“The British writer G. K. Chesterton once observed that the reality of sin can be seen on a lovely Sunday afternoon when bored and restless children start torturing the cat.” -David Brooks, The Road to Character
“The person involved in the struggle against sin understands that each day is filled with moral occasions. I once met an employer who asks each job applicant, “Describe a time when you told the truth and it hurt you.” He is essentially asking those people if they have their loves in the right order, if they would put love of truth above love of career.” -David Brooks, The Road to Character
“There’s something in our world that makes men lose their heads—they couldn’t be fair if they tried.” -Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird
“The human heart runs on denial, the way my car runs on gas.” -Tim Keller, from sermon “He Came to His Himself”
“Julian’s liberal theology was far from typical for the time, but her status as an anchoress protected her from accusations of heresy. While many of her contemporaries argued that the Black Death was a sign of God’s punishment of the wicked, Julian believed in a broader, more merciful theology, suggesting that God demonstrated only love, never wrath, for his people. Julian even applied her understanding of God’s love to sin, which, contrary to the medieval Roman Catholic Church’s stance, she viewed not as evil or the work of the devil but as a necessity for bringing one to self-knowledge. Sin, she argued, was a necessary part of free will because it created a greater understanding of the need for God’s grace. She even went as far as to claim that God did not forgive our sins. “I saw truly that our Lord was never angry, and never will be,” she wrote. “Because he is God, he is good, he is truth, he is love, he is peace; and his power, his wisdom, his charity and his unity do not allow him to be angry. . . . And between God and our soul there is neither wrath nor forgiveness in his sight. For our soul is so wholly united, through his own goodness, that between God and our soul nothing can interpose.” Michelle DeRusha, 50 Women Every Christian Should Know: Learning from Heroines of the Faith
BTW NOTE: Beware of any thinker that pits anger against love. We don’t even tolerate such thinking at a human level. If a husband were to cheat on his wife, her love for him would make her legitimately angry at what he had done. Why? Because love is more than a feeling, it is a commitment. And his infidelity jeopardized that commitment, and necessarily provoked her to anger. If she said to him, ‘Oh, I’m not angry at all that you did that,’ you would wonder whether their relationship was DOA already before the infidelity. The same thing applies to God. Any god that doesn’t get angry when we turn away from him, must not have been very invested in a relationship with us in the first place. The point of this: any God who never gets angry when we reject him, also can’t ever love us very much.
“None of us like to admit that we have sinful prejudices, and even fewer of us want to deal with them and drive them out of our lives. Part of that is not wanting to accept how sinful we are. But part of it is that it is really, really hard to believe we can be happier and our lives can actually be enhanced and improved by embracing and pursuing more diversity than uniformity. Can diversity really be a positive in our lives?” -David Murray, The Happy Christian
“Three words for what sin is: sin, iniquity, trans-gression. ‘Sin’ is the word for the specific offence (thought, word, deed, whatever). It is what we have in mind when we say ‘I’m sorry for that’; ‘iniquity’ derives from a verb meaning ‘to be bent’, and points to the inner defect or warp in human nature which is the well-spring of all sin; ‘transgression’ translates the serious word ‘rebellion’, as of a subordinate against an overlord (e.g., 2 Kgs. 3: 7).” -Alec Motyer, A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Loving the Old Testament