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.
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
in 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
Amusing Ourselves to Death
What kind of God do you think would create only
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.
Jesus probably could not win a Dove Award. He would certainly have ticked off the establishment too thoroughly for that kind of unfettered affirmation.
Those are my principles. If you don't like them I have others.
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.
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.
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
"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.
The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made.
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.
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
A poet is a man who mixes up heaven and earth unconsciously.
G. K. Chesterton
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.
Care Of The Soul
There's only one secret to bachelor cooking-not caring how it tastes.
The Bachelor Home Companion
The weight of this sad time we must obey,
Speak what we feel; not what we ought to say
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.
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.
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.
All my life I've wanted to be someone; I guess I should have been more specific.
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.
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.
From the moment I picked up your book until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it.
To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.
A Short History of England
If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?
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.
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.
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.
Mystery & Manners
I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.
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.
The History of White People in America
"Salvation," Mrs. Anstruther said mildly, "is quite often
a terrible thing-a frightening good."
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.
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.
Nobel Lecture 1970
I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members.