Family Isn’t the Key to Heaven

“If any of you try to content yourselves with this world, any hope to find a heaven in the midst of your business and your family without looking upward for it, you labor in vain.” -Charles Spurgeon, Talks to Farmers



What’s Worse? What’s Inside Us or What’s Outside Us?

“Today, when we say that somebody is repressed, we tend to mean it as a criticism. It means they are uptight, stiff, or unaware of their true emotional selves. That’s because we live in a self-expressive culture. We tend to trust the impulses inside the self and distrust the forces outside the self that seek to push down those impulses. But in this earlier moral ecology, people tended to distrust the impulses inside the self. These impulses could be restrained, they argued, through habit.” -David Brooks, The Road to Character

‘All’ Isn’t Really All Unless It Includes Him

“We ‘have all we want’ is a terrible saying when ‘all’ does not include God. We find God an interruption. As St Augustine says somewhere, ‘God wants to give us something, but cannot, because our hands are full—there’s nowhere for Him to put it.’ Or as a friend of mine said, ‘We regard God as an airman regards his parachute; its there for emergencies but he hopes he’ll never have to use it.’” -C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

Some More Dangerous Than Others (But Not the Ones You Think)?

“The dangers of apparent self-sufficiency explain why Our Lord regards the vices of the feckless and dissipated so much more leniently than the vices that lead to worldly success. Prostitutes are in no danger of finding their present life so satisfactory that they cannot turn to God: the proud, the avaricious, the self-righteous, are in that danger.” -C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

BTW NOTE: Is this true? Isn’t it possible that Jesus doesn’t talk about “the vices of the feckless and dissipated” because it was a ‘given’ in that society that those were wrong, but the vices associated with worldly success were not ‘givens’ and thus needed exposition by Jesus.

Can’t Escape the World Like That

“For a brief season in his life, Jerome (ca. AD 347-420), the translator of the Bible into Latin (the Vulgate), decided to become a hermit, an ascetic. He went out into the desert, living among wild animals and scorpions. He became emaciated because of his extreme methods of fasting, trying to live by the standards of God’s law as he understood it. He tells us in a biographical narrative that even as he was trying to conform himself to the standards of God’s law, he found that his mind-even in the midst of a desert, while his body was wasting away-was filled with thoughts of the young girls who had surrounded him in Rome.’ The law could not help him. In fact, the law exacerbated his sin.” -Derek Thomas