Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Quips, Quotes & I Can't Think of Anything Else That Starts With "Q" and Fits Into This Title

I don't watch 30 Rock - but this quote from the show (found in Entertainment Weekly's year-end issue) tickles my funny bone.

You are my heroine. And by "heroine," I mean lady hero. I don't want to inject you and listen to jazz.

I've been studying Ruth (for my morning service sermon series) and Romans (for the Winter Bible Study I'm teaching)... and, yes, I realize that if I studied Revelation as well it would make for a trifecta of Bible books starting with "R" - which would make my church begin to feel vaguely like a theological version of Sesame Street...hmm.

"Propitiation - you're the one. You make salvation lots of fun. Propitiation, I'm awfully fond of you." OK, maybe not.

Now, where was I? Oh, yeah, I found these quotes while during that study time. The first is from C.S. Lewis.

To love at all is to be vulnerable... The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers... of love is Hell.

This one is from Blaise Pascal - yep, he's the guy they named the programming language after.

We make an idol of truth itself, for truth apart from charity is not God by his image. It is an idol we must not love or worship for its own sake. Still less must we worship its opposite, which is falsehood.

And, because I looked up Pascal (to make sure he wasn't Rene Descartes, the guy who said, "I think, therefore I am" and thereby singlehandedly created the market for faux-witty posters about drinking to sell to college guys), I found this quote as well.

People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive.

I'm reading a book right now that really is retooling my thought processed about how the Christian faith is perceived by outsiders (entitled unChristian) and just wanted to share a bit from it to get you to pick up the book & read it yourself.

When they see Christians not acting like Jesus, they quickly conclude that the group deserves an unChristian label. Like a corrupted computer file or a bad photocopy, Christianity, they say, is no longer in pure form, and so they reject it. One-quarter of outsiders say that their foremost perception of Christianity is that the faith has changed for the worse. It has gotten off track and is not what Christ intended. Modern-day Christianity no longer seems Christian...

(These) perception are not formed in a vacuum or based on limited exposure. Most Mosaics (born 1984-2002) & Busters in America (born 1965-1983) have an enormous amount of firsthand experience with Christians and the Christian faith. The vast majority of outsiders within the Mosaic & Buster generations have been to churches before; most have attended at least one church for several months; and nearly nine out of every ten say they know Christians personally, having about five friends who are believers...

One outsider put it this way: "Most people I meet assume that Christian means very conservative, entrenched in their thinking, antigay, antichoice, angry, violent, illogical, empire builders; they want to convert everyone, and they generally cannot live peacefully with anyone who doesn't believe what they believe."

Strong stuff, eh? Probably a good time to bring up one of my favorite passages from Scripture (1 Corinthians 9:19-23, The Message)...

Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn't take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I've become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn't just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!

And finally, because no collection of quotes from me would be complete without them, a trio of quotes from (in order) The Princess Bride, The Muppet Movie & the (sadly) defunct TV series, Sports Night.

Prince Humperdinck: Surrender.

Westley: You mean you wish to surrender to me? Very well, I accept.

Rizzo: It's some kind of a blind fiend.

Gonzo: I believe they prefer visually challenged fiend.

Casey: There is a perception in the press, never more clear than in this article, that I'm not cool. Now where do you suppose that perception comes from?

Dana: I think it comes from reality.

This article appeared in the January 8, 2008 edition of The Grapevine, the newsletter of NewLife Community Church.

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