Facebook allows people to list their favorite quotes. But, in the recent change, the quotes section (which has never been particularly highlighted) has been pushed to the bottom of the second page. I don’t think anyone but me actually actively reads other people’s favorite quotes or consistently updates their own quotes. In any case, the quotes I include on my Facebook are actually a pretty good picture of who I am, how I think, and how I approach the world. So, without further ado, my favorite quotes: 

“Has the universe gone dark and silent on us? pascal had that idea. He said, “The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrified me.” Why should it? Silence is frightening if it comes where there ought to be noise—silence in the nursery, in the dining hall, in the woods when the birds ought to be singing. But we do not live in the sky. If we had to, that would be very frigtening indeed, for it would kill us. Much science fiction consists in scaring oneself into fits with this nightmare. But nothing need take us up there—unless we have the idea that we are called upon to take over from God, and that up there is where he used to be. We have lost the music of the spheres, and that was certainly a very gracious symbol. But if there is a God, that symbol is quite unnecessary for him, and if there is not, the music of real life, which that outer music reflected, is still here for us in earth. There is no reason why we should be frightened of the heavens. If we think of them, not as a haunted church, not as the home of alien demons, not as a terrifying and impossible home for ourselves, but simply as they are—as the spacious and splendid setting in which our world properly belongs—what threat do they pose? They do not concern us, except that they are glorious.” -M. Midgley

“The wind is up above the world before a twig on the tree has moved. So there must always be a battle in the sky before there is a battle on the earth. Since it is lawful to pray for the coming of the kingdom, it is lawful also to pray for the coming of the revolution that shall restore the kingdom. It is lawful to hope to hear the wind of Heaven in the trees. It is lawful to pray “Thine anger come on earth as it is in Heaven.” -G.K. Chesterton

“A revelatory word can come from any quarter–from believer, unbeliever, and misbeliever alike. No hierarchy. No official words. Only testimonies. Poems. People being people.” -David Dark

“If Calvinism is true, it means that God creates disposable people, people without any hope. It means that God not only allows, but sovereignly ordains, every war and every abortion and every rape of a child. It means that God does not love the world; he hates it. If Calvinism is true, it means that if that dying little girl that you held in your arms in India was not among the elect, then God did not love her. He never had any intention of loving her. She was nothing to Him. In fact, he would delight and find glory in her eternal torture in hell. And whenever I raise these points with Calvinists, all they can say is that I should be more grateful for my own salvation! It’s like, ‘as long as my eternal destiny is secure, as long as my life is all planned out and taken care of by God, who gives a damn about anyone else!’ How can you be okay with that? How can anyone be okay with that? Why do I feel like I’m the only one who finds this morally offensive?”
-Rachel Held Evans

“There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket-safe, dark, motionless, airless-it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.” -C.S. Lewis

“If anyone holds that religion is essentially ritual and sacramental; or that it is purely personal; or that God is on the side of the rich; or that social interest is likely to lead preachers astray; he must prove his case with his eye on the Hebrew prophets, and the burden of proof is with him.” -Walter Rauschenbusch

“Why are we not as anxious to be as perfect in our art as we pretend we want to be in our service of God? If we do not try to be perfect in what we write, perhaps it is because we are not writing for God after all. In any case it is depressing that those who serve God and love Him sometimes write so badly, when those who do not believe in Him take pains to write so well. I am not talking about grammar and syntax, but about having something to say and saying it in sentences that are not half dead. Saint Paul and Saint Ignatius Martyr did not bother about grammar but they certainly knew how to write. . . A bad book about the love of God remains a bad book, even though it may be about the love of God. There are many who think that because they have written about God, they have written good books. Then men pick up these books and say: If the ones who say they believe in God cannot find anything better than this to say about it, their religion cannot be worth much.” -Thomas Merton

“That, in fact, is (I believe) one of the reasons why God has given us so much story, so much narrative in scripture. Story authority, as Jesus knew only too well, is the authority that really works. Throw a rule book at people’s head, or offer them a list of doctrines, and they can duck or avoid it, or simply disagree and go away. Tell them a story, though, and you invite them to come into a different world; you invite them to share a world-view or better still a ‘God-view’. That, actually, is what the parables are all about. They offer, as all genuine Christian story-telling does, a world-view which, as someone comes into it and finds how compelling it is, quietly shatters the world-view that they were in already. Stories determine how people see themselves and how they see the world. Stories determine how they experience God, and the world, and themselves, and others. Great revolutionary movements have told stories about the past and present and future. They have invited people to see themselves in that light, and people’s lives have been changed. If that happens at a merely human level, how much more when it is God himself, the creator, breathing through his word.” -N.T. Wright

“Faith works. Kingdom people do Kingdom things. Who you are expresses itself in what you do.” -Curt Niccum

“But let me first state as clearly as I can that the Christian Gospel is offensive, foolish and scandalous. But the offense is far worse that kitsch t-shirts recycled by culturally savvy (and predictably cynical) art students. The Gospel is far more offensive than the cruel scapegoating of the fearful who hide behind their faith. The offense is even worse that what N.T. Wright would call the “sub-biblical” distortion of the Gospel that depict Jesus as a kind of divine punching-bag for a diabolical deity with anger management issues. . .There is without doubt a place for Christians to cause offense, but that offense is caused only by the determination to live the kind of love that Jesus Christ lived – a life that can only be lived in the power of the Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. Our only offense must be the grace of the cross, as revealed in the New Testament’s nonviolent Messiah. In a world scarred by war, our offense is what our mate Greg Boyd would call “Calvary-shaped love.” -Jarrod McKenna

“We should not read the stories presented in the Bible looking first and foremost for moral, spiritual, or theological truths to apply to our lives today. This is true when we read of Adam, or Abraham, the story of David and Goliath or the miracles of Jesus. The story of David and Goliath, for example, should not be read as a story to inspire faith in daunting circumstances. It should not even be read as a story of God’s faithfulness if only we trust. Rather this is a story of David as the faithful king when Saul was faithless. There is a historical significance to the event in the grand narrative of scripture.” -RJS

“One who contended that a poem was nothing but black marks on white paper would be unanswerable if he addressed an audience who couldn’t read. Look at it through microscopes, analyze the printer’s ink and the paper, study it (in that way) as long as you like; you will never find something over and above all the products of analysis whereof you can say ‘This is the poem’. Those who can read, however, will continue to say the poem exists.” -CS Lewis

“The church in America will not be a Christ-centered community of peace so long as it is determined to assert its identity as American. It is imperative that all traces of nationalism be removed from the church’s worship. Otherwise, in times of crisis the church will continue to embrace the role of handmaiden of war. God cannot be praised in the same breath that America is honored without God being dishonored and replaced by another god, an idolatrous Americanized deity. The church cannot be itself so long as it is defined by its location, complexion or culture. Only when the church in America – and every other nation – practices its praise in a way that glorifies the God revealed in Jesus Christ alone will it be capable of working for the healing of the nations and not be an agent for the continuing wounding of the nations.” -Craig M. Watts