The demand for absolute liberty brings men
to the depths of slavery.
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer, (1906 – 1945)
Some young men are so ill-informed as to suppose that absence of restraint is the same thing as freedom, whereas, by unchaining the passions, it makes them slaves to a set of masters more tyrannical than all the teachers and mentors of childhood.
– Plutarch, (c. 45 – 120 AD)
No man is free who is not master of himself.
– Epictetus, (c. 50 – 135 AD)
Freedom on a piano involves subjection to the laws of music. Freedom in flying requires applying the principles of aerodynamics. Freedom in driving necessitates respect for the rules of the road. Freedom flourishes inside of boundaries. It self destructs without them.
To live life with the notion of absolute freedom is absolute folly. One quickly becomes a slave of his own self-centeredness, winds up in jail, or ends up dead.
We need something higher than ourselves to steer our life by. We need boundaries to be free. We need guidelines from our Maker.
– Jurgen Schulz
Freedom is not the permission to do what you like.
It’s the power to do what you ought.
– Os Guinness
Jesus Christ was nailed fast to the cross so he could not move. How is that for giving up your freedom? Christianity is the only religion that claims God gave up his freedom so we could experience the ultimate freedom—from evil and death itself. Therefore, you can trust him. He sacrificed his independence for you, so you can sacrifice yours for him. And when you do, you will find that it is the ultimate, infinitely liberating constraint. “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).
– Timothy Keller
He is a free man, whom the truth makes free,
And all are slaves besides.
– William Cowper, (1731 – 1800)
We find freedom when we find God;
we lose it when we lose Him.
– Paul Scherer
In freeing ourselves from Christianity, we have only freed ourselves from freedom.
– G. K. Chesterton
It is idle to talk always of the alternative of reason and faith.
Reason is itself a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert
that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all.
– G. K. Chesterton
Can you PROVE, in a non-circular way,
that there is truth? that reason works? No?
Oh, you have FAITH. I see.
Faith is belief in something for which there is evidence but no proof.
Faith is required for belief in most scientific ideas, as well as in religious doctrines. Faith is irrelevant for believing proven facts, like the
existence of cats or mathematical truths.
– Sy Garte
Life will always take you with a combination of faith and reason.
God has put enough in this world to make faith in Him a most
reasonable thing; He has left enough out to make it impossible
to live by sheer reason alone.
– Ravi Zacharias
Belief in God is an act of faith.
But so is believing our existence
is simply the result of chance.
– Eric Metaxas
The greatest act of faith takes place when a man
finally decides that he is not God.
– Johann Wolfgang Goethe
Faith is taking the first step even when
you don’t see the whole staircase.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
If you want your own way, God will let you have it.
Hell is the enjoyment of one’s own way forever.
– Dorothy Sayers
Atheism is a lack of belief in God? A mere absence?
Hell is a lack God’s presence, the absence of God.
God is, in His way, a libertarian. Everyone gets to choose.
– Eve Keneinan
Hell is God’s great compliment to the reality of human freedom
and the dignity of human personality.
– G. K. Chesterton
One does not miss heaven by a hair, but by constant effort
to avoid and escape God.
– Dallas Willard
Only the gospel dares to proclaim that God enters smack-dab into the middle of the hell we create. Only the gospel dares to proclaim that God was born a baby in a bloody, crap-filled stable, that He lived a life befriending the prostitutes and lepers no one else would befriend, and that He suffered, firsthand, the hellish depth of all that is nightmarish in human existence.
– Gregory A. Boyd
Hell is when and where you know there’s a party going on, that
you were invited, and that you permanently declined.
– James A. Fowler
In the long run the answer to all those who object to the doctrine of hell, is… a question: “What are you asking God to do?” To wipe out their past sins and, at all costs, to give them a fresh start, smoothing every difficulty and offering every miraculous help? But He has done so, on Calvary. To forgive them? They will not be forgiven [editor: they will not accept God’s forgiveness]. To leave them alone? Alas, I am afraid that is what He does.
– C. S. Lewis
The question is not, “Why would a loving God send anyone to hell?”
The question is, “Why would anyone choose hell over a loving God?”
Creation is too large to be contained in the tight fist of reason.
– Marilynne Robinson
Reason is no substitute for faith, as colour is not substitute for sound.
– Nicolás Gómez Dávila
God does not expect us to submit our faith to Him without reason, but the very limits of our reason make faith a necessity.
Reason itself is a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all.
– G. K. Chesterton,
Religious faith is not a rebellion against reason, but a legitimate and necessary revolt against the imprisonment of humanity within the cold walls of a rationalist dogmatism. The Christian faith declares that there is more to reality than reason discloses – not contradicting reason, but simply transcending it, and escaping from its limitations.
– Alister McGrath
The last function of reason is to recognize that there are an infinity of things which surpass it.
― Blaise Pascal
Christianity has inspired some of the world’s greatest music and arts, and has expanded education from the elite to the masses — even creating the entity of the university…
Prior to the coming of Christ, human life on this planet was expendable.
. . . In the ancient world, child sacrifice was a common practice. In ancient Rome, babies were often left to die if the father did not want them. Many Christians saved these babies and reared them in the Christian faith and helped turn the tide. Through His church, ultimately Jesus brought an end to infanticide in the Roman world.
Christianity also helped to cease the gladiatorial contests — where slaves would be forced to fight unto death for the entertainment of the crowds. And Christianity got slavery abolished in the ancient world and then again in the modern world.
Christianity managed to stop the practice in India of widow-burning. Many times a young girl would be married to an older man. When he died, she would be burned to death on his funeral pyre … until the missionaries agitated to put a stop to this. Wherever the Gospel has truly penetrated, the value of human life has greatly increased.
. . . Christianity and the Bible helped give birth to modern science, beginning in the late Middle Ages. The belief that a rational God had created a rational universe inspired so many scientists to engage in scientific exploration, looking to catalogue the laws the Creator had impressed upon His creation.
The early scientists thought of themselves as “thinking God’s thoughts after Him” (in the words of astronomer Johannes Kepler).
. . . Virtually all of the founders of every major branch of science were Bible-believing Christians. We document that in the book with a long list. One of those men, Sir Isaac Newton, was one of the greatest scientists who ever lived — and he was a committed believer who wrote more about the Bible and theology than he did about science.
Heaven and earth have been scoured to find evidence for or against the historicity of Jesus, theory after theory has been brought forth to account for him apart from his historicity. They have all collapsed by their own sheer weight or have broken themselves upon the fact of Christ. After . . . years of terrific battle, the smoke has cleared, and there stands upon the horizon of our thinking a character essentially as the New Testament depicts him.
– E. Stanley Jones
The early opponents of Christianity . . . the fact that none of them even attempts to claim Christ never existed, when you’d think that would be the best argument against the whole thing, is (to put it mildly) rather suggestive.
– Tom Woods
No serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non-historicity of Jesus.
– Otto Betz
All four Gospels agree in giving us a picture of a very definite personality. One is obliged to say, “Here was a man. This could not have been invented.
– H. G. Wells
That a few simple men should in one generation have invented so powerful and appealing a personality, so lofty an ethic, and so inspiring a vision of human brotherhood, would be a miracle far more incredible than any recorded in the Gospels.
– Will Durant
I have been used for many years to study the histories of other times and to examine and weigh the evidence of those who have written about them, and I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than the great sign which God hath given us that Christ died and rose again from the dead.
– Thomas Arnold,
Historian and Oxford Professor
If Jesus remained dead, how can you explain the reality of the Christian church and its phenomenal growth in the first three centuries of the Christian era? Christ’s church covered the Western world by the fourth century. A religious movement built on a lie could not have accomplished that…. All the power of Rome and of the religious establishment in Jerusalem was geared to stop the Christian faith. All they had to do was to dig up the grave and to present the corpse. They didn’t.
– Henry Schaefer III
Claiming that the original leader was alive again was simply not an option. Unless, of course, he was.
– N. T. Wright
I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Every one was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren’t true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world-and they couldn’t keep a lie for three weeks. You’re telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible.
– Charles Colson
The evidence for Jesus’ resurrection is so strong that nobody would question it except for two things: First, it is a very unusual event. And second, if you believe it happened, you have to change the way you live.
– Wolfhart Pannenberg
Would you ever expect to find the complete works of Shakespeare printed, collated, and bound by an accidental explosion?
But this is exactly what we have. An explosion that not only gave us the complete works of Shakespeare, but a bunch of bipedal units to act things out, crowds to weep and moan, and an industry of Shakespeare criticism that spans centuries. But the explosion didn’t stop there. It also gave us Kafka, Russian architecture, solar panels, Jeffersonian democracy, Christianity, and ivory poaching.
We are bits of the flying flotsam, spinning away from the eye of the Great Disaster. Anything we do is attributable to Chaos, for we are its children, carbon-based shrapnel with sensitive nerve endings, a problem with self-importance, and a taste for pizza.
I see your painting. It’s by Pollock. But where is your story? What is the plot? Who are the characters. What are the rules?
In this story, the Darwinian device that moves action is called (hail, the conquering hero) natural selection. But it has no purpose, no goal at all. Survival is the result for some and death for others, but there is nothing in this story to show that one is actually to be preferred over the other. Survival as good is just one of the axioms that’s been adopted by the faithful. The characters? What do you mean? There is only a strange impersonal trinity—Time, Chance, and Matter. Matter exists, and it is shaped by chemical reactions as Time and Chance act upon it. You have no soul. You are simply a combination of chemicals. What you call “death” is nothing more than a transition out of one combination and the beginning of another. Welcome to the leaf pile—you as mulch is no better or worse than you as man. When you begin and end is a pointless question…
The truth is that very few atheists will try to maintain that atheism is pleasant. It has been pitched as a hard truth, and those squinty-eyed atheists are the brave ones (the “brights,” according to Richard Dawkins), the ones willing to peer into the burning bosom of reality, see absolutely nothing, and write best-selling books about their experiences (and to convince us of our own soullessness). They preach this hard, chemically fatalistic doctrine like a bunch of Victorian Calvinists unable to understand why the populace won’t simply bow their heads and come along quietly.
Because it is nonsense. (And you can keep your tenure. I’d rather have a ping-pong table.)
― N. D. Wilson,
Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl
If you would, imagine that I am God . . . and I hold the Universe in my hands. Picture a shoe box, but it’s the Universe… OK? All space, all time, all matter is in the box: the universe. I AM not in the box, but holding the box…
Now, let me tell you about the universe—the box in my hands: Recent estimates are that the universe is 156 billion light years across. That is, if the universe were not still expanding, it would take light 156 billion years to go from one side to the other. Scientists tell us that we can only see 14 billion light years away, because the universe began 14 billion years ago. That is, we can’t even see the vast majority of the universe, for the light hasn’t even reached us yet.