Hill Viewpoint Quotes

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My first real encounter with conservative evangelicals did not go well for them or for me. Serving as my seminary's faculty adviser to the InterSeminary Movement (ISM), I led a small delegation to a large regional meeting of the ISM students at the Southewestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) in Ft. Worth. SWBTS was and is the largest seminary in the nation. They were Baptist conservatives, and our delegates were ecumenical liberals. Asked to deliver a plenary address during their chapel hour before a vast audience of about a thousand students, I prepared an avant garde speech more suited for a rally than a worship service. When I entered that huge space, I faced the largest crowd I have ever addressed and felt like a goldfish in a swarm of piranhas. The president, Dr. Robert Naylor, who was a man with a gently spirit and fixed convictions, introduced me. My prepared remarks were focused on the work of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, whose prison letters were being widely read by theological student at the time. I explained and defended Bonhoeffer's concept of "religionless Christianity." Deep into a romanticized view of secularization under the tutelage of the Dutch theologian Gerardus van der Leeuw, the prevailing slogan was "Let the world set the agenda." In the austere atmosphere of that most conservative Baptist seminary, I proceeded to set forth an appeal to "worldly theology" as a new or promising basis for seminarians of different viewpoints to come together. My stated purpose was to advance Christian unity, but that's not what happened. As I finished my presentation, President Naylor rose, quieted the restless audience and expressed polite appreciation of the intent of my address. He then began extemporaneously and with genuine rhetorical elegance to take on point by point the substance of my speech. In his warm, congenial and pastoral away, he deftly refuted practically every argument I had made. After the service, with great charm President Naylor again grasped my hand warmly and expressed his gratitude for my presence on Seminary Hill. I went away feeling trounced by an aging wise man of gracious and articulate Southern culture. That encounter helped me realize that conservative evangelical thinking was capable of real intellectual force, contrary to all of my previously fixed stereotypes of it.
Thomas C. Oden (A Change of Heart: A Personal and Theological Memoir)
Pescatore marveled at the seascape. It gave him vertigo. The wind deployed cloud formations. The sun seared the Moroccan coastline. He had read a line once about "the lion-colored hills of Africa." Were they lion-colored? What color was a lion exactly?
Sebastian Rotella
The ‘magic’ of Lothlórien has many roots (some of them to be discussed later on), but there is one thing about it which is again highly traditional, but also in a way a strong re-interpretation and rationalization of tradition. There are many references to elves in Old English and Old Norse and Middle English, and indeed in modern English – belief in them seems to have lasted longer than is the case with any of the other non-human races of early native mythology – but one story which remains strongly consistent is the story about the mortal going into Elfland, best known, perhaps, from the ballads of ‘Thomas the Rhymer’. The mortal enters, spends what seems to be a night, or three nights, in music and dancing. But when he comes out and returns home he is a stranger, everyone he once knew is dead, there is only a dim memory of the man once lost in Elf-hill. Elvish time, it seems, flows far slower than human time. Or is it far quicker? For there is another motif connected with elves, which is that when their music plays, everything outside stands still. In the Danish ballad of ‘Elf-hill’ (Elverhøj), when the elf-maiden sings: ‘The swift stream then stood still, that before had been running; the little fish that swam in it played their fins in time’. Tolkien did not at all mind deciding that ancient scribes had got a word wrong, and correcting it for them, but he was at the same time reluctant ever to think that they had got the whole story wrong, just because it did not seem to make sense: it was his job to make it make sense. Lothlórien in a way reconciles the two motifs of the ‘The Night that Lasts a Century’ and ‘The Stream that Stood Still’. The Fellowship ‘remained some days in Lothlórien, as far as they could tell or remember’. But when they come out Sam looks up at the moon, and is puzzled: ‘The Moon’s the same in the Shire and in Wilderland, or it ought to be. But either it’s out of its running, or I’m all wrong in my reckoning.’ He concludes, it is ‘as if we had never stayed no time in the Elvish country…Anyone would think that time did not count in there!’ Frodo agrees with him, and suggests that in Lothlórien they had entered a world beyond time. But Legolas the elf offers a deeper explanation, not from the human point of view but from the elvish (which no ancient text had ever tried to penetrate). For the elves, he says: ‘the world moves, and it moves both very swift and very slow. Swift, because they themselves change little, and all else fleets by: it is a grief to them. Slow, because they do not count the running years, not for themselves. The passing seasons are but ripples ever repeated in the long long stream.’ What Legolas says makes perfect sense, from the viewpoint of an immortal. It also explains how mortals are deceived when they enter into elvish time, and can interpret it as either fast or slow. All the stories about elves were correct. Their contradictions can be put together to create a deeper and more unpredictable image of Elfland, at once completely original and solidly traditional.
Tom Shippey (J.r.r. Tolkien: Author of the Century)
In any contestation between objective reality and subjective viewpoints, reality is always the final arbiter:
Jason D. Hill (What Do White Americans Owe Black People?: Racial Justice in the Age of Post-Oppression)
There was a viewpoint on a hill in Stanmore that looked out over the sparkling city as if it were Oz. We would drive there after school and share a packet of Silk Cut and a tub of Ben & Jerry’s while listening to Magic FM. ‘What do you see when you look at that?’ she asked me once, a few weeks before we left school. ‘I see all the boys I’m going to fall in love with and the books I’m going to write and the flats I’m going to live in and the days and the nights that lie ahead.
Dolly Alderton (Everything I Know About Love)