"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Morning Meditation

"Why is it," asked one of my elders the other day, "that your Sunday evening sermons are more pessimistic than your morning sermons?"  I think what he really meant is that they were more critical in analyzing life's problems.  I told him that I tried to give inspiration in the morning and education in the evening.

But the fact is that circumstance probably affects the quality of the message as much as purpose.  A full church gives me the sense of fighting with a victorious host in the battles of the Lord.  A half empty church immediately symbolizes the fact that Christianity is very much a minority movement in a pagan world and that it can be victorious only by snatching victory out of defeat.

--Reinhold Niebuhr, Leaves from the Notebook of a Tamed Cynic, Louisville, Kentucky:  Westminster/John Knox Press, 1980, p. 34-35.


Anonymous Windhorse said...

“...I think I have solved the Sunday night problem for good. I give a short address or sermon upon a more or less controversial moral issue, or upon a perplexing religious question, and after closing the service we have half-hour to forty-five minutes of discussion. The group attracted by this program is not large. It is not the usual forum crowd. But it is a group of unusually thoughtful people, and the way they explore the fundamental themes and problems of life is worth more than many sermons.

Reinhold Niebuhr, Leaves from the Notebook of a Tamed Cynic

1:21 AM  

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