Quotes O

obedience obesity objectivity obscenity obstinacy occult opportunity opposition optimism original sin orthodoxy


Wicked men obey from fear, good men, from love.-- Aristotle

In sacrifices a man offers only the strange flesh of irrational animals, whereas in obedience he offers his own will, which is our rational or spiritual worship. - The Berleburg Bible 1726-29 cited in Keil, Biblical Commentary, 156.

But when once Christ had called him, Peter had no alternative he must leave the ship and come to Him. In the end, the first step of obedience proves to be an act of faith in the word of Christ. But we should completely misunderstand the nature of grace if we were to suppose that there was no need to take the first-step, because faith was already there. Against that, we must boldly assert that the step of obedience must be taken before faith can be possible. Unless he obeys, a man cannot believe.-- Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1905-1945), The Cost of Discipleship

One act of obedience is better than one hundred sermons.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) In "Draper's Book of Quotations for the Christian World," by Edythe Draper, 1992.

Jeremiah refutes the popular, modern notion that the end of religion is an integrated personality, freed of its fears, its doubts, and its frustrations. Certainly Jeremiah was no integrated personality. It is doubtful if... he ever knew the meaning of the word "peace". We have no evidence that his internal struggle was ever ended, although the passing years no doubt brought an increasing acceptance of destiny. Jeremiah, if his "confessions" are any index, needed a course in pastoral psychiatry in the very worst way... The feeling cannot be escaped that if Jeremiah had been integrated, it would have been at the cost of ceasing to be Jeremiah! A man at peace simply could not be a Jeremiah. Spiritual health is good; mental assurance is good; but the summons of faith is neither to an integrated personality nor to the laying-by of all questions, but to the dedication of personality -- with all its fears and questions -- to its duty and destiny under God.
John Bright, The Kingdom of God [1955]

He who lives up to a little light shall have more light; he who lives up to a little knowledge shall have more knowledge; he who lives up to a little faith shall have more faith, and he who lives up to a little love shall have more love. Verily the main reason why men are such babes and shrubs in grace is because they do not live up their attainments. - THOMAS BROOKS

Let us therefore learn (as I have said before) so to behave ourselves in obedience to God that men also on their parts be friendly towards us. For there is no one so great or mighty that he can avoid the misery that will rise up against him when he resists and strives against God.
John Calvin, Sermon 161, Thursday, March 26, 1556

In that obedience which we have shown to be due the authority of rulers, we are always to make this exception, indeed, to observe it as primary, that such obedience is never to lead us away from obedience to him, to whose decrees all their commands ought to yield, to whose majesty their scepters ought to be submitted. And how absurd would it be that in satisfying men you should incur the displeasure of him for whose sake you obey men themselves! The Lord, therefore, is the King of Kings, who, when he has opened his sacred mouth, must alone be heard, before all and above all men; next to him we are subject to those men who are in authority over us, but only in him. If they command anything against him, let it go unesteemed.
John Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion [1559]

Christ came not to possess our brains with some cold opinions, that send down a freezing and benumbing influence into our hearts. Christ was a master of the life, not of the school; and he is the best Christian whose heart beats with the purest pulse towards heaven, not he whose head spins the finest cobweb.
Ralph Cudworth

Rest in this-it is His business to lead, command, impel, send, call, or whatever you want to call it. It is your business to obey, follow, move, respond, or what have you... The sound of 'gentle stillness' after all the thunder and wind have passed will be the ultimate Word from God.- Jim Elliot

When someone demands blind obedience, you'd be a fool not to peek. Jim Fiebig

Obedience is the only virtue that plants the other virtues in the heart and preserves them after they have been planted. -- Gregory the Great (540-604)

Those who would complain about the Word of God being forced down their throats are those with no intention of heeding it.- Dean C. Haskins

But the Christian sees things as they really are, and his will is brought into unison with God's will, so that he loves to do what he ought to do. He finds that in obedience to God, and there only, all the powers of his nature find full, free play, and all his capacities of happiness full gratification.
Robert Johnstone, Lectures on the Epistle of James

The gospel shows us that our spiritual problem lies not only in failing to obey God, but also in relying on our obedience to make us fully acceptable to God, ourselves and others. Every kind of character flaw comes from this natural impulse to be our own saviour through our own performance and achievement. On the one hand, proud and disdainful personalities come from basing your identity on your performance and thinking you are succeeding. But on the other hand, discouraged and self loathing personalities also come from basing your identity on your performance and thinking you are failing. - Tim Keller, 2002.

I was not born to be free. I was born to adore and to obey. C. S. Lewis

I find that doing the will of God leaves me with no time for disputing about His plans. George Macdonald (1824-1905)

To do the will of God from the heart in times of prosperity is the only way to bear this will from the heart in times of suffering. Andrew Murray

Make me what Thou wouldst have me. I bargain for nothing. I make no terms. I seek for no previous information whither Thou art taking me. I will be what Thou wilt make me, and all that Thou wilt make me. I say not, I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest, for I am weak, but I give myself to Thee, to lead me anywhither. ... John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

If two angels were to receive at the same moment a commission from God, one to go down and rule earth's grandest empire, the other to go and sweep the streets of its meanest village, it would be a matter of entire indifference to each which service fell to his lot, the post of ruler or the post of scavenger; for the joy of the angels lies only in obedience to God's will, and with equal joy they would lift a Lazarus in his rags to Abraham's bosom, or be a chariot of fire to carry an Elijah home. John Newton

Then are we servants of God, then are we the disciples of Christ, when we do what is commanded us and because it is commanded us. John Owen (1616-1683)

Nothing shall be lost that is done for God or in obedience to Him.... John Owen (1616-1683)

Much of our difficulty as seeking Christians stems from our unwillingness to take God as He is and adjust our lives accordingly. We insist upon trying to modify Him and bring Him nearer to our own image.
A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

If you will have the teachings of Christ, walk according to the knowledge you have already. Use your little knowledge well, and Christ will teach you more. 'If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself.' John 7:17 -THOMAS WATSON


Tubby or not tubby, fat is the question! &emdash;Sign in a slimming clinic

I have flabby thighs, but fortunately my stomach covers them.

The reason fat men are good-natured is they can neither fight or run.- Theodore Roosevelt

The waist is a terrible thing to mind. Ziggy (Tom Wilson)


Show me a man who claims he is objective and I'll show you a man with illusions.- Henry R. Luce (1898 &endash; 1967) 


Obscenity is the sign of a weak mind trying to express itself.


I am firm. You are obstinate. He is a pig-headed fool. Katharine Whitehorn


Help Wanted: Telepath. You know where to apply.

Do witches run spell checkers?

I believe there is such a thing as witchcraft. Believing that there are spirits, I am bound in mere reason to suppose that there are probably evil spirits; believing that there are evil spirits, I am bound in mere reason to suppose that some men grow evil by dealing with them. ... Yet I should certainly resist any effort to search for witches, for a perfectly simple reason, which is the key of the whole of this controversy. The reason is that it is one thing to believe in witches and quite another to believe in witch-smellers. ... Witches were not the feeble-minded, but the strong-minded - the evil mesmerists, the rulers of the elements. Many a raid on a witch, right or wrong, seemed to the villagers who did it a righteous popular rising against a vast spiritual [sic] tyranny, a papacy of sin. Yet we know that the thing degenerated into a rabid and despicable persecution of the feeble or the old. It ended by being a war upon the weak.
G. K. Chesterton, Eugenics and Other Evils(1922) in The Collected works of G. K. Chesterton, IV (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1987), 336-7

It is the most ungodly and dangerous business to abandon the certain and revealed will of God in order to search in to the hidden mysteries of God. Martin Luther

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and owlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Third Witch
Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witches' mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg'd i' the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Silver'd in the moon's eclipse,
Nose of Turk and Tartar's lips,
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver'd by a drab,
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,
For the ingredients of our cauldron.
Shakespeare ,Macbeth , Act 4, Scene 1



When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.... Alexander Graham Bell, (1847-1922),

The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are.
John Burroughs (1837-1921) "Webster's Electronic Quotebase," ed. Keith Mohler, 1994.

We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems.John W. Gardner(1912-____)

We are confronted with insurmountable opportunities. ~Walt Kelly (in Pogo)

Each day brings its own gift. Untie the ribbon. - Ann Ruth Schabacker

Every exit is an entry somewhere.... Tom Stoppard, Body, Mind and Spirit


Men often oppose a thing merely because they have had no agency in planning it, or because it may have been planned by those whom they dislike.


When we are flat on our backs there is no way to look but up.

There's no danger of developing eyestrain from looking on the bright side.

Another day over.
Objectives fulfilled.
Deadlines met.
Pigs fed and ready for take off.

All work completed;
All customers satisfied;
All staff happy;
All pigs fed and ready to fly.

All deadlines met;
All bosses pleased;
All important decisions made;
Temperature set at 0 deg C in hell.

When pessimists think they're taking a chance, optimists feel they're grasping a great opportunity.

The essence of optimism is that it takes no account of the present, but it is a source of inspiration, of vitality and hope where others have resigned; it enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not to abandon it to his enemy.-- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The optimist proclaims we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true. James B. Cabell

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.-- Sir Winston Spencer Churchill

If I didn't have spiritual faith, I would be a pessimist. But I'm an optimist. I've read the last page in the Bible. It's all going to turn out all right.--Billy Graham

Optimism is a kind of heart stimulus--the digitalis of failure. -- Elbert Hubbard

original sin

Carlyle said that men were mostly fools. Christianity, with a surer and more reverent realism, says that they are all fools. This doctrine is sometimes called the doctrine of original sin. It may also be described as the doctrine of the equality of men. But the essential point of it is merely this, that whatever primary and far-reaching moral dangers affect any man, affect all men. All men can be criminals, if tempted; all men can be heroes, if inspired. And this doctrine does away altogether with Carlyle's pathetic belief (or any one else's pathetic belief) in 'the wise few.'"- G.K. Chesterton, Heretics

Original sin is the only rational solution of the undeniable fact of the deep, universal and early manifested sinfulness of men in all ages, of every class, and in every part of the world. --CHARLES HODGE

Original sin is in us, like the beard. We are shaved today and look clean, and have a smooth chin; tomorrow our beard has grown again, nor does it cease growing while we remain on earth. --MARTIN LUTHER

Of Man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world, and all our woe.
John Milton. 1608-1674. Paradise Lost. Book i. Line 1.

Original sin is that thing about man which makes him capable of conceiving of his own perfection and incapable of achieving it.-Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) Obituary in "Newsweek," 14 Jun 1972.

Deep thinkers who look everywhere for the mysterious causes of poverty, ignorance, crime and war need look no further than their own mirrors. We are all born into this world poor and ignorant, and with thoroughly selfish and barbaric impulses. Those of us who turn out any other way do so largely through the efforts of others, who civilized us before we got big enough to do too much damage to the world or ourselves. -- Thomas Sowell


People have fallen into a foolish habit of speaking of orthodoxy as something heavy, humdrum, and safe. There never was anything so perilous or so exciting as orthodoxy. It was sanity: and to be sane is more dramatic than to be mad . . . The orthodox Church never took the tame course or accepted the conventions; the orthodox Church was never respectable . . . It is easy to be a madman: it is easy to be a heretic. It is always easy to let the age have its head; the difficult thing is to keep one's own. It is always easy to be a modernist; as it is easy to be a snob . . . It is always simple to fall; there are an infinity of angles at which one falls, only one at which one stands. To have fallen into any one of the fads from Gnosticism to Christian Science would indeed have been obvious and tame. But to avoid them all has been one whirling adventure; and in my vision the heavenly chariot flies thundering through the ages, the dull heresies sprawling and prostrate, the wild truth reeling but erect. -- G K Chesterton {Orthodoxy, Garden City, NY: Doubleday Image, 1908, pp. 100-101}

Not only does "orthodox" no longer mean being right, it practically means being wrong. --G. K. Chesterton, 1905

We cannot be passive and silent towards those who reject God's Word and our holy faith.-- Abraham Kuyper, Confidentie, p72.

Do not bury our glorious orthodoxy in the treacherous pit of a spurious conservatism.
Abraham Kuyper, Sermon, Conservatism and Orthodoxy, Utrecht, 31 July 1870, in Abraham Kuyper a Biography, Fank Vanden Berg, Paideia Press, 1978.p 49.

After listening to modern tirades against the great creeds of the Church, one receives a shock when one turns to the Westminster Confession... and discovers that in doing so one has turned from shallow modern phrases to a "dead orthodoxy" that is pulsating with life in every word. In such orthodoxy there is life enough to set the whole world aglow with Christian love. --J. Gresham Machen, 1923.

[Leaders of the anarchist movement in Amsterdam] call their public demonstrations "Happenings". These paintings, these poems, and these demonstrations... are the expression of men who are struggling with their appalling lostness. Dare we laugh at such things? Dare we feel superior when we view their tortured expressions in their art? Christians should stop laughing and take such men seriously. Then we shall have the right to speak again to our generation. These men are dying while they live, yet where is our compassion for them? There is nothing more ugly than an orthodoxy without understanding or without compassion. ... Francis A. Schaeffer, The God who is There [1968]

Othodoxy is my doxy; heterodoxy is another man's doxy. William Warburton (1698 &endash; 1779)

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