Category: quote

In A Centennial Reader, James Bratt introduces Abraham Kuyper’s inaugural address for the Free University of Amsterdam, and why opening this institution was so important for Kuyper:

“Higher education and advanced research had enormous importance for him: religiously, for exploring and enhancing God’s creation; strategically, for (re)shaping society and culture; socially, for raising the self-respect and life-chances of common people.”

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On reading doctrinal books rather than devotional books for sake of deepening devotion:

“For my own part I tend to find the doctrinal books often more helpful in devotion than the devotional books, and I rather suspect that the same experience may await many others. I believe that many who find that ‘nothing happens’ when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that their heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand.”

—C.S. Lewis, Preface to On the Incarnation

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Perhaps my favorite Preface of all time is that by C.S. Lewis for On the Incarnation by Athanasius. Here’s an example, on why we should read old books:

“Where they are true they will give us truths which we half knew already. Where they are false they will aggravate the error with which we are already dangerously ill. The only palliative is to keep the clean sea breeze of the centuries blowing through our minds, and this can be done only by reading old books. Not, of course, that there is any magic about the past. People were no cleverer then than they are now; they made as many mistakes as we. But not the same mistakes. They will not flatter us in the errors we are already committing; and their own errors, being now open and palpable, will not endanger us. Two heads are better than one, not because either is infallible, but because they are unlikely to go wrong in the same direction. To be sure, the books of the future would be just as good a corrective as the books of the past, but unfortunately we cannot get at them.”

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The kind of preacher to aspire to be, as Augustine confessed to the Lord about Ambrose:

“His gifted tongue never tired of dispensing the richness of your corn, the joy of your oil, and the sober intoxication of your wine.”

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Because sin darkens the minds of unbelivers (Ephesians 4:18), does that mean that they can’t discover any true things in science?

“No, the real darkening of sin is found in something completely different, in our having lost the gift to comprehend the true context, the proper coherence, the systematic unity of things. We now view things just outwardly, not in core and essence; hence also, each thing individually, not things together in their connection and origin in God.”

—Abraham Kuyper, “Common Grace in Science,” A Centennial Reader

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“The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think.”

—Edwin Schlossberg

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Doug Wilson on The Obedience of Cancer:

“this cancer is right where it is because it is being obedient–and we don’t want to be less obedient than the cancer is being. And that means trusting the Lord who does all things well. He assigns a place to everything, and I need to be more concerned about being obedient in my assigned station than I am distraught at the inconvenience created by something else being obedient in its assigned station.”

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