Saturday, March 05, 2005

Quotable Quotes

Here are a handful of quotable quotes that might interest you.

The first is about postmodernity and was garnered from Martin Marty's CONTEXT, where he is quoting A. J. Conyers, who teaches at Baylor's George W. Truett Theological Seminary.

"Postmodernism is not a culture, but the fatigue of culture. It is a sign of the end of modernity, and for that reason its critique of modernity is telling. But it is not a new age, nor the sign of a new kind of culture. It despairs of culture. It cannot become a vessel for gospel, for it is fundamentally anti-gospel just as all signs of destruction (or deconstruction) and judgment can only serve as a sort of warning, an invocation of an 'Ichabod'. For culture both engenders and depends on life, not decay, and it is there -- not in the decadent features of a modern West, but perhaps in the revivals of Asia and Africa -- that we shall truly find the gospel at work. And it is there that a full and a viable sense of 'vocation' will first be found in a vital and life-giving form."

The second is from my old friend, Jim Packer, and is taken from a review
that he did in the March/April 2005 issue of Books and Culture. The
book is about the relationship between Roman Catholics and Evangelicals

"Catholics, whose church is fairly well discipline, do not take this process of adjustment to the brash extremes of Protestants like John Spong, Richard Holloway, Michael Ingham and John Hick, whose imaginative end-products are not Christianty but something else; however, liberal Catholics seem to be on the same path methodologically, though nothing like so far along it.

To all conservative Christians, liberals, however well-meaning, appear as parasitic cosmeticians; cosmeticians, because they constantly aim to remove from Christianity that which outsiders, like some inside, find intellectually unsightly and unacceptable; parasitic, because they attach themselves to the historic faith and feed off it even as they whittle it down, diminishing, distorting, and displacing major features of it to fit in with what their skeptical conversation partners tout as factual truth. In mainline Protestantism, where doctrinal disciplines is, alas, virtually nonexistent, liberals have a free run, but in Catholicsm only a few steps along this road prove to be too far."

A little later in the article he writes,

The true corrective for all liberalism, so conservatives think, is a renewed commitment to the teaching of the Bible: a Bible viewed in its totality as Jesus and his apostles viewed their canonical Scriptures, our Old Testament (without the Apocrypha, it seems); namely, as the didactive discourse, utterance, communicative instrument of God in person; as, therefore, truth unchanged, unchanging and transcultural, by which all human options in all cultures are to be measured and assessed, rather than vice-versa... Humanly and pastorally, that issue then
mutates into whether our minds will focus primarily on receptive interaction with the culture or with the Bible.

MOst people see clearly only that on which they focus their eyes and concentrate their minds, and in theology things are similar. Liberal minds, focused on the prevailing culture with its pressures and problems, are often blurred with regard to the truth and authority of the Scriptures, through not having focused habitually on the word of God in, as, and through the biblical text. A basic task for conservatives in both camps (Catholic and evangelical) is to call attention to this
blurriness and, under God, seek to dispel it."

Hope you find these helpful.

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