Points, Volume 14 #4

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WHY JESUS USED PARADOXES!
A reflection on mainline churches: Instead of being "in the world but not of the world," we have done the seemingly impossible, inverting Jesus' dictum and become of the world but not in the world.
--Donald Posterski,
evangelical theologian
KILLING ME SOFTLY....
Chinese rejection slip: "We have read your manuscript with boundless delight. If we were to publish your writing, it would be impossible for us to publish any work of a lower standard. And as it is unthinkable that in the next thousand years we shall see anything to equal your creation, we are regretfully compelled to return your divine compositon and to beg you a thousand times to overlook our shortsightedness and timidity."


GETTING IT STRAIGHT
The real clash everywhere in late twentieth-century global capitalism is over the power and privilege...elites everywhere extract from the common good. That reality is an offense to the prophetic heritage we Christians share with Muslims and Jews.
--John C. Raines

LIVING HOPE
A bit of Scripture we don't recall seeing before: "Wisdom...in every generation passes into holy souls and makes them friends of God, and prophets." (Wisdom 7:20)


LOVE SHAPES UNDERSTANDING
North American Native storyteller: "I don't know if the facts of the story are right but I know the story is true."


WHY SO FEW DO IT WELL
Welsh poet Waldo Williams describes forgiveness as "cutting through the thorns to stand alongside your old enemy."


SOUNDS REAL
What prayer means for me is how God gets at you. How you put yourself in such a position that God can get at you. That's what it means. Most people set up such a screen of conversation that God couldn't get through. At least through the prayer. He'd have to find some other way when they're not watching. The function of prayer, I find, very often is to let God not get at you--to make certain that God couldn't get through with a sledgehammer.
--John Dominic Crossan,
Scripture scholar
WHY CAN'T WE CATCH ON?
The central irony of our time that so many of the new conservatives wish to avoid is this: a capitalist society depends on noncapitalist values in order to hold together and prosper.
--E.J. Dionne, Jr.

AIN'T THAT JUST LIKE LIFE!
When another film maker, not a fan of modern cinema's haphazard adherence to chronology, harrumphed, "Movies should have a beginning, a middle and an end," Jean-Luc Godard replied, "Certainly, but not necessarily in that order."
--Patrick Henry

YOU MEAN THERE'S MORE?
Dying in one's sleep at 92 after having won three sets of tennis from one's 40-year-old grandson that afternoon and having made love to one's wife twice that same evening--this is about the only scenario I have found most American men will accept as fulfilling their idea of death with dignity.
--Dr. Willard Gaylin

MADE FREE
A wise philosopher: "It is the will of God that things should sometimes not happen according to the will of God."


MADE FREE, TAKE TWO
What reverence is rightly paid
To a Divinity so odd
He lets the Adam whom he made
Perform the Acts of God?
--W.H. Auden,
"Friday's Child"
cartoon


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