Category Archives: Quotable

The Reason for and the Result of Evangelism

One of the membership vows new United Methodists take is to support the church with their witness. Hal Knight explained why we seek to do this (and that “why” is not the answer usually given) in an article that I’ve been meaning to share for a long while. Here’s an excerpt the summarizes the article:

the primary argument for the gospel is lives and churches who in their relationships, their life together, and their outreach to others is motivated and characterized by love. It is both the reason for and the result of evangelism. [1]

I encourage you to head over and listen to the whole thing.


[1] Henry H. Knight, “Great Commandment Evangelism,” Catalyst Resources, April 6, 2016, section goes here, accessed December 01, 2017,

Only Two Kinds of People in the End

There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. — C. S. Lewis [1]

C. S. Lewis isn’t God, and The Great Divorce is not the Bible, but I think this understanding of hell is compatible with biblical teaching.

[1] C. S. Lewis, The Great Divorce (New York: Macmillan Company, 1946), Chapter 9.

The True Test of Faith

Not everything (not even most of the things) I read in preparation for the sermon make it to the pulpit. Here’s a great comment on Matthew 25:31-46 that didn’t make it into the sermon:

Feeding the hungry, welcoming strangers, and visiting the sick are mundane acts. In this sense ‘virtue is not far from us, nor is it without ourselves, but it is within us, and is easy if only we are willing’ (Anthony the Great). The Son of Man does not demand supernatural feats but simple, unobtrusive charity. The former but not the latter can easily be counterfeited (24:24). Charity [Christian love] is accordingly the true test of faith. [1]

[1] Rene Kieffer, “Matthew,” in The Oxford Bible Commentary, ed. John Barton and John Muddiman (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), 879.

Because God Loves Us

The Christian thinks any good he does comes from the Christ-life inside him. He does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us. — C. S. Lewis [1]

[1] C. S. Lewis, “The Practical Conclusion,” in Mere Christianity (1952).


We Can Be Taught to Love

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite. — Nelson Mandela [1]

Mandela specifically names the color of skin, background, and religion, but the words above apply to all the divisions that face us. God made us for love and not for hate.

[1] Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela (Boston: Back Bay Books, 1995), 622.

Just So Much Self-Knowledge

I sometimes pray not for self-knowledge in general but for just so much self-knowledge at the moment as I can bear and use at the moment; the little daily dose. — C. S. Lewis [1]

[1] C. S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm, Chiefly on Prayer (San Francisco: HarperOne, 2017), chap. 6.

We Must Not Remain Neutral in the Face of Injustice

If you are neutral in a situation of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has his foot on the tail of the mouse, and you say you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. — Bishop Desmond Tutu [1]

This truth is why the ancient Hebrew prophets were also so quick to denounce injustice and why we must do likewise.

[1] Robert McAfee Brown, Unexpected News: Reading the Bible with Third World Eyes (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1984), 19.

A Calm and Humble Life

We’ve started (or tried to start) a congregational conversation about frugality and contentment. In that vein, I have a quote from Albert Einstein. Einstein was not a Christian, but this sentiment of his sure is.

“A calm and humble life will bring more happiness than the pursuit of success and the constant restlessness that comes with it.” [1]

This quote from a handwritten note that sold at auction for $1.56m which seems to me to indicate that the person who bought it had not yet taken it to heart.

[1] “Einstein’s Theory of Happiness Sold for $1.5m,” BBC News, October 24, 2017, accessed October 26, 2017,


Have We Got to Become Such Idiots?

The German catalyst of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther, was a devoting and loving father, but like all parents, he had his moments. Such moments were sometimes captured by his students who took notes of what he said even at the dining table. As related by a biographer, “When Luther looked at his family in 1538, he remarked,”

Christ said we must become as little children to enter the kingdom of heaven. Dear God, this is too much. Have we got to become such idiots? — Martin Luther [1]

Can you imagine what his children must have been up to at the time?

[1] Roland H. Bainton, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013), Kindle, 4224-4225.

Trusting God in the Moment

Today’s quotable comes via Twitter.

My life has never failed to work out, God has never failed to be with me. Someday, hopefully, God’s ongoing faithfulness will produce in me the trust God deserves.

[1] Nadia Bolz Weber. Twitter post, September 29, 2017, 5:59 p.m.,