Notable Quotes

Notable Quotes March 26, 2013

In last week’s sermon, we pondered the shocking warningfrom Exodus 23:21: “Do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon yourtransgression.” This absolute denial of forgiveness reminded me of athought-provoking book on sin I read last year: Not the Way It’s Supposed ToBe, by Cornelius Plantiga. Here are a few sample quotes for you to ponderyourself:

“Christianshave always measured sin, in part, by the suffering needed to atone for it. Theripping and writhing of a body on a cross, the bizarre metaphysical maneuver ofusing death to defeat death, the urgency of the summons to human beings to allythemselves with the events of Christ and with the person of these events, andthen to make that person and those events the center of their lives—thesethings tell us that the main human trouble is desperately difficult to fix,even for God, and that sin is the longest-running of human emergencies.” (p 5)

“Shalom is God’s design for creation and redemption; sin isblamable human vandalism of these great realities and therefore an affront totheir architect and builder.” (p 16)

“The evil one gains no ground that we do not give him.” (p 75)

“To do itsworst, evil needs to look its best. Evil has to spend a lot on makeup.Hypocrites have to spend time polishing their act and polishing their image.’Hypocrisy is an homage that vice pays to virtue.’ Vices have to masquerade asvirtues–lust as love, envy as righteous indignation, domestic tyranny asparental concern.” (p 98)

“To the extentthat we are self-deceived, we occupy a twilight zone in which we make upreality as we go along, a twilight zone in which the shortest distance betweentwo points is a labyrinth.” (p 105)

“Not allfolly is sin, but all sin is folly. Sin is both wrong and dumb.” (p 121)

“When herattempts at self-management fail, as they usually do, and when her self-esteemplummets, as it always does, the addict feels compelled to seek solace in herobsessive behavior, and thus cycles down one more level. In this way, addictionsflourish by feeding on human attempts to master them.” (p 135)

“The centerof the Christian religion is not our sin but our Savior.” (p 199)