somehow mysteriously desire turns into compulsion and addicts lose a sense of their former identity. What drives the addiction is a longing for satisfaction. This desire for fulfillment runs deep in the human heart. Satisfaction, however, is not to be had simply anywhere or with anyone. It is part of the hardwiring of the human heart that satisfaction will be found in that which is finally good and true and beautiful, namely God.'
'The root metaphor for Israel's relationship to God and idols is that of the marital relationships. As husband and wife are forbidden to have sexual relations with any other partner, so Israel is forbidden from worshiping any but their true bridegroom.'
'Not until the law has bruised and smitten us we will admit our need of the gospel to bind our wounds. Not until the law has arrested and imprisoned us we will pine for Christ to set us free. Not until the law has condemned and killed us will we call upon Christ for justification and life. Not until the law has driven us to despair of ourselves will we ever believe in Jesus. Not until the law has humbled us even to hell will we turn to the gospel to raise us to heaven.'
'We have given the first place to the doctrine in which our religion is contained, since our salvation begins with it. But, it must enter our hearts and pass along to our daily living, and so transform us into itself that it may not be unfruitful for us...'
John Calvin in Timothy Lane, Living without Worry, p.115.
'A child may be born heir to a great fortune and yet never be aware of his riches; may live childish, die childish, and never know the greatness of his possessions. And so also a man may be a babe in Christ's family, think as a babe, speak as a babe, and, though saved, never enjoy a lively hope, or know the real privileges of his inheritance.'
JC Ryle in Timothy Lane, Living without Worry, p.84.
'I compare the troubles which we have to undergo in the course of a year - to a great bundle of sticks, far too large for us to lift. But God does not require us to carry the whole bundle at once. He mercifully unties the bundle, and gives us first one stick, which we are to carry today; and then another, which we are to carry tomorrow, and so forth. We can easily manage our troubles, if we would only carry the trouble appointed for each day. But the load will be too heavy for us - if we carry yesterday's burden again today, and then add the burden of tomorrow to the weight, before we are required to bear it.'
John Newton in Timothy Lane, Living without Worry: How to replace anxiety with peace, p.78.
'We learn most, it seems, from those with whom we differ. They may see what we have missed. They may see correctly what we have misperceived. And even when we are convinced that the misconceptions are theirs, the raising of fresh questions invigorates our reading of familiar texts...'
Stephen Westerholm, Justification Reconsidered, p.vii.
'Christians do not believe marriage and family exist for themselves, but rather serve the ends of the more determinative community called church. The assumption that the family is an end in itself can only make the family and marriage more personally destructive. When families exist for no reason other than their own existence, they become quasi-churches, which ask sacrifices far too great for insufficient reasons.'
Stanley Hauerwas in Christine O Colon and Bonnie E Field, Singled Out, p.221.
'It is no easy task to walk this earth and find peace. Inside of us, it would seem, something is at odds with the very rhythm of things and we are forever restless, dissatisfied, frustrated, and aching. We are so overcharged with desire that it is hard to come to simple rest. Desire is always stronger than satisfaction.'
Ronald Rolheiser in Christine O Colon and Bonnie E Field, Singled Out, p.216.
'Jesus gives us the perfect model for social sexuality. His gentleness and concern for the marginalizes smash the stupid stereotypes of male machismo. His strength and courage overturn the sticky sentimental notions of "Jesus meek and mild." He kept his social sexuality distinct from his genital sexuality by relating in powerfully wholesome, upbuilding, nongenital ways with persons of both sexes.'
Marva Dawn in Christine O Colon and Bonnie E Field, Singled Out, p.214.
'The archaeology of grief is not ordered. It is more like earth under a spade, turning up things you had forgotten. Surprising things come to light: not simply memories, but states of minds, emotions, older ways of seeing the world.'
'For weeks I felt I was made of dully burning metal. That's what it was like; so much that I was convinced, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that if you'd put me on a bed or a chair I would have burned right through.'