Survival Bible Quotes

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The death of something living is the price of our own survival, and we pay it again and again. We have no choice. It is the one solemn promise every life on earth is born and bound to keep.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
Trauma is survivable, but often not much more. It kills you while allowing you to still live.
James Frey (The Final Testament of the Holy Bible)
The great commandment is that we preach the gospel to every creature, but neither God nor the Bible says anything about forcing it down people's throats.
Louis Zamperini (Devil at My Heels: A Heroic Olympian's Astonishing Story of Survival as a Japanese POW in World War II)
In these pages, and in my memories, she reminds me that a short life can also be a good and rich life, that it is possible to live with depression without being consumed by it, and that meaning in life is found together, in family and friendship that transcends and survives all manner of suffering. As the poet wrote in the Bible's Song of Solomon, 'Love is strong as death.' Or perhaps even stronger.
John Green (This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl)
You don't know me from the wind you never will, you never did I'm the little jew who wrote the Bible. I've seen the nations rise and fall I've heard their stories, heard them all but love's the only engine of survival.
Leonard Cohen (The Future)
Life is hope. Hope is faith. Faith is believe. Believe is possibilities. Possibility is miraculous. Miraculous is divine. Divine is supernatural. Supernatural is spiritual.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
Secular humanists of every type may ridicule the Bible, but they cannot escape it; and in their obsession with change, calls for reform, doomsday warnings, and utopian visions, they continue to steal from it.
Gene Edward Veith Jr. (Loving God With All Your Mind: How to Survive and Prosper As a Christian in the Secular University and Post-Christian Culture)
Why do you think the Bible has survived thousands of years of tumultuous history Why is it still here Is it because its stories are such compelling reading Of course not...but there is a reason. There is a reason Christian monks spend lifetimes attempting to decipher the Bible. There is a reason that Jewish mystics and Kabbalists pore over the Old Testament. And that reason Robert is that there exist powerful secrets hidden in the pages of this ancient book...a vast collection of untapped wisdom waiting to be unveiled.
Dan Brown (The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3))
It is rare to find an established community of Christians that encourages radical expressions of following Jesus. The natural conservatism of institutions is deeply rooted in the desire to survive, and that desire colors and limits the way they read the Bible and how they see God functioning in the world.
Michael Spencer (Mere Churchianity: Finding Your Way Back to Jesus-Shaped Spirituality)
At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured. On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war--seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came. One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether." With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
Abraham Lincoln (Great Speeches / Abraham Lincoln: with Historical Notes by John Grafton)
Men are a compilation of every experience and relationship they have ever lived through. Some experiences have bettered your man while others have battered him. The man standing before you is the result of a lifetime of surviving.
Dave Samples (Messed Up Men of the Bible)
This century will be called Darwin's century. He was one of the greatest men who ever touched this globe. He has explained more of the phenomena of life than all of the religious teachers. Write the name of Charles Darwin on the one hand and the name of every theologian who ever lived on the other, and from that name has come more light to the world than from all of those. His doctrine of evolution, his doctrine of the survival of the fittest, his doctrine of the origin of species, has removed in every thinking mind the last vestige of orthodox Christianity. He has not only stated, but he has demonstrated, that the inspired writer knew nothing of this world, nothing of the origin of man, nothing of geology, nothing of astronomy, nothing of nature; that the Bible is a book written by ignorance--at the instigation of fear. Think of the men who replied to him. Only a few years ago there was no person too ignorant to successfully answer Charles Darwin, and the more ignorant he was the more cheerfully he undertook the task. He was held up to the ridicule, the scorn and contempt of the Christian world, and yet when he died, England was proud to put his dust with that of her noblest and her grandest. Charles Darwin conquered the intellectual world, and his doctrines are now accepted facts. His light has broken in on some of the clergy, and the greatest man who to-day occupies the pulpit of one of the orthodox churches, Henry Ward Beecher, is a believer in the theories of Charles Darwin--a man of more genius than all the clergy of that entire church put together. ...The church teaches that man was created perfect, and that for six thousand years he has degenerated. Darwin demonstrated the falsity of this dogma. He shows that man has for thousands of ages steadily advanced; that the Garden of Eden is an ignorant myth; that the doctrine of original sin has no foundation in fact; that the atonement is an absurdity; that the serpent did not tempt, and that man did not 'fall.' Charles Darwin destroyed the foundation of orthodox Christianity. There is nothing left but faith in what we know could not and did not happen. Religion and science are enemies. One is a superstition; the other is a fact. One rests upon the false, the other upon the true. One is the result of fear and faith, the other of investigation and reason.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Lectures of Col. R.G. Ingersoll: Including His Letters On the Chinese God--Is Suicide a Sin?--The Right to One's Life--Etc. Etc. Etc, Volume 2)
…for no one alive is innocent. Everyone is involved in accumulating points and surviving. Thus, every act of survival is an act of destruction. Every breath destroys universes. We are all murderers.
Christopher S. Hyatt (The Psychopath's Bible: For the Extreme Individual)
They found grace out in the desert, these people who survived the killing. Israel, out looking for a place to rest, met God out looking for them!" God told them, "I've never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love! And so now I'll start over with you and build you up again, dear virgin Israel. You'll resume your singing, grabbing tambourines and joining the dance. You'll go back to your old work of planting vineyards on the Samaritan hillsides, And sit back and enjoy the fruit— oh, how you'll enjoy those harvests! The time's coming when watchmen will call out from the hilltops of Ephraim: 'On your feet! Let's go to Zion, go to meet our God!
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: King James Version)
The Bible speaks of the Word of God as added. Sometimes it's planted by the wayside, and nothing grows there. Sometimes it's sown among the thorns and represents the person who makes the decision an then goes back to his old life of bars and chasing women or whatever. A third seed is sown among the rocks. There's sand and dirt between the rocks, and when it rains you'll see a stalk of green coming up. But on the first day with sunshine it wilts because there is no room for roots. The fourth seed is planted on fertile soil, and finally it takes hold and has a chance to grow and live. That's what happened to me.
Louis Zamperini (Devil at My Heels: A Heroic Olympian's Astonishing Story of Survival as a Japanese POW in World War II)
God hates us," I said. "Don't blame God for what ants have to do. We all get hungry. Congolese people are not so different from Congolese ants." "They have to swarm over a village and eat other people alive?" "When they are pushed down long enough they will rise up. If they bite you, they are trying to fix things in the only way they know.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
[When asked about his thoughts on gods] I think it's like a movie that was way too popular. It's a story that's been told too many times and just doesn't mean anything. Man lived on the planet — [placing his fingers an inch apart], this is 5000 years of semi-recorded history. And God and the Bible, that came in somewhere around the middle, maybe 2000. This is the last 2000, this is what we're about to celebrate [indicating about an 1/8th of an inch with his fingers]. Now, humans, in some shape or form, have been on the earth for three million years [pointing across the room to indicate the distance]. So, all this time, from there [gesturing toward the other side of the room], to here [indicating the 1/8th of an inch], there was no God, there was no story, there was no myth and people lived on this planet and they wandered and they gathered and they did all these things. The planet was never threatened. How did they survive for all this time without this belief in God? I'd like to ask this to someone who knows about Christianity and maybe you do. That just seems funny to me.
Eddie Vedder
The Bible is a work of art. Were it not art, were it simply an instruction manual, it would not satisfy or convince, and very likely would not have survived. So, to be faithful to the original work, which in Greek is normally chanted in churches, as the Torah is chanted in the temple and the Qu’ran is melismatically chanted in the mosque… the Bible here must resonate.
Willis Barnstone (The Restored New Testament: A New Translation with Commentary, Including the Gnostic Gospels Thomas, Mary, and Judas)
On the day of the hunt I came to know in the slick center of my bones this one thing; all animals kill to survive, and we are animals. The lion kills the baboon, the baboon kills fat grasshoppers. The elephant tears up living trees, dragging their precious roots from the dirt they love....And we, even if we had no meat or even grass to gnaw, still boil our water to kill the invisible creatures that would like to kill us first. And swallow quinine pills. The death of something living is the price of our own survival, and we pay it again and again. We have no choice. It is the one solemn promise every life on earth is born and bound to keep.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
If economic catastrophe does come, will it be a time that draws Christians together to share every resource we have, or will it drive us apart to hide in our own basements or mountain retreats, guarding at gunpoint our private stores from others? If we faithfully use our assets for his kingdom now, rather than hoarding them, can't we trust our faithful God to provide for us then?
Randy Alcorn (Money, Possessions, and Eternity: A Comprehensive Guide to What the Bible Says about Financial Stewardship, Generosity, Materialism, Retirement, Financial Planning, Gambling, Debt, and More)
Can you imagine, somebody telling you, your love for your dearly beloved is a sin! Can you imagine, somebody telling you, women are inferior to men, and are meant only serve the men! Can you imagine, somebody telling you, a man can have multiple wives, and yet be deemed civilized! Here that somebody is a fundamentalist ape - a theoretical pest from the stone-age, that somehow managed to survive even amidst all the rise of reasoning and intellect.
Abhijit Naskar (Either Civilized or Phobic: A Treatise on Homosexuality)
The Bible is instruction for life.
Lailah Gifty Akita
Renew your mind with the knowledge on scriptures daily. You will be better equipped to handle any situation.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
I’m not sure what to say about struggle except that it feels like a long, dark tunnel with no light at the end. You never notice until it’s over the ways it has changed you, and there is no going back. We struggled a lot this year. For everyone who picked a fight with life and got the shit kicked out of them: I’m proud of you for surviving. This year I learned that cities are beautiful from rooftops even when you’re sad and that swimming in rivers while the sun sets in July will make you feel hopeful, no matter what’s going on at home. I found out my best friend is strong enough to swing me over his shoulder like I’m weightless and run down the street while I’m squealing and kicking against his chest. I found out vegan rice milk whipped cream is delicious, especially when it’s licked off the stomach of a boy you love. This year I kissed too many people with broken hearts and hands like mousetraps. If I could go back and unhurt them I would. If I could go back even farther and never meet them I would do that too. I turned 21. There’s no getting around it. I’m an adult now. Navigating the world has proved harder than I expected. There were times I was reckless. In my struggle to survive I hurt others. Apologies do not make good bandages. I’m not sure what to say about change except that it reminds me of the Bible story with the lions’ den. But you are not named Daniel and you have not been praying, so God lets the beasts get a few deep, painful swipes at you before the morning comes and you’re pulled into the light, exhausted and cut to shit. The good news is you survived. The bad news is you’re hurt and no one can heal you but yourself. You just have to find a stiff drink and a clean needle before you bleed out. And then you get up. And start over.
Clementine von Radics (Mouthful of Forevers)
Who I dislike more than the church are the religious posers who take the parables of the Bible and use them as a weapon to hurt and control women. They’re like a Christian mullet—religion in the front, evil in the back.
Erin Gibson (Feminasty: The Complicated Woman's Guide to Surviving the Patriarchy Without Drinking Herself to Death)
In the world of the Bible, one’s identity and one’s vocation are all bound up in who one’s father is. Men are called “son of” all of their lives (for instance, “the sons of Zebedee” or “Joshua, the son of Nun”). There are no guidance counselors in ancient Canaan or first-century Capernaum, helping “teenagers” decide what they want “to be” when they “grow up.” A young man watches his father, learns from him, and follows in his vocational steps. This is why “the sons of Zebedee” are right there with their father when Jesus finds them, “in their boat mending the nets” (Mark 1:19-20). The inheritance was the engine of survival, passed from father to son, an economic pact between generations. To lose one’s inheritance was to pilfer for survival, to become someone’s slave.
Russell D. Moore (Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families & Churches)
One way of surviving heartache is to stay busy. Making something right in at least one tiny corner of the vast house of wrongs...
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
If his  gchildren are multiplied, it is for  hthe sword, and his descendants have not enough bread. 15 Those who survive him the pestilence buries,
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
You ought to read, mediate and affirm the living word of God.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
If you survive the extraordinary things, it will often be the little things that will kill you.
William S. Frisbee Jr. (The Airsoft Bible: Book of Tactics: (Volume 2))
The only reason why anything virtuous or lovely survives in us is this: “the Lord was there.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening: A New Edition of the Classic Devotional Based on The Holy Bible, English Standard Version)
The first objection to Darwinism is that it is only a guess and was never anything more. It is called a 'hypothesis,' but the word 'hypothesis,' though euphonious, dignified and high-sounding, is merely a scientific synonym for the old-fashioned word 'guess.' If Darwin had advanced his views as a guess they would not have survived for a year, but they have floated for half a century, buoyed up by the inflated word 'hypothesis.' When it is understood that “hypothesis” means 'guess,' people will inspect it more carefully before accepting it.
William Jennings Bryan (The Bible Or Evolution)
I also able to graciously survive the PhD from the grace, which comes from prayer, bible reading, extensive story reading, fasting, fellowship, listen to music, daily dance and sacred writing.
Lailah Gifty Akita
I remembered Robyn telling me the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and how they'd survived: when the King chucked them in the furnace and an angel or someone went in with them. The furnace blazed all around them but they didn't burn. And it did calm me. I don't know if it was Robyn or an angel or even God himself was in the boot, but I was starting to suspect that whenever I wanted God, he was there. Only not necessarily in the form I wanted, or doing what I wanted...In the pitch of the black boot I clung to the image of a fiery furnace, and it wasn't the furnace or Hell either.
John Marsden (The Night Is for Hunting (Tomorrow, #6))
Circumstances that weigh you down and obstacles that block your path are God's way of building spiritual muscle. Shortcuts and escape routes won't build the stamina you'll need to complete the course.
Deb Brammer (I Survived!: 5 Bible Characters Who Survived Disasters)
But there shouldn’t be a clash between “God’s Truth” and “more loving.” In the Bible, Truth and Love are two sides of the same coin. You can’t have one without the other. God’s Truth is all about God’s Love for us and the Love we ought to have for one another. We are being untrue to that Truth if we treat people unlovingly. And we are missing out on the full extent of that Love if we try to divorce it from Ultimate Truth. We Christians must work to repair this schism in the church. If the church is to survive much longer in our culture, it must teach and model the Christianity of Jesus—a faith that combines Truth and Love in the person of Jesus Christ, revealed to us in the Bible and lived out in the everyday lives of his followers. That is what we say we believe. It’s time we start acting like it.
Justin Lee (Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate)
He pauses. “Maybe that letter was left for you.” “No, she was pretty pissed that I wrote back.” Now he hesitates. “I don’t mean that she left the letter for you.” It takes me a second to figure out his tone. “Rev, if you start preaching at me, I’m going in the house.” “I’m not preaching.” No, he’s not. Yet. He still has that old Bible I found him clutching in my closet. It was his mother’s. He’s read it about twenty times. He’ll debate theology with anyone who’s interested—and I’m not on that list. Geoff and Kristin used to take him to church, but he said he didn’t like that he couldn’t live by his own interpretation. What he didn’t say was that looking up at a man in a pulpit reminded him too much of his father. Rev doesn’t walk around quoting Bible verses or anything—usually—but his faith is rock solid. I once asked him how he can believe in a providential god when he barely survived living with his father. He looked at me and said, “Because I did survive.” And there’s no arguing that.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
A need to tell and hear stories is essential to the species Homo sapiens--second in necessity apparently after nourishment and before love and shelter. Millions survive without love or home, almost none in silence; the opposite of silence leads quickly to narrative, and the sound of story is the dominant sound of our lives, from the small accounts of our day's events to the vast incommunicable constructs of psychopaths.
Reynolds Price (A Palpable God: Thirty Stories Translated from the Bible With an Essay on the Origins and Life of Narrative)
You think I hate men. I guess I do, although some of my best friends...I don't like this position. I mistrust generalized hatred. I feel like one of those twelfth century monks raving on about how evil women are and how they must cover themselves up completely when they go out lest they lead men into evil thoughts. The assumption that the men are the ones who matter, and that the women exist only in relation to them, is so silent and underrunning that ever we never picked it up until recently. But after all, look at what we read. I read Schopenhauer and Nietzsche and Wittgenstein and Freud and Erikson; I read de Montherlant and Joyce and Lawrence and sillier people like Miller and Mailer and Roth and Philip Wylie. I read the Bible and Greek myths and didn't question why all later redactions relegated Gaea-Tellus and Lilith to a footnote and made Saturn the creator of the world. I read or read about, without much question, the Hindus and the Jews, Pythagoras and Aristotle, Seneca, Cato, St.Paul, Luther, Sam Johnson, Rousseau, Swift...well, you understand. For years I didn't take it personally. So now it is difficult for me to call others bigots when I am one myself. I tell people at once, to warn them, that I suffer from deformation of character. But the truth is I am sick unto death of four thousand years of males telling me how rotten my sex is. Especially it makes me sick when I look around and see such rotten men and such magnificent women, all of whom have a sneaking suspicion that the four thousand years of remarks are correct. These days I feel like an outlaw, a criminal. Maybe that's what the people perceive who look at me so strangely as I walk the beach. I feel like an outlaw not only because I think that men are rotten and women are great, but because I have come to believe that oppressed people have the right to use criminal means to survive. Criminal means being, of course, defying the laws passed by the oppressors to keep the oppressed in line. Such a position takes you scarily close to advocating oppression itself, though. We are bound in by the terms of the sentence. Subject-verb-object. The best we can do is turn it around. and that's no answer, is it?
Marilyn French (The Women's Room)
The surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward; 31 for from Jerusalem a remnant shall go out, and from Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version with the Apocrypha)
I remember a verse I once spotted that Julia had highlighted in her Bible: The truth will set you free. I’ve never been able to forget those words. Even when it hurts, it’s more empowering to know the truth than to stay blind to it.
Regina Calcaterra (Etched in Sand: A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island)
The greatest privileges: You are saved. You are a child of Most High God. You are co-heirs with Christ. You share in Christ suffering, life adversities. You share in Christ glory, strength of will and survival of life's difficulties.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
God’s plan is so perfect. That he made every person to be dependent on nature. To be dependent on other people . To be dependent on him to live and to survive. Next time think twice when you want to take nature, people or God our of your life. Think twice when you want to destroy nature and other people , because you might be destroying yourself. No matter how perfect, rich or good you are. You always need others to survive. Philippians 2:3-4 | Philippians 2:3 | 1 Peter 4:10
De philosopher DJ Kyos
That’s why I get hired again and again. Call me an idiot, call me a reckless moron, call me a lucky son of a bitch, call me whatever you want. I’m here because at the end of the day, I survive. At the end of the day, I win. Every. Single. Time.
Jake Bible (Razer Edge (Roak: Galactic Bounty Hunter #3))
When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged. 21But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the  uslave is his money. 22“When men strive together and hit
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
The Nephilim (Aldebaran’s extraterrestrials in Maria’s messages) who survived the great deluge returned to Phoenicia; the Bible made reference to their return. They lived with the Phoenicians for 33 years and 33 days in Tyre, Sidon, Byblos, and Baalbeck. The number 33.33 represents the period of the Tana-wir or Tanwir, which means enlightenment. The number 33.33 became the most important and the most secret number in Phoenician occultism, architecture, and numerology, because it refers to their place of origin, Jabal Haramoun (Mt. Hermon in Lebanon) which is located exactly at 33.33° East and 33.33° North.)   The number 33 is equally important in the Masonic rite King Hiram created with the assistance of King Solomon. This number is closely related to the compass and square, which were given to the Phoenicians as a gift from the Anunnaki lords. This explains how and why the early Phoenicians excelled in building ships, navigation and land-seas maps making, and surpassed their neighbors in these fields, beyond belief! Worth mentioning here, that the Egyptian Sphinx was built some 11,000 years ago, before the Biblical Great Flood by the early Phoenicians, the Nephilim and an army of Djinns created by the Anunnaki.
Jean-Maximillien De La Croix de Lafayette (Volume I. UFOs: MARIA ORSIC, THE WOMAN WHO ORIGINATED AND CREATED EARTH’S FIRST UFOS (Extraterrestrial and Man-Made UFOs & Flying Saucers Book 1))
Rev doesn’t walk around quoting Bible verses or anything—usually—but his faith is rock solid. I once asked him how he can believe in a providential god when he barely survived living with his father. He looked at me and said, “Because I did survive.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
Many politicians and preachers defended slavery, citing the Bible’s approval of the practice, the inferiority of the African race, the value of preserving the southern way of life, and a paternalistic concern that freed slaves could not survive on their own.
Steven Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined)
Louie dug out the Bible that had been issued to him by the air corps and mailed home to his mother when he was believed dead. He walked to Barnsdall Park, where he and Cynthia had gone in better days, and where Cynthia had gone, alone, when he’d been on his benders. He found a spot under a tree, sat down, and began reading. Resting in the shade and the stillness, Louie felt profound peace. When he thought of his history, what resonated with him now was not all that he had suffered but the divine love that he believed had intervened to save him. He was not the worthless, broken, forsaken man that the Bird had striven to make of him. In a single, silent moment, his rage, his fear, his humiliation and helplessness, had fallen away. That morning, he believed, he was a new creation. Softly, he wept.
Laura Hillenbrand (Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption)
I do theology as a matter of survival,” explained Rev. Broderick Greer, who is black and gay, “because if people can do theology that produces brutality against black, transgender, queer, and other minority bodies, then we can do theology that leads to our common liberation.
Rachel Held Evans (Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again (series_title))
Most churches do not grow beyond the spiritual health of their leadership. Many churches have a pastor who is trying to lead people to a Savior he has yet to personally encounter. If spiritual gifting is no proof of authentic faith, then certainly a job title isn't either. You must have a clear sense of calling before you enter ministry. Being a called man is a lonely job, and many times you feel like God has abandoned you in your ministry. Ministry is more than hard. Ministry is impossible. And unless we have a fire inside our bones compelling us, we simply will not survive. Pastoral ministry is a calling, not a career. It is not a job you pursue. If you don’t think demons are real, try planting a church! You won’t get very far in advancing God’s kingdom without feeling resistance from the enemy. If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day. Once a month I get away for the day, once a quarter I try to get out for two days, and once a year I try to get away for a week. The purpose of these times is rest, relaxation, and solitude with God. A pastor must always be fearless before his critics and fearful before his God. Let us tremble at the thought of neglecting the sheep. Remember that when Christ judges us, he will judge us with a special degree of strictness. The only way you will endure in ministry is if you determine to do so through the prevailing power of the Holy Spirit. The unsexy reality of the pastorate is that it involves hard work—the heavy-lifting, curse-ridden, unyielding employment of your whole person for the sake of the church. Pastoral ministry requires dogged, unyielding determination, and determination can only come from one source—God himself. Passive staff members must be motivated. Erring elders and deacons must be confronted. Divisive church members must be rebuked. Nobody enjoys doing such things (if you do, you should be not be a pastor!), but they are necessary in order to have a healthy church over the long haul. If you allow passivity, laziness, and sin to fester, you will soon despise the church you pastor. From the beginning of sacred Scripture (Gen. 2:17) to the end (Rev. 21:8), the penalty for sin is death. Therefore, if we sin, we should die. But it is Jesus, the sinless one, who dies in our place for our sins. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus died to take to himself the penalty of our sin. The Bible is not Christ-centered because it is generally about Jesus. It is Christ-centered because the Bible’s primary purpose, from beginning to end, is to point us toward the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus for the salvation and sanctification of sinners. Christ-centered preaching goes much further than merely providing suggestions for how to live; it points us to the very source of life and wisdom and explains how and why we have access to him. Felt needs are set into the context of the gospel, so that the Christian message is not reduced to making us feel better about ourselves. If you do not know how sinful you are, you feel no need of salvation. Sin-exposing preaching helps people come face-to-face with their sin and their great need for a Savior. We can worship in heaven, and we can talk to God in heaven, and we can read our Bibles in heaven, but we can’t share the gospel with our lost friends in heaven. “Would your city weep if your church did not exist?” It was crystal-clear for me. Somehow, through fear or insecurity, I had let my dreams for our church shrink. I had stopped thinking about the limitless things God could do and had been distracted by my own limitations. I prayed right there that God would forgive me of my small-mindedness. I asked God to forgive my lack of faith that God could use a man like me to bring the message of the gospel through our missionary church to our lost city. I begged God to renew my heart and mind with a vision for our city that was more like Christ's.
Darrin Patrick (Church Planter: The Man, The Message, The Mission)
So far as we know, Jesus did not write anything, nor did anyone who had personal knowledge of him. There is no archaeological evidence of his existence. There are no contemporaneous accounts of his life or death: no eyewitness accounts, nor any other kind of first-hand record. All the accounts of Jesus come from decades or centuries later; the gospels themselves all come from later times, though they may contain earlier sources or oral traditions. The earliest writings that survive are the letters of Paul of Tarsus, written 20-30 years after the dates given for Jesus's death. Paul was not a companion of Jesus, nor does he ever claim to have seen Jesus before his death.
L. Michael White
Being depressed does not disqualify you from being used by God either. Sometimes God uses us in spite of our depression. Sometimes He uses us because of our depression. God wants us to live a life of joy. We also have real and raw emotions, including depression. When you are depressed, don’t hide from the Bible, run to it. Don’t feel condemned, feel comforted.
Jason R. McNaughten (Confessions of a Depressed Christian: How a Pastor Survived Depression and How You Can Too)
This is written to you, my friends, because I feel led by the Spirit to preach to you. I don't mind if you call Spirit common sense, or desperate hope, or willful refusal to accept defeat. I don't mind if you conclude that religion is cant and faith is a lie. I simply want to bear witness to the truth I see and the reality I know. And without white America wrestling with these truths and confronting these realities, we may not survive. To paraphrase the Bible, to whom much is given, much is required. And you, my friends, have been given so much. And the Lord knows, what wasn't given, you simply took, and took, and took. But the time is at head for reckoning with the past, recognizing the truth of the present, and moving together to redeem the nation for our future. If we don't act now, if you don't address race immediately, there very well may be no future.
Michael Eric Dyson (Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America)
Nothing good was withheld from me, even moral guidance was provided as my uncle read to me nightly out of a King James red-letter edition Bible. “Them’s the Good Lord’s words in red,” he would say reverently. These lessons installed in me a sense of moral propriety and spiritual obligation that I would later misconstrue to my own detriment. The strength of character I gleaned from them would enable me to survive myself and all lesser foes.
Sara Niles (Torn From The Inside Out)
The Bible sees a peculiar virtue in powerlessness, appropriate to a people which has seldom possessed power, and suffered much from its exercise; but it also sees virtue in achievement, and achievement as the sign of virtue, especially of those once weak and lowly. Both Joseph and Moses had no rights of birth, and narrowly survived vulnerable childhoods or youth; but both had the God-endowed qualities to bring them to greatness by their own efforts.
Paul Johnson (History of the Jews)
In science, all important ideas need names and stories to fix them in the memory. It occurred to me that the market's first wild trait, abrupt change or discontinuity, is prefigured in the Bible tale of Noah. As Genesis relates, in Noah's six hundredth year God ordered the Great Flood to purify a wicked world. Then "were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened." Noah survived, of course: He prepared against the coming flood by building a ship strong enough to withstand it. The flood came and went-catastrophic, but transient. Market crashes are like that. The 29.2 percent collapse of October 19, 1987, arrived without warning or convincing reason; and at the time, it seemed like the end of the financial world. Smaller squalls strike more often, with more localized effect. In fact, a hierarchy of turbulence, a pattern that scales up and down with time, governs this bad financial weather. At times, even a great bank or brokerage house can seem like a little boat in a big storm.
Benoît B. Mandelbrot (The (Mis)Behavior of Markets)
The first twenty-one months encompass what the Bible calls the seven Seal Judgments, or the Judgments of the Seven-Sealed Scroll. Then comes another twenty-one-month period in which we will see the seven Trumpet Judgments. In the last forty-two months of this seven years of tribulation, if we have survived, we will endure the most severe tests, the seven Vial Judgments. That last half of the seven years is called the Great Tribulation, and if we are alive at the end of it, we will be rewarded by seeing the Glorious Appearing of Christ.
Tim LaHaye (Left Behind (Left Behind, #1))
[Professor Greene's] reaction to GAMAY, as published in the Yale Daily News, fairly took one's breath away. He fondled the word "fascist" as though he had come up with a Dead Sea Scroll vouchsafing the key word to the understanding of God and Man at Yale. In a few sentences he used the term thrice. "Mr. Buckley has done Yale a great service" (how I would tire of this pedestrian rhetorical device), "and he may well do the cause of liberal education in America an even greater service, by stating the fascist alternative to liberalism. This fascist thesis . . . This . . . pure fascism . . . What more could Hitler, Mussolini, or Stalin ask for . . . ?" (They asked for, and got, a great deal more.) What survives, from such stuff as this, is ne-plus-ultra relativism, idiot nihlism. "What is required," Professor Greene spoke, "is more, not less tolerance--not the tolerance of indifference, but the tolerance of honest respect for divergent convictions and the determination of all that such divergent opinions be heard without administrative censorship. I try my best in the classroom to expound and defend my faith, when it is relevant, as honestly and persuasively as I can. But I can do so only because many of my colleagues are expounding and defending their contrasting faiths, or skepticisms, as openly and honestly as I am mine." A professor of philosophy! Question: What is the 1) ethical, 2) philosophical, or 3) epistemological argument for requiring continued tolerance of ideas whose discrediting it is the purpose of education to effect? What ethical code (in the Bible? in Plato? Kant? Hume?) requires "honest respect" for any divergent conviction?
William F. Buckley Jr. (God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of 'Academic Freedom')
The girl’s parents had belonged to a religious organization called the Society of Witnesses. A Christian sect, the Witnesses preached the coming of the end of the world. They were fervent proselytizers and lived their lives by the Bible. They would not condone the transfusion of blood, for example. This greatly limited their chances of surviving serious injury in a traffic accident. Undergoing major surgery was virtually impossible for them. On the other hand, when the end of the world came, they could survive as God’s chosen people and live a thousand years in a world of ultimate happiness.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 #1-2 (1Q84, #1-2))
When you read the Bible you are getting advice from a few priests and rabbis who lived in ancient Jerusalem. In contrast, when you listen to your feelings, you follow an algorithm that evolution has developed for millions of years, and that withstood the harshest quality-control tests of natural selection. Your feelings are the voice of millions of ancestors, each of whom managed to survive and reproduce in an unforgiving environment. Your feelings are not infallible, of course, but they are better than most other sources of guidance. For millions upon millions of years, feelings were the best algorithms in the world.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow)
The only worldview that supports the highest aspirations of the human heart is Christianity. It gives a basis for believing that love is real and genuine because we were created by a God whose very character is love. The Bible teaches that there has been love and communication between the members of the Trinity from all eternity. Love is not an illusion created by the genes to pro-mote our evolutionary survival, but an aspect of human nature that reflects the fundamental fabric of ultimate reality. Moreover, by submitting to God’s plan of salvation and becoming His children, we have the astonishing possibility of participating in that eternal love.
Nancy R. Pearcey (Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity)
Strangely enough, I later learned that early Gnostic Christians believed in reincarnation. The patriarchal church, when codifying the Bible, struck out those books and passages containing such information, though some survived, including the following quotation: “Because it was toward John that all the prophesies of the prophet and of the Law were leading, and he, if you will believe me, is Elijah who was to return. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen.” —Matthew 11:14–15 Modern scholars speculate that this passage of the New Testament is one of the few obscure references left in the Bible regarding reincarnation, implying John was Elijah in a past life.
Christopher Penczak (The Inner Temple of Witchcraft: Magick, Meditation and Psychic Development (Penczak Temple Book 1))
Few exchanges in the history of science have leaped so boldly into the future as this one, which occurred a thousand years ago in a region now often dismissed as a backwater and valued mainly for its natural resources, not its intellectual achievements. We know of it because copies survived in manuscript and were published almost a millennium later. Twenty-eight-year-old Abu Rayhan al-Biruni, or simply Biruni (973–1048), hailed from near the Aral Sea and went on to distinguish himself in geography, mathematics, trigonometry, comparative religion, astronomy, physics, geology, psychology, mineralogy, and pharmacology. His younger counterpart, Abu Ali al-Husayn ibn Sina, or just Ibn Sina (ca. 980–1037), grew up in the stately city of Bukhara, the great seat of learning in what is now Uzbekistan. He was to make his mark in medicine, philosophy, physics, chemistry, astronomy, theology, clinical pharmacology, physiology, ethics, and music theory. When eventually Ibn Sina’s magisterial Canon of Medicine was translated into Latin, it triggered the start of modern medicine in the West and became its Bible: a dozen editions were printed before 1500. Indians used Ibn Sina’s Canon to develop a whole school of medicine that continues today. Many regard Biruni and Ibn Sina together as the greatest scientific minds between antiquity and the Renaissance, if not the modern age.
S. Frederick Starr (Lost Enlightenment)
Religious intolerance is an idea that found its earliest expression in the Old Testament, where the Hebrew tribe depicts itself waging a campaign of genocide on the Palestinian peoples to steal their land. They justified this heinous behavior on the grounds that people not chosen by their god were wicked and therefore did not deserve to live or keep their land. In effect, the wholesale slaughter of the Palestinian peoples, eradicating their race with the Jew's own Final Solution, was the direct result of a policy of religious superiority and divine right. Joshua 6-11 tells the sad tale, and one needs only read it and consider the point of view of the Palestinians who were simply defending their wives and children and the homes they had built and the fields they had labored for. The actions of the Hebrews can easily be compared with the American genocide of its native peoples - or even, ironically, the Nazi Holocaust. With the radical advent of Christianity, this self-righteous intolerance was borrowed from the Jews, and a new twist was added. The conversion of infidels by any means possible became the newfound calling card of religious fervor, and this new experiment in human culture spread like wildfire. By its very nature, how could it not have? Islam followed suit, conquering half the world in brutal warfare and, much like its Christian counterpart, it developed a new and convenient survival characteristic: the destruction of all images and practices attributed to other religions. Muslims destroyed millions of statues and paintings in India and Africa, and forced conversion under pain of death (or by more subtle tricks: like taxing only non-Muslims), while the Catholic Church busily burned books along with pagans, shattering statues and defacing or destroying pagan art - or converting it to Christian use. Laws against pagan practices and heretics were in full force throughrout Europe by the sixth century, and as long as those laws were in place it was impossible for anyone to refuse the tenets of Christianity and expect to keep their property or their life. Similar persecution and harassment continues in Islamic countries even to this day, officially and unofficially.
Richard C. Carrier (Sense and Goodness Without God: A Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism)
The language of the Bible regarding principalities – the ruling authorities, the angelic powers, the demons, and the like – sounds, I suppose, strange in modern society, but these words in fact refer to familiar realities in contemporary life. The principalities refer to those entities in creation which nowadays are called institutions, ideologies, and images. Thus a nation is a principality. Or the Communist ideology is a principality. Or the public image of a human being, say a movie star or a politician, is a principality. The image or legend of Marilyn Monroe or Franklin Roosevelt is a reality, distinguishable from the person bearing the same name, which survives and has its own existence apart from the existence of the person.
William Stringfellow (Instead of Death: New and Expanded Edition (William Stringfellow Library))
Comparing marriage to football is no insult. I come from the South where football is sacred. I would never belittle marriage by saying it is like soccer, bowling, or playing bridge, never. Those images would never work, only football is passionate enough to be compared to marriage. In other sports, players walk onto the field, in football they run onto the field, in high school ripping through some paper, in college (for those who are fortunate enough) they touch the rock and run down the hill onto the field in the middle of the band. In other sports, fans cheer, in football they scream. In other sports, players ‘high five’, in football they chest, smash shoulder pads, and pat your rear. Football is a passionate sport, and marriage is about passion. In football, two teams send players onto the field to determine which athletes will win and which will lose, in marriage two families send their representatives forward to see which family will survive and which family will be lost into oblivion with their traditions, patterns, and values lost and forgotten. Preparing for this struggle for survival, the bride and groom are each set up. Each has been led to believe that their family’s patterns are all ‘normal,’ and anyone who differs is dense, naïve, or stupid because, no matter what the issue, the way their family has always done it is the ‘right’ way. For the premarital bride and groom in their twenties, as soon as they say, “I do,” these ‘right’ ways of doing things are about to collide like two three hundred and fifty pound linemen at the hiking of the ball. From “I do” forward, if not before, every decision, every action, every goal will be like the line of scrimmage. Where will the family patterns collide? In the kitchen. Here the new couple will be faced with the difficult decision of “Where do the cereal bowls go?” Likely, one family’s is high, and the others is low. Where will they go now? In the bathroom. The bathroom is a battleground unmatched in the potential conflicts. Will the toilet paper roll over the top or underneath? Will the acceptable residing position for the lid be up or down? And, of course, what about the toothpaste? Squeeze it from the middle or the end? But the skirmishes don’t stop in the rooms of the house, they are not only locational they are seasonal. The classic battles come home for the holidays. Thanksgiving. Which family will they spend the noon meal with and which family, if close enough, will have to wait until the nighttime meal, or just dessert if at all? Christmas. Whose home will they visit first, if at all? How much money will they spend on gifts for his family? for hers? Then comes for many couples an even bigger challenge – children of their own! At the wedding, many couples take two candles and light just one often extinguishing their candle as a sign of devotion. The image is Biblical. The Bible is quoted a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one. What few prepare them for is the upcoming struggle, the conflict over the unanswered question: the two shall become one, but which one? Two families, two patterns, two ways of doing things, which family’s patterns will survive to play another day, in another generation, and which will be lost forever? Let the games begin.
David W. Jones (The Enlightenment of Jesus: Practical Steps to Life Awake)
Before you die, give some serious thought to vowing holy disobedience whenever necessary. Discerning and knowing why one would choose to disobey is by far the most serious and mysterious part of listening to the voice of the Gods. It's also a recurring theme throughout the Bible. Biblical stories tell of four extraordinary circumstances that call for divinely inspired disobedience: the situation is unbearable and survival is at stake; the call to disobey promises deliverance; acts of disobedience would relieve oppression; and last but not least, swift, immediate divine intervention is not at all likely. The only divine reasons for disobedience are those that come from God and contain moral imperatives to set yourself and others free... Given the sad shape of authority in this world, it's not a bad practice for everyone to vow before they die.
Karol Jackowski (Ten Fun Things to Do Before You Die)
The scientists not only sanctified human feelings, but also found an excellent evolutionary reason to do so. After Darwin, biologists began explaining that feelings are complex algorithms honed by evolution to help animals make correct decisions. Our love, our fear and our passion aren’t some nebulous spiritual phenomena good only for composing poetry. Rather, they encapsulate millions of years of practical wisdom. When you read the Bible you are getting advice from a few priests and rabbis who lived in ancient Jerusalem. In contrast, when you listen to your feelings, you follow an algorithm that evolution has developed for millions of years, and that withstood the harshest quality-control tests of natural selection. Your feelings are the voice of millions of ancestors, each of whom managed to survive and reproduce in an unforgiving environment.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
After Standard Oil Company founder John D. Rockefeller became the richest man in the world, he offered gardening advice to a group of young men at a Brown University Bible study. He told his admiring audience, “The American Beauty Rose can be produced in the splendor and fragrance which bring cheer to its beholder only by sacrificing the early buds which grow up around it. This is not an evil tendency in business. It is merely the working-out of a law of nature and a law of God.” Rockefeller's audacious winner-take-all metaphor about the American Beauty rose was a description of how Standard Oil had bested its competitors. The clumsy reference to God at the end of the remarks was a meager attempt to morally sanction the ideas of philosopher Herbert Spencer, who had recently seduced the robber baron community by adapting scientific ideas like “survival of the fittest” into a loose form of Social Darwinism that defined Gilded Age business.
Reid Mitenbuler (Bourbon Empire: The Past and Future of America's Whiskey)
The bookstore is owned by septuagenarian nudist Paul Winer, who has skin like burnished leather and wanders the aisles in nothing but a knit codpiece. When it’s cold, he dons a sweater. Paul can afford to keep his bookstore going because, technically, it isn’t a permanent structure, and that keeps the taxes down. It has no real walls—just a ramada roof above a concrete slab. Tarps span the space between them. Shipping containers and a trailer are annexes. Trailer Life magazine called it “the ultimate in Quartzsite architecture.” In an earlier career Paul toured as Sweet Pie, a nude boogie-woogie pianist known for his sing-along anthem “Fuck ’Em If They Can’t Take a Joke,” and he still performs spontaneously on a baby grand near the front of the shop, not far from a discreetly covered adult book section. There’s a Christian section, too, but it’s in the back and Paul usually has to help people find it. “They follow my bare ass to the Bible,” he declares.
Jessica Bruder (Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century)
Within the evangelical community, Dobson emerged as Obama’s fiercest critic. In June 2008 he lashed out at Obama on his radio program, accusing him of distorting the Bible to fit his worldview, of having a “fruitcake interpretation of the Constitution,” and of appealing to the “lowest common denominator of morality.” Dobson especially took issue with a speech Obama had given in 2006 in which he had defended the right of people of faith to bring their religious beliefs into the public square, while also pointing out that Christians disagreed among themselves on how best to do so. Whose Christianity would win out? “Would we go with James Dobson’s, or Al Sharp-ton’s?” Obama had asked. “Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy?” Should Old Testament passages dictate that slavery was acceptable but eating shellfish was not? “Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount—a passage that is so radical that it’s doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application?” Dobson was not amused. 5
Kristin Kobes Du Mez (Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation)
Take the oft-repeated injunction to get “its” and “it’s” straight. Everyone claims it’s remarkably easy to remember that “its” is possessive and “it’s” is a contraction. But logic tells us that in English, ’s attached to a noun signals possession: the dog’s dish, the cat’s toy, the lexicographer’s cry. So if English is logical, and there are simple rules to follow, why doesn’t “it’s” signal possession? We know that ’s also signals a contraction, but we don’t have any problems with differentiating between “the dog’s dish” and “the dog’s sleeping”—why should we suddenly have problems with “it’s dish” and “it’s sleeping”? This type of grammar often completely ignores hundreds (and, in some cases, well over a thousand) years of established use in English. For “it’s,” the rule is certainly easy to memorize, but it also ignores the history of “its” and “it’s.” At one point in time, “it” was its own possessive pronoun: the 1611 King James Bible reads, “That which groweth of it owne accord…thou shalt not reape”; Shakespeare wrote in King Lear, “It had it head bit off by it young.” They weren’t the first: the possessive “it” goes back to the fifteenth century. But around the time that Shakespeare was shuffling off this mortal coil, the possessive “it” began appearing as “it’s.” We’re not sure why the change happened, but some commentators guess that it was because “it” didn’t appear to be its own possessive pronoun, like “his” and “her,” but rather a bare pronoun in need of that possessive marker given to nouns: ’s. Sometimes this possessive appeared without punctuation as “its.” But the possessive “it’s” grew in popularity through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries until it was the dominant form of the word. It even survived into the nineteenth century: you’ll find it in the letters of Thomas Jefferson and Jane Austen and the speechwriting notes of Abraham Lincoln. This would be relatively simple were it not for the fact that “it’s” was also occasionally used as a contraction for “it is” or “it has” (“and it’s come to pass,” Shakespeare wrote in Henry VIII, 1.2.63). Some grammarians noticed and complained—not that the possessive “it’s” and the contractive “it’s” were confusing, but that the contractive “it’s” was a misuse and mistake for the contraction “ ’tis,” which was the more standard contraction of “it is.” This was a war that the pedants lost: “ ’tis” waned while “it’s” waxed.
Kory Stamper (Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries)
Every church became a theatre, where orators, instead of church teachers, harangued, caring not to instruct the people, but striving to attract admiration, to bring opponents to public scorn, and to preach only novelties and paradoxes, such as would tickle the ears of their congregation. This state of things necessarily stirred up an amount of controversy, envy, and hatred, which no lapse of time could appease; so that we can scarcely wonder that of the old religion nothing survives but its outward forms (even these, in the mouth of the multitude, seem rather adulation than adoration of the Deity), and that faith has become a mere compound of credulity and prejudices—aye, prejudices too, which degrade man from rational being to beast, which completely stifle the power of judgment between true and false, which seem, in fact, carefully fostered for the purpose of extinguishing the last spark of reason! Piety, great God! and religion are become a tissue of ridiculous mysteries; men, who flatly despise reason, who reject and turn away from understanding as naturally corrupt, these, I say, these of all men, are thought, O lie most horrible! to possess light from on High. Verily, if they had but one spark of light from on High, they would not insolently rave, but would learn to worship God more wisely, and would be as marked among their fellows for mercy as they now are for malice; if they were concerned for their opponents’ souls, instead of for their own reputations, they would no longer fiercely persecute, but rather be filled with pity and compassion. Furthermore, if any Divine light were in them, it would appear from their doctrine. I grant that they are never tired of professing their wonder at the profound mysteries of Holy Writ; still I cannot discover that they teach anything but speculations of Platonists and Aristotelians, to which (in order to save their credit for Christianity) they have made Holy Writ conform; not content to rave with the Greeks themselves, they want to make the prophets rave also; showing conclusively, that never even in sleep have they caught a glimpse of Scripture’s Divine nature. The very vehemence of their admiration for the mysteries plainly attests, that their belief in the Bible is a formal assent rather than a living faith: and the fact is made still more apparent by their laying down beforehand, as a foundation for the study and true interpretation of Scripture, the principle that it is in every passage true and divine.
Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever)
arrived in Cambridge, and made an appointment to meet the formidable Krister Stendahl, a Swedish scholar of fierce intelligence, now to be my first adviser. We met in his office. I was nervous, but also amused that this tall and severe man, wearing a black shirt and clerical collar, looked to me like an Ingmar Bergman version of God. After preliminary formalities, he abruptly swiveled in his chair and turned sternly to ask, “So really, why did you come here?” I stumbled over the question, then mumbled something about wanting to find the essence of Christianity. Stendahl stared down at me, silent, then asked, “How do you know it has an essence?” In that instant, I thought, That’s exactly why I came here: to be asked a question like that—challenged to rethink everything. Now I knew I had come to the right place. I’d chosen Harvard because it was a secular university, where I wouldn’t be bombarded with church dogma. Yet I still imagined that if we went back to first-century sources, we might hear what Jesus was saying to his followers when they walked by the Sea of Galilee—we might find the “real Christianity,” when the movement was in its golden age. But Harvard quenched these notions; there would be no simple path to what Krister Stendahl ironically called “play Bible land” simply by digging through history. Yet I also saw that this hope of finding “the real Christianity” had driven countless people—including our Harvard professors—to seek its origins. Naive as our questions were, they were driven by a spiritual quest. We discovered that even the earliest surviving texts had been written decades after Jesus’s death, and that none of them are neutral. They reveal explosive controversy between his followers, who loved him, and outsiders like the Roman senator Tacitus and the Roman court historian Suetonius, who likely despised him. Taken together, what the range of sources does show, contrary to those who imagine that Jesus didn’t exist, is that he did: fictional people don’t have real enemies. What came next was a huge surprise: our professors at Harvard had file cabinets filled with facsimiles of secret gospels I had never heard of—the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, the Gospel of Truth—and dozens of other writings, transcribed by hand from the original Greek into Coptic, and mimeographed in blue letters on pages stamped TOP SECRET. Discovered in 1945, these texts only recently had become available to scholars. This wasn’t what I’d expected to find in graduate school, or even what I wanted—at least, not so long as I still hoped to find answers instead of more questions
Elaine Pagels (Why Religion?: A Personal Story)
The Bible is the torch of civilization and liberty. Its influence for good in society has been recognized by the greatest statesmen, even though they for the most part have looked at it through the various glasses of conflicting creeds, which, while upholding the Bible, grievously misrepresent its teachings. The grand old book is unintentionally but woefully misrepresented by its friends, many of whom would lay down life on its behalf; and yet they do it more vital injury than its foes, by claiming its support to their long-revered misconceptions of its truth, received through the traditions of their fathers. Would that such would awake, re-examine their oracle, and put to confusion its enemies by disarming them of their weapons! [...] The fact that this book has survived so many centuries, notwithstanding such unparalleled efforts to banish and destroy it, is at least strong circumstantial evidence that the great Being whom it claims as its Author has also been its Preserver. It is also true that the moral influence of the Bible is uniformly good. Those who become careful students of its pages are invariably elevated to a purer life. Other writings upon religion and the various sciences have done good and have ennobled and blessed mankind, to some extent; but all other books combined have failed to bring the joy, peace and blessing to the groaning creation that the Bible has brought to both the rich and the poor, to the learned and the unlearned.
Charles Taze Russell (Studies In The Scriptures, Volume 1)
Is It True? English is a really a form of Plattdeutsch or Lowland German, the way it was spoken during the 5th century. It all happened when Germanic invaders crossed the English Channel and the North Sea from northwest Germany, Denmark and Scandinavia to what is now Scotland or Anglo Saxon better identified as Anglo-Celtic. English was also influenced by the conquering Normans who came from what is now France and whose language was Old Norman, which became Anglo-Norman. Christianity solidified the English language, when the King James Version of the Bible was repetitively transcribed by diligent Catholic monks. Old English was very complex, where nouns had three genders with der, die and das denoting the male, female and neuter genders. Oh yes, it also had strong and weak verbs, little understood and most often ignored by the masses. In Germany these grammatical rules survive to this day, whereas in Britain the rules became simplified and der, die and das became da, later refined to the article the! It is interesting where our words came from, many of which can be traced to their early roots. “History” started out as his story and when a “Brontosaurus Steak” was offered to a cave man, he uttered me eat! Which has now become meat and of course, when our cave man ventured to the beach and asked his friend if he saw any food, the friend replied “me see food,” referring to the multitude of fish or seafood! Most English swear words, which Goodreads will definitely not allow me to write, are also of early Anglo-Saxon origin. Either way they obeyed their king to multiply and had a fling, with the result being that we now have 7.6 Billion people on Earth.
Hank Bracker
Remembering​ ​is​ ​something​ ​God​ ​asks​ ​us​ ​to​ ​do​ ​over​ ​and​ ​over​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Bible:​ ​“Remember the​ ​Sabbath​ ​day​ ​by​ ​keeping​ ​it​ ​holy”​ ​(Exod.​ ​20:8).​ ​​ ​“Remember​ ​your​ ​Creator”​ ​(Eccles.​ ​12:1).​ ​​ ​The Israelites​ ​were​ ​experts​ ​at​ ​remembering,​ ​building​ ​altars​ ​of​ ​thanks​ ​and​ ​celebrating​ ​festivals​ ​to​ ​be mindful​ ​of​ ​God’s​ ​mighty​ ​acts​ ​of​ ​provision.​ ​​ ​They​ ​had​ ​much​ ​to​ ​celebrate:​ ​​ ​the​ ​parting​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Red Sea,​ ​the​ ​supply​ ​of​ ​manna​ ​in​ ​the​ ​desert,​ ​the​ ​cloud​ ​by​ ​day​ ​and​ ​the​ ​pillar​ ​of​ ​fire​ ​by​ ​night.​ ​​ ​In remembering,​ ​they​ ​knew​ ​God​ ​was​ ​faithful,​ ​and​ ​it​ ​fortified​ ​their​ ​faith​ ​for​ ​the​ ​next​ ​battle​ ​ahead. All​ ​of​ ​us​ ​who​ ​are​ ​Christians​ ​are​ ​asked​ ​to​ ​remember​ ​too.​ ​​ ​The​ ​violence​ ​of​ ​the​ ​cross​ ​is​ ​in front​ ​of​ ​us​ ​each​ ​time​ ​we​ ​take​ ​communion--”Do​ ​this​ ​in​ ​remembrance​ ​of​ ​Me”​ ​(Luke​ ​22:19). Though​ ​it​ ​isn’t​ ​easy​ ​to​ ​face,​ ​we​ ​are​ ​asked​ ​to​ ​remember​ ​the​ ​blood​ ​He​ ​spilled​ ​out​ ​for​ ​us.​ ​​ ​When​ ​I embrace​ ​His​ ​suffering​ ​for​ ​me,​ ​it​ ​gives​ ​meaning​ ​to​ ​my​ ​own.​ ​​ ​I​ ​know​ ​it​ ​also​ ​forces​ ​me​ ​to remember​ ​the​ ​pain​ ​of​ ​others.​ ​​ ​And​ ​God​ ​doesn’t​ ​want​ ​me​ ​to​ ​forget​ ​the​ ​innocent​ ​blood​ ​that​ ​was shed​ ​over​ ​the​ ​hills​ ​of​ ​Rwanda.​ ​​ ​The​ ​act​ ​of​ ​remembering​ ​holds​ ​something​ ​very​ ​sacred--it​ ​makes us​ ​more​ ​grateful.​ ​​ ​We​ ​have​ ​to​ ​be​ ​willing​ ​to​ ​remember​ ​our​ ​pain​ ​so​ ​we​ ​can​ ​comfort​ ​and​ ​offer​ ​a place​ ​of​ ​healing​ ​for​ ​others.​ ​(pp.​ ​152-153)
Eric Irivuzumugabe (My Father, Maker of the Trees: How I Survived the Rwandan Genocide)
Sometimes what-if fantasies are useful. Imagine that the entirety of Western civilisation’s coding for computer systems or prints of all films ever made or all copies of Shakespeare and the Bible and the Qur’an were encrypted and held on one tablet device. And if that tablet was lost, stolen, burnt or corrupted, then our knowledge, use and understanding of that content, those words and ideas, would be gone for ever – only, perhaps, lingering in the minds of a very few men of memory whose job it had been to keep ideas alive. This little thought-experiment can help us to comprehend the totemic power of manuscripts. This is the great weight of responsibility for the past, the present and the future that the manuscripts of Constantinople carried. Much of our global cultural heritage – philosophies, dramas, epic poems – survive only because they were preserved in the city’s libraries and scriptoria. Just as Alexandria and Pergamon too had amassed vast libraries, Constantinople understood that a physical accumulation of knowledge worked as a lode-stone – drawing in respect, talent and sheer awe. These texts contained both the possibilities and the fact of empire and had a quasi-magical status. This was a time when the written word was considered so potent – and so precious – that documents were thought to be objects with spiritual significance. (...) It was in Constantinople that the book review was invented. Scholars seem to have had access to books within a proto-lending-library system, and there were substantial libraries within the city walls. Thanks to Constantinople, we have the oldest complete manuscript of the Iliad, Aeschylus’ dramas Agamemnon and Eumenides, and the works of Sophocles and Pindar. Fascinating scholia in the margins correct and improve: plucking work from the page ‘useful for the reader . . . not just the learned’, as one Byzantine scholar put it. These were texts that were turned into manuals for contemporary living.
Bettany Hughes (Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities)
Ywa was neither man nor woman, and was not in a human form. Ywa was the creator of the world and a force for good. To balance Ywa there was also a force for evil, called Mu Kaw Lee. Ywa created three sons in human form. The eldest was a Karen, the second a Burman, and the youngest was a white man. To the Karen son Ywa gave a golden book, to the Burman a silver book, and to the white man Ywa gave a book bound in normal paper. When the rains began and the Karen son went to plant his rice field, he placed the golden book nearby, on a tree stump. But his youngest brother, the white man, had grown jealous and coveted his beautiful golden book. When the Karen man wasn’t looking the white man came along and took it, replacing it with his own. Then the white man built a boat and escaped to a far-off country. He carried his prize with him–the golden book that contained the teachings Ywa had given to his eldest son. After a long day working under the heavy rain, the Karen man went to fetch his golden book. The book that the white man had left in its place had fallen apart in the rain, and there was nothing left. A chicken had been scratching around the stump searching for food, and all the Karen man found was chicken scratch marks. He concluded that the golden book had been replaced by the scratch marks, and that those must embody the message that Ywa had left him. And so the Karen man taught himself to read and write in chicken scratch. Over time, he learned the truth about the golden book being stolen, but by then it was too late–chicken scratch had become the official language of the Karen. The Karen man wrote down the story of how the golden book was stolen, and the word of Ywa lost, in a new book. He called this book Li Hsaw Weh–‘the book of chicken scratch teachings’. Centuries later the first white missionaries came to Burma. Many Karen believed that this was the younger brother returning, bringing the golden book in the form of the Bible, and so they welcomed them. Many Karen believe this story absolutely, and that one day the younger brother–a white man–will come again to help save our people.
Zoya Phan (Little Daughter: A Memoir of Survival in Burma and the West)
The Big Picture: From Abraham to Armageddon Down through the ages, the sons of Jacob have survived trials, persecution, and thousands of years in exile from their homeland. The Scriptures foretold the dispersion of the Jews and also of their regathering toward the end of the age. After a long absence from a country left in desolation, the Jews have come home to the land that God promised to Abraham: “…a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety.” (Ezekiel 38:8). The other branch of Abraham’s family—the sons of Ishmael— are the Islamic Arabs that inhabit the lands surrounding Israel. Ishmael’s descendants epitomize the spirit and temperament that the Bible predicted more than three millennia ago: “…his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers” (Genesis 16:12). The Prophet Ezekiel tells us that these same sons of Ishmael will be among the enemies who seek to destroy Israel in the end times: “And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land…” (Ezekiel 38:16). The day is soon coming when Ishmael’s descendants will unite as one: “…they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.” Their ultimate purpose being the fulfillment of a long-held dream: the annihilation of Israel. Muslims have been taught for centuries that the Last Day will not come until they wage a final war against the Jews and rid the world of them once and for all. They believe that only after this is accomplished will Muslims enjoy a golden age of peace, justice, and worldwide Islamic rule. However, the Bible tells us that God has other plans: Before Israel can be destroyed He is going to intervene, and bring to ruin those who seek her destruction. On that day, multitudes of Jews will realize that Jesus is Messiah, and many Muslims will realize that they have made a fateful mistake. Though most are unaware, we, today, are witnessing the fruition of seeds that were planted nearly four thousand years ago with the birth of Abraham’s sons. God promised Abraham that He would make great nations of both Isaac and Ishmael. To be sure, one would be hard pressed to argue that He did not. The Jewish and Arabic peoples have had an immeasurable impact on the world and can now be found at center stage in the arena of world politics and conflict. Thus, the history of mankind will reach its pinnacle, essentially where it began, in a region literally located at the center of the globe; more specifically, Israel and the nations that surround her.
T.W. Tramm (From Abraham to Armageddon: The Convergence of Current Events, Bible Prophecy, and Islam)
Many people ask: "Why does a God of love allow bad things to happen?" Few people think to ask, "Why does God continually give good gifts to people who don't thank him or care about him?
Deb Brammer (I Survived!: 5 Bible Characters Who Survived Disasters)
If today shows no results, that doesn't mean the past wasn't working or the present isn't working. It just means we see only part of the picture. Faith believes God is working in every part of the process.
Deb Brammer (I Survived!: 5 Bible Characters Who Survived Disasters)
When the Greek translation of the Pentateuch was made, /Ģ/ was still a distinct phoneme, but when the remaining books were translated, it may no longer have been pronounced, surviving exclusively in public reading of the Bible before finally disappearing completely.
Angel Sáenz-Badillos
While the official church was moribund, the house churches kept alight the flame of Christian witness. The church survived as a lay movement, often led by poorly educated Bible women who memorized Scripture and passed on the faith to family members and (if they dared) to neighbors and friends.
Kim-Kwong Chan (Jesus Rising in the East: The Extraordinary Story of the Church in Modern China (Christianity Today Essentials Book 3))
Crisis can go on to a critical point or turning point where deciding factors plays their games. It is a point to surrender or survive, stay alive or die. You can rise above the storm.
Ikechukwu Joseph (Bible Faith Nuggets Series Box Set)
8Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?”     I said, “Here I am. Send me.”     9And he said, “Yes, go, and say to this people,     ‘Listen carefully, but do not understand.         Watch closely, but learn nothing.’ +    10Harden the hearts of these people.         Plug their ears and shut their eyes.     That way, they will not see with their eyes,         nor hear with their ears,     nor understand with their hearts         and turn to me for healing.”* +     11Then I said, “Lord, how long will this go on?”     And he replied,     “Until their towns are empty,         their houses are deserted,         and the whole country is a wasteland; +    12until the LORD has sent everyone away,         and the entire land of Israel lies deserted. +    13If even a tenth—a remnant—survive,         it will be invaded again and burned.     But as a terebinth or oak tree leaves a stump when it is cut down,         so Israel’s stump will be a holy seed.
Anonymous (Life Application Study Bible: New Living Translation)
When He Has Lost Vision for Tomorrow Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. PROVERBS 29:18 KJV WHEN YOUR HUSBAND loses his vision for a bright tomorrow, it means he has lost sight of his purpose and his reason to get up in the morning. He has misplaced his sense of God’s calling on his life and his reason to keep fighting the good fight. (Or perhaps he never had a sense of his purpose and calling in the first place.) He may also have lost his reason to keep working and trying. He can even lose his drive to face the day. Having a husband who has lost sight of his future—or your future together—is not a good thing. The Bible says people can’t survive without a vision. That’s why the enemy of our soul comes to steal away the vision we have from God, so that he can kill our hope and destroy our sense of purpose. But your prayers for your husband to have a clear vision for his future and your future together can restore all that and make an enormous difference in his life. Lack of vision happens gradually. It creeps in a day at a time, a thought at a time, a disappointment at a time. And it can happen to anyone. We get too busy. We get discouraged or exhausted. We work too hard for too long. We try to do right, but things keep going wrong. This could be happening to your husband right now without either of you even realizing it. If you’re not certain how your husband feels about the future, ask him and then pray accordingly. If you can tell he has lost his vision, your prayer can help him find it and be able to hear from God again. My Prayer to God LORD, I pray You would give my husband a clear and strong vision for the future—not only his future, but also our future together as a couple. If the many challenges he has faced, or the disappointments he has experienced, have accumulated enough to take away his sense of hopeful anticipation, I pray You would help him to see that his future is in You and not in outside circumstances. Give him the understanding he needs to know that the value of his life and purpose are not determined by external situations. Enable him to see that success is not in how well things are going at the moment, but it’s in how close he walks with You in prayer and in Your Word. Help him to understand that true vision for his life and our lives together comes only from You. When my husband is feeling hopeless, I pray he would realize that his hope is found in You. Where his vision has become clouded because of futile thoughts, wrong actions, or advanced apathy, I pray You would enable him to comprehend that he is wholly dependent upon You for proper thinking and right actions. Where he has overworked or overworried, I pray You would revive him again. Even if he doesn’t know specifics about his future, help him recognize that he has a bright one. Don’t allow him to waste away in his own disappointments. Restore his spiritual sight so he can see that his future is found in You. In Jesus’ name I pray.
Stormie Omartian (The Power of a Praying Wife Devotional)
I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny." --Thomas Jefferson   "If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government." --Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 28, 1787   "An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it."- Col. Jeff Cooper (1920-2006)   “When bad men combine, the good must associate: else they will fall one by one, an  unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.” -- Edmund Burke     Interlude   “Da, I’ve got a question for you.  It’s a question I’ve thought about since I joined this session.”  This came from Michelle.   “OK.  What’s your question, Mick?”   “We’ve always read the Bible and tried to be good Christians.  I realize you had to do it for us to survive but doesn’t the Bible say, ‘Do not kill’?”  Michelle asked.   The old man looked at his granddaughter and then looked around at the rest of his grandchildren before answering. “Actually, if you go back to the early manuscripts of the Bible, it says, ‘Thou shalt not commit murder.’  What Reggie, Carter, the other residents here, your parents, some of you and I have done, we
R. deLyndesay (Trace of Survival, Vol. 4)
The bad blood that pitted Archer and Ratcliffe against Smith had its beginnings in 1607, in Jamestown’s earliest days, when the three men served together on the colony’s ruling council. In the months when colonists were dying of hunger and illness, Smith discovered that the duo, along with a few others, were planning to steal supplies and a small boat they could use to flee Virginia for the safety of England. While Smith would almost certainly have been happy to see the last of the two men he thought of as cowards and traitors, he knew the colony could not survive without the boat and that the supplies the men were about to steal were sorely needed by the hungry colonists. Smith, in typical John Smith fashion, soon spiked those plans when he ordered several of the settlement’s cannon turned on the boat and ordered those on board to come ashore or be shot out of the water. Neither Archer nor Ratcliffe was the type of man to take such effrontery lying down, especially from a man they would have considered their social inferior. A few weeks later, the two saw an opportunity to even the score. At that time (it was after Smith’s rescue by Pocahontas, when he returned to Jamestown), Archer and Ratcliffe used the Bible as a legal text and charged Smith with murder under Levitical law. Ludicrous as it seems, the two argued that the “eye for an eye” verse made Smith responsible for the deaths of two of his men who had been killed when Smith was captured by the Powhatan people. It is a measure of Smith’s unpopularity with the “better sort” of colonists (not only Ratcliffe and Archer) that he was—within hours of his return to Jamestown—charged, tried, found guilty, and sentenced to die, with the execution scheduled for the next morning. That night (it was in early 1608), Smith was saved from death when Captain Christopher Newport, the man who later served as the Sea Venture’s captain, unexpectedly sailed up to Jamestown with a handful of new colonists and a shipload of food and other supplies. Newport, who recognized Smith’s value to the colony even if some of the other leaders did not and who, no doubt, saw the idiocy of making Smith responsible for the death of the men who had been killed by the Indians, immediately ordered him freed and all charges against him dropped.
Kieran Doherty (Sea Venture: Shipwreck, Survival, and the Salvation of Jamestown)
The Bible tells us, “the young woman was lovely and beautiful….” Not just lovely, not just beautiful, but lovely AND beautiful — that’s Esther. In the King James translation, she is described as “fair and beautiful”. The word “fair” comes from the word “to’ar”. This word, when literally translated, means lovely on the outside. Esther’s outward appearance was very pleasing.2 The word “beautiful” comes from the word “tobe”. This word, literally translated, goes far beyond external beauty. It means “good in the widest sense, used as a noun…. also as an adverb: beautiful, cheerful, at ease, fair, in favor, glad, good….. gracious, joyful, kindly…. loving, merry, most pleasant, precious, prosperity, ready, sweet, well.”3 These words give us a much more accurate view of Esther: she is more than beautiful! Please take note that Esther’s circumstance did not dictate her attitude. Esther’s life does not sound easy by any means. First, she is living in a city that has not been entirely friendly to Jewish people, even though the captivity is over. On top of that, she has lost her parents and any other family other than Mordecai. In spite of these hardships, she is described as lovely and beautiful — inside and out! Esther has not allowed herself to become bitter over circumstances that were out of her control. This is a wonderful example for us to follow: as we are faithful to God, He is faithful to us. Rather than allowing situations to make us disagreeable, we need to keep our focus on the Lord. Allow Him to move through everything that comes to you, both good and bad. In the end, you are a child of the true King! Though great times and hard times, God is working out a perfect plan for you! These inner strengths and qualities in Esther are about to become necessary for her very survival. If the hardships of life in Persia could not make Esther bitter, another test of her character is about to come: Ahasuerus’ servants are out collecting young women as potential candidates to be queen. At first, such an opportunity may seem exciting, but consider that these young women are being given no choice in the matter. Possibly afraid, definitely alone, each were taken from their homes and families by force. So it was, when the king’s command and decree were heard, and when many young women were gathered at Shushan the citadel, under the custody of Hegai, that Esther also was taken to the king’s palace, into the care of Hegai the custodian of the women. Esther 2:8 NJKV After the virgins in the kingdom are gathered, they are taken to Hegai “the custodian of the women”. Hegai is going to “weed out” any women whom he thinks will not be suitable for the king. He will look them over and if they are pretty enough to keep around, he orders their beauty preparations. What will Hegai think when he meets Esther? Now the young woman pleased him, and she obtained his favor; so he readily gave beauty preparations to her, besides her allowance. Then seven choice maidservants were provided for her from the king’s palace, and he moved her and her maidservants to the best place in the house of the women. Esther 2:9 Esther impressed Hegai from the first, and he immediately agreed to begin her beauty preparations as well as her diet (“her allowance”). Esther is going on to “round two” in this “pageant”! Initially this may sound glamorous, but this is truly a “fish out of water” situation for Esther. Remember the description of the palace in chapter 1? Esther has never seen anything like the excess in Ahasuerus’ palace and, considering her background, is probably very uncomfortable. She has been raised to have a simple faith in God, and this palace may feel to her like one huge tribute to a man: Ahasuerus (and knowing him, it probably is!). Add this to her already isolated and lonely feeling that must have
Jennifer Spivey (Esther: Reflections From An Unexpected Life)
popular religion produces shallow people. Several years ago, Bill McKibben wrote an article in Harper’s magazine that described the current condition of American Christianity:   Only 40 percent of Americans can name more than four of the Ten Commandments, and a scant half can cite any of the four authors of the Gospels. Twelve percent believe Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife. This failure to recall the specifics of our Christian heritage may be further evidence of our nation’s educational decline, but it probably doesn’t matter all that much in spiritual or political terms. Here is a statistic that does matter: Three quarters of Americans believe the Bible teaches that, “God helps those who help themselves.” That is, three out of four Americans believe that this uber-American idea, a notion at the core of our current individualist politics and culture, which was in fact uttered by Ben Franklin, actually appears in Holy Scripture. The thing is, not only is Franklin’s wisdom not biblical; it’s counterbiblical. Few ideas could be further from the gospel message, with its radical summons to love of neighbor. On this essential matter, most Americans—most American Christians—are simply wrong, as if 75 percent of American scientists believed that Newton proved gravity causes apples to fly up.6
Judson Edwards (Quiet Faith: An Introvert's Guide to Spiritual Survival)
Spiritually, we have wandered far from the faith of our fathers . . . no nation which relegates the Bible to the background, which disregards the love of God and flouts the claims of the Man of Galilee, can long survive.
Billy Graham (Billy Graham in Quotes)
[The Bible] has survived attack of every kind. Neither barbaric vandalism nor civilized scholarship has touched it. Neither the burning of fire nor the laughter of skepticism has accomplished its annihilation. Through the many dark ages of man, its glorious promises have survived unchanged.
Billy Graham (Billy Graham in Quotes)
I don’t think people can live without hope. What oxygen is to the lungs, hope is to our survival in this world. And the Bible is filled with hope.
Billy Graham (Billy Graham in Quotes)
In the textbook of revelation, the Bible, God has spoken verbally; and this spoken word has survived every scratch of the human pen.
Billy Graham (Billy Graham in Quotes)
Many people today have an irrational—almost phobic—fear of hunger. We live in a society that teaches us that it isn’t ever good to be hungry, and that hunger can even be dangerous. Of course, this is partly true since everyone needs to eat, and when you’re hungry it triggers the reactive part of the survival instinct (which says “I must eat in order to survive”). Nonetheless, when you know how to manipulate hunger correctly, it will serve you in many positive ways. Hunger will trigger the active part of the survival instinct—that which makes you more alert, ambitious, competitive, and creative. Throughout history, humans have had to contend with hunger, and not just because they were unable to afford food or suffered from drought and famine. Learning to deal with hunger was also practiced intentionally, to make people tougher and stronger, thereby more resilient to life’s hardships. The historical correlation between hunger and freedom is quite evident. During the period when the Bible was written, and later, during the Roman Empire, hunger and fasting were considered an integral part of life for free people, warriors, and those who wandered. Slaves, on the other hand, were fed frequently throughout the day. The Israelite slaves’ first complaint after leaving Egypt was of hunger, and they wandered in the desert for forty years, adapting and eventually becoming a free nation. Only the second generation of those escaped from Egypt reached the Promised Land. I firmly believe that hunger triggers the Warrior Instinct, and if it’s under control it will give you a “sense of freedom.” I also believe that frequently feeding—due to a fear of hunger—may, to put it strongly, create a “slave mentality,” because when fed continually, people tend to become more lethargic and submissive—and thus easily controlled. One could almost consider food abundance a less drastic or obvious form of “opiates for the masses.” How
Ori Hofmekler (The Warrior Diet: Switch on Your Biological Powerhouse For High Energy, Explosive Strength, and a Leaner, Harder Body)
Truth from the Holy Bible is to produce accurate precepts for sound minds to know how to live a moral upright life and to survive together in peace.
Joan Jessalyn Cox
The remarkable thing about those statements is not the profundity of their sentiments as such, but that they were expressed in the midst of very difficult times for the church. It was attempting to survive and grow even though targeted for sometimes-vicious persecution by a pagan, cruel, anti-Christian government in Rome. Accusations
John F. MacArthur Jr. (Why Government Can't Save You: An Alternative to Political Activism (Bible for Life Book 7))