The Pursuit of Happiness

“If we pay attention to our lives and observe the lives of others, we will soon discern that a desire for happiness of one kind or another is the conscious, subconscious, or unconscious motivation for just about everything we do. Most of our daily lives and activities are aimed at the goal of experiencing and enhancing some measure of well-being and delight, even if such intentions are in the unacknowledged background of our minds.”

~ David Naugle, Reordered Love, Reordered Lives (Grand Rapids, Mi.; Eerdmans, 2008), 4.

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Common Grace or Cultural Compromise?

“That dominant culture has infiltrated our lives through new technologies and social mobility to such an extent that our conversations about common grace are now perhaps better framed this way: to what degree has the commonness that we have embraced in the culture that we share with our non-Christian neighbors compromised our commitment to the gospel?”

~ Richard Mouw, He Shines in All That’s Fair (Grand Rapids, Mi.: Eerdmans, 2001), 11.

What Modernity Promised & What Modernity Produced

“Modernity promised us a culture of unintimidated, curious, rational, self-reliant individuals, and it produced . . . a herd society, a race of anxious, timid, conformist ‘sheep’, and a culture of utter banality.”

~ Colin Gunton, The One, the Three and the Many (Cambridge, UK; Cambridge University Press, 1993, 2002), 13.

The Eternal Appetite of Infancy

“A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, ‘Do it again’; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, ‘Do it again’ to the sun; and every evening, ‘Do it again’ to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”

~ G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy (London, England; Collins, 1908, 1961), 59.

A Deeper Love

“There is a love deeper than theirs who seek only the happiness of their beloved. Would a father see his daughter happy as a whore? Would a woman see her lover happy as a coward?”

~ C. S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces, 147

Knowing: from Lordship to Fellowship

“The motive that impels modern reason to know must be described as the desire to conquer and to dominate. For the Greek philosophers and the Fathers of the church, knowing meant something different: it meant knowing in wonder. By knowing or perceiving one participates in the life of the other. Here knowing does not transform the counterpart into the property of the knower; the knower does not appropriate what he knows. On the contrary, he is transformed through sympathy, becoming a participant in what he perceives. Knowledge confers fellowship. That is why knowing, perception, only goes as far as love, sympathy and participation reach. Where the theological perception of God and history is concerned, there will be a modern discovery of Trinitarian thinking when there is at the same time a fundamental change in modern reason — a change from lordship to fellowship, from conquest to participation, from production to receptivity.”

~ Jurgen Moltmann, “The Trinity and the Kingdom of God: The Doctrine of God” quoted by Craig Gay in The Way of the (Modern) World, (Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1998), 272.

God, Evil & Justice

“It’s always interesting to watch what happens when people who insist that God would never judge them come face to face with undeniable evil. Confronted with some truly horrific evil, then they want a God of justice — and they want him now. They want God to overlook their own sin, but not the terrorist’s. ‘Forgive me,’ they say, ‘but don’t you dare forgive him!’ You see, nobody wants a God who declines to deal with evil. they just want a God who declines to deal with their evil.”

~ Greg Gilbert, What Is the Gospel? (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 2010), 44.