They said what…?

“It’s not the existence of God we’re bothered about but the existence of you who say you believe in him.”  Andrew O’Hagan

“Fundamentalism:  a religious way of being that manifests itself in a strategy by which beleaguered believers attempts to preserve their distinctive identity as a people of group in the face of modernity and secularisation.”  Malise Ruthven

Jesus came to save us from religion.”  Paul Tillich

“Revelation is a process not a printout.”  David Jenkins

“The one thought that possesses me most at this time and, I may say, has always possessed me, is that we have been dosing our people with religion when what they wanted was the true and living God.”  F. D. Maurice

“[He] demonstrates to the thoughtful eye how really irrational a rationalist philosopher can be.”  William Golding

“Paul is more interested in the Church’s place in God’s patern of salvation than its organisation.”  John Zeisler

“If you take the mystery out of art you’re left with nothing but design and illustration.” F. McWilliam

“Go and tell, but not until you’ve been and listened.”  J. Saxbee

“Atheism itself can become a conceptual idol, a fixed position as belligerent as theism, which is why evangelical atheists and evangelical theists could be said to deserve each other.”  Richard Holloway

“Belief in the sense of holding a set of attitudes or opinions is not the same thing as belief in the sense of having faith.”  G. Evans

“On my notes on admission to hospital, by the side of the heading ‘Spiritual’ were the words:  ‘has a friend who is a Vicar.'”  Heather Marshall

“An honest religious thinker is like a tightrope walker.  He almost looks as though he were walking on nothing but air.  His support is the slenderest imaginable.  And yet it really is possible to walk on it.”  Ludwig Wittgenstein

“Christianity was never meant to be complicated.  It was never meant to be burdensome.”  G. Evans

“There are only six stories in the history of the world, and they are all in the Soaps and they are all in the Bible.”  (unknown source)

“It would be an irony grander than any in the great theatre if the religions that evolved from the teachings of the world’s saintly prophets somehow prompted wars that wiped out civilization.”  James Martin (the futurologist, not the TV chef).

“Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our church.  We are fighting today for costly grace.”  Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“It was precisely because Christianity had ceased to be harsh and exacting . . . and had instead grown smug, complacent, soft and flabby, that Niettzsche held it in such withering contempt.  Like so much of the modern world, it had been riddled and eaten through and through by the wood-worm of democratic optimism and its categorical imperative: Christianity too must be tailored to popular wishes.  Ground under in the process was the very notion of the sacred, something to be revered precisely because it is not on our level but higher, nobler, and in the sublimest sense beyond Man’s (sic) reach.”  Curtis Cate

“Being faith in Christ, how could it but work and flower out into love?”  P. T. Forsyth

“The opposite of faith is not doubt, but sin.”  Soren Kierkegaard (see Romans 14:23)

“The effects of sin cannot be remedied merely by a transaction analogous to forgiving a debt . . . Significantly, the New Testament claims that the fundamental problem in human existence is lack of faith, a faulty sense of trust in God.”  Mark Biddle

“Like those who hear poetry, visit art exhibitions, attend concerts, and go to the theatre, readers of the Gospels must be guided not by artificial procedures and rigid pedantry but by passionate engagement and the deep concerns of the heart.  Then even more than those who open themselves to the beauty of literature, art, music and drama, they will catch the deft touches, personal insights and enriching variations with which the four evangelists tell the sublime story of Jesus’ dying and rising into glory.”  Gerald O’Collins

“Faith in Christ is not at the disposal of this or that system of political management.”  Rowan Williams

“For every difficult and complext problem, there is a solution which is simple, straight-forward – and wrong.”  H Mencken

“Trying to take a long view of the Church I have been struck by the fact that, looking back, the out-standing achievements are almost invariably the fruit of imagination, courage and clear-headed intelligence, whereas the failures are about insensitivity, refusal to face conflict, fear of what religious extremists or the press will say, or sheer woolly-headedness and fudge.”  Monica Furlong







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