The Auld Kirk

SCOTTISH PREACHER (haranging his flock): At the day of judgement, there will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth!

VOICE FROM THE CONGREGATION: What about people who've lost their teeth?

PREACHER (grimly): Teeth will be provided!

Wit: The Best Things Ever Said
Compiled by John Train

God spoke to Balaam through his ass... I believe God still speaks through asses today...
So if God should choose to speak through you - you needn't think too highly of yourself.

Rich Mullins
Lufkin, Texas August 1997

In many Christian book stores, the only potentially scandalous fare on the shelves is the Bible itself, whose seamy stories always manage to get by [the censors], creating the impression that it is the only book in the store not written by a Christian.

James Calvin Schaap
Singing & Preaching
Poets & Writers Jan/Feb 98

The danger is not that religion has become the content of television shows, but that television shows may become the content of religion.

Neil Postman
Amusing Ourselves to Death

What kind of God do you think would create only one universe?
A universe that just sits there like a pile of sh--?
A real dim bulb God that,
No. No no no no no.
God created a universe of co-creators,
People who make new patches of joy, spurts of passion,
occasions of beauty, excuses for love;
Kickbacks of gratitude to the First Artist;
and more universes than anyone could ever want.

Mark O'Brien

Jesus probably could not win a Dove Award. He would certainly have ticked off the establishment too thoroughly for that kind of unfettered affirmation.

Reed Arvin

Those are my principles. If you don't like them I have others.

Groucho Marx

All the hard and wonderful things of the world are nothing more than a frame for a spirit, like fire and light, that is the endless roiling of love and grace. I can tell you only that beauty cannot be expressed or explained in a theory or an idea, that it moves by its own law, that it is God's way of comforting His broken children.

Mark Helprin
A Soldier of the Great War

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.

Johann Sebastian Bach

Doubts are the ants in the pants of faith. They keep it awake and moving.

Frederick Buechner
Wishful Thinking

The metaphor is perhaps one of man's most fruitful potentialities. Its efficacy verges on magic, and it seems a tool for creation which God forgot inside one of His creatures when He made him.

José Ortega y Gasset

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in

Leonard Cohen
"Anthem" from The Future

The world exists, not for what it means but for what it is. The purpose of mushrooms is to be mushrooms; wine is in order to be wine: Things are precious before they are contributory. It is a false piety that walks through creation looking only for lessons which can be applied somewhere else. To be sure, God remains the greatest good, but, for all that, the world is still good in itself. Indeed, since He does not need it, its whole reason for being must lie in its own goodness; He has no use for it; only delight.

Robert Farrar Capon
The Supper Of the Lamb

For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love.

John Donne
The Canonization

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made.

Groucho Marx

Why pork was proscribed by Hebraic law is still unclear, and some scholars believe that the Torah merely suggested not eating pork at certain restaurants.

Woody Allen
Getting Even

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.

Abraham Lincoln

A poet is a man who mixes up heaven and earth unconsciously.

G. K. Chesterton
William Blake

Here we come upon an important rule, applicable to religious spirituality and to stories [songs], dreams, and pictures of all kinds. The intellect wants a summary meaning-all well and good for the purposeful nature of the mind. But the soul craves depth of reflection, many layers of meaning, nuances without end, references and allusions and prefigurations. All these enrich the texture of an image or story and please the soul by giving it much food for rumination. Rumination is one of the chief delights of the soul.

Thomas Moore
Care Of The Soul

There's only one secret to bachelor cooking-not caring how it tastes.

P.J. O'Rourke
The Bachelor Home Companion

The weight of this sad time we must obey,

Speak what we feel; not what we ought to say

William Shakespeare
King Lear

If I were called upon to state in a few words the essence of everything I was trying to say both as a novelist and as a preacher, it would be something like this: Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.

Frederick Buechner
Now & Then

The so-called sexual revolution is not, as advertised, a liberation of sexual behavior but rather its reversal. In former days, even under Victoria, sexual intercourse was the natural end and culmination of heterosexual relations. Now one begins with genital overtures instead of a handshake, then waits to see what will turn up (e.g., we might become friends later). Like dogs greeting each other nose to tail and tail to nose.

Walker Percy
The Last Gentleman

There is but one good illustration of SPIRIT- WIND!

When Spirit comes to flesh gales rage and zephyrs scream. When he withdraws, air stagnates and insects build webs in the rotors of the silent mills.

Calvin Miller
The Song

All my life I've wanted to be someone; I guess I should have been more specific.

Lily Tomlin

It has been said that television is called a medium because it is neither rare nor well done.

Phil Hartman (quoting Ernie Kovacs)
Emceeing the 1993 CLIO Awards

The world is a spiritual kindergarten where bewildered infants are trying to spell GOD with the wrong blocks.

Edward Arlington Robinson
as quoted in The Portable Curmudgeon

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.

Albert Einstein

If you wish to glimpse inside a human soul and get to know a man, don't bother analyzing his ways of being silent, of talking, of weeping, or seeing how much he is moved by noble ideas; you'll get better results if you just watch him laugh. If he laughs well, he's a good man.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

From the moment I picked up your book until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it.

Groucho Marx

To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.

G.K. Chesterton
A Short History of England

If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?

Abraham Lincoln

If I'm more of an influence to your son as a rapper than you are as father, you know, you got to look at yourself as a parent.

Ice Cube
Rolling Stone #588

When I was a kid, they called me Mr. Baseball. Not because I was a great player, but because of the stitches in my head.

Emo Philips

When you can assume that your audience holds the same beliefs you do, you can relax a little and use more normal ways of talking to it; when you have to assume that it does not, then you have to make your vision apparent by shock- to the hard of hearing, you shout, and for the almost blind, you draw large startling pictures.

Flannery O'Connor
Mystery & Manners

I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.

Groucho Marx

In a traditional White household, you may find a Bible, King James or Reader's Digest Condensed, but you won't find a bookmark in it. Possibly some autumn leaves or a pressed prom corsage, but no bookmark. To these folks, the Bible is more furniture than literature.

Martin Mull
The History of White People in America

"Salvation," Mrs. Anstruther said mildly, "is quite often a terrible thing-a frightening good."

Charles Williams
Descent Into Hell

The task of the artist is to sense more keenly than others the harmony of the world, the beauty and the outrage of what man has done to it, and poignantly to let people know.

Alexander Solzhenitzyn
Nobel Lecture 1970

Art communicates whole the burden of another's long life experience with all it's hardships, colors, and vitality, re-creating in the flesh what another has experienced, and allowing it to be acquired as one's own.

Alexander Solzhenitzyn
Nobel Lecture 1970

I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members.

Groucho Marx